With blissful beaches and riverside campsites, here are five top holiday parks for water-loving families. Just don’t forget your beach towels and sunscreen.
1. Discovery Parks – Maidens Inn, Moama NSW
If you want the kids to squeal with excitement, head to Maidens Inn, Moama to experience the splash-tacular water park. Boasting three slides, a gigantic tipping bucket and an abundance of spray zones, the water zone is bound to impress. Located along the mighty Murray River, Maidens Inn also has a swimming pool, tennis court, playground, barbecue facility, boat ramp and kiosk.
If you can drag your kids away from all the water play, it’s also worth exploring the historic port of nearby Echuca, finding some treasures at the local markets or trying one of the stylish eateries in town. And if dad wants a mini escape, he can cruise over to the National Holden Motor Museum, the largest car museum of its kind in Australia.
- Accommodation: Modern cabins, and powered and unpowered sites
- Highlights for kids: PS James Maiden water park
- Highlights for parents: Take a houseboat cruise or visit local wineries
- Find out more: discoveryholidayparks.com.au
2. Port Elliot Holiday Park, Port Elliot SA
Once a sleepy village on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Port Elliot Holiday Park now a perfect package for families. The area’s natural beauty merges with action-packed fun with a selection of bushwalks, the Encounter Coast bike path, blissful beaches and, at the park itself, an adventure playground with a giant jumping pillow and spinning pod. The park is located on the beachfront of Horseshoe Bay, creating an idyllic place to kick back and relax.
For a little more action, visit the historic Cockle Train and explore the open-range Urimbirra Wildlife Park. An unforgettable experience is staying up late to see the loveable fairy penguins as they do their nightly march on Granite Island.
- Accommodation: Two- and three-bedroom cottages, and caravan and camping sites
- Highlights for kids: Adventure playground and surf lessons
- Highlights for parents: After a morning swim, head to Port Elliot Bakery for some sweet sensations
- Find out more: portelliotholidaypark.com.au
3. Discovery Parks – Byron Bay, Byron Bay NSW
Eclectic and peaceful, Byron Bay is the place for kids – and parents – to have a chill pill. Exploring the local town keeps you entertained with a raft of backpackers, surfers, hippies, artists and Gap Year-corporates congregating at stylish cafes and shimmering beaches. Escape to the scenic hinterland or hit the surf where kids have a splash and build giant sandcastles.
Eateries offer trendy outdoor zones where youngsters are encouraged to have tasty babyccinos and appreciate the colour of the waiter’s latest tattoo. The vibe continues at Discovery Parks – Byron Bay, which is just two kilometres from the Byron Bay town centre. Adjacent to Belongil Creek, the park keeps the whole family busy with a popular water park, an inviting swimming pool and a full-sized tennis court.
- Accommodation: Self-contained cabins, deluxe safari tents, ensuite sites and powered sites
- Highlights for kids: Being able to get high at Circus Arts Byron Bay
- Highlights for parents: A 10-minute drive from Byron is The Farm, a co-op eatery headed by celebrity chef Darren Robertson
- Find out more: discoveryparks.com.au
4. BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park, Albany WA
With five kilometres of pristine white sand, Middleton Beach is a perfect escape. Just imagine those sleep-ins, watching the sun set into the ocean, long brunches that turn into dinner … hang on, what about the kids? Luckily, there’s plenty of things to keep them entertained. Safe swimming for littlies, surf sessions for tweens, kite surfing for teens, and hours of fishing from the jetty for parents are just some of the beach options.
Whale-watching is a don’t-miss experience, while across the horizon are two picture-perfect granite islands, Michaelmas and Breaksea. Positioned on King George Sound, the resort-style BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park boasts a 500-metre-long beach frontage. Picnic and barbecue facilities, as well as playground equipment, makes the park a real family stay.
- Accommodation: Self-contained cabins, ensuite sites and powered sites
- Highlights for kids: Walk among the canopy of 400-year-old red tingle trees on the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk
- Highlights for parents: Explore Albany’s Historic Whaling Station
- Find out more: big4.com.au
5. Kendalls on the Beach Holiday Park, Kiama NSW
More of a resort than a caravan park, Kendalls, in the popular tourist town of Kiama, is bound to impress. Watch the waves roll in from the balcony of your villa or grab a morning coffee and check the surf as the sun rises over the horizon. When the children need a break from the beach, drop them off at the park’s kids’ club, which runs during NSW Christmas school holidays. Aside from the top-spot location, Kendalls is also a great choice for the entire family, and we’re talking about your pets, too.
Dogs are welcome on any of the powered and unpowered sites outside of school holidays and long weekends. Although you’ll have to kep your four-legged friends off the beach, there are other stretches of sand in Kiama where you can let them run free.
- Accommodation: Two-storey villas, beachside spa cabins, ensuite sites, and powered and unpowered sites.
- Highlights for the kids: Having the beach a frisbee throw from your door
- Highlights for the parents: Being able to go for a surf before breakfast, a SUP after lunch and a swim prior to dinner
- Find out more: kiamacoast.com.au
This story was originally published by Holidays with Kids.