Highlights of family holidays in Albury with kids. The best family holidays in Australia always involve the great outdoors and that is why Albury is such a fantastic family holiday destination. Almost halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, the twin towns of Albury and Wodonga have tons to offer for families traveling with kids who want to stop on a road trip with kids. But perhaps lesser well known is the fact that there is some truly beautiful and awe inspiring scenery to be seen in the region, if only you know where to look. Here, the suitcases&strollers travel tips for some of the best activities to do with kids in Albury (and Wodonga).
Visit Noreuil Park
This vast parkland is a gorgeous spot to take the kids to burn some energy. Start at the newly renovated River Deck Café, the hottest café in town right now, where you can have a bite to eat or order a takeaway coffee while the kids play in the adjacent playground.
Follow the path towards Wodonga and there is the amazing Oddies Creek Playspace adventure playground that has plenty of climbing equipment to suit all ages. If your kids prefer to bike or scoot, then there are plenty of paths that will take you round to Hovell Tree Park where there are often farmers' markets and, in the summer, the QEII Twilight Markets.
If you’re a family that prefers to eat rather than exercise, there is a Community Wood Fired Oven at Hovell Tree Park where you can bring your own picnic every second Sunday.
On Australia Day Noreuil Park is a favourite gathering spot for locals who use lilos and giant tubes to float down the Murray River or otherwise listen to the live entertainment, bounce on the giant blow up jumping castles or get their faces painted, all free of charge.
But perhaps the best kept secret about Noreuil Park is the bike path/running track that turns into the Wagirra Trail which links Noreuil Park to the Wonga Wetlands. The path is paved the entire way so good even for beginners and there is no car traffic and very little foot traffic so you can push a stroller or let the kids cycle ahead quite safely. Here you will see some of the prettiest scenery anywhere in the world – look out for the pelicans and cormorants sunning themselves at Effluent Lagoon, the stunning views over the Murray and stop to take a moment to reflect at Horseshoe Lagoon. And don’t forget to play “I Spy” with the indigenous art installations all along the trail.
Visit Lake Hume
Surprisingly this rarely rates a mention in the tourist guides but Lake Hume is one of the most magnificent stretches of scenery anywhere if you are touring around Australia with kids. The lake is peppered with haunting tree skeletons that make for some truly remarkable landscapes. Just driving around the lake is quite a memorable experience but if you want to really get up close and take some fantastic photographs, the best way to do this is via boat.
[For more family travel tips on taking the best travel photos, see the suitcases&strollers interview with a professional photographer.]
Hot tip: If you want to try out fishing with kids, tether your boat to one of the trees in the middle of Lake Hume. You are more likely to catch something here as the fish often like to gather among the roots below the water.
Check Out Albury’s Miniature Vehicles
The Wodonga Creek Miniature Railway is a charming little spot to spend an hour or two. Here there are miniature trains from diesel to running steam trains that kids can straddle and ride over bridges and through tunnels right to their very own miniature station. Thomas the Tank Engine generally makes an appearance and many local families like to bring their own picnics and make an entire outing out of a visit.
[For more family travel tips on other miniature railways for kids in Victoria, see the suitcases&strollers story here.]
Right next to the Miniature Railway is the Wodonga Radio Controlled Car Club. It’s worth walking over here where you might be lucky enough to watch some of the club members racing, flipping and jumping their remote controlled cars around the tiny dirt track at an amazing speed.
Walk on a bit further but cover your ears! The AWMCC (Albury Wodonga Motorcycle Club) is a fun place to (safely) let the kids get introduced to dirt bike racing without actually having to participate. There is a small kiosk where you can buy snacks while you sit and watch the racers performing some of their cool tricks. It is quite noisy though, so be mindful that this might not be suitable for very small kids.
If you do a few circuits on the miniature railway and then spend some time at each place and stop for a bite to eat, a visit to this hidden part of town is a very pleasant way to pass a half day outdoors without requiring too much exertion from the adults.
For more family travel tips on things to do in Albury and Wodonga with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story here.
Images: suitcases&strollers, Ailene Chan, Kathryn Mitsch Photography, Nic Wilke of Wmedia