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Red’s Top 10 School Holiday Activities In The Great Outdoors

Posted by Alex Clasper

With December drawing to a close and Christmas almost done and dusted, children across the country are about to embark on one of their favourite times of the year: the summer holidays. Most will be off school until at least late January, and with it also being the hottest time of year, what better way to fill 6 weeks or so than to spend time in the great outdoors? 

Whether you’re staying in-state or heading off to explore somewhere new further afield, there’s an abundance of things you can do to get outside as a family during the break. To give your holiday planning a bit of a headstart, we’ve put our heads together and compiled this list of the top 10 school holiday activities to try in the great outdoors. With each designed to keep the whole family active while creating some lasting memories, we’re certain you’ll find a school holiday activity that takes your fancy! 

Camp under the stars

Stuck on what to do with your kids this summer? Pack up your tent and go camping! There are few better ways to enjoy everything the great outdoors, particularly at this time of year when the clear summer skies create a truly memorable under-the-stars experience. Your trip doesn’t have to span a number of nights, though a week-long break is a great way to incorporate some of the other school holiday activities on this list into your extended holiday plans. You could also let the children camp in your backyard and enjoy an independent experience that is still adventurous despite being just steps from your front door. 

Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great way to get the whole family involved in an activity together, all while helping kids to feel more comfortable around nature. If you’re camping, hide clues around the campsite or set the kids a challenge in your local park with different items to find. You could make it competitive and reward the most unique, interesting or biggest finds, or keep things at a more relaxed pace and turn the treasure into natural art when the hunt is over. 

Go wildlife spotting

One of the best school holiday activities to encourage your kids’ inquisitive side is wildlife spotting. We all know that Australia has some of the best wildlife in the world, and we’re very lucky that it’s pretty easy to see if you go to the right places. Pay a visit to your local national park or nature reserve to spot some of the country’s most famous animals in the wild, or, if you find yourself close to Brisbane, Australia Zoo is most definitely a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife spotting experience.

Give snorkelling a go

If you fancy cooling off from the summer heat but want to do something a little more adventurous than just diving into the water, give snorkelling a go. Snorkelling is a great way to build up children’s confidence in the water, all while creating an amazing experience close to some seriously cool aquatic creatures. If you are planning on holidaying as a family this summer and want to make sure snorkelling fits into your plans, consider somewhere close to the Great Barrier Reef as your main base for your trip. Fitzroy Island Resort and Lady Elliot Island are both great family-friendly spots, each with an abundance of flora, fauna and marine life to spy from the surface of the water.


Summer is the perfect time of year to explore new places on foot, making hiking and bushwalking one of the very best school holiday activities you could try this year. Getting out and exploring the trails might not be the first thing your kids ask to do during the holidays, but we promise that they’ll enjoy spotting different views and creatures en route. However, the best thing about hiking as a family is the opportunity to spend time together, away from the screens, just surrounded by the wonderful great outdoors.  

Try paddleboarding

The warm temperatures and bright skies make summer the perfect time to give stand up paddleboarding a go. Paddleboarding is a fantastic summer holiday activity, giving kids a sense of freedom that builds their confidence and balance more than you might imagine. Plus, it’s super accessible. From Sydney to Western Australia, there are endless calm water spots across the country perfect for beginners. Even better, kids can learn on a SUP of their own with the Red kids inflatable paddle board package.

Hit the surf

Surfing is another great way to enjoy the water this summer, particularly if your kids are a little older and confident swimming and splashing about freely. You won’t be short of good places to surf if you’re spending anywhere near the coast during the school holidays, but the beaches of Queensland’s Gold Coast are your best bet for a properly authentic surfing experience. Remember to pack the kids changing robes for a hassle-free experience when it’s time to change out of their wet kit. 

Beach cricket

And when you’re done in the water, why not split up into teams for a game of cricket on the sand? The beauty of this activity is that it can be as competitive as you want to make it, and included either as part of a whole day at the beach or as an excuse to quickly get down to the sea at the end of a sunny day. Just set up the stumps and have a laugh together as a family. 

…Or relax on the sand

If you’re not feeling particularly competitive, you can still enjoy some time at the beach. Lay out a microfibre towel, allow the kids to play (or chill!) and just make a day of it. You can all dip in and out of the water when you please and even enjoy a picnic from your waterproof cool bag. This school holiday activity is truly the perfect way to make the most of the summer before the kids head back to school. 

Fire up the grill

Cap off your outdoor adventures with a classic barbecue. Clean and set up your grill, create the perfect menu, and invite friends and family around for a proper get-together. Go for a nice blend of burgers, steaks and hot dogs, as well as some nice grilled vegetables and summery salads. Don’t forget some refreshing drinks too - you can keep yours cool when outside in your waterproof cool bag.