Natalie Di Paola

The summer holidays are a great time for families to kick back and spend some quality time together. Here are five holiday options that can be enjoyed right here in Australia.

1. Gold Coast, Queensland
It’s almost a tradition among Aussie families to visit the Gold Coast at least once. The whole family will love visiting all the theme parks – MovieWorld, SeaWorld, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Dreamworld and WhiteWater World – and enjoying the fun rides and attractions.

Stay in a hotel near the beach and soak up the sun on days that are not spent at the theme parks. Or, stay right in the thick of the action at SeaWorld resort, which also has pools on site.

Alternatively, head down to Cairns. Visit the Great Barrier Reef and go snorkelling among the colourful coral. There you can also find the Daintree Rainforest, where a scenic tour through the greenery can be enjoyed by many.

2. Hunter Valley, NSW
While renowned for being a wine-tasting haven for adults, the Hunter Valley can also be enjoyed by families.

Running until January 27, 2018, the Christmas Lights Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens includes an impressive array of lights to accompany your walk, as well as rides, food and beverage stalls and live performances.

The Hunter Valley Gardens offer a variety of gardens to be delighted by. The whole family will particularly enjoy the Storybook Garden, which houses characters and murals from classic nursery rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill. There are also rides, such as the Ferris Wheel and Carousal.

3. Sydney City, NSW
Who says you can’t be a tourist in your own city? Simply stay in a hotel in the CBD and explore the sites. There’s the Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, which everyone can appreciate.

At Christmas time, visit Martin Place and David Jones at night to see their impressive festive displays.

For New Years, stay at a hotel overlooking the harbour and enjoy the fireworks up close.

4. Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves, NSW
Stay in a hotel and explore two of Australia’s beautiful natural attractions. Take a walk among the scenery via the many bush walks in the Blue Mountains. Or take a sky lift and see the attractions, such as the Three Sisters, from up high.

The Jenolan Caves are the largest in Australia and the oldest in the world. Take a tour of the caves or do a bush walk and enjoy the many cafes and restaurants. There are also hotels on site where you can spend your stay.

These trips are good for families with older children as the hiking difficulty may be too much for babies and toddlers.

5. Nelson’s Bay, Terrigal or the Entrance, NSW
For a simple, sun-filled family trip, head to Nelson’s Bay, Terrigal or the Entrance. Rent a holiday house near the beach and enjoy the days among the waves. At the Entrance you can also experience gardens, fishing, whale watching and more.