Our Family’s Five Top Travel Spots

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As a busy family with school aged children and two working parents, we often feel like we’re not spending as much time together as a family as we should be.

In order to switch-off from work/school completely and reconnect as a family we take every opportunity throughout the year to get away and spend some time at one of our favourite travel destinations:

1.    Launceston, Tas.
We head to Tasmania at least half a dozen times each year, mainly because that’s where all of our extended family lives, but also because we love the slower pace and relaxed atmosphere.  Everything seems to move a little bit slower in Tasmania and it’s quite a refreshing break from the frenetic pace of Melbourne.  Often we fly, but we also frequently take the Spirit of Tasmania (so we can take our own car).

Top Places to Visit:  Cataract Gorge, Tasmania Zoo, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, beaches at Port Sorrell and Bridport, Cradle Mountain.


2.    Gold Coast, Qld.
It’s probably an obvious one!  Having spent some time living on the Gold Coast in my younger and sillier days, I love to take every opportunity to get back up there with my family.

Top Places to Visit: Theme Parks (Sea World, Movie World, Dream World, Wet ‘n’ Wild), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Stradbroke Island, Tamborine Mountain, Aquaduck ride, Jupiters Casino, Pacific Fair and Harbour Town for shopping (a MUST!) and markets at Carrara and Surfers Paradise.


3.    Glenelg, SA.
We did our first visit to SA a few months ago and loved it so much that we’re already planning our next trip back.  Glenelg is the perfect beach-side holiday spot for families (especially if you stay in a beach-front holiday apartment as we do) and has plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops and entertainment for the kids – and it’s only a short tram ride from Adelaide CBD.

Top Places to Visit: Glenelg beach, The Beach House (amazing family entertainment centre), Rundle Mall (in Adelaide CBD -  great shopping!), dolphin and seal watching cruises, Moseley Square.


4.    Phillip Island, Vic.
This is the perfect destination for short escapes from our home at only 1 ½ hours’ drive from Melbourne.  We usually hit the Stayz website for cheap holiday rentals (unless it’s V8 Supercar weekend, when the prices can be horrendous!!) and spend a few weekends on the island each year.  It’s really an ideal family destination with something for the whole family.

Top Places to Visit: Penguin Parade, Nature Park, The Nobbies, Churchill Island Heritage Farm, A Maze’n Things, Chocolate Factory, beaches, restaurants and cafes in Coates.


5.    Mt Buller, Vic.
Okay, so we haven’t actually been there yet, but we’d like to – and that counts, right?  It’s been years since we last did a visit to the snow and we’ve decided that next snow season we’ll be packing up and heading for a few days at Mt Buller.

Top Places to Visit: Alpine Spa Retreat (oh, yes please!), Ski & Snowboard School, Black Cockatoo Restaurant, and all the fun of the on-snow activities (skiing, snow shoeing, tobogganing, snow tubing etc).

What are your favourite family holiday destinations?  Have you found somewhere that is just adored by the whole family – if so, we’d love to hear from you!

  • Annette Sharp

    Hi Melissa,
    Like you, we grab the opportunity to get away and hang out together as a foursome. We have done 3 trips to Hamilton Island in the past 12 months – just fantastic if you know the tips for making it a reasonable cost. Apart from cheap flights (which you can get surprisingly often), here are my tips:
    1. book an apartment that comes with a buggy (that is a day’s entertainment in itself). There are alot of 3 bedroom apartments (better than a 2 bedroom hotel room!) with big verandahs, great views and BBQs
    2. Order Coles online (delivered to the apartment and remember to order 10 litre containers of water. The water on the Island is awful)
    3. Organise for wine to be sent from the mainland (I use Kemenys Online, but there are plenty others. Just allow 2 weeks delivery).

    There are plenty of things to do for kids and adults – 7 swimming pools that everyone can access, a little wildlife park where you can hold a koala, go carts, beaches, snorkelling with the turtles. They have a great kids club and kids eat free at quite a few of the restaurants.

    You don’t have to go overseas to have a lovely tropical holiday – just know how to do it! Our kids are 6 and 3, and right now, it’s a winner!
    Annette

  • Melissa Williscroft

    Hi Annette,

    That sounds awesome!  I’ve heard great things about Hamilton Island but always wondered whether it would be a family friendly destination – I’d only really hard about people going there are couples or on honeymoons etc!

    Thanks for sharing and I think I shall definitely have to add Hamilton Island to our bucket list!

    Melissa