It’s that time of year again, when those that have procrastinated over planning a summer vacation can procrastinate no longer. With the summer almost half over, it’s time to think of somewhere – and fast!
Why not consider traveling to Brisbane with the kids? While the crowds flock to Sydney, Brisbane tourists can find activities and events for the whole family, without the big crowds. If you’re looking to go someplace new, Brisbane is a great place to visit!
Here are some of the kid-friendly highlights of this eastern Australia coastal city:
Of all the things that Australia is known for, they are best well-known for their amazing Australian wildlife. With a plethora of kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, platypus, and other unique species of wildlife, your children will be impressed. Brisbane is packed to the brim with wildlife parks, zoos, and animal sanctuaries; take advantage of this opportunity to give your kids an experience to remember. Here’s a sampling of places to get your animal fill:
- Australia Zoo – If you’re up for a little road trip, drive north for a little over an hour to see the infamous Australia Zoo. Owned by the family of Steve Irwin (aka the Crocodile Hunter), this zoo focuses on conservation and has a wide array of animals, including crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos, lemurs, and tigers.
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – Just outside Brisbane, this is the world’s largest koala sanctuary with over 130 koalas. You can find other Australian wildlife here too.
- Osprey House Environmental Center – In addition to providing a protected habitat for ospreys, you can learn about these large raptors as well as other native birds that nest here.
- Ipswich Nature Center – In Ipswich’s Queens Park, you’ll find this wildlife refuge of Australian animals. Stroll on walkways while observing native Australian animals in a natural habitat.
Seeing animals in their natural habitat is a great chance to educate your children while having fun too!
If there’s one thing that all children love, it’s time at the park. Whether it’s toddlers heading to the swings or teens playing tennis, there’s something for everyone. Because of its temperate climate, Brisbane is home to many parks, playgrounds, and natural areas. Some of the top rated play areas include:
- Kalinga Park – in Clayfield
- Lower Moora Park – in Shorncliffe
- Robelle Domain – in Springfield
- Hidden World Playground – in Fitzgibben
- Rocks Riverside Park – in Seventeen Mile Rocks
Of course, there are plenty other parks and open areas in Brisbane and you’re likely to see one or two of them while touring around. For more information on playgrounds, check out BrisbaneKids.com for more information.
Even though vacations are supposed to be about kicking back and relaxing, there’s nothing wrong with educating kids with a trip to the museum. Plus, museums are a great rainy day (or super hot day) activity. Brisbane is famous for its museums, and some like the Museum of Brisbane, offer plenty of activities for children. Here are some of the top rated museums in Brisbane:
- The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) – These museums are right next to each other and both are free unless you wish to see a special exhibition.
- Queensland Maritime Museum – Walk through parts of old ships, see a dry dock, and explore old maritime artifacts.
- Queensland Police Museum – More for older children, here you can learn the history of the Queensland Police, as well as investigation techniques and famous crimes. Even try to solve a crime on your own!
- Museum of Brisbane – Learn about Brisbane history at this museum, located within City Hall. Check out the self-guided tour for kids which includes puzzles, cracking codes, and more. Be sure to take a tour of the clock tower, with an old hand operated lift, to get a view of the city. General admission is free!
- Queensland Museum – Be sure to catch their mummy and dinosaur exhibits, as well as other hands-on exhibits for kids. General admission is free! If you decide to visit after September 2018, check out the brand new Sciencentre, specializing in exploring curiosity, play, asking questions, designing, and building for kids.
- Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium – View speciality shows for kids like “Perfect Little Planet” and “The Little Star that Could,” as well as a tour of the Brisbane night sky reproduced on their Cosmic Skydome.
Which such beautiful weather and a coastal sea breeze, be sure to let the kids roam outside in Brisbane. There are a plethora of activities in and around Brisbane for outdoor adventure. There are beaches, parks, outdoor sports, swimming pools, theme parks and more to fill your itinerary. Here are just a few places to highlight:
- Brisbane Botanical Gardens (in the City and Mt. Coot-tha)- In the City Garden, be sure to check out the all-abilities playground in the botanical gardens. At the gardens in Mt. Coot-tha, explore the Bonsai House, the Japanese Garden, or the Hide ‘n’ Seek children’s trail.
- Walk to King Island – When the tide is low, you can actually WALK from Wellington Point to King Island. This can be done because of the sand walkway that appears during low tide. Round trip, the walk is about 1.25 miles long, but be sure to check when the tide rises again to avoid having to swim back! Children will love seeing the small crabs and shelled animals during their walk, as well as the conservation park that is King Island.
Venman Bushland National Park – This park is home to koalas, possums, sugar gliders, wallabies, owls, and more. Popular activities include mountain biking, hiking, and guided tours.
- Brisbane Riverwalk – Cycle or walk on an elevated platform over the Brisbane River. This path connects two popular areas within Brisbane, CBD (aka “the city,” featuring historical sites, business, shopping malls, and more) and New Farm (home to posh shopping and trendy restaurants).
A Hotel Tip
When you decide on where you want to lodge, consider your hotel options. When traveling with kids, most parents opt for the moderately priced or boutique hotels in Brisbane. It’s also important that your hotel is child friendly. See if your hotel offers free laundry service, wifi, a pool, children’s activities, and free breakfast. This will make traveling with your kids a little easier and your vacation less stressful.
As you can see, there are many reasons to take your children to Brisbane. With glorious sunshine in the summer, mild winters, the beautiful Australian coast, and so many activities to consider, Brisbane could be your family’s ultimate vacation destination.
What’s your favorite attraction or place to go in Brisbane? Feel free to share in the comments!
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