We are so blessed to live in a country full of diversity that provides incredible outdoor adventures and activities for all to enjoy. Whether it's a hike through one of the beautiful National Parks, or having incredible encounters with the wildlife, or simply enjoying one of the 100s of stunning beaches.
We've found 15 different activities that we think are pretty special to do with the whole family.
Lace up the kids’ sneakers and pack a picnic. Bunya Mountains National Park has jungle-like rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and epic viewing platforms. Not to mention its home to the largest crop of ancient bunya pines in the world, plus a dazzling display of birds – from king parrots to satin bowerbirds – and other wildlife species.
Image Source: Queensland’s National Parks
(dog friendly, on leash)
The Kangaroo Point Cliffs are one of the great vantage points of Brisbane. Start up high on River Terrace and walk towards the Story Bridge so you can overlook the sun reflecting on the Brisbane River, the dots of moored boats at Eagle Street Pier, all fringed by the mountains of pretty purple bougainvillea flowers. If you’re looking to tire out the kids, throw the Kangaroo Point Stairs into the mix or have a go at abseiling down the cliffs!
Image Source: Riverlife
Lamington National Park is full of stunning natural splendours that should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. The Morans Falls track is one of the best bush walks near Brisbane, winding through layers of volcanic lava flows and a subtropical rainforest before ending with impressive views over Morans Falls and the surrounding valley.
Image Souce: Queensland’s National Parks
This area is abundant with native animals, including wallabies, platypus, goannas and many different species of frogs and birds. A trip to this corner of the Blackall Ranges will see you exploring winding wooden pathways and towering trees. Try the 4.7km Kondalilla Falls Circuit which passes through the fresh water rock pools of Skene Creek, perfect for a quick dip to cool down.
Image Source: Visit Sunshine Coast
There are a few different trails you can take in the D’Aguilar National Park, from the moderate to the more advanced, depending on your abilities and experience. The Park offers spectacular views to Moreton Bay and the chance to explore subtropical rainforest, hoop pines, waterfalls, eucalypt forests and remote gorges. If you’re unsure where to start, try the 1.9km Rainforest Circuit.
Image Source: We Are Explorers
Take your little eco-warriors to see sea turtles at Mon Repos Turtle Centre near Bundaberg. Its home to the largest nesting population on the Australian mainland, and is an incredibly rewarding thing to do with kids. The nesting season kicks off in November and runs through to late March. Take a ranger guided tour, and expect a late night as the turtle time is anywhere between 7pm and 2am. For a chance to see the nests erupt with tiny turtles, January to March is the best time.
Image Source: Gateway Marina
Known for the many celebrities that have cuddled a resident, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a safe inner-city refuge for our national treasure. Lone Pine is the world’s largest koala sanctuary. Your entry fee supports the critical work undertaken at the Sanctuary’s new koala science and research facility. It’s a great place for kids to get up close to these normally shy animals.
Image Source: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Perched on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, Lady Elliot Island is a hive for nesting turtles and migratory sea birds. And if your kids don’t mind getting wet, it’s a great place to swim with turtles, spot manta rays and humpback whales (in season) too. Turtles visit its sheltered lagoons (which can easily be accessed via the beach), making it a perfect place for kids to snorkel out a short distance to see them. A resident marine biologist is on hand to share information about the Island’s fascinating ecosystem, take you on guided ecology tours and teach kids more about conservation.
Image Source: Visit Queensland
The word creek might not send you tripping over your feet with excitement, but rest assured the mouth of Currumbin Creek is a dream scene. As it sucks in and spits out the South Pacific Ocean, pods of dolphins are invited in for lazy afternoons gliding past stand-up paddle boarders. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is equal parts educational and fun, it’s here that kids can hand feed kangaroos, interact with cheeky lemurs in the Lost Valley, watch eagles soar at the Free Flight Bird Show, or visit one of the busiest wildlife hospitals in the world.
Image Source: The Weekend Edition
Eye off with one of the most feared, and largest living, reptiles in the world – the estuarine (or saltwater crocodile) – in their natural habitat aboard Whitsunday Crocodile Safari’s River Runner. There’s thought to be over 150 of these fascinating prehistoric creatures that call the Proserpine River home, so keep your eyes peeled and camera at the ready.
Image Source: Cruise Whitsundays
One dip in this crystalline creek will be enough to get your kids begging you to stay for the whole day. A patrolled swimming beach, Pandanus-shaded picnic spots, and gentle SUPing conditions make for the ultimate (and free!) family day out. And when hunger strikes, Neptune Kiosk right next to the sand delivers creek-side coffee, sweet treats and savoury eats perfect for beachgoers.
Image Source: We Are Gold Coast
The many islands off the coast of SEQ makes for some incredible day trips and none more so arguably than Moreton Island. You will be treated to wild bottlenose dolphin creatures visiting each sunset, for feeding. But there are plenty of other activities such as snorkeling the ship wrecks, heading to the sand dunes for some toboganning amonth many other kid-friendly activities.
Looking for something a bit different? Try out transparent day or night time kayaking with Sunset Safaris where you’ll get to explore the Tangalooma Shipwrecks as well as spot fish, turtles and dolphins. The night time experience is particularly amazing, as the shipwrecks are lit by LEDs and you’ll float among the rays and wobbegongs.
Image Source: Queensland Blog
Cardwell remains fairly quiet when it comes to out of town tourism, but locals know the secret bliss of this small town. Part of that is the very unique Cardwell Spa Pools and their bright blue water, which is thought to be that colour thanks to the surrounding eucalypt trees. The contrast of the water and the white, twisting tree roots is something to behold.
Image Source: Jamie Chance Travels
Boodjamulla National Park, also known as Lawn Hill, is and outback gem. It sits on the border of Queensland and Northern Territory. You’ll need to prepare yourself for a 4-wheel drive adventure without phone reception, but just look at the gorgeous gorge running through it. Not many places around Australia with that kind of setting!
Image Source: Sunliner
Gardeners Falls in Maleny (AKA the Sunshine Coast’s hidden wonderland) is one of the best spots to visit on a weekend drive. Follow Obi Obi Creek downstream to Gardners Falls and have a Tarzan impression competition with the kdis rope into the rock pool below. Life doesn’t get much more blissful than this!
Image Source: Queensland.com
This is really just a taste of what is on offer in this incredible state! We'd love to know if you have any other favourite outdoor hotspots to take the family over the summer. Connect with us on Facebook or Instagram to share your favourites or to let us know if you've been to any of these amazing places!
Go forth and explore!