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Noosa Beach family

Queensland has almost 2 million square kilometres to explore, from reefs to deserts, rainforests and urban wonderlands. With so many great places to go and so many things to see and do, it can be tough deciding where to go holiday with kids in Queensland. We’ve come up with a list of some of the best Queensland holidays for families. Grab your kids and get ready for fun!

1. Best Queensland resorts

Staying at a Queensland resort means you have everything you need at your fingertips: restaurants, pools, spas, activities and more. Room sizes at Queensland resorts such as Palm Bay Resort, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa, and RACV Noosa Resort give your family plenty of room to move. If you’re staying at a resort with kids, it can be worth booking a room with a balcony and a view. This adds some extra space for the grown-ups to relax and perhaps enjoy a drink or dinner while the kids are inside watching TV or asleep.

Pool at JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa
Pool at JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa

2. Brisbane city staycation

Sometimes staying close to home can be the best holiday of all. Book a hotel in the South Bank precinct and you get a swimming lagoon with a beach to enjoy, restaurants in abundance and some great Brisbane museums and art galleries. Bring your kid’s bikes or scooters and go for an adventure along the river on one of Brisbane’s picturesque bikeways. Finish your ride at New Farm Park and you’ll discover one of Brisbane’s best playgrounds winding through ancient Moreton Bay fig trees. Or you could stay in the heart of the city at the Westin Brisbane and check out the Museum of Brisbane and take a (free) ride in the historic hand operated lift to the top of the clock tower.

Explore the Museum of Brisbane at Brisbane City Hall

3. Queensland road trip

Why not make the journey part of your holiday by driving to your destination on a road trip. Another idea is to hire a campervan and travel with your own accommodation. The kids will probably say “Are we there yet?” now and again but provided you break up the journey, taking in the sights along the way can create some great holiday memories. The drive from Brisbane up the Queensland coast to Cairns offers plenty of variety and things to see and do, many of them free or low-cost. Don’t rule out staying at some of the charming and friendly smaller regional towns along the way.

Foaming Fury Cairns
Family rafting fun in Cairns

4. Noosa with babies and toddlers 

Noosa’s self-contained accommodation has plenty of space to spread out and is perfect for preparing the superb produce you can find at Noosa. Shop for freshly baked goods and browse the stalls at Eumundi Markets or stock up on local cheeses, breads, meats, and more at Providore on Hastings. Staying somewhere central makes for a stress free holiday, with everything you need within easy reach. Seahaven Noosa has such superb ocean views that it’s tempting to dine in, but there are also plenty of child-friendly restaurants and cafes nearby. If you don’t have your heart set on a beach view, Peppers Noosa is an upmarket yet affordable haven surrounded by National Park. RACV Noosa Resort has a great kid’s pool area which is lots of fun for tots.

RACV Noosa Resort kids waterpark
RACV Noosa Resort kids waterpark

5. Get active on Moreton Island 

Grab your bucket and spade and your sense of adventure and explore one of the biggest sandcastles your kids have ever seen. It’s hard to believe Moreton Island is just 75 minutes from Brisbane, with the ferry terminal located 10 minutes from Brisbane Airport by taxi. This natural wonderland is home to the world’s highest coastal dune – Mount Tempest – which offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Grab a piece of waxed masonite board and zoom down sand dunes on a Desert Safari Tour which visits the Moreton Island Desert. Camping or staying at Tangalooma Island Resort for a few days gives you the chance to fully experience Moreton Island.

Sand tobogganing on Moreton Island
Sand tobogganing on Moreton Island

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6. Whitsundays with kids

Staying at some resorts involves little more than relaxing on a sunlounger and contemplating another refreshing dip before lunch. Not at the Whitsundays. If your family is like ours and would rather get out and about than lie by the pool, this destination is perfect. In fact, there are over 60 ways to enjoy Hamilton Island, the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday islands. Take a scenic helicopter flight over lush green landscape and sandy atolls, join a snorkel or sailing tour, go windsurfing or take day trip to famous Whitehaven Beach. Stay at Daydream Island Resort, and you could go snorkelling with tropical fish at the resort’s very own reef. 

Go for a catamaran ride at Hamilton Island

7. Surfers Paradise family holiday

Surfers Paradise is filled with tourist attractions that have parents shaking their heads, wondering what they would really be like, while their kids beg to go inside. However, you could be surprised by how much fun you have if you give these activities a try. Go indoor skydiving at iFLY Gold Coast or visit the world’s largest Timezone filled with 5,000 sqm of games, rides, and things that go ‘bing’. Surfers Paradise is also home to one of Queensland’s most famous beaches where you can swim, learn to surf or snap a selfie under the Surfers Paradise sign. Stay at the Hilton Surfers Paradise which is in the heart of the action or enjoy a luxe resort stay at the JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa, complete with a swimming pool that is also home to tropical fish.

iFLY Gold Coast
Teen flyer at iFLY Gold Coast

8. Queensland farm stay

This is an interactive experience which gets the whole family involved and provides an insight into rural life. One thing that many families do not expect is the touch of luxury that goes with many farm stays with some offering lovely homesteads, cosy cabins among the gumtrees or converted shearing sheds with all the amenities you need for a great stay. There are plenty of unique farm stays to enjoy in Queensland which offer everything from cattle mustering to goat milking and country cooking.

Disclosure: The writers loves travelling around her home state of Queensland with her family.

Want to travel smarter and save money? Check out our tips for flying a low cost airline, keeping your luggage safe, visiting Europe in peak season, getting a great car hire deal, avoiding travel scams, saving money at the airport, staying at an Airbnb, finding cheap five star hotel deals, catching public transport overseas, staying safe in a big city, getting the best round-the-world airfares, making the most of a five star hotel stay, travelling during low season, visiting a theme park in peak season, packing a carry on bag, visiting a wine region, planning a romantic getaway, early morning flights, visiting the Great Barrier Reef, multigenerational travel, travelling in a motorhome, buying the best souvenirs, going on safari, visiting the Eiffel Tower, travelling with pets, holidaying with adult children, travelling with teens, and sleeping on a plane.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.