Could ever a child of any age resist watching penguins? These impossibly cute and amusing creatures are at home on Phillip Island, in Victoria's south. Here, you and your children can view them at leisure, without disturbing them, thanks to special 'grandstands' on the beach hidden from the colony of fairy penguins' view as they waddle back form their day's fishing and swimming at dusk â every evening.
Islands are good for kids â they can't escape! On Hamilton Island they won't want to. This vacation paradise on the Queensland coast right by the Great Barrier Reef not only has diving and surfing for the grown-ups but a whole range of activities tailored for the younger generation. These include art classes, sport (including go-karts and golf specially for kids), dinghy rentals and the Clownfish Club, a care centre for all ages from babies to 14-year-olds.
A highlight of any trip to Tasmania is Port Arthur, where children can learn a lot about Australia's past in a kind of open-air museum atmosphere. They can walk round the imposing ruin of the Penitentiary, the iconic image of Port Arthur, as well as the 'model prison' established there in the 1800s. The village has grounds and gardens that are a delight and an essential element of any visit while the Coal Mines is also well worth a visit. This was Tasmania's first working mine, a place of punishment for the unluckiest convicts, and makes a fascinating extension to a trip to the region.
If your kids crave adventure, head for the Kakadu, Australia's largest national park. It's got everything and despite its wilderness appeal it's well within reach of Darwin. Experience Aboriginal culture, history â including ancient rock art â and marvel at the flora and fauna, much of it unique to this extraordinary resource.
Less than three hours south-west of Melbourne is the Otways Ranges, a centre just inland from the Great Ocean Road that is ideal for family fun. Kids will specially love the Treetop Walk, a two-kilometre walk that acts as a fantastic introduction to the rainforest environment. The highlight is a 600 metre section suspended some 25m above the forest floor, giving children â and their parents! - a unique view and insight into the life of the forest and the animals in it. Back on the ground, the Visitor Centre has a great array of interactive interpretation panels that are educational as well as fun.