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Best Family Holidays by Kari Hunter of Choice Hotels

In her more than 15 years in the travel and tourism industry, Kari Hunter has always worked in roles that focus on growing regional travel across Australia and New Zealand

kari hunter and her son mitchell at wilsons promontory in victoria - Choice Hotels' favourite family holidays
Kari Hunter and her son Mitchell At Wilsons Promontory in Victoria

Before taking on her current job as senior director of strategy, sales and marketing for Choice Hotels two years ago, Kari spent over a decade heading up the marketing team at BIG4 Holiday Parks. When not at work, she loves getting out and about exploring with her eight-year-old son, Mitchell. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they travelled quite regularly, both interstate and locally. More recently, they’ve been enjoying long weekends away in Victoria, visiting a wide range of regional destinations. Fishing and cycling trips are among their favourite getaways.

My ideal family holiday is…

We love getting out and trying new things, so an active, experience-based holiday, but one where I can completely forget about the day to day, such as cooking and cleaning. 

My fondest family holiday memory is a touring holiday we took on New Zealand’s South Island

My son was four at the time. The scenery was just breathtaking and there was a wide variety of activities for all of us to participate in.

kari hunter and her son mitchell in bendigo - Choice Hotels' favourite family holidays
Kari Hunter and her son Mitchell in Bendigo

Family travellers may not be aware that it’s easier than you think to explore Australia with kids

A road trip can be a relaxing experience if you plan out your accommodation along the way. Hotel stays can bring kids a lot of joy, providing you with a relaxing respite, after a busy day exploring, and all the facilities of home. I recently took my son on an overnight trip to Ballarat. I offered to take him out to dinner, but he declined as he was so excited about ordering room service!

Every family should experience the freedom of an unplanned road trip around Australia or New Zealand

Having a rough idea of where you’re going, but making time for those little detours, and exploring hidden gems along the way. Choice Hotels has developed a list of 100 Untold Travel Stories, across Australia and New Zealand, featuring inspiring characters, hidden natural gems, outback adventures and authentic cuisine. Check it out at

My top tip for travelling with kids is…

Be prepared, plan ahead, pack snacks and activities, and don’t sweat the small stuff.


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