Enjoying a family friendly getaway in South East Queensland is child’s play. Think fun for them, a little luxury for you and loads of activities to keep everyone entertained. With plenty of great things to see and do, you’ll find adventures to suit every age and budget in Brisbane and beyond.
Naturally Noosa with babies and toddlers
Noosa’s self-contained accommodation has plenty of space to spread out and is perfect for preparing and enjoying Noosa’s superb produce. Shop for freshly baked goods and browse the stalls at Eumundi Markets (re-open as of July 11th 2020) or stock up on local cheeses, breads, meats, and more at Providore on Hastings. Staying somewhere central makes for a stress free holiday, with everything you need within easy reach. Seahaven Noosa Resort has such superb ocean views that it’s tempting to dine in, but there are also plenty of child-friendly restaurants and cafes nearby. If you don’t have your heart set on a beach view, Mantra French Quarter is an upmarket yet affordable haven where colourful lorikeets perch on the balconies each morning, adding a splash of colour to breakfast.
The pram-friendly Noosa National Park Coastal Track is perfect for a morning or afternoon stroll, with a pre- or post-walk coffee or a fresh juice at a beachside café at the start of the walk on Hastings Street. Keep an eye out for koalas overhead and dolphins in the sparkling ocean below or take the stairs down to Little Cove and paddle in the crystal clear waters or search for sea creatures in the rock pools. Ikatan Day Spa, a Balinese-inspired haven located in a subtropical rainforest, is the perfect spot to indulge in a little me-time. A Balinese massage which includes light stretching and pressure point massage followed by a post-treatment glass of bubbly in a serene gazebo is the perfect pick-me up for parents.
Get active on Moreton Island
Grab your bucket and spade and your sense of adventure and explore one of the biggest ‘sandcastles’ in South East Queensland. It’s hard to believe Moreton Island is just 75 minutes from Brisbane, with the ferry terminal located 10 minutes from Brisbane Airport by taxi. This natural wonderland is home to the world’s highest coastal dune – Mount Tempest – which offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Grab a piece of waxed masonite board and zoom down the towering sand dune on a Desert Safari Tour which visits the Moreton Island Desert, one kilometre south east of Tangalooma Resort.
You can also sign up to feed the pod of wild dolphins which have been visiting the Tangalooma Island Resort jetty since the 70s. Just before sunset each evening people wade into the tranquil waters of Moreton Bay where they’re coached by marine biologists – ‘hold your herring like an ice-cream cone’ – while dolphins wait patiently in the shallows. Watching from the jetty as the dolphins hunt, swim and play with each other makes for some wonderful photos.
Camping or staying at Tangalooma Island Resort for a few days gives you the chance to fully experience Moreton Island. Resort guests can sign up for complimentary activities such as archery, badminton or croquet or discover Moreton Bay’s marine life on a snorkelling tour of the Tangalooma Wrecks. This is great for young children as the snorkel boat has a set of steps instead of a ladder, making it easy for them to get in and out of the water.
Surfers Paradise is a teenage dream
Surfers Paradise is filled with tourist attractions that have parents shaking their heads, while their teens beg to go inside. However, the old saying ‘don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’ has never been so true. Go indoor skydiving at iFLY Gold Coast or visit the world’s largest Timezone filled with 5,000 sqm of games, rides, and things that go ‘bing’, and you’ll discover just how much fun it can be travelling with teens. Plus Surfers Paradise is home to one of South East Queensland’s most famous beaches where you can swim, learn to surf or snap a selfie under the Surfers Paradise sign.
Plenty of non-beach-related action can be found around Cavill Avenue and the Cavill Mall, a pedestrian-only precinct lined with restaurants, fast food outlets, shops, and entertainment options. Whether you’re on a budget or not, enjoying takeaway at a picnic table overlooking the beach is hard to beat. Zip around sand bars on the Broadwater with Jetboat Extreme or swap the beach for the clouds on Australia’s highest external building walk atop the Gold Coast skyscraper Q1. If you aren’t feeling quite that daring, the much tamer glass-enclosed viewing area is a great spot to watch the sunset.
With a dazzling array of accommodation on offer, you’ll find the perfect spot for your family to lay their heads. Opt for self-contained accommodation in the heart of the action at the Hilton Surfers Paradise or cheap and cheerful digs at voco Gold Coast. With room rates starting at just $110 per night, you could treat your teen to their own adjoining room at this funky, affordable hotel.
BEST BRISBANE GETAWAYS
Brisbane combines the genuine friendliness of a country town with big-city attractions, world-class museums, and great accommodation. Whether your kids love animals, art, adventure, or simply running around, the Queensland capital offers plenty of fun.
Babies & Toddlers
Hit the beach at South Bank’s lagoon which has palm trees overhanging a white sandy beach and a fun hands-on water play area for under fives. Nearby, check out the Gallery of Modern Art’s fantastic children’s art space and the Queensland Museum’s outdoor dinosaur garden. Relax on the balcony while your little ones have a nap at Mantra South Bank or the Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane.
Take a CityCat ride along the Brisbane River with a stop at New Farm Park where kids can clamber on the huge fortress-like playground winding through mighty Moreton Bay fig trees. Ride Australia’s oldest hand-operated lift to the top of City Hall or meet the animals at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Capri by Fraser Brisbane is located in the heart of the city and features Spin & Play, a kid-friendly guest lounge with a Foosball table, Xbox Kinect, beanbags, big screen TV and adjoining guest laundry.
With its diamante-encrusted flip-flop sculpture, an in-house Music Curator, luxe pool deck and eye-popping décor, W Brisbane is cool enough for teens and a luxurious treat for parents. Get your hearts racing with Story Bridge Adventure Climb, kayak the Brisbane River, explore the city on a CityCycle or scooter, or browse for funky finds in Fortitude Valley or at South Bank’s Young Designers Market.