A beautiful beach is perhaps the world’s most inviting playground. Whether it’s the sun-drenched shores in our own backyard or islands afar, the ocean really makes for a wonderful summer getaway. From dawn ‘til dusk, you can enjoy the seaside without it costing you a cent, from sunbaking on the golden shores to frolicking in the waves or playing a game of beach cricket. Little ones can paddle in the shallows or build super sandcastles, while teens try their hand at fast-paced water sports or take a surfing lesson or two. If a beach break is on your holiday agenda, check out our four top spots for sun-seeking Aussie families.
Cable Beach, Broome
The heavenly shores of Cable Beach in Broome beckon families to enjoy the idyllic surrounds. A slice of paradise, this 22- kilometre stretch of sand is highly touted for its surprisingly turquoise waters. Without a doubt, one of the highlights of your summer getaway will be going for a camel ride along Cable Beach at either sunrise or sunset. Atop one of these majestic creatures, you will trudge across the sandy shores while admiring the awe-inspiring ocean views. For more animal adventures, go on a kayaking tour to spot the magnificent turtles at home in the waters of Broome’s coastline or venture out on a whale watching excursion to see the world’s largest population of humpback whales. The award-winning Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour is also a must.
Daydream Island, Whitsundays
Settle down in the heart of the Whitsundays, with a family escape to Daydream Island. The resplendent natural beauty and surrounding emerald waters combine to form the ideal destination for fun-loving families. Home to just one giant resort, the island carefully caters for kids with an impressive array of activities, offering the perfect mix of relaxation and excitement. Kids over the age of six can become a Reef Ranger for the day at the resort’s impressive manmade Living Reef lagoon. Meanwhile, thrill seekers will love the endless opportunities for action-packed adventures, from zooming past the shores on a jet ski to flying up, up and away with a parachute attached. There is also a treasure trove of underwater life waiting to be discovered in the Great Barrier Reef, with many scuba diving and snorkeling excursions. Water skiing, wake boarding and knee boarding are also popular.
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Seeking stunning white sand, coral-filled lagoons and swaying palm trees? Make your way to the South Pacific on your next family getaway and visit the glorious Cook Islands. Encompassing 15 unique islands, the jewel of the group is Rarotonga – a true island oasis. For a taste of Polynesian and Maori culture, be sure to visit Te Vara Nui Cultural Village for a feast of traditional food and dancing. For the best snorkelling and diving, try Muri Lagoon or swing by the Takitumu Conservation Area for an afternoon of hiking and bird watching. The Cook Islands Whale and Wildlife Centre is filled with fascinating exhibits – a must for animal lovers of all ages. If you prefer to catch a glimpse of sea creatures without getting wet, then take the family on a reef submarine tour. Departing from Avatiu Harbour, you will make your away along the coast passing over sunken ship wrecks and colourful coral reefs.
Add a little excitement to your next beach break by taking the kids overseas on an Asian adventure. Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is a popular spot for sun-seeking families. Brimming with beautiful beaches, Phuket is a vibrant hub for holidaymakers looking to enjoy a little sun, surf and sand. Kids will be in awe of the mesmerising live performance at Phuket FantaSea, a unique cultural theme park. Expect a celebration featuring elaborate costumes, traditional dance and extravagant lighting and music. Those travelling with teens must take an excursion to Xtrem Adventures Phuket, where you can climb through the treetops of tropical jungle via a series of suspended bridges, walkways, nets and barrels. Phuket also opens the door to explore more of Thailand’s remarkable islands. Take a day trip to the magical Phi Phi Islands and see why this region has starred in numerous films or visit the pretty Phang Nga Bay, touted for its soaring limestone karsts.