Search
Close this search box.

Share

Best Australian & International Destinations for Families in 2024

From Australian cities and ski resorts to the top places to travel overseas with kids, we reveal the best destinations for families as chosen by you in the 2023 Out & About with Kids Readers’ Choice Awards

Kids playing at Thredbo
Kids playing at Thredbo

Best coastal destination in Australia for families: Gold Coast, QLD 

Kids bodyboarding on Surfers Paradise Beach © Tourism and Events Queensland
Kids bodyboarding on Surfers Paradise Beach © Tourism and Events Queensland

Queensland’s Gold Coast may be paradise for parents, but for active kids, it’s one big adventure playground. Our readers love this destination for its balmy year-round climate, 70 kilometres of beautiful beaches and fun-filled family resorts. As Australia’s theme park capital, the Gold Coast offers plenty of thrills, but there are also hidden gems to discover. Hunt down beautiful waterfalls and glow worm caves at Tamborine Mountain and brave O’Reilly’s Treetop Walk in Lamington National Park.

Finalists

Best regional destination in Australia for families: Dubbo, NSW

A family feeding a giraffe at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo © Destination NSW
A family feeding a giraffe at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo © Destination NSW

Dubbo is packed with attractions and experiences for families. Get a taste of country living with a farm stay or camping trip, meet Australia’s biggest birds at Emu Logic, and learn from the land’s traditional owners with a Wiradjuri cultural tour. A Great Big Adventure Pass is your ticket to four top attractions: Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Wellington Caves, heritage-listed Old Dubbo Gaol, and the Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience. The Sydney-to-Dubbo drive makes for a stellar family road trip with stops at the Blue Mountains, Bathurst and Orange.

Finalists

Best international holiday destination for families: Hawai’i

Enjoying a sunset sipper at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort © Meg Law Travel Tales
Enjoying a sunset sipper at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort © Meg Law Travel Tales

Beautiful beaches, vibrant cultural experiences and plenty of family-friendly resorts have earned the Hawaiian Islands a place in our readers’ hearts. Every day brings something new to discover: snorkel amongst brightly-hued tropical fish, experience an authentic Hawaiian lūʻau, and witness the power of nature at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. From your first ‘aloha’, a trip to Hawai’i is a pure delight for curious kids.  

Finalists

Best international holiday destination for families with babies and toddlers: Fiji 

Children playing at Turtle Island Resort
Children playing at Turtle Island Resort

Fijians are wild about kids, so it’s not surprising this island paradise has been rated the best for under-threes. For many parents who fell in love with Fiji as children, it’s the natural choice for their little ones’ first overseas trip.  

Fiji’s resorts get all those crucial details right to make travelling with a baby as hassle-free as possible. Many offer daytime or overnight nanny services while kids’ clubs entertain older siblings, offering parents a truly refreshing holiday break.  

Finalists

Best holiday destination for adventurous families: New Zealand

A family hits the rapids Image Rafting New Zealand
A family hits the rapids. Image: Rafting New Zealand

If your brood can’t get enough of the outdoors, you’ll find the perfect holiday destination just a quick hop over the ditch. New Zealand’s rugged landscape creates the ideal playground for adventure-loving families. Hit up Kiwi slopes for skiing or snowboarding fun, experience epic ziplining thrills and go white-water rafting on some seriously gnarly rapids. Whatever floats your boat, New Zealand delivers big on family fun. Best of all, it’s just a three-hour flight from Australia’s east coast capital cities. 

Finalists

Best family destination in Asia: Bali

Oasis Gardens at Watermbom Bali
Oasis Gardens at Watermbom Bali

Aussie families just can’t get enough of Bali. Only a short flight from Australia, the sunny Indonesian island is both affordable and convenient. Stay a few days or take an extended beachside holiday – however you choose to do Bali, you’ll be charmed by the friendly locals and delicious cuisine. Family accommodation in Bali ranges from private villas to luxury resorts, many with splash parks, spas and fantastic kids’ clubs. Don’t miss Bali’s many wildlife and bird parks, many of which offer close-up and hands-on experiences (at bargain prices). Water parks, local markets, and plenty of beach play round out the perfect Bali getaway.  

Finalists

Best family destination in North America: Anaheim, California, United States

A family walking through the Packing House district in Anaheim
A family walking through the Packing House district in Anaheim

Home to Disneyland Resort, Anaheim in California has been the dream destination of kids around the globe for more than 70 years. The original Disneyland Park opened in 1955, with Disney California Adventure doubling the fun when it opened its gates in 2001. Anaheim is also home to world-class shopping and dining, museums, and major-league sports stadiums, all just half an hour from Los Angeles. For more theme park action, jump aboard the Ghost Rider at nearby Knott’s Berry Farm, the longest and fastest Californian coaster

Finalists

Best family destination in Europe: Italy 

Happy mother and daughter at the Colosseum in Rome
Happy mother and daughter at the Colosseum in Rome

History, cuisine and culture collide in this beloved European destination. Italy’s architectural wonders are a must for curious kids, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon, where they can learn about the mighty Roman Empire. Of course, a family trip to Italy also means sampling some of the world’s best food and wine. Kids may not know their Pecorino from their Parmigiano, but they’ll have no hesitation tucking into pizza, pasta and gelato! A handful of Tuscan wineries are family-friendly too (so you don’t have to miss out on that Chianti). 

Finalists

Best destination for immersing in culture: Japan

Bamboo Forest Grove Kyoto
Bamboo Forest Grove Kyoto

Modern meets ancient in the cultural destination of Japan. No matter what time of year you’re travelling, there’s a festival to experience, each with a unique seasonal theme and cuisine. For fully immersive family travel, stay in a ryokan to eat, sleep and bathe in traditional Japanese style. The delights of modern-day Japanese culture are just as exciting. At the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo’s west, family favourites like Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro are brought to life. Tweens and teens can snag anime and game collectibles in Akihabara shopping district.  

Finalists

Best Australian ski resort: Thredbo, NSW

Kids with their instructor at Friday Flat in Thredbo
Kids with their instructor at Friday Flat in Thredbo

Thredbo ski resort ticks all the boxes for an Aussie snow getaway: kids’ ski and snowboard lessons at Thredboland, runs from beginner to expert, a terrain park, and many more features to delight junior guests. Thredbo Village lets you stay close to the slopes with a range of family-friendly hotels (and fantastic places to eat). For an extra special trip, visit during the July and September school holidays for the Kids’ Snow Festival. There’s plenty to experience on and off the mountain, including movie and pizza nights, fireworks and a magical kids’ flare run.  

Finalists

Best international ski resort: Coronet Peak, New Zealand

Kea Kids Club Lesson at Coronet Peak © NZ Ski Camilla Rutherford
Kea Kids Club Lesson at Coronet Peak © NZ Ski Camilla Rutherford

Snow-loving families will have a blast at Coronet Peak, nestled in the mountains above Queenstown. The South Island ski area is open from June to September. Avid skiers and snowboarders will love the resort’s varied terrain and night skiing sessions. Still need to find your snow legs? Coronet Peak offers lessons from age five and up, plus there’s a fully-licensed Skwiland Early Learning & Childcare Centre for tiny tots. Add tobogganing, après-ski dining and scenic gondola rides to the mix, all just 16 kilometres from the centre of Queenstown. Breathtaking views over the Wakatipu basin are a bonus. 

Finalists

Share

AT MREC Example 300pxW x 250pxH OAWK
24 3567 MKT Out and About with Kids Banners2
Winter Whales 300x250px
MREC

See Also