Things to See & Do

Best summer holiday destinations in Australia

With thanks to guest blogger Jennifer Adams of Places We Go.

Two children chase ball at the beach

Enjoy Australia’s many magnificent beaches.

Ooh, I have excitement in my fingertips even writing this blog article! When I think of summer holidays in Australia, I think of our great country sparkling at her very best; what a beauty she really is, especially over the Christmas 'summer' holidays.

I always find ‘planning’ a holiday is half the fun – the process itself allows you to reminisce about special memories from days past and daydream about what you want to create for yourself and your family in the future.

Some of my best childhood memories are of our summer holidays at the beach. Mum and dad would load us kids into the 'grey ghost' (our old HD Holden station wagon that had red plastic seats – gosh I loved that car) before the crack of dawn. Before we knew it, we’d be half way to a holiday spot playing eye-spy and pulling over for a picnic on the way.

Smiling girl holds up ice cream at beach

Beach, ice cream, abundant sunshine – it’s hard to beat summer.

We’d set up at a holiday park, usually for a few weeks at a time. Games of beach cricket; splashing about in the surf on dad’s shoulders, feasting on prawns and freshly caught fish on the barbie; making 'best' friends at the holiday park; playing card games inside the tent; not to mention the time a mini-cyclone swept through our campsite in Eden and we got to eat 'Minties' for breakfast, as all our food had blown away!

I am so grateful for these childhood memories, and we are blessed in Australia to have such opportunities in our backyard.

Small child plays at the beach at sunset

Summer holidays produce wonderful memories for children and adults alike.

I am hoping you have been thinking about your own past while reading this and wondering about what’s next in your holiday book of memories.

There are so many options, it can be a little overwhelming; and I always find recommendations from my like-minded friends are a great way to start. So in the spirit of sharing, here are five of my favourites for you to consider. I would love you to share your favourites in the comments section below so that I can get ideas from you, too.

1. Wye River, Victoria.

The coastal town of Wye River is a treasure in summer. Surrounded by Great Otway National Park (think koalas and lush rainforest) and the truly spectacular Great Ocean Road (undoubtedly one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world), it comes alive with the sounds of children playing at the beach, and walking up to the ice-cream shop with no shoes on. While many beachside towns have succumbed to over-development, thankfully Wye River has maintained the old-world charm reminiscent of childhood holidays gone past.

Beach landscape under a blue sky

Wye River is a gem of a spot.

Staying at BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park, you’ve got the best of both worlds. Surrounded by mountains, the river, and the ocean beach at your doorstep, it makes for a brilliant summer holiday. During your stay, apart from splashing around at the beach, take advantage of the many activities in the region.

5 things to do while in Wye River:

  • Get a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest on the Otway Fly tree-top walk, the world’s tallest elevated walkway of its kind.
  • Take a walk in the forest and see Hopetoun Falls and Triplet Falls.
  • Drive the full length of the Great Ocean Road, taking in the dramatic limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.
  • Follow all or part of the Great Ocean Walk.
  • Drop in at the Wye River General Store, which is both a café and an old-school convenience store (remember the lollies you'd buy with your pocket money?).

2. Merimbula, New South Wales.

The Sapphire Coast in New South Wales is a show-stopper and packed full of gems – Bermagui, Eden, Pambula, and Merimbula to name just a few of my favourites. The entire region was treasured by my family growing up, and still is. So, in having to put forward one place, I am going to offer up Merimbula, in celebration of all the happy camping memories.

Boat sails on the water in front of coastline

There’s a lot to like about Merimbula.

Famous for its beautiful beaches and lakes, Merimbula is a mecca for all things water sports! And BIG4 NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Park is a cracker. It's perched right on the beach, so all you have to do is step out from your tent, caravan, or cabin and you are enjoying the rolling waves and beautiful white sand.

I will never forget the time when I was about seven years of age, and my dad went out fishing with a friend only to come home with a flathead so big that we invited newly made friends from the holiday park to share in our feast.

That’s the kind of holiday I love, where you can leave your ordinary life at home and just enjoy the simplicity and beauty of the great outdoors.

5 things to do while in Merimbula.

  • Hire a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard and explore the numerous lakes and inlets.
  • Go fishing! Merimbula is home to some of the best fishing spots on the NSW coast: take a charter boat or throw a line in straight off the beach.
  • Visit Magic Mountain, a small, fun theme park that caters for both children and adults.
  • Visit Ben Boyd National Park in Eden (just a half-hour drive from Merimbula).
  • Get up close and personal to the wildlife at Poteroo Palace in nearby Eden.

3. Robe, South Australia.

Robe is another of my family’s favourite holiday spots over summer. The quiet seaside town on the Limestone Coast in South Australia is situated on Guichen Bay, about 350km southeast of Adelaide, and overflows with charm. You can immerse yourself in the town’s seafaring history by simply walking the streets and checking out the 84 historical buildings and sites that have been beautifully restored.

Waves crash against rocks with light house on top

The obelisk at Cape Dombey, near Robe is a landmark of the area.

My memories are of sitting out the front of our tent feasting on fresh rock lobster after a day at Long Beach.

5 things to do while you are in Robe:

  • Walking trails: take the cliff walk or a bush trail. You can collect local trail maps from the information centre.
  • Go fishing at Breakwater or Lake Battye, or take a local fishing charter that runs year round.
  • Four-wheel driving on Long Beach (approx 12km long and accessible over summer).
  • Enjoy sailing, paddle boarding, or kayaking on the peaceful lakes.
  • Pack your clubs for a round at Robe’s public golf course.

4. Albany, Western Australia.

Maybe I should have named this story my five favourite beachside holiday spots! For me, summer is all about enjoying the wonderful coastal destinations Australia has to offer, and the outstanding location of BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park in Albany on the south coast makes it an absolute cracker and worth putting on your list.

Blue bay surrounded by green forest on sunny day

Two Peoples Bay, near Albany, perfectly illustrates the immense beauty of the area.

I will never forget sitting on the top deck of one of the luxury holiday cabins at the holiday park that overlooks the ocean, watching a humpback whale frolic in the water right in front of us.

5 things to do while you are in Albany

  • Visit the Amity, a full-scale replica of the ship that brought Albany’s first settlers to town in 1826.
  • Go to Whale World where there’s an interesting account of Albany’s whaling history, which ceased in 1978. The city is now focused on the conservation and enjoyment of these majestic deep-sea mammals (whale watching season is from June-October).
  • Take a hike in nearby Torndirrip National Park, one of the most popular in the state.
  • Grab a coffee and meander around the farmers' markets on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
  • Head down the docks on a weekend and buy fresh seafood for the barbie back at the holiday park!

5. Noosa, Queensland.

The Sunshine Coast is one of our favourite places to holiday in Australia, and we are heading up to Noosa for Christmas this year with our extended family. I love nothing more than going for an early morning run along the cliffs overlooking the ocean in the national park, followed by a swim on Main Beach and a coffee at my favourite café, Bistro C.

Bare trees stand in front of beach on sunny day

Noosa National Park showcases nature at its best.

Base yourself at BIG4 Ingenia Holidays - Noosa and enjoy the ample attractions of this tourist town. After you are done relaxing, here are my top 5 things to do in Noosa.

  • Join the café culture along sophisticated Hastings Street, parallel to Main Beach.
  • Explore the art galleries in the hinterland and browse the Eumundi Markets.
  • Take the family to kid-friendly attractions such as Australia Zoo in Beerwah.
  • Spend the afternoon at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club.
  • Enjoy the many water-sports on offer, from sailing and scuba diving to canoeing and deep-sea fishing.

I would love to hear what your top 5 holiday destinations are for summer here in Australia. Have you been to any of my special places? Please leave a comment below.

Reminiscing about all of these holiday spots has inspired me to book our family Christmas for next year! We are taking the pop-top to Merimbula!

Jen x

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1 comment on “Best summer holiday destinations in Australia”

  1. Gemma Purcell

    25 January 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Australia is one of the best summer holiday destinations around the world. What is the first thing comes in our mind when we are planning our summer holiday? It’s sea beaches in a Iland. In Australia Whitsundays Islands is the best place for your summer vacation.

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