Family Holidays: Where to Escape to During the School Holidays

  • Family

With school holidays approaching fast and in light of the past couple of years, travel is high on the agenda for many families right now. With long-awaited freedom finally here, it's safe to start planning a family getaway - and it needn't be too far from home!

Here are our top family holiday destinations across New South Wales and Queensland that will make the perfect school holiday escape. 

Top Places To Escape To During The School Holidays


1. Paradise Resort, Gold Coast

Paradise Resort Gold Coast
Escape to Paradise Resort Gold Coast and receive instant rewards!

There are so many reasons to book a holiday in the glorious Sunshine State, but the 'Stay and Play' package on offer at Paradise Resort Gold Coast should be at the top of the list. Voted Australia’s best family resort 10 years in a row, Paradise Resort has an abundance of action-packed features including an ice-skating rink, a huge waterpark, kids’ club, teen club and amazing activities like a miniature train, teddy bear workshops, laser tag and poolside movies.

Location: 122 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise

2. Daydream Island, Whitsundays

Daydream Island Holidays
Kids will love learning more about the inhabitants of Daydream Island’s very own Living Reef!

Serving up picture-perfect island beauty combined with the fruits of an extensive $140-million redevelopment, it’s safe to say that Daydream Island provides its visitors with style, tranquillity and convenience. We are talking restaurant and bar options, tropical vistas from pool and gardens to Great Barrier Reef and beyond—all whilst being home to all of the inhabitants of their very own Living Reef; the centrepiece of the island.

Kids will delight in getting to know more than 100 species of fish, 80 species of coral and plenty of starfish and crabs—in-between swims and non-motorised water activities, of course! There’s also a Kids Club for 4-12-year-olds, and activities include everything from wildlife experiences to beach sports, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, kite making and more! For unforgettable family fun, look no further than Daydream Island and Living Reef.

Location: Daydream Island, Whitsundays

2. Noosa

Noosa Family School Holidays
An icon of Australian beach culture, family holiday destinations don't come much better than Noosa!


A true jewel of Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Noosa is one of the most popular family holiday destinations in Australia - and for good reason. This bustling seaside town has a truly unique feel to it, and it's perfect for family holidays thanks to a vibrant food scene, plenty of lakes, national parks, hinterland and beaches that are ripe for exploration. Access to a host of activities that will keep energetic youngsters occupied all holiday long is a plus, too!

If your kids are fans of the great outdoors, there is no end to things to see and do. Whether it's action on a jet ski or relaxing on a tranquil sandy beach or getting to know the diverse range of local wildlife—there's something for every type of family and every type of child in Noosa.

New South Wales

1. Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

Things are looking up at Taronga Western Plains Zoo this winter.


Warm your winter hearts with some wildlife these school holidays. Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo has a swag of cool activities on offer for the school holidays, making it a winter getaway the kids will never forget. 

Dive into the new Platypus Rescue HQ and Wildlife Hospital, ride a safari truck through an authentic Lion Pride Land and explore a bumper schedule of activities including daily zoo keeper capers, animal encounters and educational activities. 

There's so much to see at this iconic zoo, we recommend a two-day pass and if you want to step things up a notch - make it a safari to remember by staying at the zoo! Check out Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins or Billabong Camp where you'll become neighbours with some of your new zoo mates. 

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is around a five-hour (400km) drive from Sydney, so make sure you plan your escape to see all that Dubbo has to offer families. 

Location: Obley Rd, Dubbo 

2. Caves Beach

Caves Beach NSW
Caves Beach is a gem of the Lake Macquarie region, offering kids the chance to explore the network of caves! 

If you're the type of family who loves escaping the business of day to day life and soaking in each other's company in a beautiful setting, Caves Beach is the perfect family holiday destination for you. Situated less than 100 km north of Sydney in the Lake Macquarie region and bursting with natural charm, kids will love spending a family holiday exploring the network of sea caves which earns the area its namesake. 

There are sand dunes aplenty for the kids to play on and if you fancy a change of scenery? The rest of the Lake Macquarie region, with its postcard-worthy surrounds, awaits! 

Location: Mawson Cl, Caves Beach

3. Byron Bay

Bryon Bay Family School Holidays
Insanely popular and for good reason—Byron Bay is an easy, family-friendly choice for the school holidays.

Easily one of the most iconic family holiday destinations in Australia - if not the world! - Byron Bay is brimming with things to do for families, alongside a buzzing food scene, plenty of Byron Bay accommodation options and a laid-back vibe that makes it a huge hit with kids. 

Alongside the beautiful beaches that make it so famous, Byron Bay also boasts stunning hinterland rainforest, coastal trails and a diverse array of marine wildlife. Whale watching or a kayak with dolphins, anyone?!

4. Barrington Tops

Barrington Tops Family School Holidays
Rainforest, bush and so much fresh air—Barrington Tops is perfect for outdoorsy families.

If, as a family, you love nothing more than getting out and about in the great outdoors - bushwalking, fishing, or hiking to name but a few - Barrington Tops is the ideal family holiday destination for the school holidays. There are plenty of opportunities to get your kids involved in some serious adventuring - whether that's white-water-rafting, kayaking or canoeing; there's something for everyone in this gorgeous part of NSW.

Keen on camping or caravanning? You can really immerse yourself in the outdoorsy lifestyle and go off-grid at a selection of Barrington Tops campgrounds; the ideal base for a holiday full of rainforest exploring and bushwalking! 

5. Port Stephens

Port Stephens Family Holiday
Port Stephens boasts an ultra-relaxed vibe, perfect for an effortless family getaway during the school holidays.

Renowned for its beautiful beaches, pristine waters full of incredible wildlife and epic sand dunes, a family holiday to Port Stephens will make the perfect getaway these school holidays. The ideal place to really switch off, relax and enjoy each other's company - Port Stephens offers plenty of chances to reconnect over watersports, whale and dolphin spotting or sandboarding down the famous Stockton sand dunes.

When it comes to Port Stephens accommodation, there is a heap of options from beachside holiday parks, hotels and motels to family-friendly resorts. The food scene is bright and bustling - meaning every type of eater will be catered for! 

6. The Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains Family School Holidays
Spend the autumn soaking up the great outdoors on a family holiday to the beautiful Blue Mountains.

A sprawling collection of towns, villages and jaw-droppingly beautiful rainforest, a family holiday in the Blue Mountains will give you the chance to connect with your family in the context of nature, all whilst enjoying new experiences and breathing in lungfuls of fresh air. 

In terms of things to do in the Blue Mountains, a day at Scenic World will be a huge hit with young ones; or if they're happy to spend the days outside—there are bushwalks aplenty to be done! Jenolan Caves should also not be missed, as well as some gorgeous gardens that showcase the beauty of Australia's flora and fauna.

7. Central Coast

Central Coast Council
So easy to get to and with so much to offer—the Central Coast is a perfect family getaway destination.

The Central Coast is beautiful, beachy and bursting with things to do! Renowned for the stunning great outdoors, the Central Coast is the perfect place to indulge in some outdoor pursuits like kayaking, swimming, bike riding and surfing. There are beaches galore, plenty of opportunities to do some boating, a vibrant arts community and an abundance of holiday parks and campgrounds for accommodation options. And one of the best parts? The local Central Coast Council often hosts an epic array of school holiday activities for kids so there's always plenty to keep them occupied!


More Family Getaway Ideas

Why NRMA Holiday Parks Are Perfect For Families
5 Awesome Australian Islands That Are Great For Kids
Ultimate Guide to Camping with the Family

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