Fun for All Ages: Queensland’s Top 6 Family-friendly Destinations
Ultimate kids’ playground on the Gold Coast
Firm family favourite and one of Australia’s ultimate holiday destinations, the Gold Coast puts fun at the forefront — both for the young and young-at-heart.
Boasting a dazzling 57 kilometre stretch of sun-kissed coastline dotted with family-friendly areas, Gold Coast beach days are what dreams are made of. The Ian Dipple Lagoon at Broadwater, with its rip-free protected beach, pelicans and oceanfront playground, is great for younger kids, while Currumbin Creek keeps teens entertained with stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and more. Take a stroll to find your spot in the sand – be sure to pack your towel and sunscreen.
Thrills aplenty await in Australia’s theme park capital, home to six large-scale playgrounds for young and old. The hardest part is deciding which to visit first! Adrenaline-fuelled film buffs are best served at Warner Bros. Movie World, while Sea World mixes marine life and adventure, and Wet’n’Wild boasts stomach-flipping waterslides.
Equal parts educational and fun, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary lets kids hand-feed kangaroos, come face-to-face with lemurs and watch eagles soar at the bird show. Afterwards, take to ‘nature’s playground’ at the Currumbin Rock Pools — a subtropical rainforest with a waterfall, crystal-clear rock pools and natural rockslides.
One last dip in the crystalline Tallebudgera Creek will be enough to settle the kids. An idyllic, patrolled paradise with gentle conditions makes for the ultimate family day out. The best part – it’s free!
Sit back and relax in the Whitsundays
Known for its tropical islands, caster-sugar-white sand beaches and abundance of marine life, Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s most desirable holiday destinations – and nothing short of family paradise.
Across the car-free island, there are several popular attractions for both adults and kids. Got a little golfer in your midst? Help them practise their swing at the mini-golf course and watch that competitive streak shine through. Those with the need for speed will not want to miss out on the adrenaline that comes with go-karting. Or slow the pace with a friendly game of ten-pin bowling — perfect for all ages and abilities.
Those with water babies in tow can take a dip in Hamilton Island’s three refreshing beachfront pools. The Main Pool even has a swim-up bar for the adults.
Make time for a visit to the pristine and world-famous Whitehaven Beach — the star attraction of the Whitsundays, and just a 30-minute catamaran ride from Hamilton Island. With seven kilometres of shore to explore and shallow aqua waters, Whitehaven Beach is a safe play area for younger children and an Instagram hotspot for teens (or parents!).
Discover larger than life wonders on the Fraser Coast
Home to Fraser Island (the world’s largest sand island) and renowned for its wildlife encounters and safe beaches, the Fraser Coast has something for the whole family to enjoy.
Water lovers cannot go past WetSide Water Park in Hervey Bay. Providing hours of fun for all the family, this free outdoor arena also hosts a spectacular seasonal light show.
Off land, Hervey Bay offers world-renowned whale watching encounters from July to October each year. Look on as whales rest, socialise and play nearby, allowing you to get up close with one of the biggest marine animals on the planet.
Off the coast of Hervey Bay, Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island and packed with natural encounters for your next family 4WDing adventure. Surrounded by untamed wilderness and rugged terrain, this World Heritage-listed site features ancient rainforests, freshwater lakes, spectacular sand formations and the SS Maheno shipwreck — all ready to be explored. The whole family will enjoy a visit to the island’s Champagne Pools or the powder-like sands and fresh waters of Lake McKenzie — one of the country’s most visited natural wonders.
Step back in time and visit the heritage-listed Story Bank in Maryborough, where Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers was born, and take a photo with a life-sized statue of every child’s favourite fictional nanny. Or drop into the Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum, where over 20 historical buildings have been gathered, including a slab house, schoolroom, railway station and church. It’s a trip down memory lane for the adults and a fun day out for kids, thanks to interactive displays and engaging informative talks.