Best family resorts in Australia
There is no one-size fits all when it comes to the best family resorts in Australia but I have noticed there are some universal factors.
While some families love the outdoors, others are allergic to nature. Some families love luxe city mini-breaks, while others prefer low-key coastal retreats.
Another factor to consider is the age of the participants. Families with babies and toddlers will be looking for something quite different to a multi-generational group with lots of teens and young adults.
But still, there are some things that everyone loves. Here are a few places I can wholeheartedly recommend for any kind of family.
For an old school beach holiday: South Coast, NSW
From Culburra Beach south to Bateman’s Bay, you are guaranteed to find something your family will love. From riverside campgrounds in places like Moruya, to glamorous boutique hotels like Bannisters at Mollymook, here’s what you can expect: Clean beaches with crystal clear (if slightly chilly) water, hefty serves of fresh fish and chips, old school village bakeries for Chelsea buns and pies, wildlife galore, from kangaroos on land, to whales, dolphins and seals in the water, and activities like Mogo Zoo, Batemans Bay Mini Golf, kayak and SUP hire, fishing and bushwalking.
Highlights: Culburra Beach for the Balinese restaurant, Batehaven for fish and chips and the bakery, and Tilba Tilba and Mogo for shopping.
For an alternative surf break: North Coast, NSW
From Lennox Head north to Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads, you are situated in a family holiday heartland.
This is the rainbow belt of the Australian coastline. By that I mean, you can have your tarot cards read in the morning, eat at a cross-legged Hare Krishna banquet at night, and have your chakras aligned at lunchtime. From bustling farmer’s markets, to art and craft stores and Vegan cafes selling organic coffee, this neck of the woods is great for letting down your hair (and letting it get a bit dread-y).
On the flip side, there are some very upmarket places to stay, high-end dining options (and private chefs for hire) and plenty of day spas to check into while the older kids are at the beach.
Highlights: A morning at the Bangalow Markets, a swim in Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head, and a trip to Byron Bay for the glorious beach, lighthouse walk and quirky shops.
Stay: Elements of Byron. This is definitely one of the best family resorts in Australia.
For a theme park extravaganza: Gold Coast, Qld
You like shiny things? Well, there is nothing shinier than the Gold Coast. With high-rise hotels, ritzy resorts and loads of serviced apartments, the accommodation options cater for every imaginable whim, including staying at Sea World Resort. This is a kids’ paradise, with Movie World, Dream World and Wet ‘n’ Wild all located nearby.
There’s beaches to laze on, retail therapy galore at the refurbished Pacific Fair shopping centre, and a vast range of dining options at the Star casino complex (kids are allowed into the dining venues).
The Gold Coast doesn’t really do low-key but the closest thing to a nature-based experience is a photo opp with a koala at Currumbin Wildlife-Sanctuary (Qld is the only state in Australia where you’re allowed to touch the koalas).
For the ultimate family resort experience, head to Paradise Resort. Why? Because of the creche and kids’ club options that are included in the price so you can pop out and enjoy some of the more grown-up activities that the GC has to offer.
Highlights: Stroking the backs of manta rays at Sea World, swimming in the epic lagoon pool at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa and hitting the buffet afterwards.
Do you have any suggestions? Where do you think the best family holiday resorts are in Australia?
Need more inspiration? Check out these family holiday ideas.