Family Staycation Ideas
Almost a year since the Australian borders closed in the face of a global pandemic and international holidays are still a distant dream. While travel around Australia is becoming easier, there’s still the risk of state borders closing at a moment’s notice, leaving families to shift gears and stay closer to home. If your holiday plans have flown out the window, you might need some back-up ideas for a staycation.
Explore your own backyard
It’s time to act like a tourist in your hometown and book a stay in a city hotel, local Airbnb or nearby caravan park. Or quite literally set up the tent and camping chairs in your own backyard. If you had an interstate trip in the works that’s been cancelled, see if you can do the same activities you were planning but in your own city. Visit museums, the zoo or your nearest national park. Head to the beach and sign the whole family up for surf lessons.
Hit the open road
If you need a change of scenery, load up the car with camping equipment, an esky and the kids, cue up some audiobooks and hit the road to discover an area of the state you haven’t seen before. Set out to find some of Australia’s many extra big things, spend five days exploring the Aussie capital, escape to the Sunshine Coast for sun and surf or hand-feed kangaroos in the Grampians.
For accommodation, NRMA Parks and Resorts or Big4 Holiday Parks have locations all over the east coast, and often have heaps of great facilities for families, like water parks, sports courts and arcade games.
You can’t leave anyone in the family behind, so have a look at Holidaying with Dogs for pet-friendly stays.
Go off grid and detox from digital.
For a true escape, leave the tablets and video games at home and find somewhere you can truly switch off. Give the kids a taste of rural life with a stay on a farm or station. Some places offer space for you to park a caravan or pitch a tent, while others offer cottages, shearers quarters or farmhouses. Wherever you go, take a moment to enjoy the night sky like you can’t experience it in the city. You can even go stargazing at Australia’s first Dark Sky Park, the Warrumbungle National Park, or at one of these spots around the country.
Learn a little bit about the oldest living culture on earth
Whether you decide to stay local or venture as far as you can, there are plenty of ways to learn more about the history and culture of Australia’s First Nations people. Inside Booderee National Park, you’ll find the Booderee Botanical Gardens, the only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens in Australia. The national park has beachside campgrounds and heaps of things to see and do. You can Discover Aboriginal Experiences all over the country, from inner city Melbourne tours to snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef with Indigenous sea rangers. Energetic kids will be happy to know they don’t have to go on a walking tour — try Sand Dune Adventures Quad Bike Tour and other adventures.