With its vibrant landscapes ranging from calming countrysides and expansive deserts to bustling modern cities, Australia is perfect for family vacations. Even though it might appear as a big dust bowl of nothing, the continent is brimming with interesting sights, varying topography and diverse biosphere. More than anything, Australia is a perfect playground for a classic road trip. However, taking time out of your busy schedule can be a problem, since you’d spend a lot of time on the journey to the land down under as well as preparing for the road trip. If you’ve had just enough time to come up with a one-week itinerary, here are some family road trip ideas.
Day one – Sydney
Let’s presume you are most likely to travel via plane and land in Sydney, Australia’s biggest and arguably the most popular city. First, you’ll need some time to recuperate after you’ve wrestled out of Sydney Airport. You can rent a room or two in one of Sydney’s family-friendly hotels like Holiday Inn, The Grace Hotel or Zara Tower.
You’ll spend most of your first day unpacking and finding your way around. If you decide to hit the town on the first day, make sure to bring your children to see some of the most famous tourist attractions in the city. The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are the iconic sights every newcomer has to check out. Sydney Tower Eye is the tallest structure in Sydney and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Conveniently, it is also open for visitors.
You can bring your children to the 360 Bar and Dining for a meal out-of-this-world and enjoy the cityscape. From here, you can decide where you’ll go next. The tower is easily noticeable from many parts of the city, so if you get lost (which can happen if it’s your first time in Sydney), you can use the tower as a meeting point and to re-reposition yourself.
Day two – the sights
Sydney just has so much to offer, it’s hard to see it all in one go. If you’ve decided to go road tripping across Australia, you should spend at least one entire day enjoying this city’s delights. After all, this can serve as a “starting location” of your road trip, and therefore it’s viable as a hotspot to investigate.
Furthermore, there are so many amazing activities and locations the entire family can enjoy. Australian National Maritime Museum is one of the premier attractions in Sydney. It is located in the heart of iconic Darling Harbour and it’s very educational – you’ll be able to show your children how historic seafaring vessels used to look like and how huge they actually were.
Don’t miss out on a stroll through Royal Botanical Gardens, which were founded in 1816. It is a fantastic place for children to roam. Finally, enjoy a sunny afternoon on the legendary Bondi Beach.
Day three, four and five – road trip to Brisbane
If you’re packed and ready, you can finally set off in your rented car. One of the most famous road trips is the one from Sydney to Brisbane, also known as Legendary Pacific Coast Drive. You’ll drive along an impressive coast line for around 928 km, which amounts to about 10 hours of driving. With regular stops in the quaint wineries, restaurants and wildlife watching spots, it will take up an entire day.
The Gold Coast is a perfect location for some aquatic family time. The place has an overwhelming number of theme parks for adrenaline seekers, waterways and shopping strips. Take your children to O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk and give them a completely new perspective on the rainforest and magnificent trees that surround them. The attraction is completely free.
Brisbane is an amazing city and, in many ways, the education capital of Australia. Who knows, you might end up getting your children interested in enrolling in one of the colleges here one day. While you’re there, go on the Chocolate Tour which will leave you, your significant other and your children gobsmacked. The tour entails more than two hours of cocoa related locations and stores, with expert guides accompanying you along the way. Naturally, tasting the chocolate is an obligatory part of the experience.
Day five, six and seven – road trip to Canberra
After you’ve spent two nights on the road, you can return to Sydney for another night and plan an additional road trip – to Canberra. Along the way, you can visit other locations on the Legendary Pacific Coast. These include Avoca Beach, Bouddi National Park, and even Australian Reptile Park. Your children can marvel at the menacing beasts, and they’ll surely talk about the experience with their friends for years to come.
The road trip to Canberra is much shorter – it takes only a bit over three hours to cover 290 km. If you haven’t rented a car, you can take a reliable and comfortable charter bus rental, or take a fast and frequent train, and your children might enjoy the change of vehicle and pace. If you are still going via car, there are several recommended stops you should make. Wollongong is a city along the road that offers stunning beaches, cafes and restaurants. Lake George Winery and Tulip Top Gardens are other colourful hotspots that will make your trip more interesting.
Canberra itself, the capital of Australia, is an architecturally impressive city with Lake Burley Griffin as its centrepiece. The coastline of this big lake is a backdrop for many family activities. Yachting, kayaking and windsurfing are only some of the things you can do. Want to prepare a barbecue while your children are throwing Frisbee at the grass-covered beach? No problem!
It’s by far one of the best places to experience the far stretch of the road and enjoy quality time with your family. It’s also a wonderful way to refresh and strengthen the family bond. To make the long story short – Australian family road trip is a practical, flexible and cost-effective way to experience the beauty of Australia, relax from your daily chores, and have fun with your family.