The year is flying by and the school holidays are almost upon us. Incorporating a variety of family-friendly destinations both at home and abroad, here's a selection of the top places to visit with the kids this coming school holidays.City Slickers – Adelaide, South Australia
A diverse city with sprawling parks, cinemas, rivers, beaches and shopping precincts, Adelaide is a great family holiday destination. CBD accommodation will ensure you are within walking distance to most of the city’s attractions and events, with access to public transport and the free city-loop bus and tram service. Dive into history at the child-friendly Adelaide Museum, ride the Popeye ferry on the River Torrens, spend a day at the Adelaide Zoo, take the tram out to the beachside resort town Glenelg just 20 minutes from the city or take a short drive out to the Adelaide Hills where you will find Melba’s Chocolate Factory, a German village and Adelaide’s 1,000 hectare zoological bio-park Monarto Zoo.
Green Island Resort – Great Barrier Reef, Tropical North Queensland
Want to break out the swimsuits? Head north to Green Island Resort, one of Australia’s premier environmental heritage sites. Situated 27km offshore from Cairns, Green Island is home to over 120 species of native plants, bird and marine life and of course one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef. Green Island Resort consists of 46 luxurious rooms standing amongst lush rainforest and surrounded by immaculate white beaches and tranquil blue waters. The family can enjoy island activities like glass bottom boat tours, reef snorkeling, windsurfing, canoeing, beach volleyball, helicopter flights, seawalker helmet diving, daily fish feeding and self guiding rainforest walks. With the kids so busy, mum will have time to sneak off for a luxury spa treatment at the Arumi Day Spa.
Play in the Bay - Byron Bay, New South Wales
Maintaining a relatively mild climate during the spring months, Byron Bay is a popular destination for a family holiday. Located just under an hour from Coolangatta Airport on the Gold Coast and two hours south of Brisbane, Byron Bay is Australia's most easterly point and known for its premier music festivals, amazing beaches, lush hinterland and whale watching in winter. Accommodation options for families are choice; from beach side camping and caravan parks to luxury apartments and rental houses. Whale sightings are common throughout the holidays from the Lighthouse at Cape Byron or on aboard a local tour, and there’s kayaking, bike hire, circus art classes, an indoor kids play center and a plethora of side activities on offer. Book in early as this popular beach side town fills up quick.
Bandos Island - Maldives
Bandos Island is a dreamy coral island located in North Male Atoll, roughly 7km from Male International Airport in the Maldives. Nestled amongst palm trees and verdant tropical vegetation sits a 225 room resort, ringed by a white sandy beach and turquoise lagoon. The island’s house reef lies just over 40 meters out from the beach, where families can snorkel the coral gardens filled with tropical fish. This modest four star resort offers babysitting services and a kids club, pool, massage and restaurant facilities making it a great choice for a warm winter family vacation.
Disneyland Resort – California, USA
With the Australian dollar soaring in value there's no better time to visit the United States, and Disneyland Resort in California is just the place to take the kids. The world-renowned theme park has recently re-vamped its Disney California Adventure park, which includes the opening of Cars Land, a 12 acre area based around the Pixar movie "Cars". Get the park hopper ticket that will give you access to both Disneyland and California Adventure, and use the fast pass which will save waiting in line for hours. The resort itself offers three spectacular hotels, with complete park and hotel packages set to make this one a family holiday one the kids will be talking about for years.
Sentosa Island - Singapore
If you want to escape the cold but don’t like to venture far from city life, than a trip to Singapore’s Sentosa Island is the perfect family vacation. Just 15 minutes from the city centre, Sentosa is a resort island packed with trendy beaches, world-class attractions, sea sports, golf and retreats. Stay at one of the resort hotels and take a few days to enjoy all the excitement: there’s Universal Studios, a Skyline Luge, Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom, guided nature tours, Universal Studios and even epic waves at Wave House Sentosa. When the family is done in tropicana, head back to Singapore city for some of the best shopping, eating and sightseeing about.
Fun in the Sun - Bali, Indonesia
Affordable and just a short hop from our mainland, Bali is a winner with Australian families. Aside from the child-loving locals, bargain shopping, beachside activities and adventure tours, Bali’s many hotels and resorts cater especially to those with young kids in tow. Offering a range of services from child care through to special activities and island-style luxury, we recommend Club Med Nusa Dua, Padma Resort Bali at Legian, Amori Villa in Ubud, The Villas Bali Hotel & Spa in Seminyak – but book ahead to avoid sell outs.
Experience London - London, Britain
London really came alive for the Olympics. With an array of family-friendly attractions, events, child-friendly restaurants and free outings for the kids, London is one of our favorite pics for the upcoming school holidays. Head to Regent Park, spend a day with Peter Pan, take the kids to South Kensington – home to London's most famous museums and open spaces.
Travel at a kid's pace – Portland, Oregon, USA
Portland is the city to visit at a kid’s pace, with so much on offer for the travelling family. From June through to August, Portland thrives with summer festivals and a string of activities that will keep the kids entertained. There’s the Oaks Amusement Park with go-karting and roller skating, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, markets every Saturday, World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, public fountains, parks and more. Just out of the city are some great day-trips: check out Cannon Beach for its marine preserve at Haystack Rock and picnic spot at Ecola State Park; The Columbia River Gorge where you'll find the second-highest year-round waterfall in the United States, Multnomah Falls; Ka-Nee-Ta Resort in Warm Springs where you can discover rich American Indian Culture; and The Valley in Eugene good for picnicking, walking or exploring.