5 Family Travel Adventures in Australia (that don’t involve museums or playgrounds)
Does the thought of travelling with kids fill you with dread? You’re convinced those carefree adventurous travel days of your twenties will now be replaced with museums and playgrounds. Hold that thought. I hope I can convince you that it does not have to be like that. I avoid playgrounds and museums like the plague, yet I travel with my kids all the time and have amazing experiences. The fact is, kids love adventure just as much as you do. They’ll take a rock to scramble over and river to swim in over monkey bars and dinosaur bones any day.
Here are five awesome adventures to have with your kids in Australia:
1. Karijini National Park, Western Australia
I bet you’ve never heard of Karijini, right? Neither did we until almost every person we met who’d travelled around Australia said it was their favourite national park. They were not wrong. Karijini is located in Western Australia, and although a little off the beaten track, is well worth it for the adventures you can have as a family.
These are walks your kids will not get bored with – deep gorges, river crossings, spider walking through narrow crevices, and swimming in icy cold waterholes.
2. Lake Argyle, Western Australia
Want to swim with 25,000 freshwater crocodiles? Pretty thrilling right? They’re scattered all over a lake that has 18 times the volume of water contained in Sydney Harbour. We barely even saw one on our sunset cruise around a small section of the lake (which actually felt massive). You don’t have to fear freshies, they’re timid and will stay away from you, but it will excite the kids.
The lake is beautiful, especially at sunset, and you finish off the cruise with a swim in the middle of the lake. For the parents, you can enjoy a beer and a noodle to rest on while you do. Older kids will love jumping off the top of the boat.
The campsite overlooking the lake has one of the best infinity pools in Australia with the most divine views out of the orange and pink escarpments this area of Western Australia is known for.
3. Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
So much adventure and culture awaits you in Kakadu. It’s Australia’s’ biggest national park and a deeply spiritual place for the traditional owners and home to a diversity of wildlife, including the saltwater crocodile.
Unlike Lake Argyle, you do not want to pop a toe in the water here! Except at Gunlom Falls, which I’m labelling as the best swimming pool in Australia. It’s free of crocs and has a couple of pools your kids will love swimming and squealing in with extraordinary views over the valley.
In Kakadu, you can learn a lot about the flora and fauna on an early morning cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong, hike to many gorges and waterholes, or take a guided tour by an Aboriginal elder and learn about their culture and the stories behind the incredible rock art that is thousands of years old.
4. Uluru, Northern Territory
The spiritual heart of Australia, Uluru is a dream playground for kids IF you visit in the right way. Don’t race in and out just to get your I was here photo. Stay awhile and explore. Cycle or walk around the base of the rock, ride camels at sunset, scramble over rocks at nearby Kata Tjuta, or join in with Aboriginal music, dancing and arts and crafts at the nearby Yulara town.
5. Daintree National Park, Queensland
The oldest rainforest in the world and the world’s biggest barrier reef meet in the Daintree National Park. How could your family not love this area? The choices are endless: chasing cassowaries through the forest, zip lining above the canopy, kayaking with turtles, snorkelling the reef, or just relaxing on the beach. They can learn more about the rainforest at the Rainforest centre and enjoy delicious ice cream made from the exotic fruit of the Daintree forest.