Want to do a Tour but don’t want a big day with a tired child at the end of it? Read on to find the best tours catering for little people.
When I am asked the question, what is the best tour for kids? I always answer it the same way, it really depends on your kids. All kids are different and what one child may enjoy, the next may not. Ive met parents who have traveled from overseas with their brand new 6 week old baby and bought them out on a boat for a full (nine hour) day trip. Conversely Ive also met parents with a 3 year old who knew their child couldn’t handle any longer than a half day trip. As a parent you’ll have a pretty good idea of what your child is capable of. Below are a few of the more popular tours we book for children.
The most under rated trip in The Whitsundays – Bredl’s Wild Farm. Jump in the back of their covered truck as they drive into the crocodile pens to feed and inform you about these magnificent creatures. Then join your fellow tourists in the under cover arena to cuddle the koalas, wombats, kangaroos and even a snake or baby crocodile should you choose. A truly unforgettable experience, Kids of all ages LOVE IT!!
Would rather see Crocodiles in the wild? The Crocodile Safari will take you out in a boat on the Proserpine River to spot crocodiles in their natural habitat. After a scrumptious BBQ lunch enjoy a wetland tour in an open wagon. A great trip for kids of any age.
If you’re chasing a land based tour for the whole family, The Hydeaway Bay bus tour is a great option. They will take you down to Cedar Creek Falls for a swim, stop at The Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation – coffee for the adults and an animal menagerie for the kids. Finally sit back and enjoy the 45 minute drive up to the beautiful Hydeaway Bay for lunch and a swim or walk on the beach.
If your kids are too young for snorkeling but old enough too appreciate seeing coral, fish, turtles and rays, you should definitely check out the Glass Bottom Boat tour. Its only a short 70 minute tour that runs out of Shute Harbour (10 minutes out of Airlie). This tour would be in my top 5 tours for under 5’s, its short and smaller children are usually fascinated with the underwater world.
Wanting The Whitehaven Beach Experience? Not all boats to Whitehaven are child friendly, in fact we even have boats who refuse to take younger children. For very young children or children who may not be up for a long day on a boat, the Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island self guided tour is a brilliant option. What I love about this tour is the flexibility. Most children are up early so I recommend going to Whitehaven Beach in the morning (you spend about two and a half hours on the Southern End of Whitehaven, please note this will not take you anywhere near the Hill Inlet Lookout). The boat then drops you at Hamilton Island (you can bring a pram onto the boat to use at Hamilton) for lunch at the Marina Tavern and you have the afternoon to explore the island at your leisure. There is a free hop on, hop off bus that loops the island, have a swim in the resort pools at Catseye beach, or have a wander through the wildlife park. At anytime during the afternoon you can jump on a ferry and head back to the mainland if your little one has had enough.
Alternatively if you think you’re kids aren’t up to a morning at the beach (or maybe the weather isn’t so good, especially if its windy) another great option is Daydream and Hamilton Islands. There are two different options, the only difference being with or without lunch, The Twin Island Escape ($179 per adult including lunch) or the Island Hopper pass ($159 per adult without lunch)
If you have older children or think that you’re kids would be okay with a bigger day, why not try one of the day trips to Whitehaven Beach? The Whitsunday Bullet, Ocean Rafting and Whitehaven Xpress all run a great trip if you have children. Definitely check out the weather before booking any of these trips though, travel on a day with the least amount of wind possible.
If you’re kids LOVE the water why not head to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. This is a trip I would recommend for older kids or younger kids who have grown up on boats. Its 3 hours on a boat to get out there (unless you’re doing the half day trip in the school holidays) and you absolutely should check the weather first to find a day with under 20 knots of wind (less is best – under 10 knots is a perfect day).
If you’re looking for a super special once in a lifetime experience with your older children why not consider a scenic flight or an overnight boat. The most popular scenic flights are one hour in duration, and fly over Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach and then all the way to the outer Great Barrier Reef and the infamous Heart Reef. Alternatively an overnight sailing boat will go to Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach and a number of snorkel stops. The truly unforgettable part of being on an overnight boat is enjoying dinner under the stars, falling asleep to the gentle rock of the boat and waking up to a beautiful sunrise in a secluded little bay.
No matter which tour you choose, all of our operators travel daily with kids and are very professional. Check the weather before you book and think about what you need to take to keep your kids comfortable, hat, water, sunscreen, snacks, maybe goggles if they aren’t used to snorkeling and warm clothes for the trip home.