A land down under
A perfect destination for outdoor adventure, Queensland in Australia, is one of the most child-friendly options for a vacation.
It is never easy to identify holiday destinations, especially with young kids who are always on the go and looking for adventure. I am sure most parents go through these dilemmas every season. While typical destinations such as Europe and Dubai tick mark other items on your bucket list, they aren’t the most ideal places for kids to cherish is ‘super fun’.
A most Accommodating Country
While it may be the farthest corner of the globe from India, Australia is probably one of the most accommodating countries for little ones today. The sheer fact that it is not a luxury destination makes it accessible to a lot more people too! Culturally, the Australians are outdoor people, which is probably the reason for the vast options for outdoor activities. It is not just a land of kangaroos and koalas bears, there is a lot of adrenaline-inducing adventure on offer as well.
Not many know about the amazing attractions that Australia boasts, apart from popular places like Sydney and Melbourne. It is actually the Queensland area, which is an ideal place for kids to enter a whole new world and have a blast. Today, one of the most popular destinations is the Gold Coast in Queensland. The Gold Coast is one of the major reasons that makes Australia a dream tourist destination. The 30 + kilometre stretch of golden beaches soaked under the soothing sun, make it paradise on earth.
Queensland Theme parks
Besides the beautiful sun-kissed beaches, the Gold Coast boasts of three huge theme parks for children. The Warner Brothers Movie World is a place of fantasy and fun, where you can meet your favourite stars and superheroes, while experiencing thrilling rides and movie attractions. The Sea World opens up to a world of amazing marine animals, ride and shows. Don’t miss the dolphin show, the sharks and stingrays, along with the penguins in a mini Alaska. After that, head out for the Whale Watching Tours for an out-of-this-world experience with the gentle giants of the ocean.
For animal lovers, it doesn’t get better than the Australian zoo.
Walking around the zoo gives you a glimpse of the passion of wildlife conservationist, fondly nicknamed the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin. The Irwin family, [Terri], Bindi and Robert, live on the zoo premises and have committed their lives to continuing Steve’s vision. On Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, located just an hour north of Brisbane, is where you can take your kids to visit the famous Crocoseum. Here, the amazing crocodiles take you on a slithering, swooping,, jaw-snapping adventure! There is also a Roo Heaven – a home for kangaroos, koala walkthroughs and animals from various continents like the Sumatran Tigers, giraffes and zebras from the African Savanna and many more, who are all housed in spaces created to match their natural habitat. The zoo is a wonderland in itself!
Once done with the Gold Coast, you have to experience Cairns, the tropical arm of Australia. Cairns is a whole new world with a lot to offer, but the attractions listed below will cover almost everything…
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most visited tourist spots in Australia, which is also considered the most well protected marine site in the whole world.
It is also the only natural wonder visible from space. It’s specialises in diving, snorkeling and mix of multiple activities like helmet walking, scuba diving, semi-submarine and glass bottomed boats that let you experienced the reef. Dotted around with various Islands, a day trip to the Green & Fitzroy Island is a must. The Great Adventures offers the best options to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Outer Great Barrier Reef. From the comfort of the stable reef activity platform, this is the perfect place for swimmers and non-swimmers to explore. Snorkel and dive, visit the underwater observatory and cruise in a semi-sub, or just relax on the sundeck with a delicious buffet lunch. This is the only place in the world where you will find the largest variety of underwater Coral. It is unbelievably beautiful and so are the different varieties of marine life!
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is world-class in environmental tourism, taking you on an amazing experience over Australia’s World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforest canopy and deep into the forest. The Skyrail experience, spanning 7.5 kilometres over pristine rainforest, allows you to explore the wonders of an ancient and lush tropical rainforest and learn about one of the most biologically fascinating and diverse areas on earth. The Skyrail journey immerses you in this stunning rainforest scenery, panoramic views of the Cairns’ Tropical region and the glittering waters of the Coral Sea.
Hot Air Balloon
When you are on holiday, the only plausible reason to wake up at the unearthly hour of 4:30 a.m. would be for an exciting hot air balloon ride. You will experience of fun and unique 30 minute flight in a balloon while you fly gently over the Atherton Tablelands, watching kangaroos hop by across the fields and watch a most magnificent sunrise light up the horizon as you gently drift over the Mareeba river.
And after covering all this, if you and the kids are still up for some more fun and need more details, the land of roos will offer amazing auctions in custom-made rock climbing, skydiving and gliding opportunities. A perfect ending to a perfect vacation!
This original article appeared in the November 2015 edition of Hello! Travel - India