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Best Attractions and Experiences for Families in 2023

If you’re looking for ideas for your next family holiday, we have you covered! Here are the top attractions and experiences as voted by families in the Out & About with Kids annual Readers’ Choice Awards

Great Barrier Reef fun on a Sunlover Cruises tour Image Tourism and Events Queensland
Great Barrier Reef fun on a Sunlover Cruises tour Image Tourism and Events Queensland

Best cruise line for families: Carnival Cruise Line

Waterslides and splash zone on the Carnival Splendor
Waterslides and splash zone on the Carnival Splendor

Known as the funnest ships afloat, a holiday on a Carnival cruise is also great value. The Carnival Splendor sails from Sydney year-round to destinations including the Great Barrier Reef and the South Pacific, while Carnival Luminosa sails from Brisbane from November to April. There are loads of things to do, with kids’ clubs, waterslides, mini golf, dive-in movies, stage shows and more.

Finalists

Best international family attraction: Disneyland Resort, California

Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland
Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland

Disneyland Resort in California features two theme parks – Disneyland Park (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure Park, as well as three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprising unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences.

Finalists

Best family attraction in Australia: Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

A family enjoying the Great Barrier Reef with Sunlover Reef Cruises
A family enjoying the Great Barrier Reef with Sunlover Reef Cruises

Stretching from Bundaberg in the south to the tip of Cape York, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system on the planet. There are a number of family-friendly destinations from which to explore it, including the Whitsundays and Cairns.

Finalists

Best animal attraction in Australia: Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Bindi and Terri Irwin at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast
Bindi and Terri Irwin at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast

Located at Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast, Australia Zoo is world-famous for continuing the late Steve Irwin’s conservation legacy. See daily shows at the Crocoseum, the African Savannah, South-East Asia exhibit and Bindi’s Island – as well as the original part of the zoo with all your Aussie favourites. You could even see the Irwins themselves.

Finalists

Best theme park in Australia: Sea World, Queensland

See jellyfish at SeaWorld on the Gold Coast
See jellyfish at SeaWorld on the Gold Coast

This Gold Coast theme park, marine mammal park and oceanarium offers fun rides, animal exhibits and other attractions. It also promotes conservation through education and the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.

Finalists

Best museum or art gallery for families in Australia: Melbourne Museum, Victoria

First Peoples Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum
First Peoples Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum explores life in Victoria, from the natural environment to its culture and history. It’s located in Carlton Gardens, opposite the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. As well as fossils, dinosaurs and bugs, there’s a children’s gallery and a touring hall displaying major exhibitions from around the world.

Finalists

Best educational attraction for families in Australia: Questacon, Canberra, ACT

Questacon science museum in Canberra
Questacon science museum in Canberra

Making science fun for generations of Australians, this interactive museum in Canberra has more than 200 exhibits. Its live Spectacular Science Shows use humour, storytelling, exciting demonstrations and audience interaction to show visitors the wonders of science and technology.

Finalists

Best family event in Australia: AFL grand final

The AFL grand final at the MCG Image Visit Victoria
The AFL grand final at the MCG Image Visit Victoria

The Australian rules football match that determines the premier for the season is the most exciting and atmospheric event for families on Australia’s sporting calendar. It’s usually held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with the 2020 and 2021 games held at The Gabba in Brisbane and Optus Stadium in Perth respectively due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finalists

Best family road trip in Australia: Great Ocean Road, Victoria

A car driving at Lorne on the Great Ocean Road
A car driving at Lorne on the Great Ocean Road

Considered one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, this 240-kilometre stretch of road meanders along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the cities of Torquay and Allansford. See the towering 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife, and take in iconic surf breaks, pristine rainforest and misty waterfalls.

Finalists

Best tour company for families: Intrepid Travel

Explore Morocco with Intrepids family tours
Explore Morocco with Intrepids family tours

Priding itself on people and planet-friendly adventures, Intrepid has a range of family tours to destinations around the world. They include kid-friendly hotels with pools and activities like travelling in a tuk-tuk through the streets of Bangkok, kicking a football with Maasai tribesmen and catching an overnight train in Egypt.

Finalists

Best Indigenous experience for families in Australia: Uluru, Northern Territory

An Indigenous experience with Maruku Arts at Uluru Image Tourism NT Helen Orr
An Indigenous experience with Maruku Arts at Uluru Image Tourism NT Helen Orr

As well as being a spectacular natural formation, Uluru is a deeply spiritual place. Kids can learn about bush tucker, rock art, and the Tjukurpa creation stories from Uluru-Kata Tjuta’s Traditional Owners. Book a tour led by an Indigenous ranger or take part in activities such as dot painting workshops.

Finalists

Best airline for families: Scoot

A Scoot Airlines plane
A Scoot Airlines plane

This low-cost airline, that is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, took to the skies in 2012 and merged with Tigerair Singapore in 2017. It travels to more than 50 destinations across 15 countries and territories throughout the Asia Pacific.

Finalists

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