From whale watching on the NSW South Coast to soaking up the warm Queensland sunshine, here are some great options for a winter getaway at some of Australia’s most family-friendly holiday parks
1. BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park in Kiama, NSW
Kiama is one of the best places on Australia’s East Coast for whale watching, with thousands of humpbacks migrating between May and November. There are lots of places to view the spectacle, including Minnamurra Whale Watching Platform on the Kiama Coast Walk, Kiama Harbour, Bombo Headland, Blow Hole Point, and Black Head Reserve. BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park is an excellent base, offering oodles of other fun things for kids while you’re there. The park has a jumping pillow, while the Krazy Kidz Club has a range of activities on weekends and during the NSW school holidays, including cooking classes to learn to make such things as Mars Bar Balls, Crunchie Slice and Malteser Fudge, as well as craft activities like slime making, sand art, foil art and scratch art. There’s also an indoor playground, Little Monkeys Play Corner, and games room.
2. BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, Airlie Beach, Queensland
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is a great destination for soaking up some of that warm Queensland sunshine during the colder months. It has a huge water park with 13 waterslides and a tipping bucket and waterplay areas, alongside a heated lagoon-style pool. Accommodation options include caravan and camping sites, self-contained hotel-style studio rooms and luxuriously appointed two and three-bedroom apartment-style condos and cottages (some with spas!) with outdoor decks and alfresco areas with barbecues. There’s a full schedule of activities on offer every day (many of them free). A feeding and petting session at the animal park is a must, while The Kids Craft Club is a great place to check the little ones into, allowing adults to enjoy sun lounges or massages by the pool or kick back over wine and cheese afternoons. In the evenings, lay out a picnic blanket and take in movies under the stars. The adventure playground, mini golf and grass areas provide plenty of space for kids to play safely. The Reilly Room is a sensory room that’s available for those travelling with a family member on the autism spectrum, and the amenities blocks and some cabins are accessible to guests in wheelchairs. The Vintage Café is an onsite food van open for breakfast and lunch beside the water park, serving snacks and drinks.
3. North Star Holiday Resort, Hastings Point, NSW
Located on the Tweed Coast of northern NSW, North Star Holiday Resort offers a fantastic deal in which you can stay for seven nights for the price of five during winter! The Resort is a good option for those seeking an educational element to their holiday. Its Marine Discovery Centre helps teach guests how they can play a role in protecting and safeguarding the marine environment for future generations. It is fitted with interactive digital terminals and world-class marine and coastal science displays designed to enhance the learning experience. The Resort has powered and ensuite campsites, apartments, cottages and villas. Its water park, Sammy’s Adventure Lagoon, has two waterslides and a bucket that dumps water every six minutes, and water cannons. There’s also a seasonally heated pool and wading pool. Neptune’s Castle Kids’ Club, for children aged three to 12, is supervised on weekends and during school holidays, and there’s an outdoor playground, tennis court, and a games room with a toddler corner. There’s also an onsite restaurant, Ripples Licensed Café, and parents can take turns visiting the adults-only retreat, Seascape, which has a day spa, hairdresser, heated lap pool, gym, spa and sauna. There’s loads more to do outside the resort, from visiting Tropical Fruit World to cruising the Tweed River on a Catch a Crab Tour, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkelling with Watersports Guru, and visiting Hosanna Farmstay in the hinterland to enjoy a hay bale ride and feed the animals. The winter deal is available from May 2 until September 15. Terms and conditions apply.
4. BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park, Helensvale, Queensland
Winter is a great time to visit the Gold Coast’s famous theme parks, and BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park is located just across the road from Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, Outback Spectacular and Topgolf, and only a few minutes’ drive to Dreamworld and Whitewater World. Its heated water park is the tallest at any holiday park in Australia, with a huge tipping bucket and several slides catering to kids of different ages. The dog-friendly holiday park has caravan and camping sites, interconnecting motel rooms, cabins, bungalows, villas, terraces and cottages. Its onsite restaurant, Nibbles Café, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is updated several times a year, with chefs developing dishes around fresh, seasonal produce. There’s also a jumping pillow, pedal karts, a bike track, a half-size basketball court, and a range of games, such as table tennis, movie nights and a remote-control car track. You can also go fishing in Salt Water Creek, and kids can sign up to cooking lessons such as pizza making and cookie decorating, and go on scavenger hunts.