Queensland Family Holidays: 3 Summer School Holiday Destinations

Finding the perfect family getaway destination can be a challenge. It’s often a case of balancing the needs and wants of every family member with value and the time available for you to take a break. When it comes to entertaining families, the Sunshine State has so much to offer! Beyond the images of surf, sand and theme parks that you might think of when considering a Queensland family holiday on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland has something for every type of family. Here’s our pick of some great Queensland family holidays destinations and things to do in Queensland with kids during the Summer.

Rockhampton

Rockhampton. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland
Rockhampton. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland

Head to the central Queensland city of Rockhampton, particularly if you’re looking for a destination with activities to entertain all ages. The riverside city of Rockhampton offers a beautiful mix of nature and a historic colonial-era city just waiting to be explored.

One of the most epic school holiday activities Rockhampton has to offer is a trip to the Capricorn Caves. Throughout the two-hour tour, you’ll hear about how scientists study animal activity in the caves to research climate change, and learn about ‘megafauna’.

If you’re visiting in Summer, you can witness a natural phenomenon at the Capricorn Caves when nature puts on a spectacular light show. The Solace Light Spectacular happens from 1 December to 15 January. You can see the sunlight piece through a 14-metre vertical shaft and light up like a disco ball.

From the underground to the treetops, take your family trip to new heights by visiting Mount Archer’s Nurim Circuit. It’s a 500m long elevated boardwalk with incredible views no matter the time of day.

Conveniently located at the summit of Mount Archer, visitors can along the treetops and soak in the breathtaking sights of the region. 

Rockhampton is a days drive from the Gold Coast, and is accessible via all major Australian cities, including Port Douglas, by daily flights to Rockhampton Airport.

Explore the Capricorn Caves. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland
Explore the Capricorn Caves. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland

Need somewhere to stay? 

For travellers looking for kid friendly accommodation in Rockhampton, Quality Hotel Regent Rockhampton is the perfect accommodation option. Centrally located in Rockhampton, Quality Hotel Regent Rockhampton features an on-site restaurant, café and bar, outdoor pool with tropical surrounds, and has rooms to cater to families.

Cairns

Family enjoying the Cairns Lagoon. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland
Family enjoying the Cairns Lagoon. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland

Tropical North Queensland is pretty hard to beat as a holiday destination. If you’re looking at sand, sun and palm trees to feature in your next family break, it’s well worth considering. There are so many things to do in Cairns with kids it’s no wonder Cairns is of of the most popular family holiday destinations in QLD.

Downtown Cairns is made for families; the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is one of the best-known landmarks in the region. Set on the foreshore overlooking the Trinity Inlet and Green Island, the 4900 square metre saltwater lagoon is a safe swimming location year-round. There’s even real sand for making sandcastles at the edge of the lagoon. With shallow areas, interactive water fountains and life guards on duty, the Lagoon is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with the family.

The Cairns Aquarium is a world-class attraction, allowing you to see and interact with incredible animals and ecosystems only found in tropical North Queensland. There are over 71 different habits to explore, which are home to more than 16,000 different animals. The Aquarium runs daily animal talks, shark feedings and a marine touch tank to really help you get immersed in aquatic wildlife park experience. The Cairns Aquarium is open 7-days and has plenty of on-site facilities such as Dundee’s Restaurant.

Explore the Cairns Aquarium. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland
Explore the Cairns Aquarium. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland

Need somewhere to stay? 

Comfort Inn Cairns City is located just 500m from the city centre, and fifteen minutes drive from the airport. The hotel features two outdoor saltwater swimming pools and a range of guest rooms, all with balconies, and an on-site guest laundry.

Mackay

Snap the perfect Summer selfie at Cape Hillsborough. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland
Snap the perfect Summer selfie at Cape Hillsborough. Image via Tourism and Events Queensland

If you have a family of nature lovers, Mackay is a hidden gem for wildlife and nature experiences for all. One of the most popular Queensland holiday destinations for families, there’s only a handful of places where you can spot Platypus in their natural habitat, and Mackay is one of them.

Head to Broken River in Eungella National Park at sunrise or sunset for your best chance to see these incredible animals in the wild. Platypus are naturally shy, but the viewing platform here gives you an excellent chance to see them and not disturb them.

As a bonus, while you’re visiting Eungella, you can explore local culture with a walk along the wheelchair and pram accessible Sky Window track. The Sky Window track tells the story of region’s history from gold mining to timber, dairying and tourism.

Getting up early on holidays isn’t always that easy, especially with a family. However, when the reward is watching the sun come up over the beach with wallabies and kangaroos, it’s worth it!

Head to Cape Hillsborough National Park with a breakfast picnic and watch these lovely creatures hop along the edge of the water as the sun rises. Cape Hillsborough Beach is a beautiful place to start the day, before exploring other school holiday activities in Mackay.

Back in town, The Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens is a must-visit, featuring a well maintained play area and close proximity to other popular family-friendly Mackay destinations, like Artspace Mackay.

Need somewhere to stay? 

Comfort Resort Blue Pacific is located with absolute beach frontage at Blacks Beach in Mackay. Guests can choose from a range of rooms which feature private balconies and access to two swimming pools and BBQ facilities. Your family will love unwinding together at the end of a big day exploring everything Mackay has to offer.

Travelling with kids under 12?

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