1. Regional New South Wales

Head to Doonside's Featherdale Wildlife Park for up close and personal koala and native animal encounters. Children can gain access to the park for $16 each, or you can purchase a family pass for two adults and two children for $82. Once inside, you can hand-feed emus, wallabies and kangaroos, and get friendly with a variety of other native birds and animals.

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden sits at the highest elevation of all Australian botanic gardens and features a fun and interactive self-guided Adventure Quest, a walking tour, which gives kids young and old the chance to learn about plants and animals with huge sculptures dotted around the garden. Quest participants are given a map and lucky dip.

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The Botanic Garden in the Blue Mountains, Regional NSW

2. Northern Territory

Cool off from the hot Northern Territory sun at Leanyer Water Park in Darwin. The attraction boasts free entry and is made up of both dry and wet recreational areas, including three huge water slides, a water park and water playground. Families can get active on the half basketball court, skate park and dry playground. There are also plenty of shaded areas, providing a welcome relief from the heat.

Darwin's Aviation Museum is one of Australia's most important of its kind, featuring a B-54 bomber on loan from the United States Air Force. The impressive aircraft is one of just two on public display outside of America. Check out rare amateur footage of Darwin's first air raid and inspect the 19 other various aircraft on display.

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Visit Darwin for some spectacular scenery.

3. Bundaberg

Queensland's Bundaberg is close to the coast and offers plenty of outdoor attractions. Take the kids to Flying High Bird Sanctuary, which is the largest free flight aviary in the country. Get a family pass, which includes two adults and three children, for only $56 and walk with almost 3,000 birds along 400 metres of walking track. Meet cassowaries, lorikeets, macaws and a range of furry friends such as emus and kangaroos.

Alexandra Park is another great option for the kids, with large shady trees covering a playground for people of all ages. Locals come here to participate in yoga lessons and walking groups, which you may wish to join. During holidays, Old MacDonald's Travelling Farm opens for encounters with farm animals.

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Take the kids to farmland near Bundaberg for a farm experience, as well as some natural beauty.

4. Perth

Western Australia is a veritable playground for children and adults alike. Stop in to the Aquarium of Western Australia, where a family pass gets costs less than $80 and kids under four get free entry. Learn about what lies between Australia's waters and splash out on activities such as reef walking or diving with sharks, all within the aquarium premises.

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Visit Perth Aquarium for some close encounters! (Photo courtesy of Eulinky via Flickr Creative Commons)

5. Cairns

Head north to Cairns and enjoy some good old fashioned outdoor fun. Hire a bicycle from Cairns Scooter and Bicycle Hire in the city, and then enjoy the fine dry weather with your loved ones. Grab some maps and get ideas for places to go, and ask about baby seats if you have little ones travelling with you. Introduce your family to fishing at the Cairns marina, where you can set up some deck chairs and cast out a line, all without paying a cent.

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Cairns is a beautiful place to take the family for a cheap holiday.