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Need Help with a 16 night itinerary in Australia with Kids

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Aug 10th, 2014, 10:03 PM
  #1
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Need Help with a 16 night itinerary in Australia with Kids

We are scheduled to visit Australia in late December for 16 nights. We arrive / leave from Sydney. We are traveling with 2 children (8 yrs. and 5 yrs.). While we prefer to drive between cities, we figure we will need to pick 3 major destinations (fly between them) and spend approx. 5 nights each. Any help with itineraries / hotels would be greatly appreciated.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 11:01 PM
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How about dividing your time between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne? Each city has good zoos, museums and plenty of things for a family to do. Driving time between each city is reasonable with a night's stop along the way to break the journey. Bear in mind that it will be our major school holiday time so you will need to book ahead for accommodation.
Canberra has Questicon which the children would enjoy, Melbourne has a similar centre, Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney is worth visiting for the location and views, let along the animals.
You could also visit Ballarat in Victoria - very wealthy town in the old gold rush days with a very good folk museum (Sovereign Hill) which the children would like. Plus Healesville Sanctuary (about an hour's drive from Melbourne's CBD) specialises in Australian animals and birds, with the plus for adults that the drive takes you through some of Victoria's winery areas.
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Aug 11th, 2014, 12:48 AM
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Where are you coming from / what does your family enjoy doing in your free time? Beaches? Museums? Zoos? Are there any must do's ?
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Aug 11th, 2014, 12:56 AM
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If, by any chance, you are planning on NYE in Sydney, book your accommodation "yesterday" and be prepared for minimum stay requirements, sky high prices & very limited availability.

Otherwise, as Marg says, you could have a great driving or flying/ driving holiday just about anywhere in the southern parts of Australia. Remember that it is school holidays & peak holiday time from mid - December, so if you have any flexibility, earlier will be better than later in the month.

As you will have found in your research, it is the hot/wet/cyclone & stinger season in FNQ ( Far North Queensland), W.A & NT.

Have a look at the visitAustralia website & see what gels with your family's interests.
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Aug 11th, 2014, 07:02 AM
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I like Marg's recommendation very much, especially since you prefer to drive places.

We used to live in Canberra with our kids and there are a ton of fun things to do with kids there. Questacon is a definite "must", but the kids would also enjoy Cockington Green miniature village, paddle boat rides on Lake Burley Griffin, the National Dinosaur Museum, and one of the several adventure playgrounds.

We took a great week-long driving trip from Canberra to Melbourne with stops in various Victoria towns. (Good suggestions from Marg on some things to see.) On the way from Canberra to Melbourne, via the inland road, you should stop at the submarine in Holbrook as the kids will enjoy climbing on it. (I assume that's still allowed.) If you take the coastal route, there are many beach communities where you can enjoy the sand and surf.

And, of course, there's plenty to do in Sydney with kids--Taronga Zoo, Featherdale Park, walking across Harbour Bridge, the Aquarium, a trip to the Blue Mountains. You should also check for special kids' events at the museums. We found one at the Australian Museum that our kids really enjoyed.
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Aug 11th, 2014, 07:43 AM
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Based on what we have read, we assumed GBR and Alice Springs were in the Top 3-4 destinations....do you recommend these destinations? Or, would it be better to stay on the south part of Australia. I am a little worried about multiple domestic flights with small children.
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Aug 11th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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December is not a good time to travel to the GBR or the Red Center (Alice Springs/Uluru). At that time of year, you encounter heat, humidity, cyclones (possibly) and stingers at the GBR. In the Red Center, you encounter searing heat and hordes of flies.

I recommend you stay in the southern part of the country.
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