Interesting adventure destinations for families

New Zealand's mountainous South Island is great for families.
Image courtesy: ©Iain Urquhart/Getty Images

Want to try something new for your next trip? Push your family out of their collective comfort zone with these ideas for an adventure you can have together.

1. New Zealand 
New Zealand’s natural beauty and excellent reputation for outdoor pursuits make it a popular destination for families. Hiring a camper van is not only an economical way to explore the country but also gives you the freedom of the open road and the fun of outdoor life without having to put a tent up each night.

2. Iceland

 

Family walking on glacier.
Iceland offers a number of activities for families.
Image courtesy: ©Henn Photography/Getty Images

Travel to Iceland and within one trip your family can go dog-sledding, whale watching and glacier trekking, as well as see the Northern Lights and spend plenty of time jumping in and out of thermal pools. If that isn’t adventurous enough for you, how about descending into the bowels of an active volcano?

3. Marrakesh, Morocco

Djemaa El Fna Square at dusk, Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech's Djemaa El Fna Square
Image courtesy: ©Dave G Kelly/Getty Images

The call to prayer and snake charmers plying their trade; tiny alleys to explore; shops with wares piled high; spices, tagines and fresh juices to sample – a visit to the medina in Marrakesh is an adventure for the senses. It’s also a great opportunity to learn an important skill of travelling: the art of haggling.

4. South Africa

Leopard (Panthera pardus) crossing road with tourists in jeep in background
Kruger National Park
Image courtesy: ©bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

Seeing animals in the wild scores pretty high on the adventure meter for most people. South Africa’s Kruger National Park is recommended for children due to the high likelihood of spotting animals and the relatively small distances involved in travelling round the southern part of the park. There are also family-friendly lodges with pools for when everyone needs to cool off.

5. Snowdonia, UK

‘Bounce below’ on trampolines hidden within caves, fly through the air on a giant swing and surf an inland lagoon. It’s not hard to see why North Wales made our Top Destinations list for 2017. Kids will also love adventuring through history at the many castles, climbing to the top of Snowdon and resting weary legs on a narrow-gauge railway or two.

6. Washington, DC, USA

Lincoln Memorial at night
Lincoln Memorial at night.
Image courtesy: Rozanne Hakala/Getty Images/Flickr Open

Exploring a world-famous city is an adventure in itself. In DC you can combine learning the art of espionage (at the International Spy Museum) with a dose of history (the Lincoln Memorial, plus a range of excellent museums) and lots of fun (the elevator ride to the top of the Washington Monument, paddle boating in the Tidal Basin).

7. Southwestern Australia

Tourists on the bridge at the Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants in Western Australia.
Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants is a must-try experience.
Image courtesy: ©EAGiven/Getty Images

Do your kids have their heads in the clouds? Treat them to a 600m-long treetop walk in the Valley of the Giants. Or do they prefer to go underground? Check out the fascinating caves in the Margaret River region. Is wildlife their thing? Go whale watching in Geographe Bay. Beach combing? Bike riding? Tree climbing? You’ve guessed it…

8. Japan

Crowds and neon in Kabukicho.
Kabukicho in Tokyo.
Image courtesy: ©kokoroimages.com/Getty Images

For robot-loving, game-playing, tech-happy teens a trip to Japan is a dream come true. Add some cerebral pursuits – discover manga and anime together or visit ancient temples and shrines – and include a visit to one of the national parks or island beaches for when everyone needs to breathe out. Before you know it, you’ve got a trip to please even the most reluctant adventurers in your family.

9. Sri Lanka

Beach near Tangalle.
Beach near Tangalle.
Image courtesy: ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

Between elephants and trains, ancient temples and beaches, forts and natural parks, there’s plenty to keep families busy in this little part of the Indian subcontinent. Even better, Sri Lankans welcome children with open arms, so – with a little planning and an appetite for adventure – travelling here is a rewarding experience for all.

10. Malaysia

Whether you go for beaches, jungle or one of the child-friendly cities, exploring Malaysia is a great way to introduce Southeast Asia to your kids. The mix of cultures allows just enough of the familiar (colonial architecture, shopping centres, Western food) for when the exotic (the heat, the flavours, the bustle) becomes overwhelming.