The Best Kid-Friendly Getaways Near Sydney On A Budget
Travel in NSW is back on and we can finally sprinkle a little adventure into our iso-life! You can travel far and wide across our spectacular state, and we have you covered with some fantastic family-friendly getaways near Sydney, no matter what your budget.
We’ve included camping ideas, farm-stays, hotels and motels, so there’s something to meet every kind of family’s needs. Who knows, your mini getaway might even turn into a dream holiday!
Good old-fashioned camping can be the ultimate family bonding experience, sharing campfire stories beneath a starry sky in the beautiful fresh air. Check out our Best Family Camping Spots around Sydney including Cockatoo Island and Royal National Park, or why not go all out at one of the Best Places to Take the Kids Glamping in Bathurst, Jervis Bay, or even at Taronga Zoo!
If the idea of camping is a little too much for you, The Ultimate Guide To Camping With Family might help you feel a little less daunted. ellaslist has all your camping challenges covered including Camping in the Rain with Kids and Surviving Camping With Kids Under 5.
2. Farm Stays
Farmstays offer a little more comfort than all-out camping, but with the sounds, sights and smells of the outdoors that campers love. Just a 45-minute drive from Sydney is a rural oasis and one of ellaslist's favourite farm stays - Calmsley Hill City Farm. Offering overnight or two night stays with meal packages to make life easier, your family will get the full farm life experience with up-close animal encounters, paddock exploring and morning hen’s egg collecting. Falling asleep beside a paddock of grazing kangaroos is bound to be an unforgettable getaway.
There's also Mowbray Park Farm — the farm stay that offers everything from egg collecting, the Natural Horsemanship Experience and mountain biking, to toasting marshmallows by the bonfire in the evening. Read our ellaslist Mowbray Park Farm family farm stay review.
Another favourite is Bilpin Springs Lodge - a farm stay and bed & breakfast only a 90 minutes drive from Sydney in the heart of the apple-picking district. Read the ellaslist review of Bilpin Country Lodge where we fed the chooks, Charlie the pony and the alpaca enjoyed an action-packed canoe ride and fished for yabbies. We rounded off our amazing weekend with apple picking at a nearby orchard. What fun!
1. Holiday Parks
NRMA Parks and Resorts are constantly being voted the best family-friendly holiday parks in the country and it's not hard to see why! For an affordable price, you can have a vacation with the most! Here are two of our favourite NRMA Holiday Parks plus a Newcastle gem that is just a short drive from home:
NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park: This is one of the only beachfront caravan parks in Sydney and despite being in the thick of the big smoke, its secluded location truly makes it feel like you are in another place. A perfect holiday location for those looking for something a little closer to home. The park is right across the road from the beach and sits on the edge of Narrabeen Lakes. There is so much for the family to do, including a waterpark, playground, games rooms and more.
NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort: Located on beautiful Umina Beach on the New South Wales Central Coast, it's only 1.5 hours north of Sydney and is a perfect getaway for those looking to escape the city. The park is surrounded by bushland and backs on to the Brisbane Water National Park. Set on the beachfront, the park offers so much to do from fishing, tennis and swimming to the splash park and adventure playground.
Stockton Beach Holiday Park: Located just metres from the beach, Stockton Beach Holiday Park offers a range of cabin, caravan and camping accommodation. Just a short ferry ride from the heart of Newcastle, this park is a great place to set up a base and explore. Stockton Beach is the perfect place for a surf, fish or to discover the famous sand dunes. Whether you are looking to check out the café and restaurant culture of Newcastle, get your adrenaline pumping with a quad bike on the dunes, or simply relax and enjoy the serenity, Stockton Beach Holiday Park is the perfect place for your next family holiday.
Holiday Parks have it all. From kids clubs, epic water playgrounds, games and arcade rooms, budget accommodation options to beachfront locale, they truly do tick all the boxes for families. Check out our full list of the Best Holiday Parks For Kids And Families within driving distance from Sydney.
These ones are more than a couple of hours drive, but boast some of the best kids clubs in Australia.
Some of our favourites include the award-winning NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park, the amazing waterpark at BIG4 Tweed Billabong with water slides to make your jaw drop, and the Seal Rocks Holiday Park where the sense of community spirit in the fishing village will have you hooked.
2. Fairmont Resort, Blue Mountains
ellaslist has dubbed this resort the ultimate family-friendly holiday! Not only that, it is fantastic value and only 90 minutes from Sydney. From the get-go in the foyer, Fairmont Resort does family luxury in style. Kids will be in awe of the high ceilings, crisp air and sprawling grounds on offer. The best part? KidZone! Here kids can enjoy the merry-go-round, the Fairmont Express mini-train, electric convertible mini-cars, two huge play centres with mini tenpin bowling and a mirror maze arcade, and of course, a heated pool. Parents will love the luxury and affordability of this getaway just as much as the kids enjoy the thrills and fun. And P.S the upper lake has begun a transformation into an ice-skating rink - due to be completed for Easter 2021!
3. Atura Blacktown
A stay-cay that the kids will go cray-cray for is at the Atura Blacktown - a desert oasis with a stunning outdoor pool, free mini-bar and close proximity to Raging Waters and the Skyline Drive-In. The art-inspired hotel (by the team from the QT Hotels) has so many unique touches with its industrial-
We recently discovered Wollongong as one of the best kept secretly awesome places to go with families. The Early Start Discovery Space, Jamberoo and Symbio Wildlife Park make for days full of inexpensive and exciting family fun. In terms of accommodation, you NEED to check out the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach. The views are spectacular, there is a kids’ area and kids’ activities during school holidays, and it's just a few minutes walk from a mega-slide playground.
5. Central Coast
Going to the Central Coast is a favourite holiday past time of so many Sydney families. With affordable prices, gorgeous natural features and lots of attractions for the kids, how couldn’t it be? Avoca Beach is one of our favourites. With yummy cafes lined up in the village, weekend markets, Aquafun on Avoca Lake and the beautiful nearby Bouddi National Park, Avoca is well worth finding a cheap rental property or hotel. Terrigal Beach is another favourite, specifically at the Crowne Plaza, with waterfront views and the Water Dragons Kids Club running during school holidays. While you're there make sure you visit the Wyong Milk Factory where you can show the kids how their favourite milk, cheeses and chocolates are produced, or simply relax in the cafe, enjoy the pirate-themed playground or even take a kayak out along Wyong River.
6. Hunter Valley
We know the first thing in most parents’ minds when they think of the Hunter Valley is wine! However, there are really so many great Places To Take Kids In The Hunter Valley and they are all fantastic value. The Big4 Hunter Valley Holiday Park is the perfect getaway for families with active kids. During your stay, check out the Hunter Valley Zoo, Hunter Valley Gardens and the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. With delicious food and wine, cheap prices and endless green space for kids to run around, the Hunter Valley is a no-brainer getaway! And if you do want wine (who doesn't!) check out these Kid-Friendly Vineyards In The Hunter Valley
If you feel like splashing out on a getaway with a little more luxury, our ultimate indulgence options are the perfect fit for you.
It's a bit of a drive from Sydney, but worth it! Kingscliff is home to the famous Salt Beach, a huge stretch of blue ocean and white sand that has been used for weddings and as a popular holiday destination for years. Peppers Salt Resort and Spa and the Mantra on Salt Beach resorts are buzzing with kids in peak holiday seasons, but with the air of luxury that parents crave. When you're not lounging by the pool, the onsite restaurants at the Mantra, in particular, are simply delicious- some of the best Tweed Heads has to offer.
2. Port Stephens
Just two and a half hours from Sydney, Port Stephens has often been called nature's playground for all the natural beauty it boasts. The Ramada Resort Shoal Bay has frequently been rated among the best resorts for families wanting luxury as well. Feel immersed in outdoor activities such as fishing, whale spotting, sand dune quad biking/sandboarding, swimming and of course, plenty of relaxing in the sun.
A LITTLE FURTHER AWAY
Take the kids to see the Big Golden Guitar! Tamworth is roughly a five-hour drive north-west of Sydney so it’s a comfortable first road trip for the kids and a chance to see the true countryside that makes Australia great. Take a self-guided audio tour through Maitland Gaol, Australia’s longest continually-run prison in Australia that lets children take agency over their experience, and check out the Tamworth Regional Playground - it boasts the Southern Hemisphere’s largest skywalk, water play, massive slides, mega swings, and is kid-friendly cafe adjacent. You will feel true blue checking out junior rodeos, Chaffey Dam, the Mount Misery Gold Mine Museum, miniature railway, Tamworth Marsupial Park, and so much more. The best time to visit is during the Tamworth Country Music Festival of course!
A 6-hour drive from Sydney is the Merimbula Beach NRMA Holiday Park that is economical and has an action-packed kids club. Activities include tug of wars, face painting, magic shows, tennis, sand sculpting, go-karts and so much more. There are villas, cabin, camping and caravanning options available here, so there’s sure to be something that fits your budget.
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