SUMMER HOLIDAYS AT the beach are of course very kid-friendly but sometimes it's good to have a change of pace and do something different. Visiting an amusement park or playing in the games room at the caravan park may do the trick, but there are bigger attractions along your route that will keep the kids entranced for hours.
Here are five kid-wowing ideas that are guaranteed to prevent that most painful of all complaints, “We’re bored!”
Water spouts at Kiama, NSW
The big attraction at the seaside town of Kiama is the amazing blowhole. Waves roll into the confined space at the bottom and then eject a column of water into the air with an impressive whooomph! There are observation platforms with safety fences around the edge. It’s a great place to visit on a day when there are plenty of waves. The kids will spend a long time there, waiting for the next big one.
Dolphin spotting at Bunbury, WA
At Bunbury you can get up-close and personal with wild dolphins. They come right into the shallows and swim around among the people. No-one feeds these dolphins, so they don’t come on demand. Some days there are just a few and other days there are more of them. The Dolphin Discovery Centre has informative displays about dolphins. And you can also take a cruise on a dolphin-spotting boat.
Strawberry picking at Dromana, Vic
There’s plenty to do on the Mornington Peninsula, including swimming, cycling and catching a drive-in movie. But for a change of pace, take the kids to Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm south of Dromana to pick their own strawberries. Maybe you can even convince them to make a strawberry smoothie or fruit salad afterwards.
Big Thunder at Tambourine Mountain, Qld
Thunderbird Park in the Gold Coast hinterland is a sure hit with kids. There is a mock pterodactyl at the entrance, and you can fossick for 200-million-year-old “thunder eggs”. These volcanic rocks don’t look very interesting until they are cut and polished. Then you can see the colourful bands of crystalline rock inside. Kids love fossicking and will treasure their unique thunder egg.
Paddling at Mannum, SA
The Mannum Dock Museum has a lot to impress kids. There is an historic dry dock for river boats, vintage engines, models of boats, and displays about floods on the Murray River. In addition, you can walk around on an operating paddle steamer and admire its huge wood-fired steam engine. Afterwards you can also take your car across the river on the vehicle ferry.
One point in closing: You don’t need kids to enjoy these destinations. They will delight adults too.