Swansea Lakeside Holiday Park, NSW

Swansea Lakeside Holiday Park is literally on the shore of the beautiful Lake Macquarie, which is an amazing part of the world and a place we have loved calling home for quite some time. We have heard many great things about this park from friends, family and so many people who have passed through and met on the road. We have been looking forward to visiting for many years and finally, were able to see the beautiful grounds and fun activities this park hosts.

We were greeted with an amazing bag of gifts from staff which included hats, drink bottles, coffee cups, towels and more. The beautiful staff at this park is what separates it from other parks. They go that extra mile to ensure you feel special and enjoy every second of your stay.

Swansea Lakeside Park offers beautiful and scenic views of the lake from a large number of sites. We were lucky enough to stay on an ensuite site right on the water. The site was spacious and well located within the park which made for a very enjoyable holiday week. One of the great features we noticed at this park, that we have not seen anywhere before was that you were able to have two vehicles on each site which was ideal for us as we actually took two vehicles during this stay.

Swansea Lakeside park was able to hold our very active kids attention for four special nights with many great facilities including these;

  • A large resort-style swimming pool with crystal clear water and of a beautful temperature.  It’s no secret that I enjoy warmer pools and this was so comfortable that I even ventured in. We were able to let the kids have a splash for hours whilst I also enjoyed some baking time in the relaxing poolside chairs and tables.
  • This park also boasts a huge camp kitchen that is right next to a large outddoor play area. We cooked up a storm in the kitchen with all the facilities while watching the kids play at the park right next door.
  • If you have an active family like us, the large basketball courts, handball courts and hopscotch courts are sure to keep you busy.

19 1 18  Sglhp  Kids  Shoot 73

  • Mini golf. We enjoyed countless hours at this putt putt course. The kids surprising us with a few hole in ones and friendly compeition each time. Its a great course to enjoy some quality time with family and friends. We hired our clubs and balls from the front office and returned them as soon as we had finished.
  • Huge outdoor play area for the kids which is perfectly situated right next to the camp kitchen, pool area, putt putt golf course, tennis court and basketball court. Our kids were off enjoying the outdoors whilst we sat back relaxing. The location of this huge play area meant we could keep an eye on kids without having to follow them around. Not to mention the large amount of activites there are within the playground such as; climbing, swinging bars, slides, swings, ropes and more.
  • The large indoor games room is in the same building complex as the camp kitchen making it super convenient for the kids to use while you cook dinner. In the games room you will find a number of skill tester games as well as Chris’s personal favorite when he was a young boy,  2 x outrun car racing simulator games. The fun doesn’t stop there though, the games room also hosts a huge tv and a massive projector screen for kids movies. Apart from all this fun there is also a huge amount of indoor space for the kids to play in, in this games room if you are in inclement weather.
  • Just outside the games room is a large outdoor blackboard. Our kids loved drawing all over it and it was great to see drawings from people all over the country that had left their names and states that they were from. It is also great with me being a school teacher to do that extra little bit of homeschooling if you are travelling around.
  • Swansea Lakeside park hosts a large laundry and although we didnt use it on this occassion, its a facility that is much needed when having been on the road for quite some time.
  • One of this amazing parks greatest attractions would have to be it’s proximity to the waters edge. We have lived in this area for most of our lives and didn’t even know this little hidden gem existed. We were literally on a site that was within 30 metres to the Waters Edge of lake Macquarie. To make things even better the depth of the water is so shallow that kids can even walk out about 100 metres onto the sandbanks. We found ourselves just sitting on the Shore watching all the hermit crabs running around in the sand and watching everyone enjoy the water sports that this great area has to offer. This feature of the park alone will definitely make us come back here and enjoy this amazing park again in the very near future

We have travelled all around Australia and the feeling of this park is one that makes you feel like you are in another state or country. It had very similar feeling to being on Stradbroke Island, which is one of our all time favourite caravanning locations. We were completely blown away by what this park has to offer considering it is literally in our backyard.

Although we stayed in our caravan, this park also offers great cabins for holidaying. They have numerous sized cabins that sleep quite a few people. They are all situated in a great location, close to the pools and the waters edge and are well maintained feeling fresh, clean and new.

Things to do near Swansea Lakeside Holiday Park

Jet buzz

Jet Buzz is Lake Macquarie’s most exhilarating adventure on the water in Lake Macquarie. Jet Buzz has jet boat rides, boat hire, corporate and group functions, stand up paddle boards (SUPs), Kayaks and luxury boats for hire. Our family enjoyed a morning on the water with SUPs and Kayaks enjoying paddles around seeing the shores of beautiful Lake Macquarie. The kids LOVED the kayaks, even paddling themselves and pointing out the beautiful wildlife around.

The following day we were lucky enough to go on a Jet Boat ride on the lake. We are a family that chases an adrenaline rush and this was exactly that!! Our 3 year old loved every second of the ride and the boys at Jet Buzz are great, friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable. We were suited up with a life jacket, explained the safety and rules of the ride and off we went! It was fast, wet, fun and a ride that the kids have not stopped talking about since we hopped off.

We definitely recommend this for the any family visiting Lake Macquarie. Its an activity that people of all ages can enjoy whilst getting a front row view of the shores of beautiful Lake Macquarie.

We will definitely be back to visit both Swansea Lakeside Park and Jet Buzz in Lake Macquarie. Both offered a unique expereince for my family that is perfect for all ages. We enjoyed our week thoroughly and cant WAIT to talk about it with friends and family!

Discovery Parks, Harrington

After about 90 days on the road, we have arrived at our final location before heading home; Discovery Parks, Harrington. We have seen and heard about this caravan park for a while now, as it is one that has been quite popular amongst our friends. The beauty of this park is that it is only 2 hours North of where we live so definitely a place we would like to make a visit to more frequently.

The first amazing thing you will notice about this park is the beautiful beaches and coastline that you drive along before reaching the entry of the park. You are immediately hit with a sense of relaxation as you drive along this gorgeous outlook.

There are many activities that take place in the school holidays with these being displayed on the reception office front wall. While checking in, the kids almost jumped out of the car with excitement and couldn’t wait to get cracking on all the activities.

We were lucky enough to jag the site directly opposite the amenities block, whilst being only 50 metres from the pool area and the playground. The sites are a bit smaller than we have been privy to of late, however there was ample parking opposite our site, near the amenities block that allowed us to park our car there to make extra room on our site.

This park has a great pool area that’s suitable for kids of all ages. It has a large swimming pool on one side with a water slide and attached children’s water play area with tipping bucket etc, whilst there is a second pool with great water features located in the same pool area. There is also ample seating around the pools for easy supervision and relaxation for parents.

In addition to the pool area there is also a mini golf/putt putt course, a large jumping pillow and both an indoor and outdoor play area. Our kids were entertained from the second they woke up to when I reminded them for the 3rd time, to go and have a shower before bed!!!

In addition to the great kids facilities, there are great park facilities that include a laundry, kiosk, large camp kitchen with TV plus indoor seating and a large amount of BBQ undercover areas throughout the park. The beauty of this meant no matter where your site was located, its was only a short walk to your nearest cooking facility.

There is a large indoor tv/games room and an additional ‘shed’ area where the park hosts ‘Kids Club’ with great activities including crafts, limbo, Mini-olympics and puzzle games, in the school holidays. Cooper and Chloe played memory, made a fan, had an egg and spoon race and played limbo. They were rewarded with a surprise gift at the end of the activities PLUS an ice cream!! This was so very generous of the park and both kids didn’t wipe the smile off their faces for hours!

For a small additional cost you can hire out peddle karts for 1/2 hour or a full hour. We haven’t ridden one in some time and the kids enjoyed riding around the park in a quad / family cart. We found half an our to be plenty of time to peddle a few laps around the park, while the kids took in the sights.

Discovery Parks, Harrington is in close proximity to the beach and lagoon, with tracks leading directly from the park to the water’s edge. We found ourselves spending many hours playing in the sand and water. The water is protected by the break wall, so there are no waves making it super safe for kids with lots of protection from the sun by the trees, should you want to play in the shade.

One of the most exciting parts of a long weekend is the AFL & NRL grand finals. We watched it on our TV outside of the caravan and enjoyed the company of other guests walking by. The park had such a great atmosphere during these days with everyone in great spirits and happy for a quick chat.

85D8CF8F-6515-40CD-A910-98CDB1394FD8

Another bonus of school holidays and long weekends in Harrington are the markets that are hosted by the locals. We rode our bikes to the markets on the Public Holiday Monday as they are only approx 1.2kms from the park. It is a great flat ride, that little Chloe done on her own bike. We made sure that we rode along the break wall on the way home to take in all the breathtaking sights / views. Harrington is so pretty and the kids loved seeing this popular area for fishermen catching their fish!

Not only does this park host amazing kids activities but it also has a coffee van that comes in from 7.30am. It was very popular amongst park guests and being located right in the middle of the park made it very easy to find.

Well folks, that’s a wrap!!! Our incredible 3 month journey around Australia is all but over as we head for home from here. We are so happy to have finished at this park with its relaxing vibe and great facilities. We will definitely be returning to this park.

Thanks so much for joining us on our trip around Australia. This all started out as a trip for our little Chloe before she starts big school next year but it has turned into so much more. Both kids have grown so much from this trip and learnt so much that we really can’t put a price on the experiences we have had over the past three months.

We will be continuing to blog all our caravanning adventures that we undertake after this trip, so that you all can hopefully get some useful information from them, so stay tuned for those!!!

42928830_1741716625955367_5354767286789996544_n

Big 4 Saltwater @ Yamba Holiday Park

Back in the car for a quick drive further south to beautiful Yamba. We’ve heard so many great things about the Big 4 Saltwater & we have been looking forward to visiting for quite some time!

We arrived at reception and were not only welcomed by friendly and informative staff but also received a goodie bag that included colouring in/activity books, hats,  chocolates and lollies. Perfect for the whole family!

The sites at Big 4 Saltwater are set out in a circular pattern with one inner and one outer circle of sites, making all the sites drive through as well as making them super spacious. We had a great site located in between the camp kitchen and the new amenities block. It was also perfectly placed to take part in the multiple children’s activities areas that are located throughout the park.

Over the past 3 months we’ve been lucky enough to visit some great parks with great kids facilities. After everything we’ve seen and experienced thus far this one still managed to blow us away. Below is a list of the great activities the park offers during the school holidays! So many great activities to keep the munchkins busy including a great colouring competition! Right up Chloe’s alley!

The pirate themed water park Salty’s Cove, hosted 4 great slides for all ages, a large tipping bucket and water fountains that were all enclosed in a very large astro turf area. There are cabana’s around the edge of the waterpark area, perfect for adults to supervise in the shade and an ensuite style toilet block meaning hours can be spent in the water park area.

In addition to the Salty Cove area there is a separate pool area, The Palm Lagoon Pool with a spa, located directly across the road from the water park. It is a very relaxed feel pool area with ample seating for those not willing to take a quick dip.

The fun continues next to Salty’s Cove water park with a HUUUUGGEEE playground with many activities. These include a flying fox, swings, spiderweb swing, spinning flower merry-go-round, toddler slides, large slides for bigger kids with a rock climbing wall or stair access to the top, a large spiderweb climbing tower, a volleyball net, a table-tennis table and an undercover BBQ area. Located just next to this was a seperate playground with slides and monkey bars etc. This play area actually had ramps etc and catered for wheelchairs, which was the first time we’ve seen that all trip. All activities were perfect for kids of all ages and kept Coop and Chloe entertained for hours.

Located between these two play areas is an outdoor cinema that hosts movies for children of a night-time. It’s a purpose-built area, again with wheelchair access, that consists of a raised platformed area with astro turf flooring, ample seating and a large projector screen. It’s an area that looks ridiculously fun and although we missed out on seeing a movie they did host an amazing kids disco in this area that we attended whilst we were here.

In addition to the above faculties/activities there is also a pump bike track, a jumping pillow, a bocce area & a large fire pit area. Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better the SUP’s and Kayaks are available free of charge for you to use in the Clarence River which borders one side of the park. You can also hire peddle-karts for a very reasonable additional price.

The amenities block across from our site is brand new and includes over 12 unisex ensuites + over 6 individual toilets. They are perfect for the kids of a night-time and the fact that they were so close made it easy for the kids to run over while we kept an eye on them from the comfort of our caravan annex area.

Yamba’s Big 4 Saltwater has great cooking facilities with numerous indoor camp kitchens and BBQ areas. It certainly makes life easy when you have many areas to choose from and puts your mind at ease knowing there are little to no wait times.

In addition to the outdoor cinema the park also has a lounge room for tv/movie viewing and relaxing. You can also hire DVD’s from reception, again free of charge, to take back to your cabin or caravan to enjoy in the comfort of your own space.

The laundry room had super cheap washes at $3 a load (the cheapest we’ve seen this entire trip) so we decided to do a few loads of the bigger items such as sheets that our little Aldi washing machine can’t handle.

Lastly, the office has a cute little kiosk with ice creams and lollies, which we all know is a success with Chris, I mean the kids around!!!

A beautiful thing about this park is the amount of Kangaroos that are scattered throughout the park grounds. We saw one jump along the road right in front of our caravan site and head off over towards the water park area. Our kids just loved this as lets face it, it’s not something you see everyday in your suburban life.

This park lives up to it’s great name! The owners of Big 4 Tweed Billabong own this one also and although they are vastly different than are similar in so many ways. Both have great staff, great facilities and amazing activities for kids and we can’t wait to come back to both in the near future!

 

image1 (1)

Discovery Parks Ballina, NSW North Coast

Moving further down south towards home, our amazing 3 month holiday on the road is slowly coming to an end. Next stop was the Discovery Park, Ballina, where we were welcomed to yet another beautiful park.

Our site was a huge drive through site with access roads both in front and behind the site. Seeing we were only staying for one night, we didn’t unpack fully which allowed Coops and daddy plenty of time to kick a ball around the large site. They loved having the extra room.

There are sooooo many activities for the kids at this park. We were unfortunate to only have one night available to stay here due to our busy plan and would have LOVED to stay longer and experience all the great activities to a greater level however, the kids made the most of the day jumping straight into it and creating memories that will definitely leave them wanting more.

This park boasts the following which makes it a very memorable and exciting time for all guests:

  • Multiple activity rooms including a theatre room with the park hosting night movies for guests. A games room with arcade style games + a toddlers area only where they can relax and not have to worry about getting in the bigger kids way.
  • BBQ areas + a great sized camp kitchen. We cooked in the camp kitchen for dinner and were able to watch the kids in the play area at the same time.
  • Bouncing Pillow which both the kids and I jumped on for an hour straight. I forgot how exhausting these were yet sooo much fun!
  • Gym – Chris had a small window of a half an hour and after 3 months on the road, loved the opportunity to get a quick work out done. They have a variety of equipment including cardio equipment, multi exercise cable station and a rack of dumbbells. All of which provides a great opportunity to workout the whole body in the comfort of a secure area, only accessed by other adult gym users (ie: no kids).
  • Kids Facilities/Kids Club that is hosted mainly in the school holidays. We were lucky enough to take part in a colouring competition with the kids pictures being displayed in the office windows. Chloe loved seeing her completed picture on display!
  • Putt Putt Golf – The kids and hubby also played a quick game of Putt-putt Golf in the beautiful sunshine. It looked like a great course and all 3 came back with smiles from ear to ear.
  • Kiosk/Store The kiosk was in the main office and gave our kids an opportunity to buy a small amount of lollies with their pocket-money. We have loved seeing their manners come to fruition and their recognition of coins grow.

42563237_2113649958654273_6996931509676408832_n.jpg

  • Laundry – Although we didn’t use it, this park hosts a great size laundry with irons also available.
  • Playground – The outdoor play area is located right next to the indoor Kids Zone play area and the jumping pillow. Our kids played in this area for an hour while we cooked dinner and we found it to be appropriate for all ages.

42614871_541079076352333_5775611023088156672_n.jpg

  • Sports Facilities that include Beach Volleyball on the water’s edge of Shaw’s Bay (which borders one side of the park). You can also hire kayaks and SUP’s for use in Shaw’s Bay and of course peddle karts around the park. See the photo below for prices for quick reference.
  • Swimming heated pool plus a splash zone area for the younger kids. Both Chloe and Cooper loved this area with the slides and of course jumping in and out of the heated larger swimming pool with daddy. It was a great temperature and a great opportunity to play in the sun.
  • Bird Avery – I find something about watching and listening to birds very relaxing. It’s at the main entry and was a great little activity for the kids.

This park also has free WiFi, conference facilities and the usuals you find at caravan parks; dump points and family bathrooms. Dogs are allowed in certain areas of the park which is great for the grey nomad if travelling with their beloveds.

We had a great time at this park and look forward to returning in the near future for a much longer stay!!

Like and Follow us; ‘Kim & Chris’

Facebook Icon   Image result for instagram icon  Twitter Icon

 

Big 4 Tweed Billabong, Tweed Heads South, NSW

We are back in NSW slowly making our way back down the coast towards Newcastle. It’s good to be back on our home state soil and we are super excited to try out some of the east coast caravan parks we have never visited.

Upon driving into the Big 4 Tweed Billabong, our attention was immediately drawn to a sign reading the winner of the “best of the best’. We can certainly see how the park won this award. Just driving up to the front gate of Big 4 Tweed Billabong we noticed that everything was in pristine condition and the security gates for both vehicles and pedestrians immediately made you feel safe.

Big 4 Tweed Billabong                                                                    info@tweedbillabong.com.au
(07) 5524 2444

The office staff are friendly, welcoming and knowledgable, explaining all the facilities that this huge park has to offer. We drove around to our site, which was located between the amenities block and the heated pool with water slide.

When I say that this park has a ‘theme park’ style water park area, it’s an understament. It not only has 4 large and long self-contained slides (as in the water is contained in the slide and you don’t slide into a pool, which is amazing when you have young kids as you dont have to wait at the bottom to catch them) but also a water play area for younger children. The slides are named after famous local landmarks with three of the slides coming from the ‘Mt Warning’ area and one slide coming from the ‘Fingal Headland Lighthouse’. This amazing pool area also hosts numerous seating options, ensuite style toilet area and undercover bbq areas. Its incredible and one that will keep your kids attention for hours!

In addition to the slides in the water park area, the park also hosts a heated pool with an additional slide and a toddler pool. We found ourselves in this pool everyday as the temperature was quite nice, however even at this time of year the temperature of the water in the waterpark area wasn’t too bad either once you got sliding.

If you are holidaying here and you’re not feeling the chlorine water areas or pool, that’s ok!! Head down to the parks Billabong which is a beach/ lagoon area with aqua park inflatable islands. You can also hire SUP’s, Kayaks and fishing gear to use in the billabong. Whilst we were here the park held a fishing competition from the Billabong also.

On one of the days we hired a stand up paddle board and a kyack. Both of which came with life jackets for the kids and oars. Cooper said he ‘had the best time ever’ after the fun morning and definitely created memories that will last in future years.

Tweed Billabong has one of the largest and extravagant camp kitchens we have seen to date. Not only does it have an indoor kitchen with all the cooking appliances and a huge living/TV area with wall mounted TV but it also has a large outdoor undercover kitchen with seating areas, that look over the Billabong on one side and the children’s playground on the other.

When this park was designed, they definitely had kids at the forefront of their minds. There is an outdoor play area right next to the camp kitchen so that when we were cooking, our kids were enjoying playing at the park. They also have full size table tennis table next to the park that allowed Chris and I to have a super competitive….I mean friendly game.

Not only is there an outdoor play area at one end of the park but also another one at the entry of the park. Attached to this play area is also an indoor play area for toddlers and a large jumping pillow for kids of all ages. It is a great area for kids to play with ample seating for the adults to enjoy a coffee and supervise.

There is a great kiosk / shop located inside the reception office where you can purchase the essentials such as bread and milk to save a trip to the shops as well as tent pegs and other camping necessities, which is super convenient. It also has what all kids love…sweets. Our kids used their pocket-money to purchase some ice blocks and a small treat for their good behaviour whilst we were here.

As our visit coincided with QLD school holidays we were lucky enough to enjoy a movie night in the pool area on the big screen projector. They show great kids movies three nights a week during school holidays so make sure you pack some popcorn.

Other great activities and kids Club activities Tweed Billabong host are a pizza night where you can buy $15 pizzas for the family plus an Italian food truck where you can purchase anything from a big breakfast to some snacks, to enjoy around the Billabong.

If everything I’ve mentioned isn’t enough you can also hire pedal karts as well as the  SUP’s, kayaks and fishing gear I’ve mentioned above. Tere is also a Bocce area too right next to the slides area. Everything is very reasonably priced and provide hours of fun within the ground of the park.

This park blew us away with the activities available for kids. It has everything you and your kids need for a busy but enjoyable holiday. There is a large park area at the back of this Big 4 so also expect more big things to come in the future.

The park owners of Tweed Billabong are also the owners of Big 4 Saltwater in Yamba and we look forward to visiting that in the coming week. You even get a goodie bag upon arrival! YESS!!!!

IMG_6889.JPG


Like and Follow us; ‘Kim & Chris’

Facebook Icon   Image result for instagram icon  Twitter Icon

Stadbroke Ferries; Connecting you to North Stradbroke Island.

Call me naive but I was completely unaware that you could take a ferry with your vehicle + caravan over to Stradbroke Island and camp. I always assumed you flew and it was a tourist island only. Stradbroke Ferries has grown to become the largest marine operator in Moreton Bay, with seven vehicle ferries and one water taxi which make it super easy and quick to get over to Stradbroke. We arrived at the well sign posted Cleveland terminal which clearly directed you through the check in lane, making life easy for first time travellers like us, knowing exactly where we were suppose to be.

Stradbroke Ferries are open for business 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The staff in the office tell you exactly where to park your car after you purchase your ticket for a smooth transition onto the Ferry. They also answer any questions that you may have. The ladies provided a range of information and brochures about the islands and what to expect upon arrival.

Once your car is parked in the numbered loading bays, you can jump out of your car and enjoy a coffee in the cafe. There are also public toilets, so arriving early is advised for a stress free trip. We had a very good run to the terminal and arrived over an hour early, where we planned on just waiting for our ferry, however the amazing staff managed to get us on the Ferry leaving an hour earlier than we were supposed to, which meant more time on Straddie!!!

Below is a picture of the ferry we boarded, with all of them having lovely artwork on the outside of them. Once we boarded we loved every second of this experience, especially explaining to the kids how this barge transports cars and vans over to an island. Pricing for the ferry is extremely reasonable and can be found here.

We boarded our ferry where we were guided by the helpful staff on board, parking where directed to. This whole experience was amazing and exciting for Chris and I so I can only imagine how exciting it was for the kids.

Once onboard we moved up to the top decks of the ferry. We waved goodbye to Brisbane for a few days and enjoyed a coffee and banana bread from the onboard cafe, which sells a huge variety of very well priced drinks, meals and snacks.

The whole ferry ride takes approx 45 minutes with staff directing you to your vehicle before the ferry stops so that you can alight from the ferry as soon as it reaches the island. This process flowed so smooth with no waiting time, meaning those cars waiting to come back to the mainland could also board straight away too. We then drove onto the beautiful Stradbroke Island to begin our holiday and after the ease and excitement of the ferry ride, we already had such a positive and happy feel that we knew this was going to be a great holiday stopover.

We drove directly from the ferry terminal at Dunwich up to the North Western tip of the island to a place called Amity Point. The weather was amazing, the beaches were beautiful and the overall feel / vibe was relaxing and positive. It is easy to see why Straddie is known as the place where ‘Summer Never Ends’.

Stradbroke Island has many amazing lookouts and the most picturesque walk we have ever seen – The North Gorge Walk. Wow, Wow, Wow is the only way to describe this walk. It’s a great way to see whales, dolphins and other sea life and the bonus is it can easily be walked with kids! We find a lot of the beautiful walks we have been to are too far or too difficult for kids. It’s approxiately 1km around the cliffs of Straddie with numerous lookouts and seating located along the way and the sights are simply breathtaking.

What better way to reward yourself after a walk like this than with some milkshakes! Directly located at the end of the North Gorge Walk are numerous shops and cafes so we all sat down and enjoyed some yummy milkshakes once we had finished.

Stradbroke Island has the most beautiful wildlife with the best bit being that they obviously feel relaxed / tame enough to be around visitors to the island. We were lucky enough to have a dolphin swim right up to the end of the jetty located at Amity Point, only 100 metres from our caravan. It was almost as if it was playing with us and swam around for about an hour chasing fish right in front of us. There were also numerous families of ducks with very small ducklings walking around the park, lizards, a huge variety of bird species and numerous Koalas. We even had a koala walk through our caravan site in the middle of the day to change the tree it was in. Watching the Koala jump from limb to limb in the tree is honestly something none of us have ever experienced and it was just amazing to watch.

Stradbroke Islands has friendly staff, beautiful beaches, enjoyable and scenic walks that make a holiday enjoyable for all ages. We are so incredibly thankful to Stradbroke Ferries and their amazing staff for providing the service they do to allow travelling families like us the opportunity to experience this amazing place. It is a very cost-effective way of travelling to what feels like paradise in another country, without the stress, cost and time spent on flights and other related services. We LOVED our time on Straddie and are so thankful that we took the time to experience it.

Our time on Stradbroke came to and end this afternoon, catching the ferry back to the Cleveland terminal to continue our adventure back towards Newcastle. We had the most amazing time and feel that this was one stop off on our Australian adventure that I will remember for a life time! This is not Goodbye Straddie, this is see you later, as we will 100% be coming back!!!

Like and Follow us; ‘Kim & Chris’

Facebook Icon   Image result for instagram icon  Twitter Icon

Dicky Beach Family Holiday Park, Sunshine Coast QLD

Dicky Beach Holiday Park was our next stop on our amazing family adventure around Australia and WOW what an amazing place to stop.

It’s located on the beachfront at Dicky Beach only minutes from Caloundra and has the most unbelievable sites which are literally on the beach! We were lucky enough to  have the closest to the foreshore and woke up to the sound of the waves crashing on the shores of Dicky Beach and had a beautiful scenic outlook every second of our stay.

During our stay we enjoyed swimming in the parks swimming pool, a hit of tennis on the full size tennis court, laundry, code accessed amenities and undercover outdoor BBQ/kitchen right by the children’s outdoor playground. This great location of the kitchen meant that we could cook whilst the kids played….heaven!

Dicky beach has a great recreation room filled with many arcade style games for the kids. The kids (and I mean hubby in that ‘kids’ comment) played for hours and finished off with a few minutes of TV catching up on some news back home.

There are a number of bike paths to explore in this area including along the beach. We went for walks along the ocean side of an afternoon/evening and enjoyed the beautiful Sunshine Coast weather. There is a great skate board park opposite the caravan park and the Dicky Beach Surf Club is literally a one minute walk from the park. Our kids loved watching the bigger kids skating on the half-pipe and made mention a few times; that ‘they couldnt wait until the were old enough to ride there aswell!’.

The biggest attraction of this park was the close proximity to the beach. We walked over every day and could see our van from the beach. The gorgeous Sunshine Coast weather allowed us to have hours of fun in the sun and the kids created so many memories in the sand of Dicky Beach. Literally as you touch the sand you have the option of swimming in the creek area or the ocean water. We found the creek area a much better temperature for the kids, plus there were no waves which made it safer to swim in. This was definitely the best spot on the whole coast line of this area and it was directly opposite the caravan park….Winning!!!

Not only were we so close to the beach but the park also had a visit from the ice cream man, or as we know him, Mr Whippy. This is the first park we have been to where we have seen this occur and we must say it was a very welcomed attraction by all the guests of the park. We ran down and ordered an ice cream and created a memory for our children that will last likes ours have from when we were that age.

Fun things continue on the Sunshine Coast;

Caloundra Markets

The Caloundra Street Fair that features approximately 100 unique stalls has something for the whole family. Our kids were attracted to the face-painting and jumping castle activities, whilst we enjoyed browsing the handcrafted, locally made art and items. It had an amazing atmosphere with live entertainment and street theatre.

After the market we sat with friends and enjoyed lunch and coffees and found our day to be so very enjoyable and relaxing.

Aussie World

73 Frizzo RdCaloundra, Queensland 4553, Australia

Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast is a fun day out for the entire family. There are many types of rides, especially for kids. Chloe loved the log ride and went on it over and over again. There are plenty of rides that go high and fast that leave the faint hearted wobbly legged and dizzy as well as a simulator and a HUGE slide (which unfortunately was out of action on the day we attended). The park boasts one rollercoaster that again, Chloe loved and a full course of putt putt golf. We all enjoyed the illisonarium which was a house that contained numerous illusions and mazes that we had to work through as a family. Unfortunately due to the kids being under 12 years of age we were unable to check it out, but there is also a haunted maze which looked amazing. WATCH THIS SPACE too as the park is building some more rides that are definitely not for the faint hearted.

The entire day catered for all ages with amazing rides for young children including numerous merry-go-round style rides, a huge ferris wheel and some ride on racing cars that Cooper went on over and over again. Our kids are both adrenaline junkies, like Chris and I however as Cooper was under 100cms tall he was unable to go on the majority of the rides. There was still a huge amount of attractions for Cooper to go on however, the greatest benefit for those attending would be to those who have children that are 100cms tall or above.

The park attracts thousands of visitors on weekends but we were lucky enough to attend on a weekday. This meant that there were a lot fewer people in the park and we didn’t have to line up for ANY rides. This was absolutely AMAZING and allowed us to go on certain rides over and over again without lining up at all in between turns.

Cost for the day is $144 for a family of 4 with individual adult prices starting much cheaper than this. Click here for more ticketing information.

Ginger Factory

The iconic Ginger Factory offers fun rides, fascinating tours, a unique retail precinct and cafe surrounded by beautiful sub-tropical gardens for all to enjoy. There is free entry to the play area and a cafe that is open seven days a week all year round.

Chris and I had a Play Bundle which costs between $15.30 – $64.80 (depending on if you are a single or a family of 4) and includes access to the Overboard boat ride and the Ginger Train. The train ride went for approximately 15 minutes and included commentary during the full lap of the grounds of the Ginger Factory. The Overboard boat ride was absolutely amazing. Our kids LOVED it. It is all indoors and involves the family being seated in a boat that eases its way through a number of puppet displays from countries throughout the world. For those that have been to Disneyland, it is very similar to the “Its a Small World” boat ride.

The Ginger Factory also allows kids to decorate their very own gingerbread man which our kids LOVED. For $5.95 kids are given a gingerbread man, some icing, some m & m’s and jelly beans and the rest is up to them.

On leaving we also purchased two cartons of Buderim Ginger Beer cans for $20. They taste amazing and at 40 cents a can you’d be crazy not to buy some.

We have had an absolute BLAST on the Sunshine Coast and loved every minute. We have been spoilt by amazing weather and the fact that there are so many amazing attractions to visit. In the past like many people we have made it as far north as the Gold Coast and stopped before returning home, in turn missing out on the treasures the sunshine coast has to offer. Now that we have experienced it, we will be returning to the paradise of the Sunshine Coast every time we travel into Queensland. Our advice for those travellers who are contemplating a visit this far north but are not fully committed to the idea would be to do yourself a favour and DO IT. You wont regret it. In fact we guarantee that you will fall in love with this place just like we did !!!!!