Entertainment in Australia: Fun for Kids

anz dec14Time for me to catch up and reprint another of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles. Last time, you will recall, my article was about Entertainment in Brisbane: South Bank Parklands. That’s a theme I continue today except this time it’s entertainment for children.

This article appeared in the magazine’s December edition last year. I called it ‘Fun for kids’ and that’s what they called it as well.

Fun for kids

Recently I’ve been looking at entertainment in and around Brisbane and the other day it crossed my mind that since living here I’ve never heard anyone use the expression “save it for a rainy day”. No prizes for guessing why. Today I’m looking at fun for kids, not the free stuff of which we have plenty, but the kind where you have to pay to get in.

One of the main reasons we moved to Australia was to bring up our daughter in a better environment. Elizabeth was three when we moved here, she is now 10 and we are certainly not disappointed with how things have panned out so far. Elizabeth, for her part, seems blissfully happy as well. Over those seven years her tastes in entertainment have certainly changed, let’s see how. When we first arrived without a doubt, her favourite place was Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

This turned out to be extraordinarily convenient; it’s just 15 minutes drive from our house. It is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with over 130 koalas. Here are two of them…

KoalasIt is also home to the most relaxed kangaroos you will ever meet…

Kangaroos…and, of course, you can have your picture taken while you cuddle a koala. Now, here’s a photo that didn’t appear in the magazine article, in fact it hasn’t appeared anywhere. Taken 13 years ago (whilst we were on holiday here), it’s Bobinoz cuddling a koala. Note the stupid grin…

Bobinoz and the koalaWith a year-round season pass costing just $45 for children under 13, Elizabeth became a regular visitor with her mum.

For bigger and scarier animals though, we would need to drive for about one hour and a quarter in a northerly direction until we arrive at the Australia Zoo. I’m not a big fan of zoos, but I’ve been to quite a few and this one tops them all.

We were lucky enough to visit when Steve Irwin was still alive and putting on his crocodile shows, but the great entertainment has certainly continued in his absence. If you are ever in this area, Australia Zoo is a ‘must visit’.

croc at Aus ZooAs Elizabeth got a little older though, cute cuddly animals got nudged out of the way as her preferences turned to fast and scary theme rides. By heading south for a similar one hour and a quarter we would find ourselves in the middle of theme park heaven.

Movie WorldIt’s difficult to say which would have been her initial favourite, probably Movie World with their Looney Tunes characters, Star Parade, live shows and selection of kiddie friendly rides. As she became a better swimmer and more confident in water, the wicked twists and slides of rides like Blackhole and Kamikaze in Wet ‘n’ Wild soon became favourites.

Sea World always remains high on her list and on one occasion she was lucky enough to be selected from the crowd to feed the dolphins.

DolphinFor residents of Queensland and northern NSW, an annual VIP pass to all three of these parks is available for around $120 and a recent special offer meant you could buy three and get one free. The real bonus for us parents who live in Brisbane though is that none of these entertainment hotspots are too far away.

You can leave at 9 o’clock in the morning, have six hours of fun at your destination and be back by 6 PM in the evening, long before your kids have fallen asleep on the backseat of the car.

Now, that’s entertainment!

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • djmcbell March 11, 2015, 2:11 am | Link

    Well, from our visit to Australia (including the parks at the Gold Coast) a few weeks ago, our one-year-old son’s favourite thing was… chasing the birds! Or herding them. Whichever he could get away with.

    The theme parks on the Gold Coast aren’t brilliant (though the Scooby Doo coaster is hilariously weird) but still fun. One of his favourite things though was the beach at the Gold Coast – he just weirdly loved the sand, despite not being keen on beaches in Victoria. He refused to walk and preferred to crawl around to feel the sand on his hands – until he saw some more birds to chase, that is, at which point he got up and ran as fast as he could (a brisk walking speed to us adults), arms flailing and squealing in delight. The birds, on the other hand, wouldn’t play with him! How insulting is that?

    • BobinOz March 11, 2015, 9:20 pm | Link

      Oh yes, the sand on the Gold Coast is especially soft, it’s not weird to love it, it’s lovable sand. Do keep your boy away from magpies though, he doesn’t want to be chasing them things 🙂

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