A large city in Australia’s Queensland state, Brisbane is beaming with things to do for both adults and children. If you’re a parent like myself, you’ll know that planning a holiday requires intensive research on kid-friendly places. If you have a sassy daughter like me, you’ll also want to be sure to add places that aren’t considered ‘boring’ to your family holiday’s itinerary.

Famous for many things, some of them being art museums, the laidback culture, and lamingtons – the list is endless for fun things to do with your children. It doesn’t matter whether you want to eat, play, or shop; this city has it all.

Here are some of the best activities to get into with your little (or big) ones on your next trip to the Sunshine Coast!

For the animal lovers

1. Get to know Australia’s wildlife – Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Suitable for all ages, a trip to Queensland wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most unique wildlife, and we mean really close. Like cuddle with a koala or just sprawl next to a kangaroo kind of close.

There are many encounters to choose from at this sanctuary, which happens to be the largest koala sanctuary. Take your pick at getting to know and learn more about the platypus, owls, and other iconic Australian wildlife.

There’s also the Riverside Cafe in the sanctuary itself, so if the kids get hungry, you can make a pit stop for some food.

Address: 708 Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket, 4069 Queensland

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2. Visit Steve Irwin’s legacy – Australia Zoo

Sprawled across 700 acres, the Australia Zoo was a dream brought to life by the late Steve Irwin and his widow, Terri. It is the world’s biggest conservation facility and educates visitors about the unique species found in Australia and the rest of the world. There is no other like it, and kids will definitely enjoy discovering why each animal is important in the wild.

Visitors get a chance to cosy up with some incredible animals thanks to the zoo’s animal encounters experience. Choose from the Sumatran tiger and red panda to Komodo dragons. You can even visit the wildlife hospital located in the zoo itself.

Address: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, 4519 Queensland

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For those who love theme parks

3. Get your adrenaline pumping – Dreamworld

Get ready for your childhood senses to be overwhelmed (but in a good way) and enjoy some thrill-seeking rides with your little ones at Goldcoast’s Dreamworld! Of course, please ensure that they’re age and height appropriate!

At Australia’s largest theme park, you will visit multiple worlds in one massive space. From shows and attractions to rides like The Tower of Terror 2, which happens to be one of the tallest and fastest rides in the world, there is plenty to do here. You can also experience Australian wildlife and learn about more than 500 native animals.

If you visit during Australia’s winter season, which is in the middle of the year, you can have fun at Winterfest – ice skating, seasonal tasting trail, and fake snow all around!

Address: Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera, 4209 Queensland

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4. Have a splashing good time – Wet’n’Wild

Are the kids buggin’ about spending time in the water, but you don’t feel like lazying by the pool or even having a dip in the salty seawater? Well, then Wet’n’Wild might be the perfect solution for everyone to have a good time.

With 22 water-themed attractions available, no one will be bored here, and there is something for every age! For the adults or big kids, give KABOOM! a go – plunge down a 10-metre drop if you dare before sliding uphill at zero gravity and coming back down at a 360-degree rotation. Hang on to your swimmers!

For the little ones, start at the Wet’n’Wild Junior Fortress pool before getting them to brave the kid-friendly water slides.

Address: Pacific Mwy, Oxenford, 4210 Queensland

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For the tame-hearted

5. Fun for hours for free – Bray Farm Park

Are your kids (or you) a big Harry Potter fan? If so, stop at Bray Farm Park for a couple of hours. Here you’ll find a whimsical public playground that resembles a very Harry Potter-esque theme. Your kids will be kept busy for hours, and you can finally sit down for more than five minutes.

Let the little ones enjoy themselves by climbing over the castle, zipping down the slides, and crossing the bridge. There are also swings and ropes to scale too! Pack some sandwiches and drinks, and you’ve got yourself a nice outdoor day.

Address: Rivermint Sreet, Griffin, 4503 Queensland

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6. Get lost in books – The Mad Hatter’s Bookshop

Located in Manly, Brisbane, The Mad Hatter’s Bookshop is all you’d imagine a community bookshop to be and more. So, if you have little and big kids that love reading or want to encourage them to love doing it, then visit this bookstore.

Besides being a charming space where you can find books catered to kids and adults, The Mad Hatter’s Bookstore also runs in-house events, so be sure to keep up with their social media if you plan on a visit. No kid will say no to story-telling time; they have plenty of that here.

Address: Shop 3, Manly 7 Day Markets, 50 Cambridge Parade, Manly, Queensland 4179

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