When it comes to July family holidays, it’s hard to beat NSW. From its warm, welcoming beaches in the north to its fun snowfields in the south, there are getaways to suit everyone. But where are families going in 2018?

Classic winter destinations like the Snowy Mountains continue to be a family favourites. But it’s Western Sydney that’s really starting to grab travellers’ attention.

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta

In 2018, the vibrant and accessible city of Parramatta is rivalling the Sydney CBD for NSW travellers during the July school holidays. It’s currently the fourth most popular destination in NSW, and here at Wotif we’re also seeing a significant increase in bookings for the surrounding suburbs, such as Sydney Olympic Park. In fact, this year Parramatta is even more popular than two of Sydney’s most famous beachside suburbs, Bondi and Manly. With plenty of great hotels and apartments in the area, and a predicted average family accommodation rate of only $259 per night, it’s easy to see why so many family travellers are choosing to go west.

SS Ayrfield Shipwreck, Homebush Bay

The top 10 NSW family destinations for the July 2018 school holidays are:

1. Jindabyne

2. Newcastle

3. Coffs Harbour

4. Parramatta

5. Pokolbin

6. Wagga Wagga

7. Sydney CBD

8. Forster

9. Dubbo

10. Cooma

Parramatta’s growing popularity with families is exciting news for the region, but may not surprise locals, who already know that you don’t always need to head to the city to entertain the kids. From sports to entertainment, there’s so much on offer across Western Sydney for kids of all ages these school holidays. Of course, Parramatta is still an ideal home base if you do want to go into the city – the CBD is an easy train or ferry ride away.

Parramatta Park

Some of the best Western Sydney school holiday activities for July 2018 include:

Featherdale Wildlife Park – This July, Featherdale Wildlife Park are running a Kids Go Free Promotion, which is great value for families. For every paying adult, up to three kids are allowed into the park for free. With a full schedule of presentations and lots of up-close animal encounters, it’s a fantastic day out.

Kids in the Park – The annual Kids in the Park program at Sydney Olympic Park offers a wonderful range of indoor and outdoor activities to suit all ages and family budgets. There’s everything from writing workshops and bird watching to footy clinics and trapeze lessons.

Parramatta Park – A picnic and a play in Parramatta Park is another great option to keep the kids entertained. Don’t miss the Domain Creek Playground, which has a flying fox, slides, swings, and trampolines.

Frozen Sing-A-Long at Riverside Theatres – Not much can compare to a screening of Disney’s Frozen with lyrics on the screen to help the kids sing along with Anna and Elsa. With family passes (two adults, two children) for only $35, it’s easy on the wallet too.

Further afield: Western Sydney Parklands, Abbotsbury

Where to stay:

Parramatta has some great family accommodation options. Two of our top picks are –

Waldorf Parramatta Apartment Hotel: Comfy and convenient apartments with free wifi for guests.

 Parkroyal Parramatta: Stylish rooms with a great buffet brekky on site.


Behind the stats:

Increased interest: Based on NSW accommodation demand on for NSW family travellers for searches made between1 January 2018 and2 July 2018 for travel dates from 7 July to 21 July 2018.

Top NSW destinations: Based on accommodation searches made between 1 January 2018 and 1 June 2018 for travel dates from 7 July 2018 to 21 July 2018 compared to accommodation searches made between 1 January 2017 and 25 June 2017 for travel dates from 1 July 2017 to 17 July 2017.

Price estimates and savings: Based on the average daily rate for 3 – 5 star-rated and self-rated accommodation demand on from 1 January 2018 to 5 June 2018 for travel from 7 July 2018 to 21 July 2018 for the specified destinations. Prices shown are in Australian dollars, as booked on the Australian Wotif website, and are not necessarily the same rates displayed on the website today. Rates are subject to accommodation and date selections made.

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