Virtual excursions for the whole family

By Sean Mortell

The pandemic makes itdifficult to find day-trips and activities for everyone. Families usually indulge in these excursions during the September school holidays but are now forced to find more creative ventures. Luckily, many landmarks both in Australia and the world are offering virtual interactive tours that can stop the COVID-boredom.

Zoos and Aquariums

One of the best and more enjoyable activities that immerses you is the live cams that Melbourne Zoo have established. By watching these, you can feel like you are really there; you can view a wide range of animals going about their usual business. Virtual tours also help you feel as if you are in the moment to create a multi-faceted experience.

But the fun isn’t limited to just zoos – Melbourne Aquarium is currently streaming live feeds of its animals, while you can also see the Port Phillip Bay penguins most nights at sunset on this website. If you want to see more than just the penguins, Port Phillip Bay provides underwater cameras too so you can check out the entire surrounds.

As for other states in Australia, keep an eye out on the activities and live feeds that New South Wales puts up for their zoos. You can also follow David Attenborough through a Great Barrier Reef tour that is, of course, depicted in a stunning matter. Furthermore, check out the YouTube channel of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you just might happen to catch the furry little creatures nesting in trees and soaking up the sun.

Museums and Galleries

It’s hard to find excursions in these fields to keep children entertained. Luckily, the Melbourne Theatre Company has come to the rescue with this online treasure hunt which gives adults an interesting view while keeping children stimulated and excited. The National Gallery of Victoria has some intriguing virtual tours (certain exhibits may just lend themselves to younger audiences). If this doesn’t work, Legoland has created an online ‘fun hub’ for children to attend workshops and watch great live demonstrations on breath-taking creations.

A top pick is the virtual activities provided by Scienceworks. There are numerous online exhibitions, shows and learning opportunities that still captures the thrilling nature of the Melbourne venue. The site has done a wonderful job in recreating many displays so children can still interact with them from their own homes. If you’re looking for more education opportunities, the Immigration Museum in Melbourne also has virtual showcases and tutorials including tie-dying masks and other handy tricks – you can find them here.

If you’re looking to mix things up,try the interactive tours of overseas landmarks. You can take video tours of Stonehenge that couple with games and shows to help solve mysteries surrounding the landmark’s origins. Google Arts and Culture gives plenty of people opportunities to visit the likes of Buckingham Palace, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and The Museum of the World and click on displays to interact with them.

Nature Virtual Tours

For some, these are the best types of excursions. Unfortunately, these live experiences are more difficult to create. But to truly interact, there are only a couple of worthwhile activities.

In South Australia, this website facilitates online virtual tours of numerous national parks the state has to offer. From bird sanctuaries to walking trails, this site has you covered so you can explore it from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, America’s Yellowstone National Park is promoting video tours and interactive explorations.This site lets you pick and choose which main attractions you’d like to walk to.The virtual tours will make you feel like you are in a blistering USA snowstorm while you trek through the beautiful land of the park. It’s definitely a worthwhile venture!

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