Planning a getaway with the family but stuck in a rut trying to decide between bush and beach, pool or farm stay, minimal or all the trimmings? We get it.
The more people you travel with, the more interests and personalities you need to accommodate, so to help you narrow down the best family-friendly Slow Stays we’ve created a hit list. Happy travelling!
Think glamping and family-friendly aren’t compatible? Well, Mirumiru Bubbletent is here to shatter all your misconceptions. Like the most deluxe family camping trip without even the hint of the perennial tent-peg struggle, this collection of off-grid bubbletents in the heart of NSW Northern Tablelands’ dark sky country has another secret attraction: stargazing. The transparent roofs, the too-cosy-to-leave beds, the outdoor bath, Australia’s only tree-suspended tiny bubbletent, a fire pit that’s made for sitting around sharing laughs – everything is geared towards wholesome family time with the people who matter most.
MILES AWAY BEACH SHACK
Ocean Grove, VIC
When nostalgia tugs at those heartstrings, head to Miles Away Beach Shack on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. All the quintessential ingredients of a good ol’ family beach holiday are realised in the form of this sunlit, Mid Century shack. Gilded with stylish touches from inside out, the vintage and second-hand interiors are a unique combination of colourful, contemporary and practical – the ultimate child-friendly unicorn. Spend your days exploring the glory of Ocean Grove Beach, just a hop-skip-jump out the front door, or while away the hours with board games as tunes from the record player mingle with the sound of laughter.
HOMEOSTASIS MAIN HAUS
Tamborine Mountain, QLD
Sharing rainforest frontage with Homeostasis Retreat | Wellness Cabin, the Main Haus is like the equally relaxed and well put together older sibling to this much-loved Tamborine Mountain retreat. Purpose-designed for families and big groups to find some rest and respite, sustainability and wellness have been built into the walls here. Each space has been thoughtfully decorated with all-ages use in mind: work areas for WFHers, engaging kids’ play areas and a yard brimming with farm-stay features like chooks and bees as well as a fire pit. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to sneak off to sample the wares of the Wellness Menu, for a much-needed break from the rambunctious energy of family vacation mode.
THE LOG HOUSE
Brief: Give me a log cabin in the woods, but make it fancy and family-friendly. The rustic brainchild of an interior designer, The Log House simultaneously delivers cosy forest escape and beach holiday getaway vibes. In the heart of the Otways, just 20 minutes from the rugged coastline of Johanna Beach, The Log House’s carefully curated interiors – bold splashes pared back with muted, earthy tones and organic textures – make family games in the living room a daily ritual. Meanwhile, outside the productive citrus orchard and outdoor bath looking out over the lush beauty of Fern Gully and the odd friendly deer sighting will keep all ages entertained throughout the day.
THE G AT GERROA
Thirty relaxed steps… that’s all it takes to reach the white sands of the South Coast’s Gerroa Beach from the door of The G at Gerroa, a recently renovated family getaway less than two hours from the honking horns of Sydney’s streets. Not content to just sit pretty on the beach, The G at Gerroa contains all the hallmarks of a classic family beach holiday with a sustainable twist. Renewables like solar-panels will soon be joined by an electric car charging point to help you avoid range anxiety – if you’ve made the EV switch. Littlies love to splash in the placid waters of the mouth of Crooked River and kids of all ages can use the included surfboards to paddle out for some South Coast waves. With room for lively backyard games and multiple decks to choose from, there’s also a selection of quiet spots for rest and contemplation inside, so you can find solace wherever you go.
FARMHOUSE AT OXLEY
Oxley Island, NSW
There aren’t many family-friendly Slow Stays that satisfy both beach and bush getaway requests and comfortably sleep almost 20 people. But with room enough for 16 across six rooms, and the beaches of NSW’s Mid-North Coast within cooee, Farmhouse on Oxley occupies a rarified position – both literally and figuratively. Set on 57-acres of rolling pastures and river frontage, it’s the ultimate family farm stay. Inside, the open-plan central zone forms the beating heart of this rustic chamer: vaulted ceilings with exposed beams hang over the kitchen/dining/living area where a huge farm table sets the scene for family dinners and games. Activities for all ages abound: there’s a games room and gym, canoes and a tinny and the private jetty is made for throwing a fishing line from. Or lace up the boots and hit the trails of Khappinghat National Park, just under 30 minutes away.
MOONBIRD BEACH SHACK
On its ocean-swept surface, Moonbird Beach Shack gives the distinct impression of romantic couples getaway. But family-friendly it is. Surrounded by East Coast Tasmania’s most iconic destinations, the shack at Beaumaris is the perfect base for exploring the likes of Bay of Fires and Freycinet. The MTB trails of Mt Helens and Derby are built for adrenaline lovers, Eureka Berry Farm is less than 10 minutes away and family dinner at the surf club and local eateries is just the ticket after days spent fossicking on the beach. Gorgeously styled with vintage decor, local art and comfortable furniture, this Slow Stay comes alive at night. Bathe in the moonrise by rolling out a picnic rug and breaking out the bubbles to watch the moon wax or wane across the sky. With plenty of board games and an optional bunk room downstairs for teens and tweens, Moonbird Beach Shack is waiting to help you make memories.
THE RIDGE HOUSE
Yarragon South, VIC
Only 90 minutes outside the madness of Melbourne, The Ridge House is a West Gippsland retreat made for switching off with your family in tow. Living up to its name, the generously sized house is balanced on a ridge in Yarragon Hills and has room for a couple of families. Here you’ll find the lashings of cosiness required of a secluded bush retreat – hello, roaring indoor fireplace and luxe fit out – and all the necessities included with the stay, you need not worry about what to pack. The lovely hosts will even arrange champagne and cheese platters on arrival, shopping deliveries or restaurant reservations so you can get out and explore the charms of country life, pronto.