Best Family Resorts in Queensland

View all Queensland Hotels

If you're planning a family trip to Queensland -- we hate to tell you this -- you have your work cut out for you. Seriously, there is so much to do!: Rainforest walks and cable car rides; crocodile and wildlife safaris; reef snorkeling, scuba-diving, and ocean-rafting excursions. Mapping our your ambitious, action-packed itinerary is part of the thrill, but researching and comparing the many hotel options can quickly sap your travel excitement. Lucky for you, we've laid the groundwork by compiling a list of the top family-friendly places to stay in Queensland. Take a look and start packing your togs, bathers, and thongs (swim suits and flip-flops).

  1. This resort naturally draws families for one main reason: Sea World. Parents with children in tow can be found walking through the massive and sparsely furnished common areas, snapping photos with a costumed Ninja Turtle, or splashing in the lagoon pool's play areas. At night, kids get into their bathing suits to play in the short-lived SpongeBob Splashbash water and light show. Guests who stay a minimum of two days also get free admission to watch dolphins being trained at Dolphin Discovery. Kids' clubs are rare feature in Queensland hotels, and the one here has a movie room and Xbox games. Spacious rooms have balconies or patios, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges (some have kitchenettes), but their thin walls can equal noise. Four on-site restaurants are convenient -- but pricey. 

  2. Although the clean and welcoming Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort is aimed squarely at families on budgets, the impeccably maintained rooms, campsites, and gardens make it seem like a much pricier resort. The 28 acres of grounds feature two big outdoor pools, a water park, tennis court, mini golf, beach volleyball, pedal karts, and a cafe. Cabin accommodations range from ultra-basic En-suite Cabins (you will need to bring your own bed sheets and toiletries) to Sun Lagoon Condos, which feature spa baths, cable TV, laundry facilities, and undercover parking. All cabins are well-maintained and air-conditioned. Because so many families come back here year after year, there's a friendly, communal atmosphere around the resort, as guests share tips with each other or take turns minding groups of kids. Note that the resort is not within walking distance of central Cairns, and cell and Wi-Fi signal can be spotty.

  3. The relaxed RACV Noosa Resort has pretty grounds and a family-friendly atmosphere. It's a five-minute drive from central Noosa's beach and shops, and the resort offers a free shuttle. There is a wide range of rooms, all of which have one to three bedrooms, plus air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, and either a balcony or terrace. Units with full kitchens and washer/dryers are available. The resort's large outdoor pool area has several pools, including a sandy zero-entry lagoon, a children's pool with slides, a shaded toddler pool, and a large outdoor hot tub. Two restaurants serve all day; breakfasts are free for kids 12 and under with accompanying paying adults. Parking and resort-wide Wi-Fi are also free.

  4. Peppers Broadbeach is an upscale, family-friendly apartment-style hotel, a short walk from area restaurants and the beach. Its 177 suites and apartments all come with private balconies and lovely kitchens complete with gas stoves and high-end appliances. Standard amenities found across room types include air-conditioning, minibars, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, and washing machines. Modern bathrooms have walk-in rainfall showers and separate soaking tubs. Peppers doesn't have on-site restaurants like RACV Noosa (or free breakfasts for kids), though there are a few barbecue grills set up in the lovely gardens. As an aparthotel, Peppers lacks Cairns Coconut's ample activities, but features here do include a beautiful pool with a shallow section, a kids' playground, free hotel-wide Wi-Fi (although it's limited to one device per room), and free parking. Babysitting is available.

  5. A short drive from Surfers Paradise, RACV is a full-service golf resort that attracts a mix of travelers, including families requiring larger suites and extensive family-friendly amenities. Entry-level Mountain View Rooms have two double beds and views of the inland hinterlands, while Two-Bedroom Family Studios and Suites come with kitchenettes. All rooms have minibars, air-conditioning, and flat-screen TVs with cable. A resort highlight is the large lagoon pool, which has a play area and water slide. Other on-site activities include five tennis courts, Segway tours, laser clay target shooting, and a playground. There are a ton of on-site choices for drinking and dining, including the casual and family-friendly Trattoria Amici, which serves pizza and pasta every night of the week. Peppers' beach proximity and bathrooms with separate tubs are big pros for families, while RACV is about a 15-minute drive inland from Surfers Paradise, and not all of its rooms have tubs.

  6. Gorgeous gardens, a large lagoon pool, and modern rooms and apartments really impress at this upscale resort. The large apartments (available with one, two, or three bedrooms) are especially great for families, with small kitchens and laundry rooms with washers and dryers. But all units here have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with free movies, minibars, balconies (some with barbecues or plunge pools), and daily housekeeping. The resort's various buildings are clustered around a sprawling pool, which has a small beach made with white sand from the nearby Whitsundays. Peppers Beach Club is about a five-minute walk from Port Douglas' Four Mile Beach.

  7. Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort stands out for its 6,727-square-foot pool complex (including a kids' pool) that seems to go on forever, as well as its multiple on-site food and drink spots and direct access to the beach and Marina Mirage mall. Elegant, air-conditioned rooms have flat-screen TVs, sitting areas, and minibars, and marble bathrooms with triangular shower/tub combos. Some rooms have ocean views, poolside terraces, or whirlpool tubs. Suites and two-bedroom villas come with kitchens. Interestingly, the rates here don't include Wi-Fi (which is free at the budget property Lazy Lizard Motor Inn, below); free in-room Wi-Fi is only available for Starwood Preferred Guest online bookings.

  8. Lazy Lizard Motor Inn isn't a sprawling resort or upscale hotels like our other family-friendly picks, but this small motel punches above its weight with kitchenette-equipped rooms and first-class service. With free Wi-Fi, a small saltwater pool, on-site laundry facilities, free bike rentals -- plus rates that are some of the lowest in Port Douglas -- this family-run hotel is an excellent value. And unlike many budget accommodations in Australia, the rooms here are cleaned every day. There is no on-site cafe or convenience store, but a stand-out continental breakfast can be requested at time of booking (it delivers fresh items such as macadamia muesli to the rooms) and there is covered communal barbecue area. 

  9. The 360-room Mantra Twin Towns is a large, resort-style apartment-hotel a five-minute walk from the beach. Attached to the Twin Towns Services Club, which features several dining options plus nightly entertainment, the hotel offers bright, if slightly dated, standard hotel rooms as well as modern apartments with full kitchens and separate bedrooms. Many of the rooms here have spectacular ocean views. There are several resort-level features on-site, including two pools, tennis courts, mini-golf, and a game room. However, unlike Lazy Lizard, Wi-Fi isn't free and housekeeping is only weekly.

  10. In many ways, Ramada Resort Port Douglas is the quintessential far north Queensland hotel. From the rainforest gardens (look out for the barramundi swimming in the lily ponds) to the bright-and-breezy lobby with its cane furniture and whirring ceiling fans, everything has an authentic tropical feel. It's not fancy, but for the families and Ramada members who visit in droves, it offers an affordable escape. Basic lodgings include full-service rooms and DIY-style apartments that include kitchens and, in some cases, laundry facilities. An array of on-site amenities -- including a large lagoon-style saltwater pool with a waterfall and swim-up bar -- add value. On the downside, the hotel is located some distance from Port Douglas' main attractions, and it lacks the polish and modern touches of some of its higher-priced competitors, like Peppers Beach Club.

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