Autumn school holidays activities in NSW

Autumn is the perfect time for the family to get outdoors and make the most of NSW. Swim at beautiful beaches, hike in national parks, cycle through the bush or see native animals up close. If you prefer to stay indoors, you’ll find plenty of museums, galleries and observatories to explore. 



Outdoor adventures

With the weather still warm, it's the perfect time to get outdoors. If you’re near the coast, you can enrol the kids in surfing lessons while you unwind and relax on beautiful beaches, or rent kayaks or stand-up paddle boards for a little adventure.  

For something different, zip through the trees at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, near Jamberoo. Kids of all ages will love the waterslides at Jamberoo Action ParkOr take the kids bushwalking and camping in magnificent national parks, like Dorrigo National Park on the North Coast and or Mungo National Park in Outback NSW

Just west of Sydney are the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. Enjoy spectacular views in the ancient landscape at Scenic World. Hop aboard one of the world’s steepest incline railways into a rainforest and glide between rugged cliff tops on a glass-floored cable car. Afterwards, be sure to embark on one of the many amazing bushwalking trails in the region – there are plenty of kid-friendly options taking in sandstone cliffside, waterfalls and dramatic views.

Read more: The best walks & hikes in NSW national parks

The Scenic Skyway cabin passes over the Jamison Valley, Katoomba in the Blue Mountains

Scenic World, Katoomba 

Camping & road trips

The warmer months are the perfect opportunity to get back to nature on a camping adventure. Pitch a tent at a beachside camping spot, find a secret campsite to get away from the crowds, head out bush to find a remote campsite to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, book into a family-friendly holiday park so you have all the amenities to keep the kids entertained on your doorstep or bring pooch along too at a pet-friendly holiday park

If you want to take a scenic drive, follow our family-friendly guides to the Blue Mountains, Lake Macquarie, Bathurst, the Kempsey region, Ballina, Goulburn and Kiama.

Read more: The Blond Nomads' guide to camping & road trips in NSW

Beaches & water sports

Autumn is the perfect time to hit the beach, with the water still warm from the summer sun and more than 2,000km of coastline to explore in NSW. Learn to surf on the South Coast, go swimming at Seal Rocks, boogie board at Toowoon Bay on the Central Coast, or travel up north to Coffs Harbour and see kangaroos hopping across Moonee Beach. If you’re looking for one of NSW's most iconic beach holiday destinations, Byron Bay offers plenty for adults and children and there are smaller towns to explore up to the Tweed Coast of NSW. 

Family enjoying a day at Shoal Bay in Port Stephens, North Coast

Shoal Bay, Port Stephens

There’s also lots of fun to be had on rivers and lakes too. On the Murray River, you can ride a paddle steamercruise in a kayak or sleep in a houseboat. Or head to the Clarence Valley and follow the longest whitewater rafting trail in Australia. In Lake Macquarie, there’s stand-up paddleboarding, scuba diving, snorkelling, boating, fishing and more.

Read more: A kids' guide to the best family holidays in NSW

family enjoying a day of canoeing on the Murray River, Moama

Canoeing, Moama

Animal encounters

The autumn school holidays are the perfect time to introduce children to all the different animals at zoos and wildlife parks, or just simply spot them in the natural surrounds. Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is an open-range zoo that’s home to over 4,000 animals and leads the way in conservation efforts and breeding programs. You can even spend the night in a safari tent and immerse yourself at the zoo.

Feed giraffes and zebras at Altina Wildlife Park at Darlington Park, just south of Griffith, or let a meerkat sit in your lap at Mogo Wildlife Park on the South CoastSymbio Wildlife Park is just a short drive outside of Sydney and lets you get closer than ever before to some of the most amazing animals from Australia and around the world.

Off the coast of Narooma, you can snorkel with playful seals in the clear waters off Montague Island. In Port Stephens, you can swim in the ocean with wild dolphins and pat manta rays at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters.

Read more: How to get close to Australia's cuddliest animals in NSW

Great family experience with Dolphin Swim Australia in Nelson Bay, Port Stephens

Dolphin Swim Australia, Port Stephens

Museums & galleries

When planning your holiday, check the events calendar for all the local activities in the area. Many museums put on exhibitions and workshops for kids during school holidays. Sports fans will love the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral. See a huge T-Rex skeleton and unique opalised fossils at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst.

There are also plenty of great regional galleries across NSW to explore. Other family favourites around NSW include the Temora Aviation MuseumScience Space in Wollongong and the Killer Whale Museum in Eden.

Read more: A guide to NSW's UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Find more kid-friendly things to do in NSW


School holiday dates - 2023/2024

Summer Wed 21 December 2022 Thur 26 January 2023
Autumn Mon 10 April 2023 Fri 21 April 2023
Winter Mon 3 July 2023 Fri 14 July 2023
Spring Mon 25 September 2023 Fri 6 October 2023
Summer Wed 20 December 2023 Thur 29 January 2024