travel

Top 10 Australian holidays for families on a budget

By Rebecca O'Malley December 4, 2017
family holiday australia budget

Our tips for taking a family holiday, without breaking the bank, courtesy of Top Parks.

With or without the kids, it’s amazing to get away. But when you’re budgeting for the family, it’s not long before costs start to add up. 

But don’t let the extra heads stop you from exploring all that Australia has to offer. Save on accommodation and spend money where it matters. Rather than splashing out on fancy hotels, why not camp? It’s a great way to experience nature at its finest while saving on the dollars. After all, Australia boasts some of the most beautiful locations in the world. 

Coober Pedy, South Australia

For a family holiday unlike no other, check out Coober Pedy. Although it’s in a particularly remote part of the South Australian outback (around a nine-hour drive from Adelaide and Uluru), the sprawling metropolis of underground caverns and caves make it well worth the journey. Kids will love exploring the underground dugouts and ‘noodling’ the desert land for precious opals. Another highlight is Crocodile Harry’s Underground Nest, an eccentric cave filled with knick-knacks and trinkets. He’s said to be the inspiration for the original crocodile hunter and the kids might even recognise his house as a location in Mad Max 3! Keep accommodation costs down and stay at Opal Inn Caravan Park, where rooms cost as little as $90 a night.

Phillip Island, Victoria

Phillip Island is a must visit for families in Victoria -  plus, it’s only a two-hour drive from Melbourne. Kids will love the daily penguin parade, which kicks off around sunset when the adorable little creatures waddle up the beach to settle down for the night. Phillip Island also boasts heaps of wildlife sanctuaries and farms – a must for any animal lover. It’s also well suited to happy campers. Anchor Belle Holiday Park and Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park both offer cabins from $110 per night, and are both in spitting distance from the island’s northern shore. 

phillip island penguinsPenguin parade at Phillip Island, Victoria. Image credit: Getty

Gold Coast, Queensland

Kids and theme parks go hand in hand. The Gold Coast boasts five in total – Sea World, Dreamworld, WhiteWater World, Wet ‘n’ Wild WaterWorld and MovieWorld (Warner Bros. Movie World). Costs can quickly add up, especially when the kids are around – after entry, there’s food and drink at the park, souvenirs, parking… the list goes on. With Nobby Beach Holiday Village, you can sleep easy knowing that you’ve secured quality, budget friendly accommodation for you and the family. It’s walking distance from the beach and an easy drive to the Gold Coast’s famous theme parks. Plus, you can nab a cabin for as little as $89 per night. Bargain. 

Grampians, Victoria

Only two and a half hours drive from Melbourne, a family holiday to the Grampians is within easy reach. You’ll find heaps to do – hot air balloon rides, bushwalks, rock climbing, canoeing, sailing and tons of bike trails through the woodland. If you really want to make the most of the great outdoors, consider camping – after all, it’s a great way to keep costs down. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park and Lake Fyans Holiday Park invite you to pitch a tent for as little as $34 and $24. grampiansGrampians National Park. Image credit: Getty

Coral Coast, Western Australia

Feed the dolphins at Monkey Mia. Watch whales from Coral Bay.  Swim with whale sharks, humpback whales and manta rays on Ningaloo Reef. WA’s Coral Coast is an ideal spot to introduce the kids to sea life in its natural habitat. If you’d rather stay dry, there are heaps of eco-cruises that will take you and your family out to the reef. This is the natural world at its finest.  

Fitzroy Island, Queensland

Just a stone’s throw from Cairns, Fitzroy Island is the perfect spot for families hoping to explore the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelling equipment is available to hire on the island and there are heaps of activities to keep the little ones amused: how about a turtle tour, a bottomless boat tour or a guided eco walks through the native plant land? Keep costs to a minimum and stay at Cairns Holiday Park – a charming holiday spot where two World Heritage listed areas meet (the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest). A family cabin will set you back a meagre $82 per night.

snorkellingFitzroy Island, Queensland. Image credit: Getty.

Jenolan Caves, New South Wales

At over 340 years old, Jenolan Caves are a feast for the eyes – and only a three-hour drive from Sydney. The 400 caves are an expanse of natural limestone beauty and 10 are open to the public. If you’ve got kids, the Imperial Tour is recommended: there aren’t too many steps and finishes up around the hour mark. The tour guides love a laugh and work well with the younger ones. For an extra level of excitement, there are night tours, ghost tours, adventure caving and bush walks. Family entrance to the Lucas, Chifley or Imperial Caves will set you back $85 – hardly a bank breaking price for an unforgettable trip. 

Denmark, Western Australia

Denmark is home to a whole host of family friendly activities in WA. Adrenaline seekers can make their way along the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk or enter the prehistoric age at Denmark Dinosaur World. Parents can introduce the little ones to WA’s underwater life, too. With its sheltered waters, Peaceful Bay is great for swimming, boating, fishing and collecting prawns, while the nearby Conspicuous Cliff is a gorgeous spot for whale watching. Ideal. Peaceful Bay Caravan Park offers family accommodation for as little as $72 per night during peak season (a powered tent for two adults and two children).

Top Parks, Australia-wide

Camping and caravan sites have really upped their game in the last few years. Top Parks has around 200 holiday parks across Australia, each reflecting their environment and offering a wide range of accommodation options. There are all sorts of activities for you and the kids to get stuck into, both indoors and outdoors, and a wide range of options to suit your specific requirements. Whatever you want from your holiday, Top Parks offers top quality accomodation for less. Plus, many are pet friendly – fun for all the family!

camping holidayImage credit: Getty.

Sapphire Coast, New South Wales

The Sapphire Coast is a haven for sparkling beaches, national parks and aquamarine watering holes. Merimbula and Pambula offer many options for a wallet friendly family getaway. The inlet beaches offer a heap of opportunities for surfing, boogie boarding, fishing and swimming. If the young ones tire of the water sports, never fear – Magic Mountain fun park is within easy reach. There’s nothing like tobogganing through natural bush lands to make a holiday memorable. When it comes to accommodation, Sapphire Valley Caravan Park sits among 16 acres of bush land and offers cabins from as little as $75 per night. It’s pet friendly, too – so all the family can join in on the fun.