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Weird and wonderful Aussie accommodation for families


A quirky hotel stay makes a great holiday story. When it comes to weird and wonderful accommodation – Australia has a lot on offer.

Historical themed hotels, repurposed trains, and even camping underground. Here are our favourite bizarre hotels, motels and campgrounds around Australia.

1. Riba’s Underground Camping, Coober Pedy, SA

You won’t be gazing at the stars at this campground. Riba’s is underground.

It makes sense for you to pitch your tent underground in Coober Pedy. The opal-mining town is hot above the surface.

A similar experience can be enjoyed at the White Cliffs Underground Motel in New South Wales, where you’ll drift into a peaceful slumber in a cosy ‘dugout’ in amongst the rock.

2. Aranyani Bison Adventure Tourist Park, Myrtle Creek, NSW

Yee-har! Get in touch with your inner cowboy and encounter ranch life alongside Australia’s largest herd of American Bison.

For the complete experience, families can stay overnight in a Native-American inspired tipi. It’s big enough for the whole family. The property sprawls over 1000 acres of bushland. It includes a stretch of Myrtle Creek, where you can jump in for a dip or test your luck fishing.


3. Dunsborough Rail Carriages, Dunsborough, WA

Snuggle up surrounded by history. Dunsborough Rail Carriages offers lovely self-contained jarrah rail carriage rooms. The carriages, set among peppermint trees are a great place for a peaceful family getaway. This is a farm stay like no other. The kids will love swimming in the creek, checking out the alpacas and collecting fresh eggs from the chicken coop.

4. Black Sheep Inn, Orange, NSW

At this one-of-a-kind motel, you’ll nod off under the corrugated iron of a hundred-year-old shearing shed. Black Sheep Inn blends sheep chutes, shearing machines and a wool press with the creature comforts of modern life. Your family will enjoy this unique and luxurious taste of all things rural. Click go the shears.

5. Houseboats, Murray River, VIC

Life is but a dream when you are lulled to sleep by the sound of lapping water and the rocking of a boat. Carry your home and belongings with you by jumping on a houseboat and coasting along the Murray River with any one of the local houseboat operators. Take your time cruising, swimming, and stopping along the riverbank, in a boat of your choice that best suits your family.

6. Jamala Wildlife Lodge, Canberra, ACT

As the sun sets and the nocturnal residents of the National Zoo and Aquarium come out to play, you’ll be sitting back as a family in your very own onsite accommodation. In the morning, be woken up by jungle sounds, see a giraffe at your window, and pop over to your neighbour’s for a friendly chat with a bear or lion.

A spectacular and once-in-a-lifetime way of seeing your favourite animals, you can opt for Giraffe Treehouses, the Ushaka Lodge or a Jungle Bungalow. Although they welcome kids over 6 all year-round, there are special family nights for the littlies.


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