Australia with kids By MiniTime
Australia, the world’s sixth largest country, is not just a single massive landmass. It also boasts beautiful little islands, which serve as one-stop mini vacation destinations that will leave you mesmerized.
Australia’s smallest islands pack a big punch! Frolick in the Great Barrier Reef’s white sand beaches and then watch kangaroos hop around deep-blue ocean waters. Shop for locally made products then enjoy the views on record breaking sea cliffs. Or see where the reef meets the rainforest. For one of a kind vacation combinations, take the kids for a quick trip in one of the best islands in Australia.
Making the top of our list of the best islands in Australia is Hamilton Island. The island known for its white sandy beaches and picturesque turquoise blue waters. It’s perfectly situated as a luxurious Great Barrier Reef launch point and the beginning of an unforgetable getaway. Getting to the the island is an easy with a quick ferry ride from the mainland. Stay at one of the top three hotels there: The Beach Club, The Reef View, and Qualia. But try to avoid booking during Australian “scoolies” week.
Daydream Island is a kid’s paradise and one of the best island in Australia. Also located in the Whitsundays, it literally brings the reef to you with its famous living reef lagoon. This living reef makes for a uniquely intimate way to experience life on the reef. It is home to more than 140 species of marine fish and 82 species of coral. For vacationing families wanting to get in the water, there’s access paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. As it is a popular vacation spot for Australians, avoid going during their school break periods including the first three weeks in April.
Located off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is home to some of Australia’s most famous land and sea life. Kangaroos, koalas, Penguins, sea lions and birds galore all call this island home. It’s truly one of the best islands in Australia to visit with kids. Take a hike to the top of the jagged sea cliffs or meander along the sandy beaches. As one third of the island being a protected nature reserve, there’s not a bad view to be had. Easily accessible from the mainland via the Adelaide airport, this little island is an ocean and animal lover’s paradise. The best time to visit for warmer temps: December through February.
Where the rainforest meets the reef is Fitzroy Island, one of the best islands in Australia. A quick ferry or fast cat boat ride from Cairns, Fitzroy Island is an all in one reef-slash-rainforest retreat. It puts you within the waters of the Great Barrier Reef while being surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. You can enjoy the island by hitting the water with some rented snorkeling gear or a glass bottom kayak. Or take in the tropical rainforest and amazing views on one of the islands many hiking trails. Round out your time by scheduling a guided dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Stay on the island for just the day, or choose to stay at one of the resorts. They typically offer three-night or longer package deals for an even more inspired nature experience.
It’s a small but mighty island located off the southeastern coast of Tasmania where locally produced everything rule the scene. Bruny Island is known for its locally-produced cheeses, wines, berries, seafood and whiskies. And everything is set among an intensely beautiful and ever-changing landscape of bushwalks and sea cliffs. North and South Bruny Island are connected by a narrow isthmus called “the neck.” A quick walk here leads you to one of the most striking 360-degree views in all of Australia. While there take a wildlife cruise on the yellow boats, with the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest sea cliffs against the bright blue sky. If you’re looking to spend an artisanal day or two on the one of the best islands in Australia, this one’s an excellent pick.
Julie McNamara contributed this to MiniTime.