Traveling with a young family is not easy. Finding something to keep kids occupied or food that suits their tastebuds is not the easiest thing when you have fussy toddlers on hand. But thankfully our experience traveling across Australia has always been a good one. There are many exciting road trips to choose from but these are our favourite 5 !
1. Sydney to Forster
A short three and half hour drive from Sydney is the peaceful beach town of Forster. This little town is surrounded by lots of smaller local communities all offering their own range of coastal delights.This road trip is perfect for young families as it is arm’s reach from Sydney, keeping driving time to a minimum. Drop into Newcastle on the way if you need to break up the drive, alternatively drive the whole way and finish your trip with some fresh fish and chips for dinner. Slide down the towering sand dune at One Mile Beach, or float in the water at Bluey’s Beach in Pacific Palms. Looking for a quiet place for a dip with the little ones? Drop by Tuncurry Rockpool, which has a netted swimming area, cafes and playgrounds. Finish your trip off by dropping into Bella Bellissimo, say hi to Frank and get his special; neither you or the kids will be disappointed with this filling, and authentic Italian..
2. Melbourne to Nowra
This is one of the longer road trips, but still completable with a couple of stops along the way. Get on the road and head to the twin towns Albury-Wodonga, this vibrant area sandwiches the Murray River and offers a slice of the countryside, close to the city. From Albury head towards the South West Slopes region, famous for farming, agriculture and a good drop of wine. This is a great spot to stop for a quick lunch on your way to Nowra. Part of the stunning Shoalhaven Region, Nowra, is filled with beautiful galleries, river cruises, wineries, and treetop adventures. Take Ben’s Walk around the river for stunning views near Hanging Rock, or visit the Heritage Listed Bundanon, the home of Australian artist Arthur Boyd. Alternatively, if the family is feeling adventurous why not experience some Shoalhaven rock climbing, and abseiling. If the weather isn’t ideal for rock climbing relax in your B & B and play board games by the fire with the family. Enjoy some quality, relaxed time in Nowra.
3. Sydney to the South Coast
Get out of the city with the kids, and even the family pet for the weekend! Choose between Wollongong, Kiama or Shellharbour depending on how everyone travels in the car. The ‘Gong’ as known by locals, is the easiest option, a quick one hour spin from Sydney. It offers lighthouse tours, zipline adventures and a rich history. This is a great town for older kids, around seven, who are interested in learning and exploring. Kiama is a little further down the coast, a further hour from Wollongong, and is a seaside destination famous for its epic blowhole. Take Kiama Coastal Walk and explore the natural beauty of the area, this town is ideal for very young families who are looking to get out of the madness of the concrete jungle, and wind down for a weekend. Last, but not least Shellharbour, in between Kiama and Wollongong, this tiny town is sporting heaven. From surfing, and fishing to cycling and trekking it has it all. A great holiday destination for all kinds of travellers
4. Newcastle to Coffs Harbour
Another one of the longer trips, but well worth the time spend in the car. Opt to take this trip over the course of a three-day weekend, but be prepared for crowds if your partake on this adventure on a long weekend. Start by dropping into the beautiful Wallis Lake area, and grab some lunch at Diamond Beach. The kids will love this spot! Quiet beaches, yellow sand, bright blue water, and hot chips with fresh, locally caught fish. Continue on your way, dropping into Port Macquarie for a wildlife adventure at the Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park, this little place gives you a chance to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most adorable, and scary fauna. Get to your destination; drop into Coffs Harbour Big Banana on the trip into town for a cold chocolate banana, and a tour around the plantations. Coff’s has so much to offer with waterparks, beaches, cafes and playgrounds. With something for everyone there is no need to do the mammoth trip to the Gold Coast.
5. Gold Coast to Fraser Island
Fraser Island sits on the North East coast of Australia, and is home to some of the most spectacular beaches and wildlife in all of the country. Getting from the Gold Coast to Fraser Island will take you about 8 hours driving, including a short trip aboard a car ferry. This little trip is perfect for young families, as it isn’t too long, yet there is a multitude of family friendly activities. Start on your adventure in the direction of the Sunshine Coast, dropping into the Big Pineapple for a bit of local fun on the way. As you get closer to Fraser Island, drop into places like Cooloola National Park that offer the chance to see bouncing kangaroos and stunning Rainbow Beach. Ferry from Inskip Point and enjoy places like Lake Wabby, and Hammerstone Sandblow. This island is one of the many gems on the East Coast, and is perfect for that family vacation; go whale spotting, lounge on the beach, or eat local seafood.
About Today’s Guest Writer:
Olivia Bourke – Young traveller, writing about each adventure in the hope others will leave their comfort zone, and explore this beautiful planet we live on! She frequently travels with her young cousins, and loves adventuring with kids. Based in Sydney, exploring her own backyard every chance she gets. Check out Olivia on Great Lost, or on Instagram.