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Family adventures

Family adventures

  • Seals at Seal Rock, Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia

Remember your own childhood? Endless beach days, epic tree climbs, forest expeditions? Some of the best family fun is when your own no-frills, innocent childhood fun is recreated. And wouldn't you know it? Victoria is chock-a-block with things to see and do that have been there for generations, so you can share your memories with your own family as you wander Victoria.

Never-ending beach holidays for the ages
Ah, Phillip Island. Beach fun, fish 'n chips, minigolf, Seal Rocks and the always-endearing Penguin Parade – it was made for kids. The good news is that apart from some very welcome culinary improvements, it's pretty much the same and is a guaranteed winner for a daytrip, a weekend or an entire school holidays.

Plus you've got Mornington Peninsula. It's practically in Melbourne, which reduces the likelihood of too many, "are we there yets?" The beaches will attract the kids as they've done forever, while the wineries and epicurean delights dotted around the hinterland are just the ticket after the hard work of pier-jumping, snorkelling and an over or two of beach cricket.

There are more endless beach days to be had on the Great Ocean Road, where kids can explore rock pools and jump waves until they practically taste of salt. Amble into the Otways to see what koalas see up high in the treetops, and stay until dusk to see the fireflies light up the rainforest.

Fossicking in forests and waterfall wonders
Over in the Dandenong Ranges, the atmospheric rainforests beckon children with imagination, while Puffing Billy has been straight-up delighting kids for generations. Across to the Yarra Valley and it's Healesville Sanctuary that remains the impressive drawcard, and a drop or two of fine wine as icing on the cake for the ever-patient parents.

There's no repeating the joy to be had in "discovering" Aboriginal rock art, or the elation of a waterfall thundering overhead. That's just a day out in the Grampians as it's always been.

The things you do for the kids
The gold rush is still alive and well in Ballarat and Bendigo. Relive the excitement of dressing up in period costume, panning for gold and buying ye olde lollies at Sovereign Hill – sure you're just doing it for the kids.

And there's still more. Hanging Rock is still there to be rediscovered repeatedly, and the Murray River's paddle steamers and lilo races are officially timeless. And it goes on…