Top 5 child-friendly holiday parks in New South Wales
Blog contribution by Jennifer Adams, presenter of the popular TV travel series Places We Go.
One of my favorite drives in the country is following the coastline of New South Wales: there are so many idyllic places to stay along the way that it feels unfair to name drop.
But let’s start with Southern NSW – the way the lush rolling green hills literally meet the ocean as you make your way through towns like Kiama, Jervis Bay, Pambula, and Merimbula. Mind you, how can you go past the Snowy Mountains of inland Kosciuszko National Park, home to our country's five highest peaks?
And then, in northern New South Wales, I love the way you can weave your way through the lush hinterland and river valleys. Meanwhile, up the road you can enjoy some of the most iconic beaches in Australia, known for both their sparkling beauty and chilled-out vibe: Byron Bay, Wategos, Lennox Heads… shall I continue?
Boogie board? Check. Surfboard? Check. Swimmers? Check.
So now that we’ve established it’s a beautiful part of the world, let’s narrow it down to some brilliant places to base yourself that are child friendly – both the holiday park and the destination.
My top five child-friendly holiday parks in New South Wales:
1. BIG4 Easts Beach, Kiama
BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park in Kiama typifies what I love about the South Coast of New South Wales. It sits proudly on 35 acres where the rolling green hills meet the family-friendly 400m-long Easts Beach.
It’s one of the largest and most historical parks in the country, having been in the same family for 80-plus years. We have stayed there twice: once in a caravan, the other time in a beachfront cabin.
The park has beautifully tended gardens and palm trees swaying in the wind, and both times we woke to the sun rising over the water and enjoyed a morning stroll along the tranquil beach.
After action-packed adventures hanging out enjoying the facilities and everything the South Coast has to offer, our days were capped off with fresh prawns (and a cold ale!) while children played happily back at the beach.
Reasons to stay at BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park in Kiama:
- Caravan/campsites and cabins ranging from studios to two and three-bedroom units to fit everyone, including beachfront cabins.
- Resort swimming pool, heated spa, and kids' pool.
- Tennis courts.
- Enjoy Easts Beach on your doorstep (including fishing and surfing).
- On-site café/general store.
- Massage studio.
- Games room.
- Children’s playground.
- Explore the historical town of Kiama (4km from BIG4).
- Visit historical Kiama lighthouse and the Captain's Cottage.
- Marvel at the famous Kiama Blowhole, the largest in the world.
- Join the scenic 22km Kiama Coast Walk, which passes by the property.
- Stop by the seafood shop: eat in or pick up goods for your camp.
- Visit the Minnamurra Rainforest in Budderoo National Park (10km from BIG4)
2. Discovery Holiday Parks, Jindabyne
Sitting on the banks of Lake Jindabyne, Discovery Holiday Parks - Jindabyne is a cracker for me. The gateway to the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park, it has a whopping big lake that is calling for families to get out and have fun on all year round. And for this reason, it makes my list.
I will never forget the time we hired kayaks from the Mountains Adventure Centre (on site) and took to the lake with our daughter, who was five at the time. Little did we know she would be paddling along as much as we were, with a smile that took days to wipe off her face.
Then, in true The Man from Snowy River spirit, we headed to the hills and took a horse ride at Snowy Wilderness, which is also a sanctuary to the wild brumby. Seeing them gallop in the wild was a sight to behold.
Reasons to stay at Discovery Holiday Parks – Jindabyne.
- Prime position by the banks of Lake Jindabyne.
- Tennis courts.
- Jumping pillow.
- Games room, table tennis, etc.
- TV/video room.
- Movie nights.
- Kayak/canoe/paddle boat hire.
- Horse riding.
- Skiing in the nearby snowfields in winter (Thredbo and Perisher).
- Bike riding in the snowfields in summer.
- Bush walking.
- White-water rafting.
3. Discovery Holiday Parks – Pambula Beach
Pambula is an old favorite of mine (we grew up camping here) and has a holiday park that all my friends stay at every Christmas for its prime location right on the beach. But if you are going try it out over peak periods, make sure you book ahead. Like at all quality parks, holidaymakers commonly book a year ahead.
Discovery Holiday Parks - Pambula Beach enjoys a prime position right on the beach on the stunning Sapphire Coast, making it the perfect place for a good old-fashioned family holiday with games of beach cricket followed by lazy barbies by your camp, or sitting out the front of your beachfront cabin. You will even find yourself greeted by the local wildlife, with kangaroos hopping about.
Reasons to stay at Discovery Holiday Parks – Pambula Beach
- Prime position on 500m beachfront.
- Ocean view cabins, including deluxe spa villas.
- Powered ensuite camping sites.
- Powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites.
- Three-pool aquatic centre.
- Outdoor movie centre.
- Games room.
- Kids' club.
- Jumping pillow.
- Sports equipment hire.
- Easy access to several beaches.
- Go kayaking and fishing on Pambula Lake.
- Visit Ben Boyd National Park (about 10km from Pambula).
- Panboola Wetlands.
- Enjoy bike and walking tracks.
- Local market (second Sunday of every month)
4. BIG4 Tweed Billabong Holiday Park
The waterpark at BIG4 Tweed Billabong provides endless fun.
When we first arrived at BIG4 Tweed Billabong Holiday Park, I must admit it felt like we were in Queensland. The park is smack bang on the border of New South Wales and Queensland, and everyone pretty much refers to it as the Gold Coast.
But it’s officially south of the border and certainly makes my list as not only one of the leading family-friendly holiday parks in New South Wales, but in my opinion, Australia. It is also just minutes from the airport, which makes it a convenient place to stay if you are flying in.
As soon as you arrive at BIG4 Tweed Billabong Holiday Park you are greeted by palm trees that beautifully sway over the heated resort pools on one side and the play equipment on the other.
As you wind your way past the caravan and camping sites, your eyes are immediately drawn to the enormous billabong that not only sits as the centrepiece of the holiday park, but also has a gigantic trampoline in the middle of it (as well as kayaks ready at the banks). And I can’t forget to mention the state-of-the-art camp kitchen – it even has TV screens so you can watch the footy while you cook your snags on the barbecue.
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. As you pass the luxury cabins (ours had a wonderful spa), you will find your way to the gigantic new water park with slides that are being enjoyed by all kids, young and old.
If you are looking for family-friendly accommodation, I would have to say this one takes the cake.
Sitting right on the edge of the Gold Coast, you are spoilt for choice on things to do with the kids. Theme parks, water parks, long stretches of white sandy beaches, picnics, barbies – it's pretty much endless.
Reasons to stay at BIG4 Tweed Billabong Holiday Park:
- Giant waterslide and Green Cauldron Water Park.
- Heated resort swimming pools.
- Billabong with water activities.
- Trampoline in billabong.
- Jumping pillow.
- Outdoor movies.
- TV room.
- Camp kitchen.
- Deck by the billabong (wonderful in the late arvo with a drink).
- Theme parks: Sea World, Movie World, Dreamworld.
- Whitewater World.
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Enjoy one of the many surrounding beaches.
- Hike in Burleigh Heads National Park (20 minutes from the park).
5. BIG4 Ballina Headlands Holiday Park
Another beauty is BIG4 Ballina Headlands Holiday Park. It sits just behind the headlands, and is only a 10-minute walk to Sharpes Beach (that’s two minutes by car).
It’s an eight-minute drive north of Ballina, just a four-minute zip up the road to Lennox Heads, and a 20-minute drive to the much-loved town of Byron Bay. I'm sure you are getting my point; it’s in a region known to many around the world as absolute paradise.
There is so much to do for the kids that you are only limited to your imagination; but on holidays like this we find the simpler the better.
Reasons to stay at BIG4 Ballina Headlands Holiday Park.
- Walking distance to beach and headlands.
- Solar-heated pool and spa.
- Games room; kids' activities.
- Jumping pillow, Playrope climbing.
- Camp kitchen.
- Convenience store/kiosk.
- Free WiFi.
- Sports equipment available.
- A full range of cabins, including spa cabins.
- Ensuite sites.
- 32km of pristine beaches.
- Lush sub-tropical rainforests.
- Visit nearby villages; local art shops and tea rooms.
- Macadamia Castle.
- Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum.
- Visit nearby Byron Bay and Lennox Head.
I hope you found some of my favourite spots helpful. I would love to know yours, so please leave a comment below.
You can find more travel inspirations at www.placeswego.com
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We are looking for an estimate of the size of your Caravan, Motorhome, Camper Trailer, Tent etc. once it has been set up or fully extended (outside to outside)... excluding your vehicle.
Caravans, Motorhomes, Camper Vans, Camper Trailers
Please include your tow/draw bar in the estimate.
Widths are generally around 4 – 5 metres (13.12 – 16.4 feet).
Note: Include annexes of pullouts in width.
|Caravans||4 – 12 metres (13.12 – 39.37 feet)|
|Motorhomes||7 – 14 metres (22.97 – 45.93 feet)|
|Campervans||5 – 7 metres (16.40 – 22.97 feet)|
|Fifth wheelers||7 – 14 metres (22.97 – 45.93 feet)|
|Camper Trailers||5 – 8 metres (16.40 – 26.25 feet)|
Note: Do not include the size of the tent pegs
|1 person||1 × 2.5 metres (3.28 × 8.20 feet)|
|2 person||1.5 × 2.5 metres (4.92 × 8.20 feet)|
|3 person||3 × 2.5 metres (9.84 × 8.20 feet)|
|4 person||4.5 × 2.5 metres (14.76 × 8.20 feet)|
|5 person||6 × 3 metres (19.69 × 9.84 feet)|
|6+ person||7 × 4.5 metres (22.97 × 14.76 feet)|
Please be advised that Site sizes vary from park to park and within each park. Sites will be allocated based on the measurements provided during the booking process and it is the responsibility of the guest to ensure estimates are as close to accurate as possible.
If you are unsure, we would prefer you to overestimate or give us a call on 1300 738 044