By Kasia Ozog
Published: Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Updated: November 17, 2021 at 1:56 pm
From accommodation rivalling world-class hotels, to play areas that make kids feel like they’re at Disneyland, caravan parks aren’t what they used to be. And with COVID-19 putting a halt to most overseas travel plans, there’s never been a better time to explore what’s on offer in our own beautiful country.
There’s nothing quite like childhood memories of packing the car with everything from boogie boards to bikes, then setting off on an adventure to a caravan park for the school holidays.
With glamping options and impressive amenities such as resort-style pools and waterslides on offer these days, holiday parks have certainly come a long way since the basic caravan parks of yesteryear.
Here are our top holiday park picks from around Australia.
G’Day Parks Beachside Holiday Park
Located just an hour’s drive south of Adelaide and sitting along picturesque Normanville Beach, you’ll find the perfect place to relax and unwind. While the park’s idyllic location
is within easy reach of attractions such as Ingalla Waterfalls and Victor Harbor, its biggest drawcard is its recently revamped water park, which is one of the largest in the state.
Big 4 Renmark
Located in the heart of the Riverland along the mighty Murray River, Big 4 Renmark is an absolute child’s paradise. It boasts a water park, resort pool, heated spa, TV room, games room and a jumping pillow among its attractions. It’s also ideal for couples, singles and guests of all ages, offering luxury riverfront or poolside villas, caravan and camping sites and glamping accommodation options.
Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain
You’ll feel at one with nature at this peaceful holiday park set on the edge of the World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, which is renowned for its glassy lakes and pristine wilderness. Cosy up in a quaint wooden cabin, backpackers’ amenities or tent and caravan sites, surrounded by nature. The best part – the chance of snow in the colder months.
NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
A serene hideaway surrounded by 16 hectares of bushland and just a stone’s throw from Stewarts Bay, you’ll also be within walking distance of the famous Port Arthur Historic Site. Winner of multiple Tasmanian Tourism Awards, the park offers a variety of cabins, safari tents, and caravan or camping sites where you’ll be greeted by friendly wildlife. Spend your days traipsing through the region’s history and being dazzled by its natural beauty while enjoying popular bushwalking trails and cruises.
Discovery Parks Nagambie Lakes
Located less than two hours’ drive from Melbourne, Discovery Parks Nagambie Lakes sits on the banks of the Goulburn River and is a great option for those planning to drive over from South Australia. The holiday park offers a range of accommodation options and has plenty of outdoor activities, including a jumping pillow, large pool and playground. It’s also close to wineries and the Goulburn Explorer River Cruiser, which is one of Victoria’s must-do experiences.
Big 4 NRMA Warrnambool Riverside Holiday Park
Make the most of your Great Ocean Road journey by stopping over at the Big 4 Warrnambool Riverside Holiday Park, set on the banks of the Hopkins River. Within walking distance of central Warrnambool and just three hours’ drive from Melbourne, local attractions include fishing spots, the Hopkins River Falls and Logan’s Beach viewing platform where you can spot whales during their migration season. There are recreational activities for all ages and plenty of accommodation options, including pet-friendly cabins and sites.
RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort
The resort is located midway up the West Australian coastline in the Shark Bay area, which is renowned for its dolphin visits (hence the name). With accommodation on the beachfront, you’ll be feeling the sand between your toes in no time. The resort underwent a full redevelopment in 2018 and is a WA Tourism Awards winner. Take your pick from cabins, villas, or caravan and camping sites. Children will be kept entertained with the park’s two outdoor pools, a recreation room, tennis court and playground.
Discovery Parks Rottnest Island
Disconnect from the world, settle in for a night under the stars, and be enriched by the experience of glamping behind the sand dunes of breathtaking Pinky Beach. This is holidaying with a difference. With an emphasis on low-impact accommodation, the park features 83 eco-glamping tents – all boasting ensuites, so you’ll feel at one with nature without missing all the creature comforts. Explore boardwalks through the dunes to Pinky’s Beach Club and take a dip in the resort pool. Bliss.
Big 4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort
Queensland is famous for its amusement parks and pristine beaches, but it should also be famous for this resort. This is the Disneyland of holiday parks. A paradise for all ages, the resort boasts a huge water park, heated pool, tennis courts, mini golf, pedal karts, two jumping pillows and even an animal park. As for accommodation, take your pick from condos, cabins, villas or caravan and camping sites. Location wise, you’re just a five-minute drive from the Airlie Beach town centre.
Big 4 Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut Resort
Located in the idyllic paradise that is tropical North Queensland, this award-winning holiday park is also a child’s wonderland. It’s set on an 11-hectare landscaped tropical oasis with cabins, condos, villas and caravan and camping sites. As for the amenities, there are two swimming pools, slides, a splash park, a recreation room and pedal cars. It’s also less than 10 minutes’ drive from the heart of Cairns.
BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park
Discover Alice Springs from this acclaimed holiday park in the Northern Territory, renowned for its picturesque surrounds. Stay in a villa, cabin, safari tent or book a caravan or camping site and make the most of the waterslide, pools, BMX track and other fun amenities. You’ll also be well situated to explore all that’s on offer in the beautiful Red Centre.
Kings Canyon Resort
You’ll wake up pinching yourself at this resort, inspired by the breathtaking beauty of Kings Canyon. Enjoy luxe glamping tents in the heart of the Red Centre, or the comfort of the resort and lodge rooms on offer. If caravanning or camping is more your style, they have you covered. The resort is the perfect base to immerse yourself in the stunning and unique ochre-toned landscape that’ll linger in your mind and heart long after you’re gone.
New South Wales
Discovery Parks Byron Bay
Byron Bay is described as the jewel of the New South Wales’ north coast, and it’s easy to see why Hollywood stars call it home. Experience the best of this relaxed beachside town while being within easy reach of popular attractions, such as the Byron Bay Lighthouse – Australia’s easternmost point. Enjoy your stay in one of the many accommodation options available, including deluxe safari tents and lakeside cabins.
NRMA South West Rocks Holiday Resort
Set in a seaside town on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, this resort offers glamping tents, cabins, villas with facades that blend into the natural surrounds, and caravan and camping sites. It’s perfect for a family escape with a Shipwreck Island-themed water park, swimming pool, playground, mini golf, pedal go-kart hire, as well as an indoor games room. The resort is pet friendly in designated areas and at certain times of the year.
Australian Capital Territory
Alivio Tourist Park Canberra
Located just 4km from the heart of Canberra, yet in a quiet bush setting, this holiday park boasts a range of accommodation options, from modern villas to cabins and caravan sites. Spend your days by the pool or at the on-site restaurant and keep the kids entertained thanks to a water zone, playground and tennis court. You’ll also be close to the capital’s biggest attractions, including the Australian War Memorial, Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin.