Take a holiday with your kids where you set the pace and agenda with a road trip. Moreover, you can pack all the snacks and gear you need without too much restriction (depending on the size of your car)! Queensland is a beautiful destination any time of year. There’s no better place to discover native wildlife, theme parks thrills and pristine beaches to satisfy all the family. Beginning in the Gold Coast and ending on the Fraser Coast, you can explore an abundance of unmissable places along the way, at your preferred pace.
1. Gold Coast
Set up for fun and excitement, the Gold Coast is a wonderland for families, with Surfers Paradise taking top spot for pure entertainment. On arrival, everyone is likely ready to get moving and blow away those travel cobwebs. The foreshore is a great place to take a walk with beautiful beachfront vistas, instantly propelling you into holiday mode. From here, there’s easy access to shopping (both vintage and traditional high-street labels), surf, water sports and attractions like Sky Point Observation Deck displaying 360-degree views from coast to hinterland.
2. Gold Coast to Brisbane
The journey from the Gold Coast to Brisbane takes approximately one hour by car if you are doing it in a single stretch. With the kids in tow, however you can’t miss stopping at Helensvale for Warner Bros. Movie World or Coomera, home to Dreamworld. Both of these key attractions will bring all the thrills and excitement of a commercial Theme Park, including a wide range of rides catering for families.
Once in Brisbane your family can expect all the cosmopolitan trappings of a large city with the added bonus of sub-tropical temperatures. Firstly, throw out a picnic rug at South Bank Parklands. Nestled on the banks of the Brisbane River and covering 17 hectares, this haven features swimming facilities (bonus: they’re free), gorgeous gardens and ample promenade that serves as a picturesque walking track. Kids can burn off their endless supplies of energy whilst parents relax at their leisure.
Hungry bellies head to Cups on Melbourne (about a 10-minute walk from South Bank). Partially open and neat in design, the kids will love the flashy jaffels and parents can caffeinate with speciality coffee with a number of alternative milks to choose from. The treats on display come with a variety of dietaries in mind, including Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan.
Similarly, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha offers access to 56-hectare parklands. Explore lush gardens and a wide range of native species of flora and fauna – plus the abundance of wildlife they attract. Sate Inquisitive minds at the living museum of native and exotic plants. Under its tropical dome, explore fragrant gardens and the largest collection of Australian rainforest trees in the world.
Base your family at Novotel Brisbane for comfortable and smart accommodation in a central Brisbane location. Novotel hotels also offer family perks, including discounts when booking an extra family room for your kids, free breakfast for 2 children under 16 and dedicated play areas.
3. Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast
4. Sunshine Coast to Hervey Bay
Expect relaxed coastal vibes in the gorgeous Fraser Coast region. Here you’ll experience a paradise of nature, aquatic adventure and unsullied coastline. Visit Hervey Bay between June and September and no doubt your family will want to hop aboard a cruise to catch a glimpse of the majestic Humpback Whale. Choice of cruise will likely depend on the amount of time you have available and the budget you’re working to. The Spirit of Hervey Bay offers a larger cruise, for example, whereas Blue Dolphin Marine Tours offers a more intimate vessel, so it’s best to plan and book ahead for an adventure tailored to your family needs. A detailed guide on whale watching in Hervey bay and Fraser Island can be found here.