They may sometimes be cast as the poor cousin of the accommodation world, but caravan parks have a lot going for them (hey – even Dannii Minogue is a fan!). Staying in a caravan park can be a relaxed, sociable experience, with many now running the spectrum of comfort levels, from powered camping sites to absolute beachfront villas. Choose from parks with pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, go-kart tracks and programs full of fun kids’ activities – art classes, treasure hunts or family fun days, anyone? – or keep it old-school with a great location and relaxed atmosphere instead.
Unlike coastal camping, which is about getting away from it all, staying in a seaside caravan park is a lovely way to meet other families with similar interests – you may double your fishing quota or find a new skateboarding buddy!
NSW: Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort, Yamba – This caravan park is close to seven surfing beaches and boasts two large pools, waterslide, tennis courts, kids’ playground and an indoor soft play centre. 02 6646 2194;
Qld: Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort – This resort is just seven minutes from the town centre but you’ll be too busy enjoying the amenities – three pools, tennis courts, 18-hole mini golf, volleyball, badminton, basketball, adventure playground and outdoor movies (to name just a few) – to leave. 07 4054 6644;
Vic: Best Friend Holiday Retreat, Yarram – This dog-friendly holiday park is just three kilometres from the enchanting Tarra-Bulga National Park in Victoria, with a waterfall and natural rock-formed swimming pool to enjoy. 03 5186 1216;
WA: Esperance Seafront Caravan Park – An ideal base from which to explore Cape Le Grand, the nearby Pink Lake and the cobalt blue water of the Bay of Isles. 08 9071 1251;
SA: Robe Long Beach Caravan Park, Robe Opposite Long Beach, this caravan park offers an indoor heated pool, outdoor movies, arcade games, bike hire, karaoke, live music and a kids’ club. 08 8768 2237;
NT: Darwin Free Spirit Resort – A 15-minute drive south of Darwin, the Free Spirit Resort is perfectly positioned for the countless activities on offer – including spotting crocodiles. 08 8935 0888;