The summer holidays are fast approaching. This is by far my favourite time of year. I love the smell of Gardenias, the taste of mangos, the feel of sand crunching between my toes – I could go on and on and on.
The best way to make the most of the summer weather is to venture on a family holiday. Nothing beats soaking up the sun, exploring new cities, diving into refreshing water and simply relaxing with your loved ones.
I can’t count how many times I get calls around this time of year from family and friends wanting advice on the best family Christmas break options. My response: travelling around Christmas is always going to be more expensive and you need to be super organised as accommodation books up fast. On the flip side, if you’re able to set a realistic budget or don’t mind camping, there are some wonderful destinations available that shouldn’t break the bank.
For all those wanting similar advice, here are a few ideas to kick start your holiday planning.
For a really great value summer break with the family, you can’t beat heading to one of the many camping grounds around the country. The Big4 Holiday Parks are a favourite of mine. The facilities they offer are brilliant and a lot of them have fabulous beach huts and surf shacks that can accommodate the whole family, including the dog! Here’s one such Park you may not have considered:
St Helens BIG 4 Holiday Park – Tasmania
Haven’t considered Tassie? It’s time you do! If you live in Tasmania, consider yourself one lucky Aussie. For everyone else, why not journey across the Bass Strait and give the kids a true taste of Tassie these school holidays.
If this southern adventure sounds tempting, St Helens BIG 4 Holiday Park, a two-hour drive from Launceston, offers villas, units and cabins, as well as powered and unpowered sites. After spending a jam packed day in the great outdoors, you’ll be thankful to come back to your well equipped site. Impeccable amenities, camp kitchen, laundries, BBQs and an internet kiosk make for a comfortable family stay. If the little ones still have energy to burn, they’ll have a ball on the jumping pillow, in the playground or in the games room. You’ll love simply sitting back and relaxing as the kids play till they can play no more!
If Tassie is a little too far, other camping options to look into include:
– Kingscote Tourist Park – Kangaroo Island, South Australia
– Cowes Beach – Phillip Island, Victoria
– Pink Lake Tourist Park – Esperance, Western Australia
– Tathra Beach Tourist Park, NSW
– Beechmont, Binna Burra, QLD
FAMILY FRIENDLY RESORTS + HOTELS
If you prefer your creature comforts, perhaps a family getaway to one of Australia’s bigger cities is more to your liking? Here are a couple of options to consider:
Every year, millions are lured to the Gold Coast’s enviable 35-kilometre long coastline. When I think of the Gold Coast, I imagine the skyline dotted with high rise apartments set metres from the sand. Bustling and colourful shops, restaurants and bars line the streets. Playful families and bleach blonde surfers crowd the beaches.
There’s no shortage of family friendly resorts so choosing where to stay is easy – although do get in early if you’re holidaying during the peak seasons. For a more affordable option, it’s worth looking into Treasure Island Resort & Holiday Park, Labrador, located 10-minutes north of Surfers Paradise. However if you’re keen to in the heart of Surfers Paradise, check out Paradise Resort Gold Coast where each family received one free Kids Club session per child, per day. Or, if the theme parks are a priority, Sea World Resort is a great choice.
Byron Bay is renowned as one of Australia’s most loved and celebrated holiday hot spots. The laid back town embraces a coastal lifestyle and a ‘whatever goes’ mentality floats in the air. If you’ve been, you’ll know what I mean!
The endless stretches of golden beach and balmy nights have seen Byron’s fame continually grow year on year – and as a result, so do the crowds. It’s good to keep this in mind and book accommodation in early. Check out the Outrigger Bay Apartments located only 50 metres from the beach. The Byron Beachcomber Resort or Lord Byron Resort are two other good option for families offering a range of accommodation to suit all budgets. There are several holiday houses around to rent as well so have a hunt around for the ideal home to suit your family.
At the mention of Canberra – please don’t yawn as politics fills your mind. You’ll be surprised. Family fun spills out of the nation’s capital in abundance. Most people aren’t aware of how much there is to do to entertain the family in Canberra.
When looking at where to stay, check out the Crowne Plaza Canberra, Medina Executive James Court or Rydges Capital Hill. If you’re keen to be in the middle of the CBD or
Crestview Tourist Park with cabins and camping sites for a more affordable option. Once settled, the fun begins! Lake Burley Griffith glistens in the centre of the city. Hire bikes and ride around the lake, perhaps stopping off at the aquarium en route to check out the colourful marine life along the way. If animals are a favourite, visit the National Zoo for a ‘Zooventure’. The kids will love hand feeding a tiger, having a bear lick honey from their hands and coming face to face with a giraffe.
These are just a couple of the endless Christmas holiday possibilities. Still not sure where to take the family? You can always call a Travel Expert, tell them what you are after. Be patient and they will try and shuffle dates to get you the best possible deal available.