The best places to travel with teens in Queensland
Many parents would agree that advances in technology have had an impact on the humble family holiday.
That’s why shelving your devices and setting up teen-tastic activities is the way to bring the family back together.
Get off the grid with the best places to travel with teens across this wide and varied state.
Outback Pioneers in Longreach
There’s nothing quite like introducing your teenagers to the outback while going full tilt in a stagecoach being pulled along by horses in backcountry Queensland.
Longreach is a long way from anywhere. That alone makes it a great destination for teenagers whose parents want to disconnect in order to reconnect with their kids.
At Outback Pioneers – some 1177km north-west of Brisbane – you can experience the only stagecoach gallop in Australia, which is both exhilarating and as off-the-grid as it gets.
The Cobb & Co. adventure, run by the modern-day pioneering Kinnon family, lurches along the original Windorah mail route where the countryside pours open, all grey-green scrub and blue sky.
The Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton
Forget Disney World. Winton is where it’s at.
Out here, the boulders, the sand, and the spindly trees make the landscape look otherworldly, which means it’s not much of a stretch to imagine the dinosaurs that once dominated these huge horizons.
Again, mobile phone coverage is patchy, so take advantage of the digital black-out and join your teenagers in a Dig-A-Dino experience, where you spend a week in the outback searching for fossils.
You can also inspire budding palaeontologists with a guided tour of the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument where you will see fossilized footprints that are the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede.
*The Dig-A-Dino experience is booked out for 2017 so you will need to book 12 months in advance.
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Gold Coast Hinterland
Hearing yelps and shrieks pierce the wilderness around O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is nothing to be concerned about.
It’s probably the sound of teens and tweens living out their greatest Ninja Warrior fantasies by whizzing through the forest canopy on a zipline or climbing Mick’s Tower, a rainforest observation point that’s 18m high.
Swoop down into the forest like one of the aerial predators performing in the Birds of Prey show, discover the secret world of glowworms, or go for the full Huck Finn and trudge along the 800m treetop walk.
This ultra-remote retreat located in the Gold Coast Hinterland has been welcoming adventurous travellers for more than 90 years.
Choose from fancy-pants villas or more basic two-bedroom suites. It’s the ultimate eco trip.
Surfing world-class breaks on the Gold Coast
Surf beaches are a real selling point when it comes to going on holiday with thatch-haired grommets, as most teenagers want to tick off as many breaks as they can. (It’s about bragging rights.)
Wake with the soft insistent song of your alarm clock, wax up those boards, wriggle into wetsuits and paddle out into the line-up where your teens will more than likely to see past and present pro surfers such as Mark Occhilupo and Tyler Wright tearing it up.
The waves at D-Bah, Kirra and Snapper Rocks are world-class. After a few hours hitting the surf, head to Fresh & Fried on Ward Street, Coolangatta, for a deliciously old-school bacon-and-egg burger for $8.
Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours in Cooya Beach, Tropical North Queensland
Talk about taking your teenagers out of their comfort zone.
Cooya Beach – 20km north of Port Douglas – is really where the wild things are. It’s crocodile central around here.
The brothers put everyone at ease when they explain it’s hot and crocodiles are lazy during the day. They then teach everyone – including tweens – how to throw a spear and hunt while stalking and observing wildlife.
The Walkers are descendants of the Kuku Yalanji people, who have lived on this stretch of coastline for thousands of years. What better way to teach your teens about indigenous Australia than by talking to members of the community.
Watch Brandon uses his lightning-fast reflexes to spear a large mud crab that’s destined to become supper. With the silken silt from the mudflats on your feet, plod along the fringes of the shore where you will sample a beach lettuce, beach almonds and coconuts, and delight at a large dugong grazing on sea grass.
After the 90-minute tour, head to the Walker family home where Linc and Brandon’s mum serves up bush damper and Linc cooks up the day’s catch.