Australia and Oceania – Where to Stay and What to Do
Note: This page is part of my Top Spots recommendations. It’s organized alphabetically by country and then by city, but it’s purposely not indexed since I want to inspire browsing, and help you to discover places you may not have thought of as kid-friendly. If you attempt to book one of these activities, restaurants or hotels and it’s not in business anymore, or you don’t find it to be kid-friendly, please let me know!
- Activity: We loved Australia Zoo near Brisbane – especially the private animal encounters that we booked in advance. Go on a weekday when Aussie schools are in session! My blog post on everything we did in and around Brisbane is here.
- Activity: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was excellent as well, and the boat ride from Brisbane is a nice, relaxing way to get there. Go to Lone Pine before Australia Zoo – otherwise it will seem small by comparison.
- Activity: X-Wing Australia mini-segway (“robo glider”) tours. There may be other places in the world where 6-year-olds can ride Segways, but we haven’t found one. My daughter LOVED this. I did too!
- Destination: I’ve brought my kids to Sydney three times now. It’s a very easy city to get around, the people are friendly, there are pedestrian areas and parks everywhere, and there is a LOT to do with kids. Plus it’s Australia! Didgeridoos, boomerangs, koalas, kangaroos, wombats – they peek out from every gift store, but there are also a lot of places to see Australian animals up-close (see below) and it’s hard to walk around Circular Quay without hearing didgeridoo sounds.
- Hotel: The Shangri-La. I’ve stayed at many hotels in Sydney, both with and without kids, and the Shangri-La is by far my favorite. Great location, breakfast and staff.
- Activity: The Featherdale Wildlife Park. This is located outside of Sydney, but my daughter absolutely loved visiting when she was four. If you want to touch and feed native Australian animals, this is the place to go.
- Activity: The Taronga Zoo. If you can’t make it out to Featherdale, the Sydney Zoo is the next best thing. It’s a great way to spend the better part of the day, with views of Sydney and the Opera House, and the ferry ride over from Circular Quay is enjoyable.
- Hotel: The Four Seasons Bora Bora was incredibly kid-friendly. Our kids are always asking to return. My blog post is here.