TripAdvisor’s top-rated, budget-friendly attractions
With the school holidays around the corner, TripAdvisor has compiled a list of the top-rated budget-friendly things for families with kids to do around Australia. All of these cost $30 or less per person, with something to be had in all states & territories (excluding SA).
- Where: Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World (Maleny, Sunshine Coast Hinterland)
- Cost: Adults $16, children under 16 free
- Description: Set on over three hectares the manicured, magnificent Gardens are positioned high in the mountains, an idyllic 45 minutes from the local airport, providing stunning views of the area. The privately owned gardens include a panorama of waterfalls, lakes, ponds and colourful plantings. The interactive Bird Encounter in the Bird Aviary brings kids up close and personal with colourful birds of the world, from Finches to Macaws while the miniature animal enclosure is a favourite with all ages. Enjoy chicken, ducks, geese, guinea fowl and pat the animals Ginger & Frosty the alpacas and cuddle Bah Bah the sheep and Snowflake the billy goat.
- Where: Catch a cultural performance at the Waradah Aboriginal Centre (Katoomba, Blue Mountains)
- Cost: Adults $20, children 12 and under $15
- Description: The Waradah Aboriginal Centre is a landmark place showcasing the extraordinary talents and proud celebration of Aboriginal Indigenous culture, art and dance. Located adjacent to the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park on the ground floor of the Heritage Centre, it’s an ideal location for visitors to experience authentic song and dance performances, dreamtime stories and quality authentic artworks and crafts.
Where: Eureka Skydeck 88 (Melbourne)
Cost: Adults $20, children $11.50
Description: Soak up a spectacular aerial view of Melbourne with a visit to Eureka Skydeck 88: the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere. Admire the watery expanse of Port Phillip Bay and the rolling Dandenong Ranges in the distance. Even the other skyscrapers of Melbourne’s business district will seem miniature from this incredible vantage point. Thrill-seekers can upgrade to experience ‘The Edge’— a moving, glass-bottomed cube that lets you hover over the city streets 88 floors below.
- Where: The Perth Mint: Guided Heritage Tour and Gold Pour (Perth)
- Cost: Adults $19, children $8
- Description: Learn all about gold and the Australian gold rush during a one-hour tour of the Perth Mint. One of Western Australia’s oldest heritage sites, the Perth Mint features multimedia presentations, historic images and artifacts, and a dazzling array of pure gold that includes natural gold nuggets and a solid gold bar.
- Where: Perth Video Game Console Museum (Perth)
- Cost: Adults $16.50, children $11
- Description: Step into The Nostalgia Box to see the history of home video game consoles and play some classic games. The collection includes the first video console made for home use, the Magnavox Odyssey from 1972, and subsequent early consoles from Atari and Nintendo, in addition to newer models such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Fun for all ages, whether you are reliving your youth or introducing the kids to the games.
- Where: Port Arthur Ghost Tour (Port Arthur)
- Cost: Adults $26.50, children 7-17 $15
- Description: Brave an after-hours visit to one of Australia’s most haunted locations on this spine-chilling 1.5-hour walking tour. Enjoy a lantern-lit tour of the Port Arthur Historic Site and uncover the harrowing history of the UNESCO-listed convict site. Hear terrifying tales of ghosts and paranormal activity that date back to the 19th-century and listen out for ghostly footsteps as you tiptoe around the former penal colony. Those brave enough to finish the tour are presented with a ‘Certificate of Bravery and Courage’!
- Where: Australian Institute of Sport: The AIS Tour (Bruce)
- Cost: Adults $19.50, children 5-12 $11.50
- Description: Go behind the scenes at Australia’s premier elite sporting precinct and one of Canberra’s most popular tourist attractions. Your guide takes you on a comprehensive 90-minute tour through the world-class facilities to see where Australia’s top athletes train. How fast can you throw a ball? You can find out at Sportex, an interactive sports zone with different physical tests for your athletic skills.
- Where: Wave Lagoon (Darwin)
- Cost: 15yrs and over $7, under 15yrs $5
- Description: One of Darwin’s coolest attractions is the Wave Lagoon: a palm-fringed swimming pool that turns into a tube-riding, boogie-boarding bucket of fun when the waves roll in every 20 minutes. The fully patrolled Wave Lagoon is two metres at its deepest point and slopes to a shallow area of still water, perfect for families. Bring your book: there are plenty of banana lounges, beach umbrellas and shady patches of lawn.