7 holiday parks your family won’t want to leave
If the kids are restless, your partner’s stressed and your parents haven’t seen you in ages, there’s only one solution: #FamilyVacay.
Nothing’ll bring you closer than spending quality time together in a relaxed environment. And, with endless activities and prime real estate positioning, a holiday park could be just what your family needs. Especially if you don’t want to break the bank.
But before you rush off, there are a few steps to make sure your family holiday doesn’t turn into National Lampoon’s Vacation.
So to help you plan, here’s a list of the best holiday and caravan parks to present at your next family meeting AKA the dinner table.
(Psst, head over here if your family are ocean lovers and would prefer a holiday park by the beach.)
FOR YOUNG ADVENTUROUS* FAMILIES
*Substitute for restless.
If your little ones are known for having ‘ants in their pants’ and need a good ol’ run around to tire them out, you need the right holiday park with lots of fun-filled activities.
CAIRNS COCONUT HOLIDAY RESORT, TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND
If you’re heading to Cairns for your family vacay, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the amusement-filled Coconut Holiday Resort. On arrival, you can opt for a tour in their Nemo, Turtle or Frog buggy and be introduced to all of the on-site facilities.
Your kids will quickly learn two words: “SPLASH Waterpark.” Complete with a tipping bucket, it’s the best way to beat the Tropical North Queensland heat and keep your little ones laughing and playing for hours.
And, if that’s not enough for your rug rats, let them explore the adventure playground, experience the interactive play hub or bounce up a sweat on the biggest jumping pillow in the southern hemisphere.
With the kids taken care of, mum and dad can relax and unwind in the adult-only therapeutic hot spa.
If you’re bringing your caravan, the resorts’ Super Ensuite Sites start from $69/night for two people ($15 extra/child). These sites are complete with private laundry facilities, bathroom (including spa bath) and barbecue.
Hot tip: Every Thursday the resort serves free pancakes for breakfast!
TOOWOOMBA GARDEN CITY HOLIDAY PARK, SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND COUNTRY
Has the hustle and bustle of city life left you more dysfunctional than The Simpsons? Well, a night in Southern Queensland Country can definitely reboot and refresh your family unit. It must be the country air.
With a shallow wading pool for toddlers, heated children’s pool for young swimmers and a giant jumping pillow perfect for all ages, your kids will surely be entertained.
Bring some family bonding into the kitchen (or barbecue station) after picking fresh herbs from the free herb garden. Or, set the kids up in the complimentary TV room to watch their favourite movie while you bask in the serenity with a bottle of wine.
From cabins to cottages, a variety of accommodation options are available with powered sites starting at $41/night.
And, if you’re towing the caravan, here are 10 tips to help you and your family have the best experience.
Hot tip: Head to Toowoomba during the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers to watch the Grand Central Floral Parade, enjoy live entertainment and spoil the kids to the sideshow alley. The carnival has more to see than just beautiful flowers!
TWEENS, TEENS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
As the kids grow older, it can be challenging to find family activities they actually want to partake in. Instead of forcing them to get involved, find a holiday park that caters to their needs and also offers alternative activities that are cooler than Minecraft, Snapchat and Instagram combined.
DICKY BEACH FAMILY HOLIDAY PARK, SUNSHINE COAST
It grants easy access to the patrolled beach and 11 of its caravan sites have complete ocean views. So while you have your feet up, your teens can spend the day on the beach, in the waves and out of your hair.
If WiFi is like oxygen to your tween/teen, they’ll love the on-site recreation room including free internet, a TV and computers. And, no rec room isn’t complete without interactive gaming consoles and a pool table.
The studio units include a private patio, a double bed and a set of bunks. Most importantly, they’re fully air-conditioned so your kids can cool off after a long day in the sun. You can snag one of these units from $120/night. Or, park your caravan at one of the beach view powered sites from $52/night.
Hot tip: Make sure your kids pack their skateboards because the Dicky Beach Skatepark is just a stone’s throw away from where you’ll be staying.
JACOBS WELL TOURIST PARK, GOLD COAST
Are your teens begging to go to a theme park? Well, when you arrive on the Gold Coast, make a beeline for Jacobs Well Tourist Park. With Dreamworld, Wet’n’Wild and Movie World just 15 minutes away, this holiday park is packed with families eager to try all the rides.
But that’s not the only reason families rush to stay here. It’s also a boating and fishing hotspot that grants access to a myriad of islands to explore.
With the boat ramp at your front door and car and boat wash facilities waiting for you to return from your fishing expedition, this park is perfect for fishing families and outdoorsy teens.
Back at the holiday park your teens can access free WiFi or hire movies and board games to keep them entertained. They can also go for a swim in the netted enclosed area just off the beach or stroll down to the jetty.
Powered sites start from $55/night for two adults and two kids or you can opt for a two-bedroom villa from $115/night.
Hot tip: If you’re serious about your fishing, visit Jacobs Well in spring time when the estuaries and surrounding islands are teeming with flathead, bream and whiting.
IF YOU HAVE THE ENTIRE FAMILY IN TOW
If you’re bringing the fussy grandparents or your four-legged-fur-babies, the criteria list for your ideal holiday park will continue to grow. Make sure you find the right holiday park that ticks off everything your unique family will need so that everyone is comfortable and happy.
KILLARNEY VIEW CABINS AND CARAVAN PARK, SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND COUNTRY
Situated on five acres of countryside, the Killarney View Cabins and Caravan Park offers way more than just spectacular mountain views and serenity.
In fact, it’s the perfect holiday park if you’re bringing along your four-legged family member.
You can rest easy knowing your dog is safe and sound because the newly created pet-friendly cabin has a fully fenced yard that your pup can call home while on holiday. The nightly rate starts from $140/night.
And that’s not your only pet-friendly option – budget cabins start from $95/night and your dog can stay inside the cabin too!
Explore Killarney and the Southern Queensland Country region during the day, and then watch the sun set from Carr’s Look Out with your best bud by your side.
Hot tip: Be sure to visit the Queen Mary Falls National Park and bird watch along this circuit, or go taste-testing at the wineries in Granite Belt.
BARGARA BEACH CARAVAN PARK, BUNDABERG
Happy grandparents + entertained kids = a stress-free you.
And that’s exactly what you can expect at Bargara Beach Caravan Park.
While the grandparents are enjoying a round of golf, fishing off the beach or having a game of tennis, your kids can ride their bikes on the coastal cycleway, shoot hoops on the basketball court or show off their skills at the skating rink.
What about you? Well, you can take advantage of the downtime with a coastal scenic walk or dip your toes in salty seas. #WinWinWin
Park your caravan at one of the 190 powered sites starting from $38/night or opt for a two-bedroom cabin from $140/night, complete with WiFi, a TV and private bathroom.
Hot tip: The Bargara Beach Caravan Park is a short drive from the Mon Repos Conservation Centre. And, if you visit between January and March, you can treat both the grandparents and your kids to an evening guided tour to watch baby turtles emerge from the sand and take their first dip in the ocean. It’s an unforgettable experience.
GOONDIWINDI HOLIDAY PARK, SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND COUNTRY
Escape it all and head to the Queensland/New South Wales border to experience true country hospitality at the Goondiwindi Holiday Park.
Set just minutes from the quaint township of Goondiwindi, this holiday park offers visitors the chance to absorb all of the sensations of southern Queensland, from star gazing to bird watching.
There’s also a cabin with access ramps, grab rails and a customised bathroom, catering for travellers looking for more accessible options.
From $120/night, your loved ones can enjoy country sunsets, peaceful nights and adventurous days touring historic sites such as the Customs House Museum, Gunsyd Statue and Museum and the Callandoon Pioneer Cemetery.
Back at the park, you can spoil yourself to the artesian spa and pool or cook up your favourite meal in the guest camp kitchen.
In true outback fashion, you can devour fresh warm damper and be treated to tea and coffee on arrival.
Hot tip: Cast your line into the Macintyre River or swap stories over a glass of wine around the open camp fire.