Is QLD The Most Family-Friendly State? Lonely Planet Thinks So

14 July 2015
Read Time: 2.2 mins

The maroon state continues to dominate this month, putting not only New South Wales but all other states and territories on notice.

Of Lonely Planet's Top 10 most family-friendly destinations in Australia, three of them are in Queensland. That means from the pointy end of the state to the show-stopping south, 30 per cent of the best family fun our country has to offer is found in Queensland.

The Sunshine State is not only a triple threat according to Lonely Planet's list, but was also the only state to score more than one mention, with Tasmania, Sydney Harbour, Darwin and the Top End National Parks, Canberra, Victoria's High Country, Kangaroo Island and Southwest Western Australia rounding out the list.

These are the pockets of Queensland Lonely Planet promises are fun for all ages - and we think they're pretty spot on.

Tropical North Queensland (#4)

 Deep in the heart of the Tropical North (Image: Jason Charles Hill)

Lonely Planet ranks Cairns and Port Douglas as the perfect launch pads for Great Barrier Reef exploration. This region is teeming with excitement for the entire brood - little tots can happily splash about in the shallows of the Esplanade Lagoon, teens will love the secret freshwater pools around Mossman Gorge, and the whole clan will get a kick out of riding the rails up to Kuranda and taking the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway home.

Tropical North Queensland is a place to get out and about; you can squeeze fun of all shapes and sizes into your holiday budget when you're up north. From ice cream factories with local macadamia scoops to bucking bulls at fair dinkum rodeos and, of course, the hyper-coloured underwater vistas out on the reef, there's no doubt Cairns and surrounds are prime territory for family holidays.

Gold Coast Theme Parks (#6)

 Lethal Weapon at Warner Bros. Movie World (Image: TEQ)

You knew it was coming. The Gold Coast Theme Parks may not have taken out the top spot on the list (Sydney Harbour actually received that honour), but I'll wager it's the number one destination on kids' wish lists right around the country.

The Gold Coast region is home to five major theme parks and a generous handful of secondary sites for family fun (think Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Australian Outback Spectacular). All the fun isn't reserved for the parks, however, with patrolled surf beaches and calm jet-ski-perfect inlets meaning you'll spend minimal time in your hotel room.

Grab a VIP Magic Pass if you're planning on hitting the trifecta at Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild, or an Unlimited World Pass for unrestricted entry to Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and the SkyPoint Observation Deck.

Brisbane (#9)

 A visual treat for young and old at GOMA (Image:

Queensland's capital is often dismissed as 'just a gateway destination', but since when is that a bad thing? I guess you're 'just a gateway' when you're within an hour's drive of the Gold Coast theme parks, pristine Sunshine Coast beaches, the pastoral charms of Southern Queensland Country and just a ferry ride from dolphin paradise at Tangalooma.

Still, you don't have to venture outside the River City to find family fun. There's nothing quite like a spin up and down the Brisbane River on a CityCat, stopping off at the Eat Street Markets in Hamilton for potato slinkies and at South Bank for some sand and sun at inner-city Streets Beach.

While you're on the south side of the river, make some time to wander through the Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art and State Library of Queensland  – all of which have fabulous kids' activities on offer. There's nothing quite like Dali and Picasso to stimulate young minds!


Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Queensland.

Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg