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Adventure Baby

Beach holiday in Australia

Australia is well known for its stunning beaches, enticing tourists to flock to our shores every year on a pilgrimage to experience the perfect beach holiday. If you’re visiting an Australian beach this summer, ensure your trip is a dream vacation with these handy tips.

What to pack

Let’s face it, the beach with kids means lots of stuff! Prepare by finding a beach bag that’s waterproof and can easily shake the sand out, as well as being large enough to carry everyone’s towels, toys and clothes. My fave is the range of beach bags from Project 10.

Fill your bag with this list of essentials

Spare clothes for the kids (because you know they’re going to need it!)

A wet bag for swimmers


Thongs/slip on water shoes like Crocs or Natives

Cooler bag with water/snacks like fruit/picnic lunch

Sand toys/Frisbee/ball

If you’re planning on going snorkelling, we found that AquaGear full-face masks make it much easier for kids as they can breathe through their nose or mouth without having to worry about biting down on the mouthpiece that kids find so tricky. We struggled with taking our daughter snorkelling until we discovered these masks.

What to pack

What not to pack

Leave all your valuables at home! Unless someone is going to sit on the beach with your stuff while everyone else is swimming, bring as little of value with you to the beach as possible to avoid potential theft or loss of your items. Our money is waterproof so we zip a few notes into our pockets and keep them with us even in the water and leave wallets in the hotel.

Prepare for the heat

Summer in Australia is literally one of the hottest places on Earth. With temperatures often soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (that’s over 104 degrees Celsius) and a giant hole in the Ozone Layer directly overhead to boot, take care of yourself and the kids to prevent both sunburn and heatstroke.

1. Stay out of the sun in the middle of the day

Go to the beach in the morning or late afternoon and head back to the shade before the sun reaches its peak. Use the middle of the day for lunch, naps, reading books or even a bit of screen time in an air conditioned house.

2. Go crazy with the sunscreen

Apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours as well as after swimming. Our whole family uses the Australian Cancer Council’s SPF 50+ Kids Sunscreen range.

3. Wear wide-brimmed hats

We also buy our wide-brimmed hats. Bucket hats are best for kids as they protect their necks and ears as well as their faces.

4. Pack a pop-up tent or umbrella

If you’re planning on sitting at the beach all day it’s a worthwhile investment and you can find one pretty cheap from Kmart or Target.

5. Dress appropriately

Long sleeve rash tops for the kids (and you!) and light cotton tops/dresses with long sleeves where possible over the top for when you’re not in the water.

6. Stay hydrated

Pack plenty of cold water. I freeze water the night before, or add ice cubes to insulated water bottles that stay cold for up to 12 hours.

Adventure Baby

Christine Knight writes about navigating the world and parenthood on her site, Adventure, Baby!. You can find her sampling gelato and cake around the world with her preschooler, or building sandcastles at the beach in her home town of Sydney.

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