100 things to do with kids in Queensland

100 things to do with kids in Queensland before they grow up

Life is short. You don’t need a blog to tell you that! Even though it feels like an eternity during those years when the kids are small and keeping you up at night, terrorising your house… and car… and sanity, and asking you a million questions All. Day. Long.

Truth is, they’ll be grown before you know it and you’ll want to recapture the magic of their little personalities before all the eye-rolling began. Take this mama’s word for it and make the most of the years when hanging and travelling with the parents is still fun and you’re not at risk of wrecking their street cred.

Queensland is a playground of family activities that create memories you’ll want to re-live over and over again. Here we’ve rounded up 100 things to do with kids… before they grow up!

Champagne Rock Pools, Fraser Island | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland before they grow up

Champagne Rock Pools | Fraser Island

1. Pitch a tent and camp on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island (aka the largest sand island on the planet). Not only are there shipwrecks and dingoes to keep the kids ooo-ing and ahh-ing, but rainforest hikes, Caribbean-blue freshwater lakes and Champagne Rock Pools (not actually containing alcohol, just FYI).

2. Fly high at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach and see where the legacy of one of Australia’s greatest companies began.

3. Teach the kids to speak whale when you go whale watching in Hervey Bay. Don’t forget the camera because you’ll want to capture the smiles and tail slaps!

4. See dolphins fly (true story) at Sea World on the Gold Coast.

5. Follow in the footsteps of the prehistoric creatures that once inhabited Australia along Outback Queensland’s dinosaur trail.

Outback Queensland Dinosaur Trail | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

6.  No fruit sums up summer better than a juicy mango, and what better place to sink your teeth in than in Queensland’s mango capital.

7. Soar above the ancient Daintree Rainforest canopy when you go Jungle Surfing in Tropical North Queensland.

8. Spend a weekend exploring the rolling hills and lavender fields around Killarney, with a pit-stop to ogle at Queen Mary Falls.

9. Ride the Ginger Train, eat freshly-churned ice-cream, learn the secrets of a beehive, and stock up on chocolate-coated ginger at the Ginger Factory in Yandina.

10. Witness the circle of life as thousands of baby turtles hatch and make their way to the water’s edge at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre in Bundaberg from November to March each year.

Turtles hatching at Mon Repos | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

11. They say food tastes so much sweeter when you’ve worked for it – put that to the test picking your own apples in Stanthorpe.

12. Take your little sports fanatics to watch the State of Origin (or any game) at Suncorp Stadium.

13. Scratch the earth’s surface when fossicking for gems in the Sapphire Gemfields around Emerald.

14. Cuddle a koala at the largest koala sanctuary in the world. And if you’re here on the first or third Friday of the month, stick around for their local farmer’s markets and free outdoor cinema – BYO blankets, pillows and pooch (yep, dogs are welcome but must remain on their lead at all times).

15. Take to the treetops of Lamington National Park along O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk.

O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

16. Swim with seals and make friends with seahorses, sharks and other fishy creatures at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast.

17. Stand-up paddle the still waters of the Mossman River in Tropical North Queensland. There’s no better place to learn for small beginners!

18. See some of the best-preserved remnants of ancient volcanoes at the Undara Lava Tubes.

19. Learn the history behind Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda in the town where it all started.

20. Snorkel right off the beach and watch the manta rays and turtles swim by at Lady Elliot Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Lady Elliot Island | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

21. Have breakfast with the wallabies on the beach at Cape Hillsborough near Mackay.

22. Say g’day to the resident dingoes at Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary.

23. Take a walk through Burleigh Heads National Park and finish with a cool dip in the clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek.

24. Browse local knick-knacks and original arts and crafts at the artisan Eumundi Markets on the Sunshine Coast.

25. Take a joy ride in one of the last remaining Cobb & Co. stagecoaches in Longreach.

Kinnon and Co Outback Experiences | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

26. Stop to smell the roses (and eat and drink some fine local nosh and tipple) at the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

27. Discover the green behind the Gold Coast on a day-trip to the lush Mount Tamborine.

28. Ride the old steam train through World Heritage-listed rainforest, past steep ravines and over dramatic waterfalls on the Kuranda Scenic Rail.

29. Go wild and get a little (okay, a lot) wet when you go splashtastic at Wet ‘n’ Wild.

30. Hand-feed wild dolphins at Tangalooma on Moreton Island.

Dolphins at Tangalooma | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

31. Spot a platypus along the Broken River circuit through Eungella National Park near Mackay.

32. Taste-test more than 20 types of flavoured peanuts when you visit the Peanut Van in Kingaroy.

33. Take the best family selfie ever on Australia’s most beautiful beach in The Whitsundays.

34. Get a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest and Barron Gorge when you traverse between Cairns and Kuranda on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

35. Tour the moss-covered castle ruins and the bamboo forest at Paronella Park.

Paronella Park | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

36. Live the high-roller life when you cruise Hamilton Island in your own family buggy.

37. Milk the cows, feed the chickens, and enjoy some country quiet at these farm stays in Queensland.

38. Learn to master the waves with a surf lesson on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.

39. Uncover sandstone cliffs, colourful gorges and ancient Aboriginal rock art on a camping trip to Queensland’s Green Canyon.

40. Enjoy a day in the sun at Streets Beach – the only inner-city beach in Australia – at South Bank in Brisbane.

South Bank | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

41. Take a bushwalk in the Glass House Mountains National Park for some epic scenery and fresh air.

42. Spend a day with the mighty crocs and meet the Irwin’s at Australia Zoo.

43. Spot wild koalas along the Forts Walk on Magnetic Island.

44. Go to town on rides, show bags and street eats (don’t forget the strawberry sundaes) at Brisbane’s Ekka.

45. Book a cabin for a long weekend in the Bunya Mountains and explore the eucalypt forests and woodlands, home to the largest forest of Bunya pines in the world.

Bunya Mountains National Park | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

46. Visit a slice of history when you check out the National Carriage Collection of horse-drawn vehicles at the Cobb & Co Museum in Toowoomba.

47. Get up close and personal to marine life at one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons at Daydream Island in the Whitsundays.

48. Meet a bilby in Charleville.

49. Take your little gems to dig for their own in the opal fields of Yowah.

50. Take a river tour of Brisbane on a CityCat, or better yet, hop on and off the CityHopper for FREE.

Brisbane CityCat | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

51. Meet Mary Poppins in Maryborough – the birthplace of famed author P.L. Travers.

52. Safari through Tiger Island at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

53. Treat your kids to a cold one… of ginger beer that is. You can sample a whopping 14 varieties at Bundaberg Ginger Beer’s Bundy Barrel.

54. Visit the Ipswich Rail Museum for a constant schedule of kid-friendly activities.

55. Culture your kids at GOMA’s Children’s Art Centre in Brisbane.

Gallery of Modern Art | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

56. Thrill yourselves silly on simulators, slides, bumps and coasters at Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast.

57. Chase waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland (you can bet the stunner Crystal Cascades and Stoney Creek Falls are on the bucket list).

58. Grab the bikes and start a playground crawl along the Oceanway, Gold Coast’s 36km network of pathways that hug the shoreline.

59. Go green at Brisbane’s Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.

60. Feed rainbow lorikeets and meet Blinky Bill at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

61. Hike the Granite Arch Circuit at Girraween National Park. The easy trail is perfect for little legs.

62. Take a wheely fun ride – with views to match – on the Wheel of Brisbane.

63. Top up the learning tanks at the Queensland Museum and Sciencecentre, part of the cultural district at South Bank.

64. Head for the hills! Castle Hill in Townsville, that is, and be rewarded with 360-degree views over the city when you reach the top.

65. Sand-surf Birdsville’s Big Red sand dune. Better yet, head out for the Big Red Bash and make it a long weekend of good tunes and desert entertainment.

Birdsville Big Red | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

66. Take a hike to the Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park – you can even spot glow worms after dark!

67. Be entertained by amazing animal stars, death-defying stunts and stunning aerial performances at Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast.

68. Introduce the kids to the rich and ancient Indigenous culture of Tropical North Queensland at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

69. Do some beachcombing in the rock pools of Mooloolaba.

70. Hook ‘em horns at the Texas Longhorn Wagon Tour, outside Charters Towers.

Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours and Safaris | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

71. Watch fireworks explode over Brisbane at Riverfire – the culmination of a month of Brisbane Festival-ing.

72. Watch out for snappers on a crocodile safari along the Proserpine River.

73. Picnic and play on the river at the picturesque New Farm Park in Brisbane, and in summer, catch a flick at their seasonal Moonlight Cinema.

74. Hook, line and sinker your own seafood dinner fishing off the Urangan Pier in Hervey Bay.

75. Peek into the universe stargazing at the Cosmos Centre in Charleville.

Cosmos Centre and Observatory | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

76. Visit the Mystery Craters, located halfway between Bundaberg and Gin Gin, and debate what created the baffling earth formations.

77. Ride the ferry from Brisbane over to North Stradbroke Island for a relaxing weekend of sun, surf and sand.

78. Watch little jaws drop at the longest single-drop waterfall in Australia – Wallaman Falls.

79. Play ‘I spy’ cassowary spotting at the coastal villages of Mission Beach.

80. Traverse across land AND water in the Town of Seventeen Seventy aboard the pink amphibious LARC!

1770 LARC! Tours | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

81. Thrill your big kids on one of the Gold Coast theme park roller coasters.

82. Play some tunes at the musical fence in Winton – Outback Queensland’s most famous fence.

83. All aboard! Take a ride on the Mary Ann Steam Engine – a replica of the first steam train built in Queensland – as it chugs around Maryborough’s Queens Park.

84. Visit the only African lion pride in Queensland at the Darling Downs Zoo in Toowoomba.

85. Pick your own strawberries at any one of the many PYO spots in South-East Queensland.

Strawberry picking | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

86. Ride around in a topless car on the only Great Barrier Reef island with its own postcode.

87. Grab fish and chips for a picnic lunch or dinner on one of Queensland’s famous beaches.

88. Book a houseboat and cruise the kids around Queensland’s waterways at your own pace.

89. Does ice-cream count for dinner? Treat your picky eaters to their choice of meals at Brisbane’s Eat Street Markets, where there’s literally something for everyone (even pooches!).

90. Discover the secrets of the deep at Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium in Townsville.

Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

91. Show your kids exactly where their food comes when you meet the local producers on the Sunshine Coast.

92. Pack your babies and your fur babies in the car and head to one of Queensland’s dog-friendly beaches.

93. Delve deep into the earth when you uncover the ancient Capricorn Caves.

94. Get messy with some melon on your melon at the Chinchilla Melon Festival. Melon skiing, melon bungee and pip spitting are all on the cards.

95. Party with the little pints at Queensland’s most family-friendly festival, Woodford Folk Festival.

Woodford Folk Festival | 100 things to do with kids in Queensland

96. Take a quick 40-minute Fast Cat ride from Cairns to Fitzroy Island and start splishing and splashing in no time. The resort even has its very own super-sized water trampolines!

97. Feel the magic of the Great Barrier Reef; hop on a big cruiser out to a pontoon for creature-comfort ease, or take a thrilling ocean rafter to a more secluded spot. Either way, you’ll never forget your experience at one of the greatest natural wonders of this world.

98. Get dirty at the natural spring mud baths at Eulo. It does wonders for the skin!

99. Stock up on sweet treats at the chocolate and candy shops while you stroll along Montville‘s main street.

100. Play backseat bingo on a road trip with this ‘big things in Queensland’ bucket list.

How many of these kid-tastic activities has your family ticked off? (For the record, my family is at 49.) Let’s compare notes in the comments!

*This post was originally published in 2016 and updated in March 2018.