Best places to stay and visit on the East coast with kids at Christmas

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 10:32
ThreadID: 132613 Views:2557 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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I’m planning a trip along the east coast next Christmas school holidays with 2 boys, 11 and 13 and was hoping for some suggestions of kid friendly places to stay.
I want to cover the area between Rockhampton and Ballina and want to give them a try at surfing and safe surf beaches (which we don’t have where we’re from) and will of course do the theme parks near the Gold coast.
I was originally thinking to just wing it and stay if we enjoyed a place and move on if we don’t, however I’m hearing that it may be difficult to get in at Christmas time without being booked in previously.
I have a caravan, however for flexibility I’m pondering leaving it home and using various accommodation types. While I don’t want to stay in one place the entire time, I also don’t want to be moving every day. I am hoping for it to be a relaxing enjoyable holiday and a bit of a reconnaissance trip for the next holiday or even maybe a future sea change.
Any suggestions or advice from knowledgeable travellers, especially with kids, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 12:01

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 12:01
Hi Tony

We stayed at Treassure Island Resort when we were over that way. Great Park (cabins, appartments and caravans) with heaps of onsite activities for the kids. Great restaurants with meal deal nights that make it affordable.

Also very close and easy access to the theme parks. We managed to get a deal for $99 per person for three parks (Movie World, Wet and Wild and Sea World). You can get other deals that allow multiple access for 12 months - it would pay to check them out.

Another show we saw was "The Spirit of the Horse" (located next to Wet and Wild). What a fantastic show. Pre show entertainment, 3 course dinner served with military precision during the show and all drinks included. The actual show was phenomenal - nothing like seeing a mob of horses at full gallop 5 metres from where we were sitting.

Not the only options, but gave us great value for money.


AnswerID: 600847

Reply By: Member - Robyn R4 - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 13:36

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 13:36
There are a lot of wonderful places up this way-I grew up holidaying in SE Qld and Brissy and we sea changed from the Riverina 18 years ago.
Booking is fairly well essential over Christmas-it's crazy!
Perhaps pick a couple of spots that you can then use as a base for a few days before moving on. Even though you can "probably" pick up accommodation somewhere, I'd personally do it in a van because you may be able to find somewhere to pull in as a "free camp". Across the creek from my place (and a stone's throw from the ocean) there is a delightful stretch where people pull in for a few days at all times of year. I'm sure there's many other similar places along that Ballina-Rocky stretch.
If the boys are into the beach, you can't go wrong with that trip!
Byron is crammed over Christmas. My husband has to factor in extra time to get to work through the holiday traffic jams over Easter and Christmas.
South of the Gold Coast is beautiful and a little bit less crazy over Christmas.
The Gold Coast is busy busy but heaven for an 11 and 13 year old!
Bribie Island is accessed by a bridge. Quiet but a mecca for Brisbane-ites!
The Sunshine Coast is very "Gold-Coast-busy" but the boys will love it. The Hinterland is a breath of fresh air.
Hervey Bay is certainly getting busier over the years and, like Bundy, and it's nice and has beaches but they're protected by Fraser so not much wave action.
We love Tannum Sands and the stretch along the coast to Yeppoon. By this point there's no surf because the Great Barrier Reef protects the coast.
I've done this without reference to a map so I've probably forgotten somewhere but yes, you'll have a ball and so will the boys.
Anything more specific you need to know? I live on this stretch and travel along it regularly.

Robyn :)
AnswerID: 600849

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 14:16

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 14:16
Things are fairly well booked out up there at Christmas. Also at that time of the year many parks will only take bookings of a week or more so there is not much chance of you moving every day. If you leave your booking much longer I would suggest taking anything anywhere you can get.

You mentioned surfing. I don't know if Coffs Harbour is too far south but there is a park there where you can arrange lessons for the boys. Arrawarra Beach Holiday Park - Badgers reports
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AnswerID: 600851

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 07:49

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 07:49
Tony, you have given a pretty open ended question covering 800km of coastline without specifying how long you want to spend or really stating whether you are going to tent camp, caravan or look for cabins.

I'm guessing you will want to spend most of your time within an hour of the theme parks on the Gold Coast.
IF so, that pretty well defines you to Gold Coat to Ballina. There are numerous Caravan Parks south of the Tweed all the way to Ballina, some of them are very "Holiday Park- Family orientated". I'm sure you can find something.
Have a look at the strip south of the Tweed along the coast down to Brunswick Heads, places like Pottsville etc.
It's 4 lane (2 each way) 110km/hr Freeway from Ballina to the Gold Coast now (but still expect it to get choked around the Gold Coast and Byron turnoff). Broken Head just south of Byron is very beautiful and right on the beach.
Like just about everyone else we also like the area from Noosa/Tewantin up to Rainbow Beach (opposite southern end of Fraser Island), but a day trip from there to the Theme Parks really isn't an option, where as you can do it from the NSW north coast in less than an hour.
Fantastic places for a family holiday.
AnswerID: 600887

Reply By: Ozi M - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 08:06

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 08:06
Hi Tony,

Heaps of places as it is a very popular area which means you really should be booking asap

The NSW QLD border area can have a lot of thunderstorms over summer so be aware if you do bring the caravan not to park under a tree and if a storm is forecast roll up your shade or tie the annex down very well.

The storms can be quite dangerous, there is one coming along this weekend, you may like to monitor it online
AnswerID: 600888

Reply By: oetkb - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 17:08

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 17:08
I cant believe I'm giving up this secret but north Stradbroke Island is amazing, ill let you do the research for there.
Another classis is anywhere south of Fingal and north of Byron.
AnswerID: 600909

Follow Up By: Member - Robyn R4 - Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 21:47

Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 21:47
Don't let out those secrets!

Between Fingal and Byron is terrible!
You don't want to go there!

FollowupID: 870401

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