7 Beach Destinations for fabulous family Holidays
As a city dweller I find nothing comes close to locations that combine a little luxury with stunning natural environments. Dreaming of getting off the grid to recharge your batteries, enjoy family and friends and spend some time floating in water, gazing at clouds and smelling the frangipanis?
When my boys were younger choosing a holiday was easier; find a great kids club with loads of activities and we were set. Now they are teens they are wanting more experiences; from snorkelling, to the exhilaration of waterskiing, to learning new skills and meeting local people in the places we visit.
Read on for my pick of ‘7 beach destinations‘ that deliver fabulous family holidays. Where adults can relax and kids can have a ball. Activities that get them away from technology and into games and the great outdoors. From secluded to populated, there is something for everyone – because each family is different.
Pack your bags because they are all less than a day flying time from East Coast Australia – you could be there by dinner.
“A beach is always a good idea,” The Urban Mum
Australia – Broome
Because there is Cable Beach – a sandy magnificence that is hard to beat. Camel riding, wildlife spotting and lots of nature time. Western Australia can be overlooked by those of us who live in the East of Australia – it seems too far or we simply fly over it in our chase to get somewhere else. Put it on your itinerary – when you are watching idyllic sunsets over the Indian Ocean you will be glad you did. In the words of a well-travelled friend “It is one of the best family holidays we have had, for natural beauty and relaxation…”.
Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa – loads of family friendly options (kids pool, in-room fridges and on-site laundry) with all you need at the Resort – yet easy walking distance to attractions and restaurants.
Australia – Lord Howe Island
Remember family holidays when you were a kid? When you could play outside all day, traffic was virtually non-existant and exploring was on the cards. Well that sums up Lord Howe Island, except fabulous foodie experiences and lovely little comforts are also to hand. Close to Sydney and Brisbane and on our family ‘List’ for 2016.
Fish feeding, snorkelling, hiking – beautiful beaches and bush; with guest numbers limited and only about 350 permanent residents you will return home relaxed and longing to return.
Once you stay at Pinetrees Lodge Lord Howe Island you will see why so many guests are repeat visitors. Voted a few years ago as the ‘Best Affordable Resort in Australia’ you can enjoy the renowned meals, spa treatments and activities from the beachfront position.
Australia – The Whitsundays – Hamilton Island
I have been visiting Hamilton Island since the doors were first thrown open on this unique Australian destination; over the years this resort has gone from strength to strength. That you can hop on a mid-morning plane from Sydney (or Melbourne and Brisbane) and arrive in the vicinity of lunchtime, makes it a brilliant option for all kinds of holidays. Holidays with kids (big & little), short breaks, and special occasions.
Some detractors might mention that the island is built up and commercial – a thorn amongst the National Parks of the 74 Whitsunday Islands. Yes the resort is populated – but hey it is fun, and the vibe is tropical, and the restaurants are yum, and the water is gorgeous…isn’t that what holidays are about…
You choose. From High-rise apartments to Beachside bungalows – hire a house or stay on a boat. Every accommodation option is catered for on Hamilton Island.
Fiji – Vomo Island
Because I lived in Fiji as a child and it will always be on the top of my family holiday locations (also listed at #10 on Lonely Planet Top Countries for 2016). Delivering relaxation and natural beauty in spades – accommodation options are vast. I love the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa – for a different option on our next visit I am going to seek out a Private Villa holiday for an extended family break. For an island interlude you cannot go past…
Vomo Resort Fiji with only 28 villas and 2 private residences – 15 minutes via helicopter from Nadi (boat transfers also available), this is all out island glamour. Home to soft sandy beaches and clear blue waters – a complete haven of relaxation, with loads of luxurious touches (recently $12 million was spent on refurbishing the Villas). You might even spot a celebrity – if that is your thing.
Hawaii – Kona Coast
Despite the fall in the AUD, Hawaii continues to be a hot spot for Australian families. With much planned for 2016 (the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour; and regularly visited areas – Haleakalā National Park and Volcanoes National Park – turn 100). As a high percentage of holidaymakers return year after year – the time has come for me to investigate. Described by a regular visitor as, “Exotic, but easy”.
With seven swimming pools and an oceanfront setting Four Seasons Hualalai promises a luxurious blend of culture, fabulous food and lots to do (even featuring a golf course – a pre-requisite for The Husband).
New Zealand – Awaroa
New Zealand is consistently rated as the top overseas destination for Australian Travellers. I am a ‘kiwi’ by birth and worked for many years at Tourism New Zealand – you could say there is not a lot of the country that I haven’t visited. I hear friends saying they will leave NZ until they are older – don’t, go now – it truly is a perfect destination for families – the food the wine the scenery are hard to beat.
Peppers Awaroa Lodge , located in a remote wilderness location in the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park, surrounded by native bushland, picturesque bays and golden sandy beaches. Access is via boat, sea kayak or the Abel Tasman walking track – so the adventure begins before you even arrive.
I used to holiday at this bay as a young child, albeit not in as much comfort as you will find at the Peppers Awaroa Lodge. The food is renowned (with their own market gardens for veggies and herbs), the service relaxed and fine. A fabulous point to note is that amongst the 26 villas there is family friendly accommodation – sleeping up to 6 comfortably.
Vietnam – Hoi An
Hoi An – a tiny UNESCO World Heritage listed ‘Ancient Town’ on the South Central Coast of Vietnam – historically a major Port, now a riverside window to the past. Electic rows of Japanese merchant houses, ancient tea warehouses and Chinese temples jostle for space amongst visitors. Yet despite rice fields making way for tourism, somehow the charm is upheld and deserves a place on your itinerary. Chaotic street scenes, flavoursome food, and exquisite tailoring. We loved our holiday to this tiny town.
On our visit we didn’t stay at the Nam Hai, a decision I regret. Beachfront Villas, organic vegetable gardens, kids club, dreamy swimming pools – all within a short drive of Hoi An centre.
** thank you to all the above properties who very generously made their Image Libraries available to The Urban Mum.
Are you a Beach Destination Family?
Where are you off to for Christmas this year?