After growing up in the small town of Agnes Water in Queensland’s Gladstone region, where she began her career in tourism, Tash Wheeler moved to ‘the big smoke’. She worked in various roles with Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing, and met her future husband. They moved to the Whitsundays for a 12-month contract, and that was seven years ago! In that time, Tash rose up the ranks to become CEO of Tourism Whitsundays. The pair loves exploring the region with children Charlie, 9, Alessandra, 5 and one-year-old Alfie, who went on a trip to meet the Queensland Minister for Tourism when he was just six weeks old.
Hi Natassia Wheeler, what is your idea family holiday?
My ideal family holiday somewhere with no phone reception, lots of quality time with the kids and nights with my husband enjoying good food!
What is your fondest family memory?
My fondest family holiday memory is… oh, this is hard! With three kids and always having a young one, while we travel away to visit family, we tend to have lots of ‘staycations’; and when our home is the Whitsundays, it makes it pretty easy to have an incredible holiday! In the last few years, we have had some beauties. They include camping trips in the beautiful seaside town of Bowen; at Cape Hillsborough where there is no mobile phone reception, and fun times enjoying the water park at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort at Airlie Beach. Island resorts are a great getaway too – the kids love fun on the buggies on Hamilton Island, and we loved sunset drinks at One Tree Hill – not to mention kids ate free! We have also spent many a day on tour to the islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Something I love more than anything is sitting on Whitehaven Beach with the kids, building sandcastles and swimming.
Natassia, what is your best advice for families travelling to Queensland?
Family travellers may not be aware that the Whitsundays is an incredible destination for families, from the spectacular islands to the diverse mainland, and the region really does offer something for all budgets. It includes Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Daydream Island, the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach, Bowen and all that is in between! Every family should experience the Whitsundays in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef! Once in a lifetime, seriously, try to show your children the Great Barrier Reef from the air, it’s breathtaking!
What is your top tip for travelling with kids?
My top tip is relax and enjoy the little moments, as the time passes fast; the moments are what our children remember. They don’t remember that we got to dinner late or didn’t wash their hair that day. And when it gets hard, laugh, as you will all laugh together!