School holidays

School holidays

Looking for family-friendly school holiday ideas in NSW? There are a range of destinations and attractions across the state to keep kids entertained, from wildlife-rich zoos to amusement parks to outdoor adventures.

Summer school holidays

Summer is the perfect time for a seaside adventure and NSW has got you covered. From Byron Bay on the North Coast to Merimbula on the South Coast, the NSW coastline is home to beautiful beaches where you can laze and swim or get active and learn to surf and snorkel.

Other water adventures for the whole family include boating along waterways such as the Murray River, kayaking along the Clarence River, or going fishing in the Snowy Mountains.

Child enjoying a sunny day at Forster Ocean Baths, Forster

Forster Ocean Baths, Forster

Of course, Sydney shines its very brightest during the warmer months, with the harbour sparkling, the surf beckoning, fantastic waterside dining options available and outdoors activities galore for families, from lazing on the iconic Bondi Beach to biking around Centennial Parklands to a number of pretty coastal walks.

Autumn school holidays

As the temperature cools, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor adventures. The stunning scenery as the leaves turn from green to red and the landscape changes make bushwalkingcycling and horse riding even more appealing.

Go on a road trip and discover picture-perfect towns in the Southern Highlands and at the foot of the World-Heritage listed Blue Mountains. If you opt for the latter, be sure to jump on a cable car ride at Scenic World and tackle a rainforest walk in the majestic Jamison Valley.

Craving a little bit of country charm? Head out to Country NSW to look through a telescope at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, come face-to-face with a full-size T-Rex skeleton at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum and do a lap of the famous Mount Panorama racing circuit.

Winter school holidays

NSW may be known for its beaches, but it is also a winter wonderland if you know where to go. Head to the Snowy Mountains and make the most of the season. Kids can learn how to ski or snowboard and have the chance to build a snowman.

Winter is the perfect time to go on a whale-watching cruise on the coast, as humpback whales and southern right whales migrate along the coast from May to November. You’ll find cruises up and down the state, including in Port Macquarie, Port Stephens and Jervis Bay.

Family enjoying a day of skiing at Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains

Thredbo, Snowy Mountains

Enjoy a winter getaway among the lush hills and forests of Kangaroo Valley, snapping a pic of the historic Hampden Bridge, embarking on some kid-friendly walks and stepping back in time at the Pioneer Village Museum. Or head north to the picturesque New England region, exploring the towns of Armidale, Uralla and Inverell. Go fossicking, walk among standing stones and get lost among the largest rainforest wilderness in NSW.

Spring school holidays

Spring is a great time to visit animals at NSW's zoos and wildlife parks. Highlights include Taronga Western Plains ZooMogo ZooSymbio Wildlife Park and Australian Reptile Park. As the temperature rises, get outdoors and try cycling, kayaking, horse riding and fishing.

Take a family road trip and go camping at many of the national parks in NSW. For short breaks from Sydney, opt for the Central Coast, the Hunter (where the magical Storybook Garden promises to enchant little ones), the Shoalhaven or Newcastle, which are an easy drive away. 

A boy hand-feeding a kangaroo joey, Symbio Wildlife Park

Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh - Credit: Kevin Fallon

If you are interested in a longer journey, discover fields of yellow on the Canola Trail in the Riverina (enjoying pit stops at the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory and Wagga Beach), head southwest to Mungo National Park to join an Aboriginal Discovery Tour to discover the park’s ancient heritage dating back 45,000 years, or discover rare and luminous opals, underground caves and natural heated springs at Lightning Ridge.