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What to do in NSW this Easter school holidays

With Easter just around the corner, there’s only one thing on our minds. How on earth are we going to keep the kids entertained for another school holidays? And with inter-state travel still a little precarious, we thought we’d share some of the best things do to these Easter school holidays in NSW.

After a year of rescheduled events and plans because of COVID-19, it’s great to see that there’s an exciting lineup of fun and family-friendly activities are on track for these Easter school holidays in New South Wales.

Read more: Easter Hat in 10 Easy Steps

Here are our top picks for things to do and places to visit in New South Wales this Easter.

The Royal Easter Show, 1-12 April, Sydney Olympic Park

Family enjoying the carnival rides at the 2019 Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney Showground at Sydney Olympic Park.
The whole family will enjoy the carnival rides at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Credit: Destination NSW

A day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show is jam-packed with agricultural experiences, animal displays, arts and crafts, carnival rides and live entertainment. Back in 2021 with a COVID safe plan in place, check out the online show guide to plan your trip around the activities you don’t want to miss.

This annual event has been one of my personal favourite things to do in NSW over the Easter school holidays since I was a child. I still remember going as a tiny tot out to the old showground at Moore Park with my Nana and Papa. We loved the fruit displays and the baby animals. This year I’m looking forward to taking my toddler for her first Sydney Royal Easter Show experience.

Griffith Easter Party, 1-5 April

The Griffith long weekend Easter Party can be enjoyed with the whole family. Celebrating the end of vintage, Griffith Easter Party brings you a host of entertainment, activities, demonstrations, wine and food. There is something for everyone. 

The Easter Weekend sees cellar doors open to host wine tasting events, special releases, food and live music.

Check out the Griffith Feed & Grain Family Fun Day on 3rd April. Here you’ll find community market stalls, Easter Bunny special visit, the Riding for the Disabled sausage sizzle, Peeches Mobile Coffee Van, and the Old Kentucky Animal Farm.

Or head to the free Children’s Easter Brunch at the CWA Park on Banna Avenue between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday 3 April for food, fun and games all morning.

For the full schedule of events go here.

Snorkelling and diving off Montague Island

Picture: AshtonEa / Shutterstock

One of Australia’s best snorkelling and diving sites, Montague Island is about five hours drive south from Sydney just off the coast of Narooma. Montague Island is a great place to visit with primary school aged kids and older. There are lots of nature-based things to do in this stunning and often glossed over part of NSW.

In April, the waters off the NSW South Coast are still warm and clear, great for spotting seals and the occasional grey nurse shark. 

Read about the best activities for kids on the South Coast here. This story has the best bike rides for kids on the South Coast.  Find the best places to eat with kids here

Byron Bay Bluesfest, 1-5 April

Xavier Rudd is one of the drawcards for the 2021 Byron Bay Bluesfest. Credit: Shutterstock

In 2021, this classic Australian festival is celebrating its 32nd year. Over a five day period, Byron Bay Bluesfest will see headliners Jimmy Barnes, Xavier Rudd, John Buttler and Kasey Chambers hit the stage.

It’s so great to have a festival back on the list of things to do in NSW after a year of cancellations in 2020. Note, tickets for the cancelled 2020 event are not valid for 2021. Please check the Bluesfest website for more information.

Walk the Koala Trail, Australian Botanic Gardens (Mt Annan)

A fun, free thing to do in NSW these Easter school holidays is the Hello Koala trail at the Australian Botanic Gardens. The trail encompasses 22 one-metre high koala sculptures, hand-painted by Australian artists.

Koala Sculpture from "Hello Koalas" Trail for Raising awareness about the plight of the koala at Royal Botanic Gardens
Walk the Hello Koala trail. Credit: Shutterstock

Adding to the fun of the sculpture trail, The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and Campbelltown City Council are running a range of family friendly activities for kids and parents over the holiday break. Activities include the Hello Koalas Family Day on Saturday 10 April, Koalatown Kids & Koalarama on Thursday 15 April, Koala Storytime on Monday 19 and Friday 21 April and a Koalatown Kids Junior Rangers program that runs throughout April.

Have a country weekend, Berry

Head to Berry and surrounds, a two hour drive from Sydney for a weekend full of wholesome food and fresh air! Book the three- bedroom holiday home Antonia’s Cottage with pretty garden, or chic farm stay, Little Shed on Woodhill, about 5km from Berry.

The famous Berry Donut Van
The famous Berry Donut Van. Credit: Janeece Keller

Have a nutritious lunch at The General Café in Kangaroo Valley, grab Easter Buns from Milkwood and visit The Berry Chocolatier.

And while you’re there, grab some fresh donuts from the famous Berry Donut van.

Thredbo Easter School Holidays Carnival, 2-18 April, Thredbo

Thredbo’s annual Easter carnival is back. The two-week Easter holiday extravaganza has a mountain of activities and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Explore over 34kms of mountain bike trails, hike to the top of Australia, ride the Merritts Gondola on the Easter Long Weekend, listen to live music, take a Land Rover Experience Drive and heaps more.

Head to historic Goulburn

Historic Goulburn | two-hour drive from Sydney

One of NSW’s beautiful towns, Goulburn is a first-rate family getaway with contemporary accommodation and of course, The Big Merino. A two-hour drive south west of Sydney, Goulburn is en route

The Big Merino standing at 15.2 metres tall located in Goulburn.
The Big Merino standing at 15.2 metres tall located in Goulburn. Credit: Destination NSW

The two-bedroom apartments at Quest Goulburn are spacious with fully equipped kitchen. Explore the Public Art Walk; have a sundae at Paragon Café; buy sweet treats from Trappers Bakery and drive 30 minutes to Bungonia National Park.

Mega Creatures at Hunter Valley Gardens, 27 March – 25 April

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the annual Giant Easter Egg Hunt isn’t on this year. But don’t worry there’s still loads to do at our favourite Hunter Valley family-friendly attraction, Hunter Valley Gardens.

Only a two hour drive from Sydney, Hunter Valley Gardens is the perfect holiday destination for the whole family. This year, you will want to make the drive for their all-new Mega Creatures Night Safari, with never-before-seen animatronic animals and displays.

a t-rex as part of the mega creatures night safari at hunter valley gardens this easter school holidays

The Night Safari is more thrilling and eerie than any previous exhibition. After the sun goes down, the pre-historic beasts come to life through special effect lighting, sound effects and movement. The lighting and night-time calls of the dinosaurs will have you jumping out of your skin!

The Mega Creatures displays act as a time capsule that will transport you to different eras, each one different and exciting. Interact with a flying Pterosaur, a 16 metre long animatronic Brachiosaurus, a terrifying T-Rex, and visit a dinosaur nursery full of baby dinosaurs. For a cooler adventure, go back in time to the Ice Age through arctic displays of icebergs, 3 metre tall Woolly Mammoths and Saber-Toothed Tigers.

For those visiting during the day, there are over 20 new additions including an Archaeological dinosaur fossil dig to search for lost dinosaur bones and a secret dinosaur egg hunt, with a new egg hidden each day within the Gardens. The walking dinosaur will also make an appearance between 10.30am – 2.30pm.

Splash Water Park, Nelson Bay

Picture: Splash Water Park

This floating waterpark sits just offshore from Nelson Bay Beach and is suitable for anyone over the age of six. Hours can be spent exploring the five-metre rock climbing tower jump, trampolines, monkey bars, balance beams, slides, rope swings and wobbling lily pads.

And what’s great is that the Splashpart is accepting NSW Dine & Discover Credits this year.

Houseboat on The Murray River

For a unique Easter holiday activity that the kids will love, book a houseboat on the Murray River. Anyone can do it — you don’t need a boat licence to captain one of these rivercraft. This really is one of the best things to do in NSW with kids in late primary school and for families who love the outdoors.

kids jumping off the back of a houseboat in life vests as the parents watch. Part of a houseboat family holiday on the Murray River
Family holiday fun on the Murray River, Bundalong. Credit: Destination NSW

Start your houseboat trip in Albury on the NSW – Victorian border, a five and a half hour drive from Sydney. Pick your accommodation, from a basic two-berth boat to a luxurious floating ‘hotel’ with a spa and open-plan kitchen, and head off on an incredible, floating adventure.

Read More: 

Top tips for road trips with kids

Pack up and get driving on a road trip to Dubbo

10 super weird Easter traditions

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