Roadtrip with kids is like discovering a whole new world and starting an adventure together which will be the object of storytelling for years to come. There is definitely no better place for your adventure than The Land Down Under. Since Australia covers 7,692,024 km2 and has plenty of magnificent places, it can be a hard to decide where to go, what to do and how to get your kids interested in those places. We will take Sydney as a starting point and Brisbane as a goal, but you can modify the itinerary. As a bonus, you will get a short survival guide for roadtrip with your over 10’s.
Sydney is one of the most fascinating cities Down Under with plenty of activities for kids. And there are plenty of free activities in Sydney, too. Family-friendly beaches (Balmoral Beach, Coogee Beach, South Cronulla Beach, Manly Beach, etc.) are something both you and your kids can enjoy. The kids will be wowed by the view from the Sydney Tower Eye, and if you are feeling especially adventurous, you may skywalk on a glass platform outside. The city’s museums offer a lot of interactive, kids-focused exhibits. Ten year olds will be especially thrilled by the Justice and Police Museum, where the kids are allowed to play cops for a day. The only place to beat such an amazing time is the Moon itself at Sydney Observatory. Other interesting sites are Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, Archery Centre, Centennial Parklands, etc.
Bonus tip: The kids will probably be hungry at some point of the day. Instead of packing sandwiches, introduce them to Sydney’s exquisite dining scene and visit some of the kids-friendly restaurants in Chinatown, Bondi Junction or Pitt Street Mall.
Continuing toward east, you will get the chance to see the staggering Blue Mountains. It will be a great break from the pulsing life of Sydney. Once there, you can see Jenolan Caves, take a ride on Scenic Railway, visit the Leuralla Toy and the Railway Museum, watch a movie in Glenbrook Cinema, experience the Trees Adventure (leaping, swinging, flying and climbing through the forest) and pat a koala and feed a kangaroo in the Featherdale Wildlife Park.
Bonus tip: Bring some snacks, it can be a long adventure.
The Central Coast
Remaining on the main freeway is the biggest mistake you can make because you might just miss some of the most beautiful sites. Visit the trendy upmarket beach, Terrigal, where you can swim, fish, dive and watch whales. A walk in the Bouddi National Park will leave you breathless.
Bonus tip: If you are feeling tired or the kids are starting to get nervous, you can stay there overnight.
Newcastle will definitely amaze your kids. Visit Beamish, an open-air museum which recreates life in the North of England in the 17th and 18th century or the formidable fortress of Prudhoe. Do not miss out on the castle that gave the city its name. Make sure you get a guide or learn something about the history of the place so you could keep the kids interested. A life-size T-Rex skeleton in Great North Museum will surely make your roadtrip more dynamic.
Bonus tip: Kids can get bored in the car, so prepare some amusement for them – books, comics, movies on tablets and amusing funbrain games on your devices will be enough to prevent the “Mom, I’m bored” complaints.
The Hunter Valley
Parents need to have fun too, and there is no better place than the valley of the finest wines of Australia. Do not worry, there will be plenty of things to do for the kids. If running on the endless green fields is not enough for your little adventurists, then you can take a hot air balloon ride over the valley.
Bonus tip: Bring some outdoor toys (balls, boomerangs, Frisbees, etc.) with you so they can play outside.
South West Rocks
Take just a 20 minutes detour of the coast drive, to the South West Rocks, a charming town with only 4,000 habitants. Visit the beach in Little Bay to see an abundance of wild kangaroos. Drive just a bit further to visit the historic Trial Bay Gaol.
Bonus tip: Use this opportunity to plant the love for nature in the hearts of your kids. Explain to them the importance of being a responsible habitant of this planet.
Byron Bay is the home to some of the most scenic beaches and a very laidback lifestyle. There are many surfing schools, and the lessons are given by trained professionals, so you can use this opportunity to learn how to catch the waves together with your kids.
Bonus tip: Help your kids to find a hobby or perhaps even a life calling, roadtrips are great for that. Maybe they will fall in love with surfing, maybe they will want to write tales about the trip, or they will simply enjoy taking photos of every new thing they see.
The Gold Coast
When you cross the border from New South Wales into Queensland, you will see the amazing Gold Coast. The city contains all forms of entertainment, from beaches to theme parks. The kids will enjoy themselves the most in Broadwater Parklands, where they will be able to release some of the roadtrip stress. Other exciting places are O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Warner Bros Movie World, etc.
Bonus tip: Ask the kids to make a travel journal where they will write down all the highlights.
And you have finally arrived to the ultimate goal – no more “Are we there yet” questions. Now you can choose from the varieties of kids-friendly activities such as Samford village cycling, visiting Aussie World Theme Park, observing the sky in Brisbane Planetarium, taking a ride in a steam train, etc. You should not miss out on cuddling a koala in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or seeing the original site of World Expo in 1988 – South Bank.
Bonus tip: Once you are done, ask your kids to read their highlights, and you do the same. Plan together the next possible destination and let them feel involved and important in the decision-making.
These were just some highlights of one possible road to take Down Under. Do not hesitate do discover your own path and make it a memorable one.
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger and adventure enthusiast who loves unusual trips, gadgets and photography. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Marie loves to share her experiences and she is a regular author on several blogs. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.