Three kids standing under water at a holiday park
Road trip

New-generation holiday parks around Australia

Holiday parks have come a long way in recent years, with many boasting facilities akin to top resorts. But one thing remains the same: they’re an essential ingredient to an unforgettable road trip.

By Shell on Mar. 16, 2022

Fresh Barista coffee, adults-only spas, and private en suites? You’re not imagining it: Australia’s new generation of holiday parks have more in common with luxury resorts than they do with the caravan parks and public campgrounds of the past.

More than being just a place to stay, holiday parks provide an all-inclusive experience for travellers, often being able to cater to a variety of tastes and, critically, budgets. Most operate as self-contained leisure centres with immaculate landscaping and extensive facilities, offering everything from powered campsites with private en-suite bathrooms to increasingly luxurious self-contained accommodation, including freestanding houses and apartments that can cater to large groups.

However, their rapid rise in popularity hasn’t just been from the improvement in facilities. More than ever, people are finding a new sense of community and friendliness at the parks, which have an appeal for people of all ages, and cater to all comfort levels. Many are also being designed with inclusivity in mind, with numerous facilities catering for guests with disabilities.

The majority of these holiday parks are only accessible by car – perfect for road trippers – while many are located in prime positions in smaller towns, offering an authentic local experience and a chance to support the travel industry.

Of course, there’s no doubt that a cornerstone of their success has also been the breadth and depth of the kids’ facilities they offer. In the caravan parks of old, a pool and kiosk serving hot chips might have passed muster. Nowadays you can find everything from giant jumping pillows to full scale water parks with slides, kids’ clubs with daily activities, movie nights, mini-golf and wet weather indoor playgrounds.

Discover what’s on offer at one of these six brilliant parks located across the country:

1. Mandalay Holiday Resort, Busselton, Western Australia

Keen to ease into camping life? Try glamping in a bell tent at Mandalay Holiday Resort in the Margaret River region. Indoors, tents include a king-size bed, while outdoors, there are four adventure playgrounds and waterslides to keep the kids amused.

2. Nobby Beach Holiday Village, Queensland

One of Australia’s most popular beachside holiday destinations, the Gold Coast offers visitors sun soaked beaches, thrilling theme parks, excellent shopping, world-class surf breaks, great local restaurants and bars and close access to a breathtakingly beautiful tropical hinterland. Nobby Beach Holiday Village, in the centre of the Gold Coast, is the place to stay for groups looking for excellent, affordable Gold Coast accommodation that is close to the action and stacked excellent facilities the whole family can enjoy.

3. Discovery Parks Jindabyne, NSW

Overlooking Lake Jindabyne, the luxe cabins at this Snowy Mountains retreat feature real fireplaces for a cosy winter long weekend away. There’s also a boat ramp, and a playground for the kids.

4. Victor Harbor Holiday & Cabin Park, South Australia

The perfect spot for a quintessential beach holiday, this park is in a prime location with cabins, units, grassy sites and fabulous facilities. The park staff truly understand what makes kids tick; the park has a playground, waterpark, swimming pool, pump track and mini golf, and a range of school holiday events.

5. Big4 Ingenia Holidays Queenscliff Beacon, Victoria

Ingenia Beacon Queenscliff is one of Victoria’s most popular holiday parks – and it’s not surprising considering it offers coffee delivery, a day spa, kid’s activities and private function-room hire, an indoor heated pool and a kids’ clubhouse.

6. Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful, untouched landscapes on earth, the world heritage listed Cradle Mountain Lake St. Clair National Park in Tasmania is the kind of destination everyone must see at least once in their lifetime. This park is conveniently situated right on the edge of the national park and has a range of fabulous log-cabin style dormitories, cottages and cabins, as well as ample space for the caravan or the tent.

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