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Australia’s Best Hotels, Resorts and Campsites for 2023

Whether you want to camp out under the stars, enjoy the comforts of home in a serviced apartment or all the fun of a resort with a water park and kids’ club, these are the best places to stay across the country as voted by families in the annual Out & About with Kids Readers’ Choice Awards

Camping on Kgari Fraser Island Image Fraser Coast Tourism and Events
Camping on Kgari Fraser Island Image Fraser Coast Tourism and Events

Best family hotel or resort in Australia: Paradise Resort Gold Coast, Queensland

An aerial view of Paradise Resort Gold Coast
An aerial view of Paradise Resort Gold Coast

Set on a two-hectare site close to beaches and attractions with a large lagoon-style pool, two water parks, a kids’ club and an ice-skating rink, Paradise Resort Gold Coast is heaven for kids – and parents! Children love playing on Dusty’s Indoor Jungle Gym in the lobby and at Dusty’s Outdoor Adventure Playground. They can also enjoy free character appearances, play on the giant chess board and take turns dunking each other in the Dunk Tank.

Finalists

Sea World Resort, Queensland

A room at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast
A room at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast

Australia’s only theme park resort, Sea World Resort has direct access to Sea World, with its own large lagoon-style pool and water park. At night, kids dance and sing along to their favourite SpongeBob Squarepants songs under the musical water fountain in an event known as the SpongeBob SplashBash. It has several restaurants to choose from, including a Japanese restaurant, Italian restaurant and the Boatshed Bar & Grill.

Fitzroy Island Resort, Queensland

An aerial view of Fitzroy Island Resort
An aerial view of Fitzroy Island Resort

Just a 45-minute boat ride from Cairns, this affordable resort is also home to a Turtle Rehabilitation Centre that guests can visit. The Resort’s main restaurant, Zephyr, is open for breakfast and dinner, while the beachfront Foxy’s Bar & Grill is a more casual option. Other activities include guided bushwalks, arts and crafts, glass bottom boat tours, Great Barrier Reef cruises, snorkelling, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, NSW

An aerial view of the Fairmont Resort and Spa Blue Mountains
An aerial view of the Fairmont Resort and Spa Blue Mountains

This resort has nailed the luxury and family-friendly combination, with everything from a skating rink to miniature train rides on weekends and during school holidays, mini electric cars, pony rides and a merry-go-round. There’s also indoor and outdoor pools, a cinema, two tennis courts, a basketball court, outdoor gym, and an adventure park for kids aged over 10-years-old and 1.4m tall.

Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort, Queensland

The water park at Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort
The water park at Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort

Set in lush tropical grounds, this Caloundra resort has a water park, a lagoon-style pool, a putt-putt golf course, sandpit, climbing frame and giant Kangaroo Jumper. Its accommodation ranges from one-bedroom apartments through to three-bedroom villas, making it ideal for any size family or extended family travelling together. It offers Oaks Discovery Members kids eat free deals at onsite restaurant, Oak & Vine Sunshine Coast.

East Hotel Canberra, ACT

Kids love the rooms at East Hotel Canberra
Kids love the rooms at East Hotel Canberra

This chic hotel, located between the vibrant hubs of Kingston and Manuka, is a five-minute drive to all of the top tourist sites in Canberra, including kids’ favourite Questacon. Its stylish one- and two- bedroom apartments are perfect for families, with Kids Cubbies fitted out with bunk beds, beanbags, toys, games and even a kid-friendly mini-bar. Bikes for both children and adults are available for hire, offering the ideal way to explore the shores of nearby Lake Burley Griffin.

JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, Queensland

Children having fun in the pool at the JW Marriot Gold Coast
Children having fun in the pool at the JW Marriot Gold Coast

Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise with a private marina on the Nerang River, the 28-storey JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa has a saltwater lagoon, sandy beaches and an artificial reef with tropical fish that you can see being fed daily. Its Family by JW program includes cooking classes such as pizza making, Mini Misono sushi craftsmanship, and mini mixology lessons. There are five on-site dining options, a Ruby Spa and a gym.

Kingfisher Bay Resort, Queensland

An aerial view of Kingfisher Bay Resort on Kgari Fraser Island
An aerial view of Kingfisher Bay Resort on Kgari Fraser Island

On the western side of K’gari (Fraser Island), this purpose-built eco-tourism resort has an impressive Junior Eco Ranger program for kids during school holidays, in addition to its regular weekend activities. Children can enjoy beach games, scavenger hunts, craft activities, and bushwalks. There are also movie nights, night walk adventures, stargazing, and campfire gatherings with storytelling, songs and marshmallows.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW

Kids riding the miniature train at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
Kids riding the miniature train at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

With everything from miniature train rides to an epic water park, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Resort is about as family-friendly as they come. Surrounded by vineyards and gum trees, it’s also just a short drive away from the region’s famous wineries. One of the resort’s biggest attractions, however, is the large, mostly shallow pool, which is ideal for kids. It’s also home to the largest private solar farm in the Southern Hemisphere, producing enough power to run five hotels!

Best apartment or serviced apartment brand in Australia: Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites

A family dining at Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel
A family dining at Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel

Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites provides a home away from home for families. Every Oaks property prides itself on connecting visitors to the spirit of its location. Exemplified by quality and affordability, Oaks welcomes guests to an ever-expanding group of more than 60 properties in Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, India, Qatar and Lebanon.

Finalists

Quest Apartment Hotels

quest breakfast creek pool
Quest Breakfast Creek pool

Quest offers family-friendly accommodation in more than 160 convenient locations – from Brisbane to Bendigo. Its open-plan apartments have all the space, services and furnishings you need to kick back and relax while you’re away from home. Its spacious two- and three-bedroom apartments are perfect for larger families.

Frasers Hospitality

A penthouse apartment at Fraser Suites Sydney
A penthouse apartment at Fraser Suites Sydney

This leading global hospitality group aims to deliver memorable experiences by anticipating and exceeding its customers’ expectations through continuous innovation and intuitive service. Its properties include Fraser Suites Sydney, Fraser Place Melbourne, Capri by Fraser, Brisbane and Fraser Suites Perth.

Mantra Hotels, Resorts & Apartments

A one bedroom apartment at Mantra Crown Towers Surfers Paradise
A one bedroom apartment at Mantra Crown Towers Surfers Paradise

Mantra’s extensive collection of hotels, resorts and apartments across Australia and New Zealand offer all the comforts of home in excellent locations. Its accommodation includes spacious studios and apartments with onsite amenities such as pools, gyms and parking.

Meriton Suites

A two bedroom Ocean suite at Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise
A two bedroom Ocean suite at Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise

Founded in 2003 as Meriton Serviced Apartments, Meriton Suites has undergone tremendous growth in its luxury apartment-style hotel accommodation collection. Its fully-equipped suites — now in 20 locations — are up to three times larger than a traditional hotel room. They include a gourmet kitchen, open-plan living spaces, internal laundry facilities and designer skin and haircare amenities.

Best Camping Spot in Australia: K’gari (Fraser Island), Queensland

Lake McKenzie on Kgari Fraser Island
Lake McKenzie on Kgari Fraser Island

Camping on K’gari (Fraser Island) is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in its natural beauty. By day, there are crystal-clear lakes, pristine beaches and rainforest trails to explore on this UNESCO World Heritage-listed island. By night, savour the peace and quiet under the stars. Camping areas with dingo-deterrent fences are recommended for families with children 14 years and under at Central Station camping area, Dundubara camping area, Lake Boomanjin camping area and Waddy Point top camping area. Fenced camping areas are also available at One Tree Rocks, Cornwells, Wongai and Eli Creek.

Murray River, Victoria

Camping at Barmah National Park on the Murray River
Camping at Barmah National Park on the Murray River

The Murray region’s spectacular natural diversity and mild, warm and dry climate combine to make some of the most stunning camping locations in Australia. Pitch a tent in a national park, park the campervan in a holiday park or join an overnight guided camping tour with a local Indigenous guide. Make the most of the sunshine by getting out on the water, hitting the hiking trails and exploring the rich history of the region.

Wilsons Promontory, Victoria

A wombat at Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory
A wombat at Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory

On the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, Wilsons Promontory has remote coastal bushland trails and pristine beaches dominated by granite tors. Camp in comfort at Tidal River or hike to a more secluded campsite. Either way, the local wombats, kangaroos and emus are waiting to meet you. Swim at Norman Beach, just a few minutes’ walk from Tidal River Campground, or go snorkelling in Victoria’s largest marine national park.

Green Patch, Jervis Bay, NSW

Green Patch Beach in Booderee National Park Jervis Bay
Green Patch Beach in Booderee National Park Jervis Bay

Located in beautiful Booderee National Park on the NSW South Coast, Green Patch offers an ideal base for a wide range of activities in a pristine natural setting, including swimming, fishing, snorkelling, bushwalking, cycling and boating. The Park is owned by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and has an active cultural program, including bush tucker walks, campfire yarns and Koori games for kids.

The Grampians, Victoria

A family camping in the Grampians in Victoria
A family camping in the Grampians in Victoria

Pitching a tent or parking your campervan in the Grampians is the best way to truly appreciate the region’s natural attractions, including sandstone mountains, wildflowers and wildlife including echidnas and wallabies. The starting points for many great walks are a short stroll from your campsite. You can choose to stay in a national park or holiday park with modern facilities.

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