Happy cam­pers

If you’ve got the time for a quick get­away from the Goldie, take a tour down south for some amaz­ing sea­side towns and camp­grounds. Ann Wa­son Moore tells of her fam­ily frolic

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SCHOOL HOLIDAY GUIDE -

TEN nights, two tod­dlers, two par­ents… and one ve­hi­cle.

For­tu­nately for our fam­ily, the car in ques­tion was not just a mo­torhome, but a mo­tor-man­sion – and so our fears of a Gris­wold-style fam­ily va­ca­tion were trans­formed into a dream hol­i­day.

There’s noth­ing bet­ter than camp­ing (OK, this was more “glamp­ing”) with kids – they can run free with the packs of lit­tlies while the adults can drink freely with other un­pres­sured par­ents. It’s win-win. Or should that be win-wine?

Camp­grounds are like a lit­tle vil­lage. A vil­lage where ev­ery neigh­bour is hap­pily on hol­i­day, there’s no traf­fic and, de­pend­ing where you go, enough en­ter­tain­ment for the kids to ri­val a theme park. And the golden rule of fam­ily hol­i­days is: happy kids = happy par­ents.

With this in mind, we hit the road south in five-star style, armed with our GPS as we en­deav­oured to ex­plore the coast away from the Coast. YAMBA

Driv­ing dis­tance: about 2.5 hours south of the Gold Coast

Camp­ground: Blue Dol­phin Hol­i­day Re­sort AS soon as we pulled up at our river­front site, com­plete with pri­vate en­suite bath­room (es­sen­tially your own lit­tle toi­let/shower block at the back of the site), we were greeted by the neigh­bour­ing fam­ily – also Gold Coast­ers.

“This is your first stop? Don’t bother go­ing any­where else, this is the best,” they said.

The weather wasn’t in agree­ment, but that didn’t mat­ter to the kids. From go-karts to a gi­ant jump­ing pil­low, swim­ming pools and play­rooms, this was their idea of heaven. And the re­sul­tant peace at our camp­site was our idea of bliss.

About 20 min­utes out of town (or two hours if ac­com­pa­nied by a two and four year old), there is plenty to do in the Yamba area – from beau­ti­ful beaches to cool cafes. NAM­BUCCA HEADS

Driv­ing dis­tance: about 4.5 hours south of the Gold Coast

Camp­ground: White Al­ba­tross Car­a­van and Hol­i­day Park A GREEN, grassy camp­ground on the banks of a swim­ming la­goon, the nat­u­ral fea­tures of this park are en­hanced by its man-made neigh­bours – the pub and restau­rant.

Again, pri­vate en­suite fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able, fan­tas­tic kids’ fea­tures abound and there are some great walks, which start from the park.

Make sure you ven­ture out on the Vee Wall and check out the colour­ful graffiti. From fam­ily mu­rals to per­sonal trib­utes, it makes for hours of en­ter­tain­ing – as well as a spec­tac­u­lar sea view.

SOUTH WEST ROCKS

Driv­ing dis­tance: about 5.5 hours south of the Gold Coast

Camp­ground: Horse­shoe Bay Hol­i­day Park THERE’S no pool and no kids’ club…but in this lo­ca­tion you couldn’t care less.

This was an ab­so­lutely amaz­ing spot that ap­par­ently we were lucky to get into. There can be long wait­ing lists to get a site at this old­er­style camp­ground and some grey no­mads stay for months.

Set at the top of a pro­tected bay, it takes just mo­ments to walk from any site to the sand. It gives you a feel­ing of how it must feel to re­side on Hedges Ave…just sans the man­sion.

First-time fish­ing at a river­front camp­site in Yamba.

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