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Here in Australia, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to road trip destinations – and families are particularly lucky. There are so many things to see and do with the kids these school holidays, all just a car ride away – and there’s no time like the present to explore our own backyard, what with international travel off the agenda.

We’ll be the first to admit that road tripping with the kids in tow can prove quite a challenge. All that time on the road needs to be balanced out with stops for them to stretch their legs and keep their minds stimulated – anything to keep the ‘Are we there yet’s at bay.

To help, we’ve pulled together some of the best ‘kid-approved’ stops and attractions that are now open and waiting to welcome travellers. They won’t just provide great memories, either – each stop-off promises to teach your children a little something, too.

QUEENSLAND

For the readers…
Stop by Maryborough’s bronze Mary Poppins Statue on the Fraser Coast located on the corner of Kent and Richmond Street. The statue pays homage to the famous nanny as author PL Travers was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Maryborough in 1899. If travelling in September there are city-wide celebrations of Maryborough’s significance in the classic tale during the Mary Poppins Festival in the Park

For the paleontologists…
Follow in the footsteps of the prehistoric creatures that once roamed our ancient land on Australia’s Dinosaur Trail, it encompasses the towns of Winton, Hughenden and Richmond – all which have their own unique dinosaur stories to tell. Some key stops include meeting Hughie (a skeletal Muttaburrasaurus at The Flinders Discovery Centre), seeing the dinosaur footprints that inspired the dinosaur stampede in the Jurassic Park films at Dinosaur Trackways (reopening on July 13), and Kronosaurus Korner (home to Australia’s best-preserved skeleton). 

For young explorers…
Head west and stop-by Undara Volcanic National Park (reopening from June 12), where families can explore one of the world’s longest lava tube cave systems that formed after a volcanic eruption nearly 200,000 years ago. While stopping families can brush-up on their bird watching skills, explore the savanna woodland on a beginner-friendly bushwalk, or enjoy a picnic!

For history buffs….
Experience the Daintree with Walkabout Cultural Adventures, with full-day or half-day adventures available in the Port Douglas Daintree region. Aboriginal guides explore Kuku Yalanji country, the only place where two World Heritage Sites meet, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef and share the cultural connection the people have with their land.

Don’t forget to check the latest Queensland Government travel advice before you head off.

NEW SOUTH WALES

For budding zoologists…
You don’t have to go all the way to the desert to ride a camel – there are plenty to be found in rural New South Wales! Stop in Broken Hill for an unforgettable camel ride through Australia’s beautiful outback with Broken Hill Camels, where kids will make a long-lasting bond with the various camels and horses.

For those nuts about nuts…
A real castle, dedicated entirely to macadamia nuts?! You better believe it! Younger kids will get their kicks at Macadamia Castle in Ballina where they can not only savour the delicious nut, but also cuddle nursery animals, play mini golf and hop onto a miniature train ride.

For the future astronauts…
Stargazers and space buffs alike will delight in a visit to the Moree Rocket Park. Enjoy stretching your legs as you play in the 14.9m tall colourful rocket model, which was originally built in Kirby Park in 1972 but was “relaunched” in 2009 by astronomer in charge Dr. Fred Watson. 

Don’t forget to check the latest NSW Government travel and transport advice before you head off.

haven

haven  

haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.