Family holiday destinations

December 12, 2012, 3:30 pmYahoo!7

The perfect destination for your next family holiday is right here.

Family holiday hot-spots
Parents
Rating:

Australia:


Paradise Resort Gold Coast

Gold Coast, QLD

Play: There’s so much around the Gold Coast to keep the whole family entertained. Get up close with animals at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or head out to sea for a spot of whale watching. Be sure to leave plenty of time to make your way around the theme parks: Sea World, Movie World, Wet’n’Wild and Dream World. With so much for the kids to do, you’ll no doubt see yourself venturing to the Gold Coast time and time again.

Stay: If you’re keen to stay in the heart of Surfers Paradise then check out Paradise Resort Gold Coast where each family receives one free kids’ club session per child, per day.

Canberra, ACT

Play: Many people may be surprised by how much there is for families to do in Canberra. Hire bikes and discover Lake Burley Griffin, stop off at the aquarium to check

out the colourful marine life or enter the world of science at the Questacon museum.

Stay: The Medina Executive James Court has a convenient, central location.

Byron Bay, NSW

Play: Byron Bay oozes relaxation. Family breaks here usually revolve around the beach, playing in the sand and soaking up the sun. It’s the perfect place to enjoy quality, chilled-out time together as a family.

Stay: Check out the Lord Byron Resort which offers a range of accommodation to suit all budgets.

Alice Springs, NT

Play: The red centre is a great destination for families who love adventure. From checking out the wildlife at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre to making the 4.5-hour trip to experience majestic Uluru, there is so much to do here.

Stay: The BIG 4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park is an award-winning option.


Overseas:


Malaysian Borneo

Malaysia

Play: Malaysia is fast becoming a popular family holiday hot-spot. It’s one of the most modern, politically stable and safe countries in South-East Asia, providing holidaying families alluring Asian charm plus that all-important peace of mind.

Stay: Check out Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort located on Pantai Dalit Beach in Sabah’s capital, Kota Kinabalu. You'll love the free kids’ club for children aged between

4 to 12 years.

Fiji

Play: Fiji is one of the easiest and kid-friendly places to take the family for an overseas holiday. Located a comfortable 3.5-hour flight from the east coast of Australia, this group of more than 300 islands is sure to offer something for every family. From the warm Fijian hospitality to the colourful culture, it’s a holiday destination which will be remembered for years to come.

Stay: It would be difficult for families to find a better place to stay than the five-star Outrigger on the Lagoon. Located on a tranquil beachfront on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu island, it caters for parents holidaying with children. The resort offers kids-stay-and-eat-free deals as well as kids’ club facilities, plus a ’meimei’ (nanny) service.

Bali

Play: For a tropical, relaxing and affordable overseas trip close to home, Bali is the perfect option. The friendly smiles of the Balinese people will welcome your family as soon as you hit the stunning island shores. The locals love children and as a result, many resorts cater for the patter of little feet.

Stay: For a truly luxurious Balinese escape, check out the InterContinental Bali Resort, set on 14 hectares of lush, tropical grounds at beautiful Jimbaran Bay.

Thailand

Play: Thailand is home to some top family travel spots, including the welcoming Phuket, where there’s plenty of sun, sand and activities to enjoy, from elephant experiences to day trips to the glorious Phi Phi islands.

Stay: Located along Bangtao Bay on Phuket’s west coast, Laguna Phuket is a beautiful collection of resorts, including the multi-award winning Banyan Tree Phuket. From May to October the Laguna Phuket Summer Family Festival runs, offering a host of additional family entertainment and discounts.


Camping & cabins:


Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island, SA

Play: Kangaroo Island is referred to as one of Earth’s last unspoiled natural havens. Thanks to the spectacular scenery and endless family-friendly activities, this national treasure is an ideal destination to consider when planning your next camping adventure.

Stay: Have a look into Kingscote Tourist Park, located on the tranquil Nepean Bay. The park has basic cabins, self-contained ensuite units or camping sites – both powered and unpowered.

Esperance, WA

Play: Esperance boasts some of Australia’s most picture-perfect beaches and coastline. Deep blue water fades into a striking aqua, crashing onto sand as white as snow

– you’ll be hard-pressed to find beaches like this anywhere else in the world.

Stay: For families drawn to a holiday by the water, you won’t get much better than a stay at Pink Lake Tourist Park. Cycling, swimming, surfing, whale watching, exploring the national parks and kangaroo spotting on the beaches of Lucky Bay will keep the family entertained for days. There’s something to suit every budget: cabins, apartments and villas are perfect for families wanting extra space and comfort. For the camping lovers, powered and unpowered sites are available.

Phillip Island, VIC

Play: Watching Phillip Island’s little penguins emerge from the ocean and waddle to their sand dune burrows will delight kids of all ages. This well-loved parade draws thousands of visitors to the island every year. A 90-minute drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a popular choice for families looking for a nature-filled camping adventure.

Stay: If the mention of penguins grabs you, then Cowes Caravan Park, set on the beach front, is a great option to look into.

Wineglass Bay, TAS

Play: Tasmania’s reputation for its amazing natural scenery, pristine beaches, rugged coastlines and awe-inspiring mountains is undisputable. If you live in Tasmania, consider yourself a lucky Aussie! For everyone else, why not journey across Bass Strait and give the kids a true taste of the apple isle?

Stay: Check out BIG 4 St Helens Holiday Park, a two-hour drive from Launceston. The park offers villas, units and cabins, plus powered and unpowered sites.


Overseas adventure:


Disneyland, Anaheim

Los Angeles, USA

Play: Thanks to the alluring magic of Disneyland, Los Angeles often lands itself the title as one of the ultimate overseas family holiday destinations. No matter what age you are, this spectacular ’land’ never fails to amaze. Located in Anaheim, 53 kilometres from Los Angeles’ city centre, Disneyland Resort is divided into two separate theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Get a Park Hopper ticket for entry to both parks. Entry for children under three is free, and anyone 10 years or over is charged an adult fare.

Stay: If visiting Mickey and friends is the priority, it may be worth staying on Disneyland Drive at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel or across the road from the resort entrance at Anaheim Camelot Inn and Suites.

London, UK

Play: A familiar culture, no language barriers and being at the doorstep of several European countries, the home of our royals remains a consistently popular choice for Aussie families looking for an overseas adventure. The sight of Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London will send excitement levels soaring.

Stay: Children under 16 stay and eat free when staying with two parents at the Novotel London Tower Bridge.

Auckland, NZ

Play: If you’re looking to embrace nature and avoid the bustling crowds, our closest South Pacific Ocean neighbour is the ideal holiday destination. Lord of the Rings threw New Zealand’s natural beauty onto the world stage and if that’s the scenery you’re expecting, you won’t be let down.

Stay: The capital, Auckland, is a harbour city worth visiting and a great launching pad to discover the rest of the north island. Look into family-friendly hotels such as the City Central Hotel.

Lapland, Finland

Play: What could be better than taking the kids on holidays to Santa’s very own home town? About half a million visitors from around the world pay this winter wonderland a visit to say ’hi’ to the jolly red man himself. One tip of advice: don’t underestimate the cold. The temperature can hover anywhere from -7 through to -17 degrees Celsius during the winter months.

Stay: Santa Claus Holiday Village is a kid-friendly hotel right in the middle of the action.

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