Some of our fondest adventures throughout New Zealand and Australia required some level of fitness to find the hidden gems off the beaten path. But sometimes we like to mix it up a bit by visiting popular places that are tailored for the holiday traveler for all ages. We discovered three family-friendly places that can be enjoyed by everyone, including families with little ones or mature family members with varying levels of abilities. The best part is that each destination can be used as individual day trips since each location provides a variety of shopping areas, restaurants and a range of entertaining activities!
One of the adventure sports that was at the top of our bucket list was to gear up in a wet suit and go snorkeling! During our road trip, we stopped in Townsville to spend the day on Magnetic Island. Some visitors stay for a few days to enjoy island life in the villas and hotels while others enjoy it for a full day of adventure. The best way to get to Magnetic Island is to catch a 20-minute ferry ride that departs from Townsville which is a hub for commerce, government and communications for the region. The ferry will take passengers only so it is best to take your valuables and necessary items with you and leave the remaining things in the parked car.
The island offers a range of activities including sailing, fishing, kayaking, four-wheeler drive tours and more. Although the area is a popular dive site for the Great Barrier Reef, we didn’t have the best weather conditions for snorkeling which altered the water visibility from translucent to murky. The upside is that this island is known for receiving 320 days of sunshine per year, perhaps we’ll have better weather next time!
South Bank is a cultural, educational and recreational area in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Although this destination may not be considered off the beaten path, it is often times forgotten as a place to visit in Australia. From markets to shopping and exhibits in between, South Bank is the ideal place for those who go with the flow, without having to plan your itinerary for the day. Located across the city vista, we visited Streets Beach, an inner-city, man-made beach that provides a tropical feel in an urban setting. The area has all of the luxuries of a small beach town from sand to subtropical plants. South Bank’s extensive greenery is recognized for its colorful gardens where we visited The Wheel of Brisbane, saw barbeque areas for families and ample playground facilities for children. While we explored cafes and heard live music, we didn’t miss a beat in updating our Instagram account because of the free Wi-Fi throughout the area!
Roughly 85 miles north of Brisbane, Noose Heads becomes an easy day trip for family and friends. We had the opportunity to visit Noosa Heads through an invitation by our friends Chantelle and Matt who agreed to meet others by the beach. The beach was clean, comfortably and well occupied with plenty of restaurants, apparel stores, local vendors and pastry shops for visitors looking for a lively vacation area. The drive to Noosa also allowed us to enjoy the views of the Sunshine Coast as we neared our destination. If you’re in the area, explore the natural beauty of Fraser Island!
Have you visited any of these places before? If not, contact us and we’ll help plan your trip to Australia!
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