The September school holidays are here again and, before you know it, our trees will be trimmed and stockings hung at the ready. Wondering where to take the kids for this year’s summer holiday? Tangalooma has activities for every age group, including plenty of opportunities for the adults to kick back and take it easy. Its clear waters, pristine beaches and protected marine reserve are just a hop, skip and a jump away from Brisbane.
Where In The World?
Sitting pretty on Moreton Island, around 40 kilometres off the coast of Brisbane, Tangalooma is easy to reach by boat. Simply hop on board one of the ferries that regularly depart from Holt Street Wharf, which is a 10-minute drive from the domestic and international airport or a 15-drive from Brisbane's CBD.
Taking 75 minutes, the sea journey takes passengers skimming across crystal blue water and is the perfect way to start your island adventure.
A subtropical climate means the island experiences balmy summers and warm winters, making it a perfect year-round destination. If you decide to visit during the school holidays, you’ll find there are a host of activities to keep kids of all ages entertained.
Getting Around The Island
Moreton is the third largest sand island in the world, so expect to uncover some brilliant white beaches. When the kids have finished building castles and perfecting their boogie board skills, how about a trek up Mount Tempest? This towering sand dune is 285 metres high, but the legwork is worth it. You’ll be rewarded by 360-degree views at the top.
To really get to grips with the area’s fascinating landscape, take the kids on a four-wheel drive tour of the island. Simply hire one of the resort’s vehicles and you’re ready to uncover your own beach hangouts and picnic spots.
If you want to take a backseat when it comes to driving, join a guided tour to the western beaches, Cowan Cowan and Bulwer. The route also takes in the oldest lighthouse in Queensland at Cape Moreton, and the dazzling Blue Lagoon. Just remember to pack your swimmers!
Alternatively, swap sea for sand with a safari tour through the Tangalooma Desert, where kids (and adults with a sense of adventure) can toboggan down the dunes.
The Main Attractions
Families of dolphins have been visiting the shores of Moreton Island for decades and, under the guidance of eco-rangers from the resort’s Marine Education and Conservation Centre, it’s possible to feed these friendly aquatic visitors. The rangers also run pelican and kookaburra feeding sessions.
Spot marine life, including wild dugongs, sea turtles and stingrays, by taking a boat trip. It’s an opportunity for the whole family to learn something from the team of knowledgeable guides. They are on hand to answer questions and share facts about what the creatures eat and how they thrive in their underwater environment.
You don’t need to have a diving qualification to check out the impressive Tangalooma Wrecks. This fun activity that’s suitable for children aged 12 years and over involves hiring double or single kayaks, so you can all paddle out together. Watch for ripples in the water – you might be lucky enough to spot dolphins.
Banana Boat Ride
Fasten your lifejacket, cling on to the hand grips and prepare to make a high-speed splash as your raft – a bright yellow inflatable banana – bounces across the water behind a powerful jet boat. Watch out for those tight turns!
Pack Your Bags...School's Out!
Around the country, kids are skipping with joy because school is officially out. For their parents however, it's a mad scramble to get the bags packed for a holiday.
Flight Centre booking data analysing the upcoming two week school holiday period showed a mix of international and domestic bookings for families looking to take advantage of the extended school break.
The most popular international breaks are Bali, Fiji, Phuket, Auckland and Honolulu while travellers are flocking to domestic hot spots including Coolangatta, Hamilton Island, Brisbane, Cairns and Melbourne.
Flight Centre's Tom Walley said the September school holiday period is a very popular choice for family getaways.
"We notice a bit surge in bookings over all the school holiday periods but September is always extremely popular.
"Particularly for overseas family-friendly hot spots such as Bali, Auckland and Hawaii, the September school break is a great excuse for a holiday because the prices are off-peak," Mr Walley said.
The biggest booking increases were seen in the domestic market with Brisbane up 79%, Sydney up 44% and Melbourne up 47% compared to the same September school holiday period in 2013.
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