Summer break is right around the corner, which means summer vacation! Australia is a great choice for family travel, and our specialists here at Down Under Endeavours have broken down their favorite family-friendly spots! With an abundance of fascinating wildlife, cultural experiences, and plenty of water-based activities, Australia will be sure to keep you and the kids entertained.
Here are our favorite destinations and activities for Australia family vacations:
Great Barrier Reef
The iconic turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Image: Tourism Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world. Did you know, the Great Barrier Reef is the most extensive stretch of coral reef and is the only living thing visible from space? Composed of thousands of individual reefs and hundreds of islands, it supports an amazingly diverse ecosystem of 350 species of coral, 10,000 species of sponges, over 1,500 species of tropical fish, 125 species of sharks, and over 4,000 mollusks—not to mention some sea turtles as well!
Cuddle a Koala
Cuddling a koala at Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat. Image courtesy of Vanessa Massey
Though often called the koala “bear,” this cuddly animal is not a bear at all! Koalas live in eastern Australia, where the eucalyptus trees they love to eat are plentiful. In fact, they rarely leave these trees and their sharp claws and opposable digits easily keep them aloft. During the day, they like to doze for up to 18 hours, tucked into nooks in the trees. One of the most popular activities when visiting either the Great Barrier Reef or Brisbane is to “cuddle” a koala— a must do when in Australia!
Aboriginal cultural experiences are always a fascinating time. Image: Tourism Australia
Aboriginal heritage in Australia’s Northern Territory runs deep, whether in the tropical capital of Darwin or the vast Red Centre. Here you can explore Aboriginal heritage and culture in a multitude of ways. Enjoy Aboriginal-guided outback adventures at Uluru, try your hand at the didgeridoo, learn to throw a spear, or listen to the dreamtime stories that run through these ancient cultures.
Kangaroos grazing over the cliffs of Kangaroo Island. Image: Tourism Australia
For the most amazing “wildlife in the wild” experiences, you simply must visit Kangaroo Island, located in South Australia. Kangaroo Island is an ecological haven for native Australian wildlife like kangaroos, koalas, penguins, echidnas, and wombats. Here, you can walk among a colony of endangered sea lions or see dozens of wild kangaroos hopping about.
Don’t forget to take in the breathtaking scenery of the island with its rugged cliffs, sheltered bays, native bushland, and rolling hills—you’ll never have a dull moment of exploration! From wildlife adventures and coastal activities to food, wine, and historical guided walks, Kangaroo Island doesn’t disappoint.
The Australian Open is one of the most exciting events in the world, bringing all the top tennis players to Melbourne for two weeks of tennis fun! The festival grounds also offer live music, local food vendors (including sit-down restaurants), an incredible children’s play area, and much more. It’s a bucket list sporting event for the entire family!
A selfie with a cute quokka on Rottnest Island. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Located on the far west coast of Australia is the laid back city of Perth, and just a short ferry ride from there will take you to charming Rottnest Island. Blessed with a casual atmosphere, picturesque scenery, dazzling marine life, and some of the world’s finest beaches, it’s the perfect place to bicycle or snorkel all day long. Rottnest Island is also home to the adorable quokkas, who are happy to pose for a selfie!