Top toddler-friendly Aussie holidays

Looking for a place to holiday with your toddler? Look no further than your own backyard with these five fun holiday destinations to suit your growing family.

While the thought of cheap-as-chips childcare in Fiji might be appealing, the thought of a six-hour flight with your toddler may be decidedly less so. If your family is in need of a break, here are five great toddler-friendly destinations in Australia that are sure to appeal to the whole family.

Adventure

Adventure goers may have headed to the Gold Coast in days gone by but Canberra is now where the action is at. Not only is the fun packed in tight at the nation’s capital but many of Canberra’s major attractions are free or have low admission fees.

From the carousel in Civic to the Questacon you might remember from your old school excursion days, Canberra is full of fun activities for toddlers, older kids and parents alike. There’s the National Museum of Australia that holds a number of hands-on attractions, the Fun Factory in Fyshwick with a special under-3’s playground, the Glenloch working farm in Belconnen and of course the National Zoo and Aquarium just five minutes from the city centre.

Accommodation is priced to suit all budgets and there is a multitude of family-friendly eateries in and around the city. While Canberra might not be on the top of your hottest destinations wish list, if you’re after a trip that will suit the whole family it probably should be.

Farm

You might think South Australia is more a playground for adults with its gourmet food and wineries but there’s fun to be had for all ages in the beautiful Barossa.

There are plenty of family-friendly places to stay in the Barossa Valley with a number of quality distractions for the kids. So if you’re saddled with a toddler but still want a bit of romance to your getaway, it’s time to have a look at Oxley Farm.

Set in acres of native gum trees, Oxley Farm is the perfect holiday destination for young kids. They will delight in feeding baby animals, getting their hands dirty milking the goats or just running free on the farm. You can live it up with a farm-fresh breakfast every morning and the knowledge that a wine tasting and spectacular view is just around the corner. Or simply relax in the spa. The choice is yours.

Beach

If it’s a beach holiday you’re after then Patonga could be your salvation. This sleepy coastal community is located on New South Wales’ central coast and is loved for its old-fashioned vibe. It’s practically car free, the surf is calm and dinner can be found at the fish and chip shop directly opposite the ferry to Palm Beach. Better still it’s only an hour’s drive from Sydney.

Perfect for families, Patonga is an ideal spot to swim, play or picnic. The Patonga Creek is a great watering hole for toddlers and there is a variety of accommodation on offer from self-contained units and camping grounds to the Patonga Beach Hotel.

Sure to become a favourite, the only thing you need to remember about Patonga is to keep it a secret.

Teach your toddler to have fun and be safe in the water >>

Island

Forget Western Australia’s Rottnest Island — if you’re looking for an affordable island holiday this year it’s time to head to Bruny Island off Tasmania’s south coast.

While much of Tasmania has been affected by bushfires this year, Bruny Island has managed to escape the heat. Better still it is full of beaches, boats, bushwalks and wildlife adventures that are sure to thrill your toddler.

Rest assured that there will be plenty to engage your toddler from playing in the sand to watching the local wildlife. Bruny Island is home to penguins, wallabies, birds and seals, many of which will appear at your front door in the hope of scoring a snack.

Accessible via a ferry that departs from Kettering — a short and scenic 35 minute drive from Hobart — Bruny Island is the perfect spot for a relaxing family holiday.

Snow

If it’s snow you’re after you can’t go past Mt Hotham in Victoria.

While a skiing holiday might seem like an unlikely choice for a family with a toddler, if you’re both snow bunnies then there’s no reason your lifestyle needs to change once your two becomes three. Even if you’ve never been to the snow before there’s no denying the delight your toddler will experience playing in the soft stuff for the very first time.

Kids from the age of three can learn to ski at Mt Hotham at the well-staffed and professional Kids Snowzone. There is even a Class 1 child minding facility located in the Kids Snowzone building so you can get out and enjoy the fresh air as a couple as well. The beginner slopes are gentle and there are plenty of places where you and your tot can enjoy the snow.

Have a look at Davenport Village — it’s close to transport, family-friendly dining options, the kids snow school and the Harry Snowdragon show. Dinner Plain, located just 10 kilometres from Hotham is also a great alternative that provides spacious surrounds, relaxed charm and a family-friendly atmosphere.

More toddler travel tips

Best toddler activities to pack on a car trip
What kind of stroller do you need?
Top 5 parks for kids in Sydney

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