If there’s one thing I’ve learned while researching this story, it’s that Australian all-inclusive luxury resorts aren’t cheap. But they are spectacular. And worth considering for a special occasion, like a milestone birthday or wedding anniversary.
But I’ll be honest, it took my husband days of research to find somewhere for my fortieth birthday where we could also take our three month old baby.
If you’re looking luxury, be it a a private island, unspoilt natural scenery or a once-in-a-lifetime animal encounter you’re probably going to peruse the list of properties that are part of Luxury Lodges of Australia. Some of the biggest bucket list resorts in Australia are on this list. Think Longitude 131 at Uluru, Lizard Island in Queensland and Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley in NSW.
But many of the ultra luxury resorts in Australia don’t take kids. And most don’t let you bring a baby or toddler.
So if you’re like my husband and and looking for something extra special for the whole family, we’ve done some of the research for you and compiled a list of the ultra luxury, all inclusive resorts in Australia where you can take the kids.
Arkaba, South Australia
In South Australia’s Ikara Flinder’s Ranges, Arkaba offers the ultimate luxury outback escape. Arkaba is not simply a place to sleep. It’s an other-wordy experience. Scenic flights over Wilpena Pound, private guided wilderness walks, safari excursions and wild animal encounters are just some of the activities that make this a truly unique all-inclusive experience.
From what age can kids stay at Arkaba?
Kids aged 8 years an older can stay.
What’s included in the all-inclusive package at Arkaba?
- Daily guided wilderness safaris
- Accommodation at Arkaba Homestead
- All chef-prepared meals
- All beverages including award-winning South Australian wines
Lizard Island, Queensland
Lizard Island is a totally secluded oasis just an hours flight from Cairns. It’s also the northern-most resort in the Great Barrier Reef. Each villa and suite has been designed to showcase the incredible surrounds with floor to ceiling windows providing unbeatable ocean views.
Snorkelling, kayaking and diving expeditions can be enjoyed in crystal clear waters while back on dry land, the spa, tennis court and yoga retreat will fill your days in paradise.
From what age can kids stay on Lizard Island?
Lizard Island caters to children aged 10 and over. And it’s a resort where the target market is couples and honeymooners. Feedback from a regular reader who visited in May 2021 was that if you’re going to take the kids, it’s a resort well suited to nature-loving teens but that tweens might not love it as much.
What’s in the all-inclusive package at Lizard Island?
- Gourmet meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner)
- Deluxe picnic hampers for private beach outings
- Non-alcoholic beverages and selection of wine, beer, spirits & champagne
- Use of motorised dinghies, stand-up paddle boards, clearview kayaks and snorkel equipment
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, New South Wales
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is located on a 7,000 acre conservancy reserve in the Greater Blue Mountains. The resort is an industry leader for sustainable tourism and was designed to tie in with the natural beauty of the area rather than compete with it.
Private horse riding lessons, 4×4 adventures, mountain biking and evening campfire stargazing experiences are on offer. There are even dedicated kids programs. Plus, the One&Only spa is unmatched when it comes to holistic healing for mind, body and soul.
As far as luxury, family-friendly all-inclusive resorts in Australia go, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is tough to beat.
From what age can kids stay at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley?
Kids of all ages are welcome at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. We visited with a three month old baby and were made to feel welcome right around the resort, including in the main dining room at dinner time.
While we were there we say plenty of other families with children. Our baby was definitely the youngest, but there were toddlers, primary-schoolers and even a couple of teenagers. All the kids looked like they were having a great time and the staff were equally attentive to guests with and without children.
For those who’d prefer to eat in their rooms (which we did one night) the staff will bring the meal and wine over, set a table and you can eat while the baby sleeps in the next room. I have to say, that night of not needing to get dressed for dinner, eating a gourmet meal and not needing to do any clean up afterwards was pure bliss for this sleep deprived mama.
What’s in the all-inclusive package at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley?
- Indoor private pool and courtyard
- Gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
- Selected range of local wines and beers with meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- Two on-site nature-based activities per day including stable tours, nature walks and the Wolgan Rangers activity for kids.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Only fifteen wilderness tents comprise this exclusive beach-side safari camp. On the dunes of Cape Range National Park, the untamed desert landscape meets the tranquil waters of Ningaloo Reef at Sal Salis.
Shark and whale swims, kayaking, snorkelling and fishing expeditions showcase Australia’s incredible wildlife. The accommodation is described as ‘eco-luxe safari camping’ that provides simple, barefoot luxury.
From what age can kids stay at Sal Salis?
The all-inclusive glamping at Sal Salis is only available to families with kids 5 years and older.
What’s in the all-inclusive package at Sal Salis?
- Chef prepared meals and snacks
- Open bar
- Guided wilderness activities including sea-kayaking and National Park walks.
Pinetrees, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
For over 100 years, Pinetrees has hosted families at its remote Lord Howe Island property. Less than 2 hours by plane from Sydney and Brisbane, its a nature lover’s paradise with snorkelling, bike riding and bush walking on offer. You can even milk the cows.
High chairs, cots, baby monitors and strollers are provided free of charge and kids are well catered for when it comes to meal times.
From what age can kids stay at Pinetrees on Lord Howe Island?
Families with children of all ages are welcome at Pinetrees.
What’s in the all-inclusive package at Pinetrees on Lord Howe Island?
- Free accommodation and meals for children under 10
- High chairs, cots and strollers
- Full breakfasts, lunches, afternoon tea and 4-5 course dinners
- Island transfers
Note: the family all-inclusive packages at Pinetrees can only be booked directly through Pinetrees Travel.
Silky Oaks, Queensland
Just 36 rainforest retreats make up this tropical haven, including 23 treehouse that will make you feel like a (very spoiled) kid again. Each villa at Silky Oaks has a hammock that overlooks the Mossman River, offering breathtaking views of the Daintree Rainforest.
Although it isn’t technically all-inclusive because some meals are not provided, the dining experiences on offer are worth the extra money.
From what age can kids stay at Silky Oaks Lodge?
Silky Oaks Lodge welcomes children ten years and over.
What‘s in the all-inclusive package at Silky Oaks Lodge?
- Full breakfast and afternoon tea
- Use of canoes, mountain bikes, tennis court and gym
- Return shuttle to Port Douglas daily
- Morning yoga and guided nature walks
Note: Silky Oaks Lodge is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and will re-open in October 2021.
Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.