After 3 consecutive years of doing the same old thing for our family holiday hubby and I decided it was time to shake it up a little. We did love our annual family trip and the kids enjoyed it too but we decided that every alternate year was probably enough. On the other years we would try something new.
Here are our favourite five:
Coober Pedy, SA
At 850km north of Adelaide, Cooper Pedy is a pretty isolated little opal mining town. I wish my parents had brought me here when I was a kid. It is such a strange place. I mean it’s built underground. How cool is that. It is very different from just about anywhere else your kids will have been. For a town of only around 1700 people they don’t do a bad job of the opal mining. They manage to supply the market with most of the gem quality opals in the world. Not too shabby. If you are visiting with real littlies then you will be restricted with the mines you can go into. In that case definitely visit Old Timers Mine. Kiddies of all ages can come through here and they will enjoy the novelty of the hard hat wearing experience as they wander on through and check things out.
Coral Bay / Exmouth, WA
This place is simply stunning and the proud location of Australia’s only fringing reef. Which basically means that the reef is right there at the water’s edge. Very exciting for little ones who can’t yet snorkel as they can see plenty of coral and fish close up. It is only a very small place so if you haven’t planned ahead you might have trouble booking accommodation. In this case then consider staying at Exmouth, about 120km north of Coral Bay and then doing a day trip down to the bay area.
Take a volunteer or conservation holiday
It’s never too early to teach your kids how to give back. And that doing it can actually be fun. Family volunteering is just starting to become more of a thing so you will need to do your research. If you find something that interests you but it doesn’t mention a family option flick them an email. You might be pleasantly surprised. They may be happy to organise something special for you. There is also the option of doing something for one day. So choose a program in an area you like and holiday there the rest of the time. The Earthwatch Institute Australia are off and running with family volunteer expeditions so if you think this sounds like fun then go check them out.
Stay on a farm or cattle station
There are many locations around Australia where you can do something like this. Hit google for options in your state. If you are really keen you can head to some great outback locations. Kids love it as they get to see and interact with animals every day and the environment is just so different to anything they are used to. There are loads of activities like horse riding, fishing and swimming. Activities will vary depending on the station and its location.
I love this spot for a family holiday as it is like an undiscovered secret. There are other holiday makers there but it’s never packed and bursting with tourists. On top of that it is such a fun spot for kids. There are so many activities to do. Turtle watching, hand feeding the fish, snorkelling, swimming, nature tours, bike riding… the list goes on. At only 11km long and 2km you can easily take a bike ride from one side of the island to the other. Traffic is only permitted to drive at 25km p/h so it is a safe little place to get around – and almost faster to bike or walk!
Kristy Alexander is a freelance travel writer for HotelClub Australia. When she’s not on the road exploring new destinations she can be found writing about them usually from a hotel such as the Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour one of the best in Sydney.