ANGELA SAURINE joins in the school holiday fun at this beachfront holiday park on the NSW Central Coast
I must admit, I find it a bit disconcerting when we arrive at our cabin at Toowoon Bay Holiday Park and there’s a family from the campsite opposite playing cricket on the road in front of our driveway. But they get out of the way quickly, and I soon get used to the laidback, kid-friendly vibe of this, quite frankly, gigantic holiday park. My three-year-old son Oliver and his buddy, Jack, have a ball riding their balance bikes around the quiet streets, where the speed limit is 10km an hour, and I love seeing older kids riding scooters, pedal bikes and skateboarding, writing on the road with chalk and walking dogs at sunset. During our stay we wake to sound of the waves crashing against the shore at the nearby beach, kookaburras laughing and other birds chirping, and see bunnies and ducks roaming around the grounds.
The holiday park is at Toowoon Bay, on a peninsula between Tuggerah Lake and the Pacific Ocean on the NSW Central Coast, around an hour and 40 minutes’ drive north of Sydney. It’s just a few minutes’ drive to The Entrance, and close to Long Jetty and Bateau Bay.
There are literally hundreds of caravan and camping sites to choose from, some with ensuites, as well as six types of cabins. The large, modern two-bedroom Kingfisher cabin accommodates up to four people, while the Beachcomber cabin, which also has two rooms plus a spa, can hold up to five. The Jabiru, Pelican, Ibis and Sheerwater cabins have two bedrooms and can accommodate up to six people. Pet-friendly sites are available, but animals are not allowed in cabins.
This was my first experience staying at a holiday park during school holidays with my toddler, when a range of extra activities are on offer, and I must say, I’m hooked! We loved joining in watching Frozen on the big outdoor screen at movies under the stars and singing along with the kids to Let It Go, and dancing to the Nutbush and Macarena at the Saturday night disco. There’s also a resort-style pool with a shallow area for toddlers, a playground and a jumping pillow. While Oliver was a bit too overwhelmed to get on the latter with all the big kids, the manager let him and Jack have a go on their own before shutting it down one night, and they loved it.
FOOD AND DRINK
Another great thing about visiting during the school holidays are the cool food trucks on-site. They included a pancake van and a coffee van in the morning, a Spring Potato Twister truck, and a Kombi Keg mobile bar selling beer, cider, wine, Prosecco, margaritas and more. A Mr Whippy ice-cream van also does the rounds in the afternoon. You can also buy ice-cream in the office, as well as lollies, slushies and essentials such as milk, juice, condiments, toothpaste and nappies.
There are three beaches to choose from just outside the holiday park. Turn left and you’ll find Toowoon Bay Beach, where you can swim between the flags, just a short walk away, next to the protected Little Bay. Walk across the rocks, or exit via another track, and you’ll find yourself at North Shelly Beach, which is great for surfing. There’s also a park next door, Swadling Reserve, with the 18-hole Tuggerah Golf Course on the other side. Head to The Entrance to do the Coast to Lake Scenic Walk, or hit the ferris wheel, dodgems and other rides at its waterfront carnival. You can also learn to surf, go kayaking, bushwalking at Wyrrabalong National Park or Munmorah State Conservation Area, or visit nearby attractions such as The Australian Reptile Park, TreeTop Adventure Park and Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures.
The writer paid her own way.