Why is it that fussy babies quiet down instantly when you bring them outside, and toddlers who have been begging for attention all day play for hours by themselves in the backyard? Entertaining the kids in the great outdoors is easy. All it takes is some outdoors equipment—a sandbox, maybe a slide or a swing set—and they are good to go.
But everybody needs some change now and then. Watch their eyes light up when you tell the kids that you’re taking them on the ultimate Australian adventure. They will get to see kangaroos, koala bears, and little penguins in their natural habitats, and experience a world they will never forget.
Flinders Chase National Park
On the western end of Kangaroo Island lies Flinders Chase National Park, a wild area with sugar-gum forests, endangered species, and naturally sculpted rocks. Koalas were introduced to the area in the 1940s, and the park is now
a sanctuary for endangered animals. Stay in a campground or a cottage and explore the Remarkable Rocks, a majestic formation that sits atop a granite outcrop—or check out Admirals Arch, a natural rock outcropping that has been sculpted by the ocean. Lighthouse tours and hiking (or bushwalking) are popular activities.
Naracoorte Caves National Park
Caving is not the only activity that draws visitors to Naracoorte Caves National Park. Bird watchers will delight at the variety of feathered friends. Gardens and walking trails are easy to navigate and a great way to view the wildlife.
Families can take cave tours to learn about the fossils of ancient animals and humans. In the Wonambi Fossil Centre, many of the fossils have been reconstructed to make up life-sized skeletons. Kids will have fun camping in tents or staying at the Wirreanda Bunkhouse.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
Stay at one of five campgrounds or unwind in a cottage or eco-friendly retreat at night. Explore the hiking trails, where you can view kangaroos and echidnas (spiny little anteaters). In the nearby Talisker Conservation Park, you can discover the ruins of an ancient mine.
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Walking along a sandy beach, snorkeling, and hiking are popular activities at Wilsons Promontory. Squeaky Beach was once called “the singing sands” because of the melodic sound the white quartz sand makes when you walk on it. Kids will love staying in the wilderness retreats, where they can immerse themselves in nature and comfort in rugged tents.
Tour this island on foot or by golf cart; no cars are allowed on this pristine section of Australia. Family members can soak in the sun on sandy beaches or snorkel near the Great Barrier Reef. When the kids start itching for more activity, they can take a quad tour or race go-karts. Bushwalking will let you explore secluded coves and scenic picnic areas. At the wildlife park, kids can meet exotic animals and actually cuddle a koala.
This tropical Australian city lets kids mingle with the wildlife and the community. Kids can learn about crocs, turtles, and tigers at Crocodylus Park and Zoo. They can also investigate native wildlife at the Darwin Museum and Aquascene. The Botanic Gardens are a paradise of lush green leaves and tropical flora. There is also a treehouse and secret pathways to keep the kids busy. Families can swim in Lake Alexander or picnic on the shores. With Darwin’s beautiful weather, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll be spending each day outside.
Australia is full of outdoor activities to keep the kids entertained. Animals, plants, desert and ocean mesh into an outdoor playground for all ages. Take kids’ love of nature to the next level and check out the wildlife, the beaches, and the unique Australian landscape.
Sarah Jefferies is the mother of four contributes content for playground equipment companies providing imaginative structures for kids, so they can spend more time outdoors in active play.