Australians travel widely with their own kids, so facilities for families, including family passes to attractions, are common.
A great accommodations option for families is Australia's huge stock of serviced or unserviced apartments (with or without daily maid service). Often less expensive than a hotel room, they offer a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom or two, and the privacy of a separate bedroom for adults. Most Australian hotels will arrange babysitting when given a day's notice.
International airlines and domestic airlines in Australia charge 75% of the adult fare for kids under 12. Most charge 10% for infants under 2 not occupying a seat. Australian transport companies, attractions, and tour operators typically charge half price for kids under 12 or 14 years.
Many Australian resorts have "kids' clubs" with extensive programs designed for children under 12 and, in some cases, teenagers. The French-owned Accor chain of hotels and resorts, which is Australia's largest chain, has kids' clubs, kids' menus designed by a nutritionist (and not just the same boring fodder you get everywhere else), and other family-friendly facilities including family rooms. Other resorts, such as Hamilton Island in Queensland's Whitsunday region, have "kids stay, eat, and play free" offers, particularly during holiday periods. Many hotels will offer connecting units or "family rooms." Ask when booking.
Don't forget that children entering Australia on their parent's passport still need their own visa.
Rascals in Paradise (tel. 415/273-2224; www.rascalsinparadise.com) is a San Francisco-based company specializing in family vacation packages to Australia.
The Australian travel magazine Holidays with Kids has a comprehensive website listing great options for family travel in Australia (www.holidayswithkids.com.au).
Family Travel Forum is also a good resource; visit www.myfamilytravels.com for destinations, ideas, and more.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.