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Are you thinking of travelling with children to Australia, but are not sure what to expect? Wide, wondrous and open-skied, Australia is a perfect choice when it comes to luxury travel with children, offering everything from tropical reefs and snowy mountains to gorgeous sandy beaches and amazing wildlife encounters. With some savvy travel planning, you can relax and enjoy the best places to travel with children in Australia in style and with minimal stress.

Here are our top 6 kid-friendly travel destinations in Australia and a handy travelling with children checklist to make your journey as easy and stress-free as possible.

Where To Travel With Children In Australia

#1 The Gold Coast, Queensland

Offering a mix of laid-back fun and thrill-seeking adventures, the Gold Coast is the perfect place to create special family memories.

Older kids will love taking surf lessons and sea-kayaking at stunning, world-class beaches like Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta and Currumbin. Young families can head to Ian Dipple Lagoon and Gold Coast Aqua Park at Broadwater Parklands. Enjoy a splash, paddleboard or kayak in calm water at Southport or Tallebudgera Creek. Families who love nature will enjoy exploring the ancient Gondwana rainforests at Springbrook or Lamington National Parks, taking in the breathtaking landscapes at Mount Tamborine, and packing a family picnic to enjoy after bushwalking in Burleigh Heads National Park.

For unbeatable close encounters with unique Australian wildlife, head to Paradise Country or Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Get curious about fossicking, high ropes or ride horses at Thunderbird Park, or learn about local indigenous culture at the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Enjoy a captivating show at Outback Spectacular, enjoy relaxed family fun at Top Golf or iFly, or enjoy dizzying heights at the Skypoint Observation Deck. Oh, and thrill-seeking families won’t want to miss visiting at least one of the Gold Coast’s five gigantic theme parks: Dreamworld, Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild and WhiteWater World.

#2 Sydney, New South Wales

An iconic destination, Sydney is one of the best places to travel with children because of the pure variety it offers families.

For breathtaking views of the photogenic Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, hop aboard a classic Sydney ferry and do laps around the Harbour. Take your darlings to Darling Harbour for some fantastic at the Darling Quarter Playground, where there are enough activities to tire out even the most energetic of children: everything from flying foxes to climbing ropes, swings and water slides. Seize the opportunity to make new aquatic friends at the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium, or get up-close and personal with amazing Australian animals at Wild Life Sydney Zoo. Head to Raging Waters (Wet and Wild) in Prospect for some family-friendly fun with 42 water slides, rides and attractions.

Looking for the perfect way to unwind after a busy day in Sydney? Soak up the sun and surf at Manly Beach, or spread out a picnic blanket on Cockatoo Island.

#3 The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

A spectacular journey for parents and kids alike, the Great Ocean Road shows off the breathtaking beauty of Victoria’s rugged coastline and the wild, windswept Southern Ocean. Catch a wave at the famous Bells Beach. Gaze upon the soaring 12 Apostles, rising dramatically out of the ocean. Explore fishing villages and shipwrecks, and spot migrating humpback whales, dolphins and seals on a tour. Visit or spend the night in the 167-year-old Cape Otway Lightstation, the oldest surviving lighthouse in Australia. Meet koalas, emus, kangaroos and waterbirds roaming in Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, inside an extinct volcano. Enjoy the serenity of sleeping under the stars at Great Otway National Park.

#4 Blue Mountains, New South Wales

An easy day trip from Sydney, the Blue Mountains offer stunning vistas and an unforgettable, ancient landscape of plateaus carved out of immense, deep, wide valleys. Take the Scenic Cableway deep into the Jamison Valley, descending from the cliff tops to vast, forest-covered wilderness and scenic boardwalks. Go bushwalking along the Katoomba, Echo Point and Leura Cascades walk, and stop in at the delightful Leura Toy & Railway Museum.

#5 Darwin, Northern Territory

If you’re travelling with children, we can’t recommend Darwin (and the Northern Territory) enough. Unique in Australia, and unique in the world, Darwin offers plenty of adventure. Feed wild ocean fish by hand at Aquascene in Doctors Gully, or hold a crocodile in your hands (safely!) at Crocodylus Park or Crocosaurus Cove. Explore the WWII tunnels running under Darwin city’s centre and the Darwin Military Museum.

The Northern Territory is home to some of the most impressive national parks in the world. Kakadu National Park offers a diverse range of unique ecosystems, from stone country and wetlands to floodplains and a form of rainforest whose trees aren’t found anywhere else on Earth. Litchfield National Park is a sprawling national park with towering termite mounds. Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory is a family-friendly art gallery with excellent permanent and rotating exhibits, including an exhibit showcasing flora and fauna unique to the Northern Territory. Head south to Alice Springs and Uluru to camp out under the stars and view the iconic red Uluru.

For luxury travel with children, we recommend staying in Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, a luxury hotel built in the shape of a crocodile in Kakadu Park.

#6 Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne is Australia’s vibrant arts and culture capital, full of hidden side-streets, stunning parks, museums and activities that your little ones will love. Enjoy sweeping views of the city with the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel or treat the kids to a day of fun at Luna Park in St Kilda. Take a walk on the wild side at Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary. Pet farmyard animals at the children’s farms at Bundoora and Collingwood. Check out the Children’s Gallery while you’re exploring Melbourne Museum, or inspire your little ones with the miracles of science at Scienceworks.

#7 Adelaide, South Australia

South Australia is a magnificent place to explore for families who love nature — and Adelaide’s Wine Regions and Kangaroo Island are gems in South Australia’s crown. We recommend staying a few days in the luxurious Adelaide Wine Regions and spending some time just a short hop south of Adelaide at Kangaroo Island. Here, you and your little ones can marvel at sea lions, seals and fairy penguins at Seal Bay, bask in the spectacular scenery of Flinders Chase National Park. Explore beaches, go sand tobogganing on sand dunes, visit honey farms, explore caves and wildlife parks, and enjoy fish and chips at the pub in Kingscote.

Travelling With Children Checklist

#1 Make Sure Your Transportation Is Well-Equipped For Children

Unless you’ll be using it on the plane, opt to rent a car seat with your car rental. In Australia, it’s illegal for any baby or child under the age of seven years to travel in a car without a correctly fitted, properly fastened child restraint that meets Australian safety standards.

  • 0 to 6 months: A rear-facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness
  • 6 months to 4 years old: A rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness
  • 4 to 7 years old: A forward-facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness, or an approved booster seat with a properly fastened and adjusted seat belt or child safety harness
  • 7 to 16 years old: A fastened booster or adult seatbelt, depending on their size.

At Hughes, we are committed to providing a child-safe and child-friendly environment at all times. We offer baby seats, boosters or baby capsules when you book. If you are travelling with a large family, we also provide spacious vehicles with lots of extra luggage space, such as SUVs, people movers, or trailers.

#2 Create A Family Travel Checklist

Since travelling with small people, plus all their accoutrements can be daunting, we recommend making a family travel checklist. This makes it easy to pack for the trip ahead and makes it easier to pack up each time you move to the next destination.

Ultimately, what you’ll need to take with you on your journey depends on the age of your kids and where you’re going. Here are some great guidelines:

Travel Checklist For Older Children (7 years and above)

  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Spare clothes, in case of spills, accidents or delays
  • Water in refillable drink bottles
  • Healthy snacks
  • Books, toys and games
  • A set of headphones designed for little heads
  • A first aid kit

Travel Checklist For Babies, Toddlers and Younger Children

For babies and younger children, we recommend packing the above, plus:

  • Cloth nappies
  • A wipe-down change mat
  • Spare clothes if your child is toilet training
  • A portable changing mat
  • Your child’s favourite soft toy
  • A favourite blankie or wrap
  • A portable crib and play-station
  • A small fold-up pram
  • Snacks
  • Washable bibs

#3 Entertainment For The Journey

Here are suggestions for keeping your kids entertained during long trips:

  • Blank sketchbooks and coloured pencils for writing and drawing
  • A small collection of favourite toys
  • Books
  • ‘I spy’, Animals ABCs or guessing games
  • A screen or tablet device loaded with movies
  • Storytelling games, where you create tall tales together
  • Music that your child enjoys
  • Games, such as dice games, card games or checkers with magnetic pieces
  • Sticker books
  • Word games, puzzles, and joke books
  • Audiobooks
  • A kids camera

Interested in luxury travel with children? Hughes offers a range of baby seats, boosters and baby capsules to make travelling with kids easy and stress-free. Contact Hughes on 1300 615 165 and hire one of our luxury chauffeured vehicles.