This tempting selection of waterside parks will have you donning the sunhats and slip-slop-slapping in no time
PARK 1: Yallingup Holiday Park, WA
The south-west region of Western Australia boasts a tantalising tapestry of rolling vineyards, breathtaking beaches and forests teeming with wildlife. If you’re planning to explore this wonderful part of the world this summer (and why wouldn’t you?), we have the perfect place for you to stop and unwind: Yallingup Beach Holiday Park. Three hours south of Perth and 8km from the township of Dunsborough, this gem of a park offers grassed caravan, campervan and camping sites with a massive barbecue area that overlooks the bay. They have all the expected comforts, plus a well stocked on-site shop.
You don’t have to venture far from the holiday park to find something to do, whether your idea of a good time is whale-watching, taste-testing locally produced wines at the surrounding wineries, sight-seeing via the extensive walking trail system, or enjoying a swim and a snorkel at the nearby Yallingup Lagoon.
PARK 2: Toowoon Bay Holiday Park, NSW
Toowoon Bay Holiday Park contains all the essential ingredients for the perfect summer holiday. Bordered by sparkling beaches, this popular park is a mere step away from The Entrance, with all the eating and entertainment options you could dream of – and it’s smack-bang between Newcastle and Sydney; it doesn’t get much more central than that.
For a relaxing lunch by the water, wander down to Toowoon Bay and make use of the barbecues and undercover picnic areas; you might even see dolphins playing by the shore. Afterwards, grab a cone from one of the ice-creameries and head to the waterfront to witness the pelicans flock for their daily feeding at 3.30pm.
Powered sites start from $35 a night. As well as the usual amenities, there is also a bouncing pillow, swimming pool, playground and kiosk.
PARK 3: Lakeside Tourist Caravan Park, Tas
As well as being a stone’s throw away from many uncrowded beaches, the Lakeside Tourist Caravan Park gives you wonderful views and easy access to the picturesque Lake Eugenana – great for swimming and canoeing. As a bonus, it’s just a 10km drive from the city of Devonport, so you won’t be far from some of Tassie’s best attractions. The park has 40 powered sites as well as (unpowered) camping sites. Your needs will be well taken care of with a barbecue, camp kitchen, laundry, playground and kiosk, all on-site. Pets are welcome – enquire first.
Pay a visit to the Tasmanian Arboretum and explore the 45 hectares of beautiful parkland, filled with native plants. For something different that the kids will love, you can’t miss Tasmazia, where you can make your way through eight different mazes and marvel at the miniature Village of Lower Crackpot.
PARK 4: BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park, Qld
If you’re looking for an action-packed family-friendly holiday experience, you can’t really go wrong with a BIG4 Park. The Mackay Marine Tourist Park pulls out all the stops with a massive water play area for the kids, mini golf, a jumping pillow, and even a tyre maze to navigate. Van sites are spacious and powered, and close to amenities, water and sullage. Being only 2km from the Mackay Marina precinct and CBD, everything is within reach, whether you’re looking for a good feed or something to do.
This tropical city is well-known for its art scene, so check out the award-winning Artspace Gallery, as well as the incredible public art display along the Bluewater Trail, which you can traverse by bike or by foot. The trail also leads to the family-friendly three-tiered Bluewater Lagoon, Mackay Regional Botanical Gardens and a large shopping mall, not to mention the beautiful beaches.
PARK 5: Aldinga Beach Holiday Park, SA
Close to the bush and the beach, Aldinga Beach Holiday Park means you won’t have to compromise between adventure and relaxation. Just 45 minutes south of Adelaide beside the Aldinga scrub (with plenty of walking trails), it also means you won’t have to travel far to escape the humdrum of daily life. Make yourself at home on one of the powered or unpowered sites, most of which are grassy and near amenities. Within the peaceful 10-acre property, you will also find a swimming pool, jumping pillow, playground, beach volleyball, basketball ring, two barbecue areas, camp kitchen and laundry.
Bring plenty of sunscreen, because you will be close to a range of beaches, including Aldinga, Port Willunga and Silver Sands. A short drive will take you to Willunga and McLaren Vale, where you can check out the wineries, restaurants and markets.
PARK 6: Tumbling Waters Holiday Park, NT
Dubbed the ‘Nicest Park in the Top End’ by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide, you’d be crazy not to check this place out if you’re heading up to Berry Springs in the Northern Territory. Surrounded by palm trees and tropical gardens, you will be able to truly relax and take full advantage of summer’s arrival at this amazing park. Set up your caravan, motorhome or camper on one of the powered grassed sites, close to the new ensuite amenities block.
Spend a day unwinding in the saltwater pool, before heading over to ‘Eat Troppo’, the on-site restaurant that serves up the freshest local seafood with a side of entertainment. The park hosts free activities for all ages, from the Freshwater Croc Feedings on Saturdays, to the Interactive Wildlife Presentation on Sundays. Venture over to the Blackmore River for excellent fishing, or explore the walking trails.