Keep the children amused
There probably isn’t a place with a more incongruous name than Daydream Island, in the Whitsundays. Daydreaming is pretty much the only thing kids won’t have time to do on this island paradise, because there’s so much they’ll want to be getting into. The 4.5-star Daydream Island Resort and Spa has an incredible array of free activities to keep the kids busy, including scavenger hunts, an open-air cinema, beach volleyball, kayaks and catamarans, even educational talks about the Reef and shark, stingray and barramundi feeding sessions. Oh, and a kids’ club, too. Living Reef ( adults $ 20, kids $ 12) allows the little ones to get up close and personal with baby sharks and stingrays. You may even find time to sneak off to the spa. Sunlover Holidays ( 138 833 or www. sunloverholidays. com. au) has a package deal offering three nights’ accommodation at the resort in a garden balcony room – with a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival to reward you for being such awesome parents – and full buffet breakfast daily. The packages, for travel until December 11 and from January 8 to March 31 next year, are $ 750.
How’s the Serenity?
There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,’’ said Ratty to Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Most kids will agree wholeheartedly – and for a real Huckleberry Finn, Swallows and Amazons-style adventure for the rug rats, one of the best places in Australia is the Murray River. For 560km of its 3000km journey from the Snowy Mountains to the sea, the mighty Murray carves its way through South Australia’s towering cliffs, stately red gums, citrus orchards and green vineyards. You don’t have to be an old salt to take the tiller of your very own houseboat here – just a driver’s licence will do – and Murray River Houseboats ( 1300 665 122 or www. houseboatbookings. com) has everything from two-berth boats to 12-berth family leviathans at moorings all along the river, fully equipped with all the comforts of home. They have