Where: Toogoolawah, 120km north west of Brisbane
THE blue skies in Toogoolawah aren’t just “famous for fun”, but are also skydiving central. People travel to this small town from all corners of the globe to take a leap of faith up to 14,000 feet in the air. There are about 5000 people taking their first tandem jump with Ramblers (pictured, courtesy of www.ramblers.com.au) each year. “People have been known to come for a day and stay for months, or years … some have never left since 15 years ago,” sky dive instructor Susie McEvoy says. The company offers adrenalin-pumping jumps for everyone from beginners to those more experienced. Night jumps are also held staged every month around the full moon, treating thrill-seekers to spectacular views of the city lights spanning Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. Susie says the most unique experience is the Skydive Safari 4 Jump Day Trip around southeast Queensland. “People tandem jump like rock stars into each of Ramblers’ drop zones throughout the course of the day, taking off from one location in their private plane and jumping into the next location. It’s the most incredible day ever and there are no other day trips like this in the world.”
Suggested stays: Esk Caravan Park, Lake Somerset Holiday Park (40mins away) or
The ultimate ‘zoofari’
Where: Dubbo, 400km north west of Sydney
A day surrounded by wildlife in wide, open plains at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is a magical experience the whole family will never forget. The Zoo is home to more than 700 animals, including the gentle elephants, giraffes, rhinos, cheeky monkeys and the famous big cats. With the birth of cheetah cubs, if you head to the Dubbo Zoo soon you’ll spot them playing together and practicing their wrestling, pouncing and biting. There’s also the magnificent bird shows and fascinating keeper talks which tell you all about these amazing animals. Best of all you get up close and personal with some of the animals! For those looking for the ultimate ‘zoofari’ experience, stay the night at Billabong camp, where you camp in tents around a picturesque billabong. Not only do you stay under the stars, but you’ll have access to special behind-the-scenes tours and get to stick around and hear and see the animals when everybody else has gone home.
Suggested stays: Billabong Camp or Big4 Dubbo Parklands
Family skiing at Falls Creek
Where: Falls Creek, 100km north east of Melbourne
Winter may be the time of the year where most people prefer to stay indoors, curled up in a blanket in front of a fire, but at Victoria’s alpine resorts it’s a completely different story. From the very first second snowflakes start to fall on the trees at Falls Creek, snowboarders and skiers throw on their gear and come out to play. With 65 kilometres of downhill skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and free cross-country trails, Falls Creek holds a thrilling adventure for every member of the family that visits during snow season. There’s a wide range of different routes ranging from beginner’s level to experienced, with plenty of twists and turns which are sure to get the adrenaline pumping through your veins before meeting at the bottom of the hill. Group or private lessons also run on the mountain, where you can spend a few days mastering your skiing. Then when the snow season is over, the kids will wait in excitement for the next ski season!
Suggested stays: Big4 Bright Holiday Park or Tawonga Caravan Park