Luckily for us, New South Wales is brimming with outstanding options for families hoping to score some R&R and that’s suited to even the tiniest of tots. From the Northern tip of New South Wales to the refreshing waters of the South Coast, there is a holiday spot to suit every kind of family year-round.
The Central Coast is very convenient for a three-day escape, and with so much going on you needn’t worry about screaming children disturbing the peace.
With Tuggerah Lake and The Entrance at the northern end of the region, there is a raft of activities you can partake in all within a short drive. Pelican feeding at The Entrance is a perfect post brekkie or pre fish and chip lunch activity.
Avoca and Copacabana become a hub of activity during the warmer months, with well-heeled Sydney families arriving en-masse for a relaxing sojourn. Avoca’s Aquafun Park on Avoca Lake will have kids splashing around for hours, while the Amazement Farm & Fun Park is a short drive from the glamorous enclave of Killcare.
Opened in late 2016 Aquasplash in Gosford has been a roaring success, their inflatable aquatic playground is a huge hit with local and visiting kids. Once they’ve had their fill of watersports, Treetops Adventure Park in Wyong Creek offers an exciting high ropes course for the kids with flying foxes and suspension bridges up to 15-metres in the air.
Bouddi National Park coastal walk is a stunning track that you can follow as a loop from Putty Beach – pack a picnic and plenty of water for a 4-hour round trip, or hire bikes and try out the Brisbane Water Cycle Track beginning and ending at the Gosford train station.
Set the young ones loose at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby for hours of close encounters with scaly critters followed by the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park just around the corner in Calga.
Bells at Killcare, 107 Scenic Road, Killcare Heights
Crowne Plaza Terrigal, Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal
Mantra Ettalong Beach, 53/54 The Esplanade, Ettalong Beach
The South Coast of New South Wales is far less populated than its northern counterparts ensuring a rejuvenating and tranquil getaway, regardless of the town you choose to stay in.
Kiama is unmissable for both its heritage and scenery. A great destination during winter or summer, the Kiama blowhole is always exciting for the kids, and the Carrington Falls Picnic area is an excellent day trip when teamed with a visit to the nearby Jamberoo Action Park.
While we already know plenty about the many reasons a foodie is drawn to the South Coast and Shoalhaven, there is plenty to see with the kids too. Jervis Bay offers dolphin and whale watching tours, surfing lessons and a remarkable visit to the iconic white sand of Hyams and Murrays Beaches. Mollymook is another revered town, with world class dining courtesy of Rick Stein at Bannisters or the less intense bar and grill atop the Bannisters Pavilion. For the kids who may have a slightly less demanding palate, the fish ‘n chips shops lining the main drag will hit the spot nicely.
Batemans Bay is home to the Original Gold Rush Colony where kids can fossick to their hearts content, and the Birdland Animal Park where you can give resident “Digger” the wombat a cuddle. Visit Montague Island for a day trip for the adorable little penguins and fur seals or just drop in to the Mogo Zoo for a less intrepid animal encounter. The cycle path from Narooma to Dalmeny is a pleasant route that won’t be too taxing on the kids, and the snorkeling further south at Bar Beach South is a protected bay making it perfect for beginners and is brimming with sea life.
Perfect for those crisp wintery mornings when a breakfast isn’t complete without a hot chocolate or ‘bowl’ of coffee, the Blue Mountains offers a charming escape from the bustle of Sydney and the opportunity to wind down amongst nature.
Going to the Blue Mountains and visiting the Echo Point Lookout for views of the Three Sisters and the dramatic Jamison Valley below is mandatory. Missing it would be like visiting the Louvre and avoiding the Mona Lisa. Sacrilege. Jazz up the experience for the kids by stopping by Scenic World and trying out the Cableway, Walkway, Railway or Skyway (if you dare) for a different perspective on the landscape. in Mount Tomah are also a stunning way to spend and afternoon, with a children’s self-guided trail The Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens available to get the kids exploring and learning about the Garden and Australian flora.
If a lazy day is on the agenda, United Cinemas in Katoomba is always showing kids movies and you can grab a pizza from Papadino’s around the corner before heading in. Wentworth Falls Lake is an idyllic location for a picnic while with a children’s playground and model boat enthusiasts to keep the kids entertained. Be sure to drop into The Candy Store in Leura, the old-world store is a child’s dream, and if you can bear the sugar highs, pick up some extras for the trip home.
Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, 1 Sublime Point Road, Leura
Hydro Majestic, 52-58 Great Western Highway, Medlow Bath
Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, 5-19 Lilianfels Avenue, Katoomba
Yes, we understand the confusion at first glance but hear us out. The Hunter Valley has long been known for its vast vineyards and fine dining, but who’s to say that we can’t fashion this type of trip into one that suits the whole family? Really, it’s childs play.
If you’re planning your getaway during the warmer months, knowing where to find the best swim spot is crucial. Lake St Clair 30 minutes north of Singleton is the perfect location for relaxing days by the water; with sailing, water skiing, camping and fishing there is an activity to keep everyone happy. The Hunter Valley Gardens are an enchanting place to explore with 25 acres of immaculately manicured garden and themed feature gardens that will get the kids’ imaginations running wild.
Several horse riding companies run lessons and trail rides for every level of rider, but for the kids who are after more of a thrill, Segway Tours and Go Karting are a great option to tire out the little ones.
If you’ve reached your limit with activities, bringing a third party into the equation is always an option – hotels like the Crowne Plaza are happy to arrange babysitters to lend a hand with in room/villa care so that you can hit the wineries and restaurants.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale
Ironstone Estate, 97 Olsen Road, Lovedale
Hanging Tree Homestead, 294 O’Connors Road, Pokolbin