Fun outings and activities for the whole family
Pack a bag, grab the camera and enjoy these family activities and fun in your state.
By Livia Gamble
June 03 2016
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Children’s Garden is a magical place. Kids can dig, build, imagine, create and hide. Visit the magic pudding, the plant tunnels and the bamboo forest and propagate plants in the kitchen garden. Picnic facilities in the Botanic Gardens. Pram access.
Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
(03) 9252 2429.
Take a stroll through the living forest gallery with trees over 20 metres tall. Kids can touch dinosaur bones, and they’ll love the huge bug collection. There’s a children’s gallery, with an outdoor playground and maze especially for three- to eight-year-olds.
Nicholson Street, Carlton
1300 130 152.
Puffing Billy steam railway
Ride Australia’s oldest steam railway through the forest and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges. The 25-kilometre journey takes you to picturesque Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook. Folding prams that can be placed under seats are permitted.
Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave.
(03) 9757 0700.
City Circle tram
The distinctive burgundy and gold City Circle tram provides a free and convenient way to move around the city and passes a number of sights and attractions. Running along Flinders Street, Harbour Esplanade, La Trobe Street and Spring Street, the journey takes nearly 50 minutes, and can be used as a hop-on, hop-off service. Trams run in both directions every 12 minutes, from 10am-6pm.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
An array of African savannah wildlife, from tiny meerkats to tall giraffes and hungry hippos, just 30 minutes from Melbourne.
K Road, Werribee
(03) 9731 9600
Move over Albert Einstein! Explore the mysteries of science, witness live shows and fascinating exhibits.
2 Booker Street, Spotswood.
(03) 9392 4800.
The Beachouse Entertainment Centre
This Adelaide family fun centre features a five-level play castle for under-10s, waterslides, dodgems, bumper boats, a carousel, mini golf, a kids’ train and more.
Colley Terrace, Glenelg
(08) 8295 1511.
Melba’s Chocolates & Confectionery
Sample delicious mouth-watering chocolate and confectionery as you tour this old-fashioned factory. Chocolate lovers can watch a traditional range of sweets being made.
Henry Street, Woodside.
(08) 8389 7868.
Cleland Wildlife Park
Cuddle a koala and get up close and personal with bilbies, kangaroos, and emus. Picnic in a bushland setting.
Mount Lofty Summit Road, Crafers
(08) 8339 2444
Platform 1, Heritage Farm Railway
All aboard a ride-on replica train for a scenic trip past historic farm buildings. See cattle and sheep-shearing and bring a picnic lunch.
Junction Road, Littlehampton
(08) 8391 2696
Hahndorf Farm Barn
Milk a cow or bottle-feed a baby lamb and enjoy a friendly hands-on farm experience. Located in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, with other tourist attractions nearby. Cost: adults $10, children $7, under-ones free.
Mount Barker Road, Hahndorf
(08) 8388 7289
Litchfield National Park
Explore one of the Top End’s hidden treasures. There are marvels such as the weathered sandstone pillars of the Lost City, plus waterfalls, shallow pools for the kids, picnic areas, barbecues and kiosk.
Near Batchelor, 100 kms south-west of Darwin
(08) 8976 0282
Leanyer Recreation Park
Keep your cool with this aqua fun play area, designed with kids in mind. There’s a swimming area, water playground with slides, and an all-abilities playground. There are also shaded picnic areas. Vanderlin Drive, Leanyer. Open from Wed-Sun.
(08) 8927 4199
Territory Wildlife Park
Come face to face with a 3.5m saltwater crocodile, with only millimetres between you and its mighty jaws. Stroll past bird aviaries in a natural monsoonal forest, encounter reptiles, and explore the wetlands, Goose Lagoon, and woodlands.
Cox Peninsula Road, Berry Springs
(08) 8988 7200
Explore the WWII oil storage tunnels, with displays of wartime memorabilia and photos. Self-guided tours run daily. Not accessible to large, three-wheeler strollers.
Kitchener Drive, Darwin Wharf Precinct
(08) 8985 6333.
There are flying foxes, ball pits, slides, space rocket ships and more at this vibrant kids’ indoor play centre. And for the bigger kids there’s mini golf, and tenpin bowling.
Progress Drive, Nightcliff
(08) 8985 4416
Go fish! Or watch them, anyway. An opportunity to feed fish rather than eat them – hundreds of different kinds swim to shore to be fed by hand. Hours vary according to tides. Cost: adults: $8, children $5, under-threes free.
28 Doctors Gully Road, Darwin
(08) 8981 7837
Australian War Memorial
Kids will enjoy the new Discovery Zone – it’s chock full of fun things to do, see and hear. They can climb aboard a helicopter, crawl through a WW1 trench, and experience a submarine. There’s a cafeteria and park nearby.
Treloar Crescent, Campbell
Call (02) 6243 4211
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Immerse your senses in this scenic outdoor wonderland, see platypuses and rock wallabies, explore the nature discovery playground, take a touch and feel self-guided walk. Picnic and barbecue facilities.
Paddy’s River Road, Tidbinbilla
(02) 6205 1233
Enter a magical, miniature model world. There is an interactive play town for kids under six, and café, picnic and barbecue area.
Gold Creek Road, Nicholls
1800 627 273
National Museum of Australia
Children can design a future world and see it come alive in a 3D virtual reality theatre. Our Place features four different climb-on cubbies – tree house, tank stand, backyard cubby and magic wardrobe!
Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra. (02) 6208 5000
Canberra’s newest indoor fun centre is filled with challenging, fun and safe play equipment, including a crawlers’ den for infants, indoor car track, ball pits, jumping castles, slides, crazy mirrors and much more.
25 Kemble Court, Mitchell.
(02) 6241 3144.
Hold on to your seats and experience an earthquake, see lightning strike and interact with hundreds of exhibits with lots of buttons for little hands to push! Mini-Q, for kids under six, has a sensory cave, water play and outer-space adventures.
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
(02) 6270 2800. www.questacon.edu.au
Visit the new Sesame Street Beach, featuring rides, shows and more. Be entertained by the resident dolphins, seals and polar bears, visit the aquarium and watch live shows.
Sea World Drive, Main Beach, Gold Coast
(07) 5588 2178
Chill out with the ultimate fun day out at Gold Coast’s newest water theme park. There are water slides, rides, wave pool, paddling pools, and under-fives can get wet and wiggly at Wiggle Bay, a mini water park. Ample shaded eating and play areas.
Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera
1800 073 300
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
Get close to nature in this stunning subtropical rainforest on a walk that is pram-friendly. Listen out for the eerie call of the catbirds; keep an eye out for scrub turkeys and pademelons. Afterwards, see and touch fossils and a dinosaur footprint, check out snake skins and more at the educational centre, and then picnic in the grounds. Barbecue facilities and kiosk on-site, and there’s also a kids’ playground.
Mountain View Road, Maleny
(07) 5499 9907
Check out the awesome interactive exhibits at Queensland Museum’s Sciencentre. Afterwards take a stroll around South Bank Parklands, and take a dip in the sandy beach lagoon.
South Bank, Brisbane
(07) 3840 7555
Hand-feed baby animals at the Kids Zoo. Check out croc, bird, and snake shows at the Crocoseum. Expect a ripper day out for the whole family.
Steve Irwin Drive, Beerwah
(07) 5436 2000
Fun for everyone. Young adventurers will love the Secret Cove water playground with its dragon and spooky tree water features.
Progress Drive, Bibra Lake
(08) 9417 9666
The Aquarium of Western Australia
Take an underwater journey to discover the unique marine life of Western Australia. There’s a touch pool for
the littlies to get up close to starfish, sea cucumbers and small fish.
Hillarys Boat Harbour, Hillarys
(08) 9447 7500.
Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens cover 400 hectares of mostly natural bushland, alongside the Swan River. There’s a family area that’s perfect for littlies to run, climb and explore in a safe and relaxed environment. And the Federation Walkway – a combination of footpaths and elevated walkways – offers spectacular views of the gardens and the Swan River. Perfect for picnics, playing, walking or just lying under a shady tree.
(08) 9480 3600
Check out all kinds of critters great and small and share a picnic in one of the many shaded grassy areas.
Cost: adults $18, children $9, under-fours free.
Labouchere Road, South Perth
(08) 9474 0444.
On a visit to Scitech you can whip up a whirlpool, watch chickens hatch, make laser music on a harp and more. At Discoverland there are exhibits for children to push, touch, switch and explore.
Corner of Railway Parade and Sutherland Street, West Perth.
(08) 9481 5789