Big Nature

The positive connection between kids playing outside and their cognitive development is widely reported, which is good news for Australians who have 28-million hectares of national parks in their backyard.  

If you want to get specific about it, there are more than 500 national parks across the country, covering the equivalent of 28-million rugby fields with lush rainforest, dry scrub and mangrove forests to name a few types.  

If you think your kids need some green time to balance out their screen time, plan your next holiday around one of these national parks. 

 

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

The world’s largest sand island needs no introduction for those who like their holidays to come with a side of boating, camping and fishing.

You’ll find this 123km island just off the coast of Hervey Bay, about three hours north of the Queensland capital.

This 4WD-only haven is the moth to an adventure seeker’s flame, with bumpy inland tracks connecting visitors to its crystal clear perched lakes and freshwater streams that wind out to highways (and tarmacs if we are getting technical) made entirely of sand.

Fraser Island might not have been made in a day (seriously, scientists estimate it’s taken hundreds of thousands of years of wind, waves and ocean currents to carry the sand here), but you can still see it in one.

Plan a day trip to this World Heritage-listed wonder and save yourself the stress (and damage) to your own 4WD by booking a day tour through Ingenia Holidays Hervey Bay.

 

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Find Nemo, Dory and Crush with a visit to the world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef on your next Tropical North Queensland adventure.

Considering the reef stretches for more than 2,600km, you’ll need to get a tasky about which reef you’re going to discover.

If it’s your first time, we’d recommend diving into the world’s largest living organism from Cairns or Port Douglas, which both support a majority of the 2-million visitors who visit the reef each year.

You’ll be spoilt for boat cruise choice when booking through Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut, but if you’re travelling with little ones we’d recommend an operator with a pontoon moored on the outer reef, so you have a home base in case the little swimmers get tired.

A pontoon based adventure will also mean you’ll have access to tours which don’t involve swimming, like glass-bottom boats, semi-submersibles and underwater observatories - so the reef is accessible, no matter your swimming ability.

 

Nightcap National Park

Nightcap National Park, New South Wales

This national park, located an hour-and-a-half from Byron Bay’s city centre will give new meaning to the word ‘nightcap’.

You’ll need to swap the beach for the bush to find it, but don’t worry, you’ll still need your swimmers in this national park, famous for its waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes.

Bush walks are high on the agenda with the Big Scrub Loop (1.5km loop), perfect for smaller legs, or the full day Goorgana walking trail which will take you to the peaks of the park (grade five and only for experienced walkers), if you’ve left the kids with the grandparents.

If you just want to kick back in nature, pack a picnic and throw down a rug at the Minyon Falls lookout, where you can chew with a view of the 100m high waterfall.

Plan your free family day out from Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay, only 60km from your cabin, caravan or campsite.

Arakoon National Park

Arakoon National Park, South West Rocks

It’s not every national park that hides away a historic gaol, but Arakoon National Park on the New South Wales’ mid-coast does. After exploring its beaches, rocky foreshores and headlands perfect for spotting migrating whales, visit the Trial Bay Gaol for a taste of early 19th-century history. Explore this gaol whose stone walls date back to the year 1866 with a guided tour, which run day and night for some additional spook-factor. Either way, you’ll need about an hour to explore the ruins of the gaol, even longer if you make it to the sentry’s lookout whose views prove this must have once been one of Australia’s most spectacular prisons.

You’ll find this national park a short 11-minute drive from Ingenia Holidays South West Rocks - combining coastline views with early Australian history.

Great Sandy National Park

Great Sandy National Parks

We raise Rupert Holmes’ pina coladas and long walks on the beach with the Great Sandy Straits’ long drives on the beach.

The Great Sandy National Park aka Cooloola connects Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, with one Great Beach Drive.

Never heard of it? Not many people have - despite its coloured sand cliffs, giant sand blows and native forests, which prove mother nature truly is an artist.

In fact, sand, wind and water have done the landscaping, architecture and interior design of this national park, carving out high sand dunes, sweeping beaches and tall forests that grow out of sand (in parts) not soil.

Discover it by 2WD or 4WD (noting that different tracks will apply) or on foot with walking tracks which range in distance from a 200m Searys Creek Boardwalk to a 30km day-long hike.

By tyre or toes, access this free natural playground from BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Noosa, 10km or 30minutes drive from the coastline where the park begins.

Book your next holiday in nature: ingeniaholidays.com.au/our-parks/nature-lovers