Six holiday parks for nature-loving families

Nature provides serenity and adventure – the perfect balance required for a successful family holiday. From the bush to the beach, these holiday parks are firm favourites, blessed with scenic beauty, simple pleasures and a whole lot of action-packed fun.

Jervis Bay is an aquatic sanctum, a national marine park frequented by dolphins and seals where the gentle flow of Currambene Creek spills into an ocean of crystalline water that rolls onto sugar-white sand. In the heart of it all, just upstream from Huskisson Beach, Jervis Bay Holiday Park is a family-owned, pet-friendly park located on a fork of the creek, prime real estate for kayaking and paddleboarding. Add a boat ramp and pontoon, pool and splash zone, and an onsite coffee and food van to the mix, and it’s no wonder water-loving families hammer their tent pegs in that little bit deeper here.

Simple pleasures are what nostalgic beachside holidays are made of, and Holiday Haven Bendalong on the NSW South Coast has plenty of those. Paddle in the calm waters of Boat Harbour Beach alongside friendly stingrays, or learn to surf with a lesson from Pam Burridge Surf School at Bendalong (Inyadda) Beach. Cycle the many local bush tracks or cast your fishing rod at Flat Rock Beach. Back at the park, there’s a jumping pillow, a new resort-style pool and a big screen for movies under the stars. Stay in a cosy weatherboard cabin, bring your van or pitch a tent among the tall eucalypts. There are some pet-friendly sites available and others boasting glimpses of the sparkling ocean.

An easy amble from Tamworth or Gunnedah, the dog-friendly Reflections Lake Keepit Holiday Park captures the beauty of the New England area with its expansive, tree-lined lake and golden sunsets. Let the kids run loose at the water or skate park, or encourage them to get their blood pumping on the tennis court or with a spot of volleyball. On the water you can fish, boat or kayak to your heart’s content, then round out the day with a barbecue and storytelling around the communal firepit. When it’s time to unwind, accommodation options are aplenty, from powered and unpowered sites to cabins and glamping tents.

Snaking 2,508km along the NSW-Victorian border, the Murray carries the story of Australia’s history, its fringing towns rich in agricultural and river trade heritage, and Aboriginal history with shell middens, scarred trees and sacred sites found along the Murray and dating back 40,000 years. Teleport to yesteryear with a trip to Echuca Moama and its well-preserved Port of Echuca. Here you can board an historic paddlesteamer with Murray River Paddlesteamers and cruise along this legendary waterway framed with historic river red gums. Or sit back and watch all the action on the river from Moama on the Murray. Nestled on 34 hectares of bushland, this riverside park features modern villas, swimming pools and a water park, a ninja course, mini golf and a pump track.

Smack bang between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, North Star Holiday Park is in an enviable position, surrounded by the ocean, a tidal estuary and a nature reserve at Hastings Point in the Tweed region. Huddled in this bountiful nature is an action-packed kids’ paradise. At its core is Sammy’s Adventure Lagoon, a two-storey water playground with 65 interactive features including a twisting slide, water cannons and a 600-litre splash bucket! The impressive park also has a kids’ club, marine museum, an indoor play area, arcade games and more. Parents can escape to the adults-only leisure centre with a soothing massage, an infrared sauna or a quiet swim in the secluded pool.

Lock the screens away – it’s safe to assume the kids won’t miss them here, surrounded by the Murramarang National Park and the beach, just a few sandy steps away. NRMA Murramarang Beachfront Resort on the NSW South Coast is one of those special holiday spots families like to linger. And they’re not alone – with eastern grey kangaroos lazing around on the unspoiled sands out front. Mornings will be spent waxing your surfboard, lacing up your hiking shoes or threading your lure. Afternoons filled with pedalling around the park in a kart or chilling out in the pool. Accommodation ranges from light and airy villas to luxury safari-style tents and spacious campsites. There’s a beach bistro and takeaway shop on-site, too, so if you want to give the barbecue a miss for one night, you’re in good hands.

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