It is easy to feel overwhelmed by family holidays, forsaking all your buffers and safeguards – grandparents, babysitters, mountains of toys and stuff – and moving your children to a different location to parent in a wild constant free fall.
The trip can often end with exhausted children and beaten parents in desperate need of another getaway, just to recover. We went on our first family holiday when our son was only twelve weeks old. Now with two boys and countless vacations since then the trick to these trips being a success as opposed to a train wreck of holiday battles lies in the planning and sense of adventure.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Tourism Northern Territory. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
With the best way to combat the holiday whining from the kids is a location that is unlike any other, offers real excitement and creates unforgettable memories.
So, have you ever considered the Northern Territory? Four and half hours flight from Sydney, it is the ultimate self-drive holiday destination.
It’s a place that’s at the top of our family holiday list – and here’s why.
“Mum I’m bored!”
That’s something you won’t hear while feeding the frenzy of fish that gather in Darwin’s Doctor’s Gully. Or while getting up close and personal with the crocodiles at Darwin Crocodylus Park. Throw in a visit, or three, to Wave Lagoon at Darwin’s Waterfront, an awesome central spot with two swimming pools creating an endless summer feel with plenty to do either for the littlies or the bigger kids who want to surf the waves on the supplied boogie boards and water tubes. Boredom will be traded in for exhaustion and pure awesome instead.
Family holidays need to master the art of balance; a little bit of adventure for the kids, balanced with a little bit of indulgence for the parents. Darwin’s Mindil Beach Sunset Market offers hundreds of local craft and food stalls and with roving childrens’ entertainers everyone can be happy. A sunset cruise on a restored pearl lugger or a visit to the Cyclone Tracey display makes Darwin the best place to kick start an unforgettable family adventure.
And did I mention that all of these are a short drive from your hotel in Darwin?
“Mum this is taking so long!”
Long queues and the hot sweltering sun make for grumpy children and even grumpier parents. Summer family holidays can often be a trade-off for standing in endless lines. Not in Kakadu National Park. There are no queues in the world heritage listed site; instead it is a rich utopia of endless possibility. Swim away the heat of the day surrounded by multitudes of butterflies in shady monsoon forest pools in Gubara. Take in the soaring views at Gunlom Plunge Pool or feel the energy and enchantment of Jim Jim Falls, where a two hundred metre high waterfall is a majestic contrast against the red ochre landscape. Finish your stay with a stop at Yellow Water, a land-locked billabong brimming with native flora, fauna, and sunsets for postcard-perfect memories. Kakadu National Park is affordable, unforgettable and there will be no bickering children dragging their feet in stretched queues.