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Pro Dive Lord Howe Island

Image © Destination NSW

6 places for the adventurous family

Want to go on an outdoors adventure? Jennifer Ennion reveals the best places to go.

From surfing and fishing to mountain biking and snowboarding, there are so many ways families can enjoy action in the great outdoors together. If you’re ready to step it up and go outside your comfort zone with some adrenaline-packed fun during your next family holiday, here are my picks for Australia’s best kid-friendly adventures.

Lord Howe Island paddle boarding

BEST FOR both beginner and experienced paddle boarders

The crystal-clear waters of Lord Howe Island’s lagoon may just be the most beautiful place in Australia to test your balance. While teetering on the edge of your paddle board you can spot an array of sea creatures – from turtles to Spanish dancers – in the pristine waters. Teens can head out to the rolling surf of the outer reef, while beginners and little ones can enjoy the more sheltered waters near the shoreline. Boards can be hired through Pro Dive Lord Howe Island.

Image © Jennifer Ennion

Thredbo mountain biking

BEST FOR any child who can comfortably ride a bicycle

If you spend your weekends cycling as a family and you’re ready to step up the adventure factor, head to one of Australia’s best locations for mountain biking: Thredbo. The year-round resort in the Snowy Mountains caters for all levels of experience, with challenging downhill tracks as well as mellow beginner routes. Thredbo Valley Track is a great option for family bike rides.

Adventure through Katherine

The Katherine Region has an abundance of family-friendly adventurous activities on its doorstep – from off-the-beaten track bushwalks and swimming in waterfalls to mountain biking and rock climbing – all within gorgeous natural surrounds, such as the famous Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park. You can organise a tour through the Katherine Tourism Visitors Centre or alternatively create your own self-drive itinerary to discover all this wild ‘Big River Country’ has to offer.

Airlie Beach jetskiing

BEST FOR children aged eight years or older who are good swimmers

Get up close to sea turtles on the Airlie Adventure with Whitsunday Jetski Tours. Spend 1.5 hours exploring protected Pioneer Bay, Port of Airlie and Airlie Beach on a guided tour. Be sure to keep an eye out for the turtles, as well as dugongs and seabirds. You can book a morning or afternoon session, and life vests, rashies and sunglasses are provided.