We’ve taken the stress out of finding the best places to stay in Australia’s most idyllic family holiday destinations and identified the best family resorts in Australia. These resorts have incredible waterparks, interactive kids’ clubs your children won’t want to leave, spacious family accommodations, awesome locations, and more. Not surprisingly, Queensland resorts dominate this list thanks to their warm climate and sunny hospitality. These are the best resorts in Australia for families, as voted by our readers.
The Best Family Resorts in Australia
Gold Coast, QLD
The perfect combination of fun, adventure and relaxation, Sea World Resort is the only theme park resort in Australia and has firmly secured its top spot in our awards with yet another win in its category. With its fantastic range of attractions, including an aquatic adventure playground, cool kids’ club, Nickelodeon character meet-and-greets, and a massage and beauty salon for the grownups, its continued popularity is no surprise. But the main attraction of a stay at Sea World Resort is its packages, which come with admission to the Sea World Marine Park (some also include entry to other popular Gold Coast theme parks, such as Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild).
Gold Coast, QLD
Offering an idyllic retreat for families, the luxurious JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa boasts chic guest rooms and suites, outstanding service, a lavish spa, exceptional cuisine and a convenient location just a stone’s throw from Main Beach on the bustling Gold Coast. Children will relish the opportunity to splash around in the two outdoor swimming pools, soak in the spa tubs, and hit a ball around the tennis courts. Meanwhile, adults can indulge in pampering massages, body therapies and facials at the spa. There’s also a range of enriching activities for both young and multi-generational visitors, thanks to the Family by JW program. With award-winning service, a full-service spa, and a choice of world-class cuisine, This five-star hotel is one of the best family resorts in Australia.
Gold Coast, QLD
Take your pick of the fully self-contained one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Turtle Beach Resort, one of the best family resorts on the Gold Coast. Each of the exceptional apartments offers a private balcony or patio overlooking lush gardens, and is conveniently located just 300 metres from the fun of dazzling Mermaid Beach. That is, if you can persuade your children to leave the resort and its four separate swimming areas, Splash Zone Waterpark, 15-hole putt-putt golf course, and arcade games room. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also Club Turtle, an exciting kids’ club program providing numerous fun activities such as big-screen interactive games, art and craft sessions, movie screenings, and evening discos.
Surrounded by pristine beaches, rivers, hinterland, and national parks, the incredible location of RACV Noosa Resort on the Sunshine Coast is just one of the reasons it’s held on to its top-three position as one of the best family resorts in Australia. The retreat has so much to offer families, with apartment and villa accommodation to fit every requirement and facilities ranging from an outdoor infinity-edge heated pool to waterslides, a splash park, and a kids’ club so parents can take advantage of the fabulous spa.
Blue Mountains, NSW
The Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains is known for jaw-dropping escarpment views, delicious high tea, and bushwalks to suit all abilities. While those features are outstanding, it was the train our readers raved about. This puffing billy runs circles around the resort and kids love hopping on for a ride. This family resort in the Blue Mountains also has pony rides, a cinema, an arcade room, a mirror maze, a garden maze, outdoor playground, soft play area for toddlers, and tennis and basketball courts. It also boasts the Blue Mountain’s first-ever ice-skating rink – Blue Mountains Ice Skating Rink with themed nights to boot. Parents will love the morning trail running sessions, and the stunning Ubika day spa.
The 99-room Fitzroy Island Resort is a pristine tropical island retreat smack-bang in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. The penthouse here fits eight people with four bedrooms and two bathrooms, but you can book rooms for four, as well. Naturally, the reef is the biggest attraction at this family resort on Fitzroy Island, and you can see it on a dive adventure or in a glass-bottom boat. The resort has snorkel equipment, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for hire. Families can tour the nearby turtle hospital and join in daily fish feeding, or simply laze around the enormous swimming pool (with a swim-up bar!).
Nestled within the grounds of the National Zoo & Aquarium, Jamala Wildlife Lodge allows guests to get up close to the wildlife during their stay. In a Jungle Bungalow, you can ‘tuck in’ with a tiger or have a banquet with a bear. In a Treehouse, you can have a carafe with a giraffe and, in a uShaka Lodge, you may have meerkats or lemurs watching you. Wine and dine with a lion in the unique African-themed restaurant, and during dinner, kids can go on an aquarium tour while you enjoy the main course. Free behind-the-scenes zoo tours will encounter some of the zoo’s most popular residents, such as rhinos, lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys and meerkats. Kids must be aged six and over to stay at this luxury family resort in Canberra.
Gold Coast, QLD
Positioned between Surfer’s Paradise and Broadbeach, The Langham, Gold Coast is undeniably one of the best resorts in Australia. The first new beachfront luxury hotel to arrive in the holiday capital in 30 years, The Langham has 169 hotel rooms and 170 residences, each boasting panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean or hinterland. Parents can rejuvenate at Chuan Spa, a holistic spa guided by principles of traditional Chinese medicine, and experience fine dining at T’Ang Court or Akoya restaurants. The family can enjoy a leisurely high tea at Palm Court, or grab a coffee at 26 & Sunny, the hotel’s cafe, on the way to the beach.
Whitsunday Islands, QLD
Located at the northernmost point of Australia’s Whitsunday archipelago, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is one of the best family resorts in Australia. Choose between beachfront or poolfront villas and suites, or private residences that provide the ultimate in luxury resort living. The resort also has Planet Trekkers Kid’s Club which caters to children aged four to 12, fully equipped with an indoor playroom, educational and destination-inspired experiences around the resort, dancing, painting, scavenger hunts, and craft activities. In addition to the casual and fine dining restaurants at the resort, parents can indulge in bespoke private dining experiences, gourmet picnics, a cocktail masterclass with a mixologist, champagne and oyster pop-ups, guided wine tastings, and more. Better yet, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort can cater to every adventurous family, from snorkelling, diving and fishing to walking trails, wildlife tours, cultural classes, sports, private boat charters, heli-tours, and more.
Sanctuary Cove, QLD
Tucked away amid 4.2 hectares of Sanctuary Cove’s lush greenery, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort offers a slice of paradise for kids and parents alike. The Planet Trekkers Kids’ Club features a roster of unique activities, from torch safaris to golf buggy tours, and caters to little tastebuds with an extensive kids’ menu. Families can spend their days by the expansive lagoon-style pool with a coconut drink in hand, master their golf swing on one of three renowned golf courses, or explore the boutiques and restaurants of the Marine Village, just two minutes’ walk from the resort.
Whitsunday Islands, QLD
Just as the name suggests, Daydream Island Resort & Living Reef is one of the best family resorts in Australia where your Whitsunday daydreams come true. After extensive redevelopment, the secluded island resort offers 280 newly refurbished rooms and suites, three restaurants and three bars. It also features Australia’s only Living Reef – a free-form coral lagoon that wraps around the resort’s central building. Children will be entranced by the Reef Ranger program and be able to snorkel with more than 100 species of local marine life. Families can also partake in Whitehaven Beach adventures, an island-style Amazing Race or day tours exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
Gold Coast, QLD
Ideally located within easy reach of Surfer’s Paradise, Sea World, Home of the Arts and Marina Mirage, Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast caters to every member of the family. The multi-room villas enjoy views of the ocean, tropical gardens and lagoons, and the property has three restaurants and a cocktail bar to suit all tastes. The Oasis pool area provides a dedicated heated outdoor pool for each adults and children, and parents can enjoy a tipple at the poolside bar while keeping a watchful eye upon their little ones.
Australia’s Best Family Resorts: 3-star & 4-star
So you’ve decided to go on holiday in Australia and you don’t want to break the bank doing it. Next step: choosing which resort is best for you and your family. Our list of the best-value family resorts in Australia under four stars will guide your decision. These resorts have incredible waterparks, kids’ clubs your children won’t want to leave, spacious family accommodation, fantastic locations, and more. Our best family resorts in Australia awards recognises resorts with exceptional facilities, bold new amenities, exciting experiences, action-packed kids’ clubs and versatile family dining.
Gold Coast, QLD
Paradise Resort Gold Coast is celebrating an incredible 11th year in the top spot of our best family resorts in Australia three- and four-star category. The only resort in Australia with a water park, ice rink, laser tag, kids’ club and teen zone, this resort has it all and then some. Think activities for all, including a miniature train, teddy bear workshops and poolside movies. Add family rooms catering for up to six kids, wine tastings and cooking demonstrations for parents, and you’ll never want to leave the resort, despite its incredible location just minutes from the Gold Coast’s glorious beaches.
K’gari/Fraser Island, QLD
As famous for its epic sand dunes, freshwater lakes, creeks, and towering forests as it is for its sparkling beaches, there’s no better base on K’gari than Kingfisher Bay Resort. Nestled in the thick of nature and offering direct access to the island’s western beach – for when the kids aren’t submerged in the lagoon-style pool – interconnecting family-style hotel rooms or self-contained villas provide space and comfort for families. If there are little eco-warriors in your family, the property’s Junior Eco Rangers Program runs every school holidays and provides interactive wildlife experiences for kids aged five to 12, for a small added fee. Children will love the opportunity to embark on fishing frenzies, scavenger hunts, bushwalks, stargazing, plus campfires with stories, songs and marshmallows. Meanwhile, parents can relax at the Island Day Spa, go on their own island adventures, or indulge in native delights during the Bushtucker Talk & Taste experience.
Hamilton Island, QLD
With its large, well-appointed rooms – all offering private balconies looking out over the sparkling Coral Sea or Hamilton Island’s tropical gardens – the Reef View Hotel offers a stylish, family-friendly stay. It’s easy to get around with the island shuttle, but guests never have to venture far thanks to easy access to catamarans, windsurfers, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and snorkelling equipment at the resort. Best of all, kids up to 12 years sharing a room with their parents stay and eat free at participating restaurants, but terms and conditions do apply.
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort is an ideal destination for families seeking to create a memorable holiday for their kids. This family-friendly resort’s spacious rooms provide a relaxing retreat after a day of exploring the Reef or nearby rainforests. Families love the VIK (Very Important Kids) program with kids’ activities in the lagoon pool and throughout the resort ranging from pool pony races to dance parties and movie nights. The resort’s central location allows easy access to Cairns’ attractions, including the Esplanade Lagoon and the Cairns Night Markets.
From its waterpark and stunning resort-style pool to its putt-putt golf course, sandpit, climbing frame and giant Kangaroo Jumper, Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort is one of Australia’s best kid-friendly resorts. If you can tear the little ones away from the incredible facilities and activities on site, and you’re an Oaks Discovery member, children under five get to eat for free. With its awesome location close to the beach and the bustling hub of Caloundra, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for boating and swimming in the sheltered waters of Pumicestone Passage.
Sunshine Coast, QLD
The Sunshine Coast is one of the best family holiday destinations in Australia, and there’s so much to do at Novotel Resort Sunshine Coast! At this classy, feature-packed resort you can sail a catamaran on the private lagoon, enjoy a round of mini-golf (or 18 holes of actual golf), take a dip in the resort pool, roll out on a Segway tour, or relax with a luxurious spa treatment. If you want to get out and explore, you are just metres from the beach and the Maroochy River. Head out on the water in a kayak, or just spend some time wandering along the beach.
If you’re travelling on the road with kids, East Hotel has you covered. This family-friendly hotel, located between the vibrant hubs of Kingston and Manuka, is a five-minute drive to all the top tourist sites in Canberra, including the kids’ favourite, Questacon. The stylish one- and two-bedroom apartments are perfect for families, and the adjoining Kids Cubbies are fitted out with bunk beds, beanbags, toys, games, and even a kid-friendly mini-bar. Bikes for both children and adults are available for hire, offering the ideal way to explore the shores of the nearby Lake Burley Griffin.
Moreton Island, QLD
Uncomplicated and packed full of adventurous things to do, Tangalooma Island Resort is a paradise for active families. This family-friendly resort sits pretty on Moreton Island, just 40 kilometres off the coast of Brisbane. It boasts an eco-centre, tennis and squash courts, and so much more. Kids can tour an old whaling station, feed kookaburras, learn about dolphins, helicopters and learn how to sail a catamaran. That’s not even mentioning the other amazing activities and tours available for a small fee, including clear bottom kayak tours, whale watching, sand dune safaris and helicopter flights.
Forget VIP, Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific is all about VIK (Very Important Kids). Kids can enjoy the pool, nine holes of mini golf, and arcade games by day. Then settle in for their very own happy hour with a free poolside ice block in the afternoon. At night the Kids’ Zone has movies, games and karaoke disco nights during school holidays. Meanwhile, parents can indulge at endota spa or wander through the shops at Terrigal village.
Centrally located and just a short drive from Noosa Beach, The Islander Noosa Resort is a kid-friendly resort tucked away amid more than 1.5 hectares of tropical gardens, including three outdoor pools. The Lagoon Pool has a waterfall and bridge, and is bound to be a hit with the kids. Then have a hit on the tennis courts; connect with other families at the Clubhouse; and explore the nearby Noosa River, national park and main beach.
Hunter Valley, NSW
Relax with a glass of wine in hand knowing the kids are also having a holiday to remember at Rydges Resort Hunter Valley, located two hours north of Sydney. The Water Dragons Kids Club operates during the school holidays, and is a mini-resort for children aged three to 12. There’s also a teen lounge, games room, and outdoor heated swimming pool for year-round entertainment. Then, ride the merry-go-round or mini train that rolls through the family-friendly resort. The resort is one of the best family resorts in Australia because all of these activities are included!
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