Fun Weekend Getaways - Family Weekend Getaways


"For the young at heart - Fun Weekend Getaways!"

Whilst this page will predominantly appeal to those of you with kids looking for family weekend getaways, it is also for the big kids out there, who are yet to grow up and still have a sense of fun and adventure.

There's plenty of ideas here for you to get excited about. Scroll down to find out more information on river cruising with a difference, animal encounters, theme parks, farmstays and querky accommodation.



Fancy A Floating Boat House?


Fancy hiring your very own house on the water? This is one of those fun weekend getaways that you will all remember in years to come. We had an unforgettable house boat trip here in Australia.

You'll love it because it is very relaxing and you can moor up wherever you fancy to explore villages and restaurants, or take a dip in the water.

The kids will love it because it is different, they get to help steer the boat and live in a small "house" where everything is at their finger tips.It is not that much more expensive that accommodation for a family of 4 either.

No previous boat experience is necessary, as lets face it, you won't really be going fast enough to crash into anything (hopefully)

You can hire a house on The Hawekesbury River just outside of Sydney (try www.holidaysafloat.com.au)

Near Melbourne you can cruise lake Eildon which is 2 hours drive from Melbourne (www.houseboatholidays.com.au) or sail down the Murray starting off from Echuca(www.murrayriver.com.au/echuca/houseboats/)

From Brisbane you can cruise Tweed River (around Noosa for example) or near the Gold Coast or Hervey Bay. Try www.bergerhouseboats.com.au

From Perth there is Swan River or Mandurah. Try www.murrayriverboats.com



Wildlife Viewing Holidays


There's nothing quite like seeing your kids faces light up when they see a cute animal - be that kangaroos, koalas, penguins or dolphins or perhaps something huge like a whale.

There are plenty of great places around Australia to experience fun weekend getaways with animals.



CITY ZOOS

Most of the main cities have their own zoo so you could go for a city break and spend one of the days at the zoo for the kids.

Best zoos would include:

Australia Zoo between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Amazing crocodile show!

Don't forget about Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary either. You can take a nice river cruise there too if you like

Taronga Zoo in Sydney has some good native Australian animals as well as some larger Internationals like elephants, giraffes, lions etc. The Sydney Wildlife World is more centrally located in Darling Harbour with all native Australian Animals and don't forget the Sydney Aquarium

Melbourne also has Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Aquarium

Adelaide has Adelaide Zoo and Perth has one too.




DOLPHIN ENCOUNTERS

The one that springs to mind immediately is Monkey Mia in Perth but this is probably not the most easy of fun weekend getaways given its location in Western Australia!

Port Stephens just 3 hours from Sydney is however a good option with a school of dolphins living off the coast here. You can take boat trips or get lucky and see them from the waters edge. Stay at the award winning (and still largely a local secret) Wanderers Retreat Port Stephens for an affordable weekend in eco cabins. There are koalas in the trees nearby which the kids will love trying to find. The waters of Port Stephens are also perfect for kids.

PENGUIN ENCOUNTERS

Phillip Island Australia is a 2 hour drive from Melbourne and whilst it is a bit touristy, it is great for anyone young at heart or with kids. There's gokarting, mini golf etc and the cutest fairy penguins that waddle along the beach at dusk. A good one of the family weekend getaways if you live near Melbourne.

You can also see penguins at North Head near Manly just outside of Sydney. This could be another good weekend away destination especially if you want to combine animals with great beaches.

Kangaroo Island Australia has an AMAZING amount of animals including Penguins and is drive-able from Adelaide or you can do a quick flight from Adelaide airport if you want to maximise your time on the island. I can't recommend this place enough. Loads of animals to keep the kids amused, all in their natural habitat, pristine beaches, amazing scenery for the grown ups.

WHALE WATCHING

Between May and October there are plenty of places around Australia to spot migrating whales. Why not stay somewhere and take a boat trip to get up close and personal to these gigantic creatures. Good options would include Port Stephens nsw, Albany wa, Warrnambool vic along the Great Ocean Drive or Hervey Bay qld.



Theme Park Holidays


It has to be done - fun weekend getaways don't get much better than the Gold Coast!

Here you will find the best theme parks in Australia - water parks, white knuckle rides, Warner Brothers. Check out my pages on

Gold Coast Theme Parks for all the information on each of the parks and see Gold Coast Holidays for accommodation ideas



Australia Beach Holidays


Certainly during the summer months there is nothing like a weekend away at the beach to make you feel away from the hustle and bustle of the usual working week.

Australia has some of the best beaches and a lovely array of beach house holidays on offer too. You can check out my page on Australian Beaches to give you more inspiration on sunny beach holiday destinations.

Why not make it one of the best fun weekend getaways by having some surf lessons for the kids. There's plenty of places you can do this but places where the waves are good to learn would include Manly Australia near Sydney, Noosa Australia on the Sunshine Coast, or Byron Bay. Coffs Harbour, as I am sure other places do, runs special holiday programmes kids.

For more places check out Surfing in Australia .

Other fun watersports include Kayaking or Canoe hire. Check out the link below for fun places to learn to kayak or canoe.

Kayak and Canoe Experience in Australia .



Ski Holiday Australia - Fun Weekend Getaways At The Snow


If there is one thing I wish I'd been able to do as a kid, it is ski! I learned when I was 19 and I will never be as good as those that learned to ski when they were little!

Why not spend the weekend or a long weekend at the slopes?

There are two resorts in Australia, both close to each other - Perisher Blue and Thredbo. I'd say Thredbo is slightly better for novices and kids learning to ski or snowboard, but both are good.

I'd suggest finding accommodation through www.stayz.com.au We went with friends to keep the costs down and shared a large house. Each family had a room that fitted us in at a squeeze ( we bought mattresses for the kids etc) Each family then took it in turns to cook a meal each evening, which again helped to keep the costs down.

A truly great experience and one of those fun weekend getaways even for the youngsters. My daughter was too young to ski but still enjoyed sledging and building snowmen.



Farmstays


Australia has some great farms that you can stay on. They are usually in good locations so that you can do other things but waking up and being able to feed the animals or collect the eggs is something that is certainly fun and different.

Here are a few of the good ones:

Byron Bay Farmstay - beautiful accommodation and views

Kerriley Park Farmstay in a great location in the lovely Margaret River

Jacaranda Creek Farmstay & B&B a great location just outside of Noosa Australia on the sunshine Coast in Qld. The markets in Emmundi are well worth a visit!



For Something Different


How about a weekend living underground at Coober Pedy. Granted it is a long way from anywhere but it does have its own airport.

This is the opal capital of the world and is so hot that everyone lives underground. There are hotels, bars and restaurants all under ground - Now surely that could be fun. Just don't come in the peak of summer as the heat won't make you laugh!

For accommodation ideas try Hotels in Coober Pedy, Australia

Or what about being surrounded by fire engines at Fire Station Inn in Adelaide.

Certainly something for fun weekend getaways.



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