With school holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start your holiday planning to keep the kids entertained. If there’s one thing that shouts fun and excitement to a parent, it’s something the kids can learn valuable lessons from.
Here are our top 5 activities that will keep both you and the kids happy during the school holidays. Both educational and fun, prepare to be enlightened!
1. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs
If your child has ever been fascinated about dinosaurs or the age of our planet, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs is a must visit establishment.
A road trip that would take 6 and a half hours to drive from Maraboon, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs is approximately a 15 kilometre drive from Winton.
Here, you’ll find a fossil research facility and museum aimed at piecing together the puzzle of the dinosaurs followed by yearly organised dinosaur excavations in hopes to uncover the hidden truths behind these ancient bones.
The laboratory is an acclaimed masterpiece, where it operates as the largest active fossil lab throughout the Southern Hemisphere. Watch the technicians in action as they prepare real fossils. And if you really want to get your kids’ hands’ dirty, sign them up for a day of preparation training to experience it all firsthand.
For those who are gung ho about the dinosaur experience, go a step further and stay the week to become an honorary fossil technician for the price of $560. You will need to book this in advance to guarantee a place for you and your kids.
Alas, it’s time to explore the museum which is home to original dinosaur fossils found across the region. The most fascinating fossils of all are those that create the incomplete skeleton of Matilda, the Diamantinasaurus matildae, a large herbivore sauropod, and Banjo, an Australovenator wintonensis, who is the most complete skeleton of a carnivorous theropod discovered in Australia. There’s also a high tech gallery of visual animations that bring these amazing creatures to life.
For spectacular views of the rocky canyons and outcrop, head to the top of the Jump-Up, which is Australia’s very first International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
Many patrons have regarded the Australian Age of Dinosaurs as one of the best exhibitions ever experienced with plenty of activities and exploration to adventure.
And don’t forget that happy bellies make the happiest kids. So, if you’re ever passing through the Maraboon Tavern, it’s a definite must-stop to dine in.
With professionally trained chefs heading the kitchen, the food here is astounding with some of the best steaks being served up in all of Queensland. When it comes to the drinks, there is plenty to choose from with great drinks by the bar too.
The kids menu offers plenty of choices that are good value for money. Only the freshest ingredients are used ensuring a healthy, tasty meals for your young ones.
Not to mention, the dedicated kids play area will have your kids thrilled with entertainment while you sit back, relax, and enjoy a moment to yourself.
2. The Waltzing Matilda Centre
A one of a kind, the Waltzing Matilda Centre is the first museum to be created after a song. An interesting place that has landed award winning architecture designs and a world class museum status, you learn a state of the art interpretation of the story of Waltzing Matilda, a true Australian classic.
There is also an exhibition space of photography from participants of the Winton Outback Festival Tag Along Photographic Tour and the displays are only up until February next year - making it a great opportunity to catch them during the school holidays.
Located in Winton, a visit here would make for a great road trip being only 6 and a half hours’ drive from Maraboon.
3. Australia Zoo
Paying tribute to the great Steve Irwin, a visit to Australia Zoo is one successful way to entertain the kids this school holidays.
With Christmas present draws offering visitors a chance to win a New Age Caravan and a Toyota Prado, all you have to do is visit between 1 December and 31 January to stand a winning chance.
School holiday specials include lost elves all over the zoo with rewards for finding them, colouring competitions, pony rides (everyday from 14 December to 32 December excluding Christmas), and from 1 January to 12 January you can watch the Irwin family feed the crocs! Take advantage of the giant inflatable water slide that will be up in Australia Zoo from 2 January to 27 January 2020.
4. Capricorn Caves Summer Solstice Light Spectacle
Since being discovered in 1881, Queensland's Capricorn Caves have been attracting local and international tourists and educational tour groups. Guided cave tours, wild caving adventures, abseiling, high ropes courses and team building initiatives are just a handful of activities that are made available at the site. But perhaps the most senstational experience to take part in these holidays is the Capricorn Caves Summer solstice light spectacle.
Coinciding perfectly with the school holidays, these tours operate from December through to early January in conjunction with the popular Catheral Cave tour. Scientifically speaking, it's the sun light seeping into the roof of Belfry Cave that creates this dazzling light show that's been likened to a disco mirror ball reflecting lights. Natural light flickers throughout the cave, projecting onto the cave's walls and onto onlookers, creating a unique experience for all.
Punch Capricorn Caves into your Google Maps and you'll be looking at approximately a 3 and a half hour road trip from Emerald. The site also offers a range of accommodation options in case you need more time to explore the area.