Family-friendly itineraries: Part 2

By: Emma Ryan


Wonder vat sandy stretches on Victoria's Bass Coast; explore crystal lakes and cascading waterfalls at Atherton Tablelands and more!

GUMBUYA PARK TO CAPE LIPTRAP, VIC

Bass -Coast -in -Victoria

Stopovers: Cowes, Inverloch

Itinerary length: 4 days

Travel time: 3 hours (227km)

It’s rarely broadcasted, but if you’re visiting friends in Victoria’s south-east there’s camping at Akoonah Park, 30 clicks east of the fabulous wildlife nature park Gumbuya Park. Littlies will love petting the baby animals, feeding the roos or close encounters with snakes, dingoes or crows, while the older kids can challenge each other on the twin toboggan rides or kick a ball on the vast communal lawns. Next, venture southwards and bunker down at Cowes in Phillip Island for two nights. There’s enough here to entertain the kids for a week but if your stay’s short, milk a cow or crack a whip on Churchill Island Heritage Farm or, for the older ones, conquer the rope course at SkyTrail, and spot penguins nesting at The Nobbies before watching the procession after dark. Then, it’s on to the Bass Coast, where you can stop at Inverloch and inspect rock pools when the tide goes out for miles and the venture east to Bear Gully camp in Cape Liptrap.

THE ITINERARY

Day 1: Gumbuya Park to Phillip Island

Cosy up to a dingo at Gumbuya Park

Enjoy snags and kick a ball with the crew on the vast lawns

Bushwalk the fabulous Glen Forbes before hitting the island

Day 2: Cape Woolamai to Churchill Heritage Island

Enjoy the calm safe waters of Cape Woolamai Safety Beach

Entertain the kids with an afternoon at the Churchill Heritage Island or challenge the older ones on the SkyTrail course

Day 3: Penguin spotting at The Nobbies

Take a leisurely morning stroll on Cowes Beach

Stretch the legs on The Nobbies boardwalk but don’t forget your jacket!

Finish the day with the penguin parade

Day 4: Inverloch to Cape Liptrap

Shell collecting at low tide

Dine out at Inverloch pub before setting off for seclusion

ATHERTON TABLELANDS TO DAINTREE NP, QLD

Waterfall -in -Atherton -Tablelands

Stopovers: Kuranda and Mossman

Itinerary length: 4 days

Travel time: 4 hours (192km)

Few destinations in Australia are jam-packed with such an amazing variety of awe-inspiring natural wonders than the short journey from Atherton to the Daintree, which will have you mesmerised from start to finish. Starting your tropical drive in the Atherton Tablelands, you’ll have to spend at least one day exploring the myriad of lakes and waterfalls before making the short trip to the magical town of Kuranda. Take the kids on an exhilarating ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway or the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway – a combination of both is sure to tick everyone’s boxes. The next stop is Mossman where a visit to the spectacular Mossman Gorge is compulsory. The final journey to Cape Tribulation in the World Heritage-listed Daintree NP is short in kilometres but allow plenty of time to absorb this sensational landscape.

THE ITINERARY

Day 1: Atherton Tablelands to Kuranda

Explore the Waterfall Circuit near Atherton

Enjoy the serenity of the volcanic crater lakes

Take the short drive to Kuranda

Day 2: Kuranda

Experience a round trip on the Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Railway

Find unique souvenirs in this village in the rainforest

Visit spectacular Barron Gorge

GERALDTON TO RED BLUFF, WA

Francois -Peron -National -Park -coastline

Stopovers: Kalbarri and Hamelin Pool

Itinerary length: 3-4 days

Travel time: 8 hours (780km)

If snorkelling, surfing, paddling, fishing and bushwalking are the kinds of things that keep your family holidays humming, then this strip of World Heritage-listed paradise will make you want to head west to WA’s Coral Coast right now. Throw in wild dolphin feeding, dune-sliding, thar-she-blows holes and some very holiday-sassy seaside towns and you’ve got a trip to please everyone on board.

THE ITINERARY

Day 1: Geraldton to Kalbarri

Feed the pelicans that gather on Kalbarri’s foreshore

Hire a kayak to explore the Murchison River

Peer through Nature’s Window, an easy 500m stroll in Kalbarri National Park

Day 2: Hamelin Pool

Check out weird and wonderful ancient marine stromatolites

Swim in the super-saline sea

Day 3: Tour Francois Peron National Park

Snorkel Gregories Beach and climb the big red dunes

Spot eagle rays and shovel-nosed sharks from Cape Peron’s clifftop lookout

Day 4: Hamelin Pool to Red Bluff

Brave Quobba’s booming blowholes

Snorkel the colourful coral garden off protected Point Quobba

Surf the world-famous Bluff Barrel

SYDNEY TO DORRIGO, NSW

Boats -are -docked -at -Coffs -Harbour

Stopovers: Coffs Harbour and Nymboida

Itinerary length: 4 days

Travel time: 6 hours (600km)

The North Coast has so much to offer within a day’s drive of Sydney. Coffs Harbour is where the mountains meet the sea and a wonderful campsite is never far away, whether by a river or the deep blue. From beach driving to stunning rainforest pockets within World Heritage-listed national parks, this part of the world has the lot. The kids will love the safe swimming in the clear waterways while mum and dad can surf, explore on a SUP or kayak up one of the many creeks.

THE ITINERARY

Day 1: Sydney to Coffs Harbour

Plenty of waterfront camping areas to choose from

Surfing beaches, safe creeks and plenty of patrolled beaches to get wet at

Make sure you bring your swimmers, fishing rod and/or a surfboard

Day 2: Explore Coffs Harbour

Check out The Big Banana

Visit the Pet Porpoise Pool

Swim or collect shells at one of the many pristine beaches

Go jetty jumping off the jetty

Walk over Muttonbird Island

Day 3: Coffs Harbour to Nymboida

Escape to the hinterland

Stop for lunch at Ulong at the old Old Post Office Cafe

Explore waterfalls and stunning rainforest

Riverside camping at Platypus Flats in Nymboida

Day 4: Nymboida to Dorrigo

Head to the Norm Jolly memorial grove

Walk amongst 800-year-old Tallowwood trees in World Heritage-listed areas

Stop at Dangar Falls for lunch and a swim if you’re brave enough

Spend time at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre

Check out the article about Secrets to sucessful family vanning!

Don't forget to read the Family-friendly itineraries Part 1.

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #568. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!