Cape Hillsborough Mackay family

How to maximise the school holidays in Queensland in 2018

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It’s no surprise that by the time school holidays roll around the kids (and parents) are absolutely knackered from a demanding school term.

After a few days at home to re-energise, the little bunnies can hit boredom mode before you can even ask “what shall we do today?”.  Make the most of this blissful time of school reprieve and plan a well-deserved family holiday.

With four school holiday periods throughout the calendar year, planning breaks in advance will help you maximise the days off and create some awesome family memories with holiday experiences all over the state.

Adventure? Check. Island relaxation? Check. Nature exploration? Check. Educational ventures? Check. The range of holiday experiences in Queensland will certainly make for a brag-worthy return to school.

Check out our 2018 calendar complete with travel times and holiday tips to make the most of the school holidays for your fam in 2018.

School Holidays Calendar 2018 Queensland

*Information and suggestions in the calendar and post are to be used as inspiration and a guide only as we acknowledge that everyone’s situation is different. It is based on the standard four weeks of annual leave and the standard working week in Australia. It also focuses on main school and public holidays for the Australian East Coast, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

January – Beach it

Tallebugera Creek, Gold Coast

School Holidays: 1 January – 21 January

Where to go: Currumbin, Gold Coast

Towards the southern end of the Gold Coast lies the community coastal neighborhood of Currumbin. The Currumbin Creek waterway links the ocean through to the rainforest making it the perfect base for both coastal and hinterland shenanigans.

Have a family SUP session in Currumbin Creek, head into the hinterland to explore Springbrook National Park or meet the friendly locals and maneuver the Treetop Challenge at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

March to April – Adventure and Outback

Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton

School Holidays: 30 March – 16 April

Where to go: Moreton Island

Easter holidays kick off at the end of March and run through to mid-April and this is a great time to soak up the Queensland sunshine before the mercury drops. Head to Moreton Island for a family holiday bonanza on the third largest sand island in the world.

Only a 75-minute catamaran cruise from Brisbane, explore this nature theme park on a Quad Bike Tour, fly down the sand dunes on a toboggan or snorkel the sunken shipwrecks off the island. The friendly dolphin locals make an appearance almost every night at the shore of Tangalooma Island Resort where you can exchange a fish for a photo op with these beautiful creatures.

Where to go: Road trip through Outback Queensland

Make like the Griswold’s and pack the family into the car for an epic road trip west. Don’t fret, the Easter Bunny will still be able to find the kids in Outback Queensland and he may even g’day to his bilby mates at the Charleville Bilby Centre on his way.

There is an abundance of self-drive journeys which take you from the coast to Outback Queensland and they will all guarantee adventure, history, exploration and incredible scenery along the way.

Take the Dinosaur Trail through the towns of Richmond, Hughenden, and Winton,  fossick for sapphires at the Sapphire Gemfields west of Rockhampton, explore incredible outback gorges or head to Charleville to meet the Bilby and check out the Cosmos Centre and Observatory.

June to July – Island time

Catseye Beach Hamilton Island, The Whitsundays

School Holidays: 30 June – 15 July

Where to go: Fraser Island

Take the beach highway and set up camp on world heritage-listed Fraser Island. Only a 45-minute ferry ride from Hervey Bay, get your family on a digital detox to really dive in and explore the island.

Keep the kids busy by swimming in Lake Mackenzie, fishing for Taylor (the scaly kind, not to be confused with pop-princess Swifty), hiking the Fraser Island Great Walk, 4wding (from the back-seat) 75 Mile Beach or exploring this barefoot paradise on their own two tootsies.

You won’t be the only ones here during school holidays as this is the perfect time to spot the Humpback Whales migrating north for the Winter.

Where to go: Hamilton Island

Alright, stop. Hammo time.

Activate your island mode these holidays and fly directly into Hamilton Island (from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne). Perfect for kids, the island is dotted with family-friendly activities in every direction your self-driving golf buggy can take you. Think kid’s club, mini golf course, bowling alley, go-kart track and a tennis court all on one self-contained island. And, of course, hourly tours by boat, plane or helicopter to neighboring islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Fun and cost-efficient fact: Many accommodations provide ‘kids stay and eat free’ options.

September – Marine life or country life

Great Barrier Reef snorkelling Cairns

School Holidays: 22 September – 7 October

Where to go: Cairns and GBR

Home to all things world-heritage listed, venture to Cairns for a reef meets rainforest getaway in the one place. Spend a couple of days snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and spend a few more immersing yourself in part of the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest. Learn about Aboriginal culture at Mossman Gorge, take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over Baron Gorge National Park or to challenge the whole family, check out Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome.

Where to go: Farm stay in the Scenic Rim

Devices down! Time to connect of a different kind and escape the city for the good old country life. From Brisbane, you are only 90 minutes away from Tommerups Dairy Farm Stay in the Scenic Rim where you can stay and play with the farm’s cows, chickens, sheep, pigs, and goats. E-I-E-I-O!

Get your hands dirty helping the Tommerup family on the farm or kick back and lose yourself in the country ambiance. Can’t you already feel that serenity!

December – Turtle-y awesome experience

Turtle Hatchling Mon Repos

School Holidays: 15 December – 28 January 2019

Where to go: Bundaberg

From November to January, mother turtles come ashore to lay their eggs at Mon Repos. In 6-8 weeks these loggerhead baby turtles will hatch and make their way to the ocean in their first hours of life.

See the mumma turtles on a twilight tour or learn about the life cycle of these gorgeous creates and the Mon Repos Conservation Park. During your stay in the Bundaberg North Burnett region, make sure to spend a few days over at Lady Elliot Island which marks the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. And one for the parentals as thanks for an awesome getaway, treat yourselves to a Bundaberg Rum Distillery Tour.

What do you have planned for the school holidays in 2018?