50 Great Family Holidays – #11 to #20

50 Great Family Holidays – #41 to #50
February 12, 2014
Kids 4 Free at Mt Hutt, New Zealand
February 17, 2014

We've gathered together a diverse selection of 50 fantastic holidays for families - from exotic and exciting overseas destinations to holiday parks, museums, zoos and attractions, South Pacific resorts and, in Australia, from Tassie to the Top End, WA to the Whitsundays, coastal and inland locales.

It's not just about where to stay - it's also about what to see, what to do and amazing discoveries.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, check out #11 to #20
of 50 Great Family Holidays, recommended by Out & About with Kids!

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11. Aspen Parks and Resorts, Australia Wide

50 Aspen Parks

Aspen Parks and Resorts specialise in taking care of the whole family throughout 21 parks, situated in four Aussie states, across a range of iconic destinations.

Aspen's amenities are modern, fun and enjoyable. Each park offers a variety of activities for guests, little and big, with facilities that can include resort-style swimming pools, sporting facilities, entertainment games rooms, camp kitchens, barbecues, children’s playgrounds, fully-equipped laundries, internet kiosks and tourist information.

Whether your family prefers to pitch a tent, park your luxury caravan, stay in a self-contained unit, rest and relax in a deluxe spa chalet or hire a houseboat, Aspen Parks and Resorts offer a range of accommodation to suit every budget.

Something special:

Aspens Parks Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort and Ningaloo Reef Resort in WA are both situated in UNESCO World Heritage areas.

12. Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains, NSW

Wolgan Valley

Discover just how elegant sustainability can be at one of Australia’s first luxury conservation-based resorts, Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa.

Just a three-hour drive from Sydney and bordering the Blue Mountains, the superb eco-resort is nestled within its own private conservation and nature reserve and offers five-star service, fine dining and pampering to relax the mind, body and spirit. The secluded resort has 40 individual suites surrounded with wide private verandahs, each with its own indoor/outdoor swimming pool, separate living and bedroom areas and double-sided fireplace.

With loads of children’s activities - from games and sports to educational nature trails for kids aged four to 14 - the resort also offers the opportunity for kids to discover bushcraft, bush bingo, stunt kite flying, pony rides and even archery!

Something Special:

Led by a field guide, kids can learn traditional Aboriginal culture and basic bush survival techniques, including navigation, animal tracking, shelter building and even how to find food and water.

13. Hotel Beacon, New York City, NY

50 NY

NYC may have the reputation for being one of the most exciting cities on the planet, but it is also totally family-friendly and fun!

The Hotel Beacon is perfect for families and ideally located for sightseeing, on the Upper West Side with views of Central Park, the Hudson River and mid-town Manhattan. Service is exceptional and kids made very welcome. The hotel offers 260 oversized rooms and suites with kitchenettes which are perfect for families who like the flexibility to prepare their own meals. The Upper West Side has plenty of great independent supermarkets, fresh produce stores and mouth-watering delis, all in easy walk of the hotel. Grab a bagel or pretzel from street vendors for a really yummy, authentic NYC experience!

The great thing for new visitors to Manhattan is that the city streets north of the business district are laid out in a grid, with consecutive avenues from 1 to 11 and cross streets all consecutively numbered, and denoted by East or West. Getting around is easy and, if you can count, it's pretty hard to get lost! New Yorkers love to walk around their city.

You could spend a whole day in nearby Central Park, - it's a vast oasis of approximately 340 hectares. Hire a bike and explore pathways, stop off at a playground or hire a remote-controlled boat on Conservatory Pond. Visit the American Museum of Natural History – especially if your kids loved the film, Night at the Museum - or ice-skate at the iconic Rockefeller Centre, check out Times Square and maybe even catch a show on Broadway. Take the Staten Island Ferry and wave to the Statue of Liberty on the way past. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and marvel at the new 1 World Trade Centre – America’s tallest building.

Something special:

Pick up a CityPass which saves you big money on most major attractions.

14. Sunshine Coast, Queensland

50 sunshine coast

From the moment you arrive and feel the sunshine on your skin, whether you’re digging your toes into the golden sand or breathing the clean hinterland air, you’ll begin to feel different.

Offering the perfect combination of safe swimming and patrolled surf beaches, a connection with nature and affordable accommodation from camping and caravan parks to five star resorts, the naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast is the perfect setting for your next family holiday.

Families will love the beach games, water activities, extreme sports, exploring the ocean, frolicking in water fountains or exploring subtropical rainforests with a rejuvenating bush walk on world class walking trails.

Plus, there's the Sunshine Coast’s amusement and theme parks, like Aussie World, UnderWater World and internationally-renowned Australia Zoo. The kids will happily play all day at Top Shots in Maroochydore and they’ll love the Ginger Factory. The Sunshine Castle at Bli Bli is one of the more unusual attractions on the Sunshine Coast, complete with its own dungeon and torture chamber!

Something special:

The Big Kart Track is a must, the largest of its kind in Australia.

15. Innsbruck, Austria

50 Innsbruck

For a family holiday offering skiing, culture and fun head for Innsbruck, the gateway to a powdery paradise for families who love snow.

The Olympia SkiWorld pass gives access to nine resorts – many of which offer world-leading ski schools, outstanding service and accommodation ranging from mountain huts to five-star luxury either at the resort or nearby, in a picturesque village. Best of all, many offer kids ski free packages.

If you want to base yourself in Innsbruck, the ski shuttle is free to all resorts. When the skiing is done a horse-drawn sleigh ride, tobogganing, bobsled or a bit of snowball tossing ensures even more family fun.

Go before Christmas and let the kids experience the unforgettable Christmas Markets. At Marktplatz a petting zoo and carousel add even more magic to this fairytale part of the world.

Something special:

Why not stay the night in an ice igloo in Kühtai?

16. Malolo Island Resort, Fiji

50 malolo

Located in the Mamanuca Island group and surrounded by golden, coral sand beaches, azure seas and fringing reef, Malolo Island Resort is the way the world should be. The resort's extensive recent renovations, combined with world-famous Fijian hospitality, get a big tick from holidaying families.

There's snorkelling, windsurfing, hobie cats and paddle skis, scuba diving, island hopping tours, village tours, fishing - and these activities barely scratch the surface of fun things to do at Malolo Island Resort. Kids massages, two swimming pools (one for families and one for adults) and a fantastic free kids club for four to 12-year-olds, plus a great new Teenage Retreat guarantee every member of the family will have a ball!

Something Special:

The resort’s Yanu Yanu program lets kids live like local Malolo Islanders during their holiday.

17. The Goldfields, Victoria

50 Sovereign Hill

Located a short drive from Melbourne, the historic township of Ballarat blends modern-day life with relics of a bygone era, scenic treasures, colourful events and tasty local produce right in the heart of Victoria’s historic Goldfields region.

The adventure playground at the Botanical Gardens is a must-visit and, if you're there on a weekend or during school holidays, don’t miss a 20-minute ride on an historic horse-drawn tram around Lake Wendouree.

Sovereign Hill is an event in itself. Allow more than just a couple of hours to take in this extensive replica mid-1800s town, complete with blacksmith, school, church, sawmill, gold mine, coach house and a street full of olden days shops! Step back in time to get a first-hand glimpse of what life was like in Ballarat during Victoria’s rough and ready gold rush era, with re-enactments and folk musicians and even the opportunity to try your hand at panning for some real gold!

Something special:

Don’t miss Blood on the Southern Cross, Sovereign Hill’s spectacular evening sound-and-light show.

18. Hong Kong Disneyland

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Surely the number one item on the agenda of any child visiting Hong Kong would be a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland?

The closest of the Disney theme parks to Australia, kids can meet their favourite Disney characters, enjoy the thrill and spills of the amazing rides, and end the day with a glittering fireworks show. The park consists of seven sensational themed areas including Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and the brand new Mystic Point.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Hollywood Hotel both offer spacious rooms, stunning views and dazzling Disney service and a shuttle bus operating between the Park and hotels.

Something special:

Stay at one of Disneyland Hong Kong’s two great feature-packed hotels to make your Disney visit even more magical.

19. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa

grootbos

A five-star eco resort, just two hours from Cape Town, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is absolutely magnificent for families. Grootbos means ‘big forest’ and here you will find ancient Milkwood Forests and many wonderful walks – there’s even a treasure hunt for kids - or saddle up and go horse riding through the Reserve.

On site, there are kids games, kids menus and a wonderful pool, overlooking beautiful Walker Bay or head out on any number of nature, marine and coastal drives, cruise on Walker Bay or visit Dyer Island where you’ll see masses of seals and maybe some sharks, dolphins, whales and penguins.

Something special:

Your family can even plant a tree, which gives you an excuse to go back and visit again and again.

20. The Great Lakes, New South Wales

tuncurry-rock-pool

The Great Lakes is an intricate group of waterways and lakes made up of the Myall, Wallis and Smiths Lakes. The region stretches from Forster in the north, through Pacific Palms to Hawks Nest in the south and inland to Stroud.

Boasting amazing natural appeal, the Myall Lakes National Park sits as the centerpiece of a network of coastal forests, mangroves, pristine beaches and, of course, the lake system. The beaches are fantastic! Hawks Nest is especially good for families, Jimmy’s Beach suits little ones and Forster has a pretty family beach with a tidal pool. Boat Beach, in the sleepy beach town of Seal Rocks (a favourite spot for holidaying Australian fur seals) is also ideal for snorkelling.

Think whale-watching, fishing, kite surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and sail boarding. While older kids might also be keen to learn to surf with one of the many surf schools in the area, kids of every age will adore the local fun parks.

Something special:

Take a walk with a National Parks and Wildlife Service discovery ranger on a Junior Ranger safari at Myall Lakes National Park.
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