VIC School Holidays
Term 1: March 28 – April 12
Term 2: June 27 – July 12
Term 3: September 19 – October 4
Term 4: December 19 – January 26, 2016

City Sights

Melbourne is a little people’s paradise. Pack a picnic and get set for a thrilling day out, starting at Polly Woodside, an 1885 tall ship docked at South Wharf. Climb aboard, me hearties, and get a taste of the seafarer’s life. Explore below decks, haul the sail and push the capstan.

Next head to the Eureka Skydeck for vertigo-inducing views from the 88th floor, and don’t miss The Edge, a glass cube suspended three metres off the side of the skyscraper.

Picnic at the interactive Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, then round off the day with a visit to the nearby National Gallery of Victoria, which has exhibitions, programs and spaces just for kids.

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Healesville Sanctuary

Get up close and personal with kangaroos, koalas, wombats and wallabies at Healesville Sanctuary. The 30-hectare sanctuary, about 60km from Melbourne, is one of the best places in Australia to see native wildlife in their natural habitat. Play with a platypus in a memorable pool encounter where you can tickle and feed these frolicsome friends, watch birds of pray soar during a flying demonstration, and have your picture taken patting a wombat.

Kids will love the interactive play space, while the cafe offers treats (and wine) for the adults. Before you leave Healesville, explore the trails and streams at Badger Weir Picnic Area and check out the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway.

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Step back in time at Sovereign Hill and experience life in the 1850s gold rush. Sovereign Hill is located in Ballarat, about 115km west of Melbourne, and is a living museum set on a former gold mine that uses costumed characters and more than 40 horses to bring an exciting bygone era to life. Pan for gold in the diggings, board a tram for a unique underground tour of the mines, dress up in period costume at a 19th-century school, and learn about the migrants who came to Australia hoping to strike gold.

Return at night for the spectacular sound and light show Blood on the Southern Cross, which tells the story of the Eureka Stockade.

Puffing Billy, Belgrave

No school holiday is complete without a ride on Melbourne’s iconic steam railway, Puffing Billy. Step aboard the century-old steam train in Belgrave, about 45km east of Melbourne’s CBD, and enjoy the two-hour journey through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges to Gembrook.

Dangle your feet from the carriage and suck in the crisp mountain air as the train chugs through lush mountain ash forest and over quaint wooden bridges. Stop halfway at Emerald Lake and stroll through the gardens, hire a paddleboat or, in summer, enjoy a swim.

Enchanted Adventure Garden, Mornington Peninsula

The Mornington Peninsula is a favourite beachside destination for families, and the Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat packs enough fun, thrills and adrenaline to last the entire holidays. Lose yourself in the hedge maze, go tube sliding or try your hand at tree surfing (aerial climbing with a harness and zip-lining).

There are also gardens and sculptures to explore, an obstacle course, indoor 3D maze and a lolly shop. All this just an hour’s drive from central Melbourne.

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This information is for reference purposes only. While Stayz makes every effort to provide accurate information, we recommend that you check which public holidays and school holidays apply to you before making any travel plans.