Whitsundays family holiday offers plenty to entertain
That’s not because I didn’t want to go – splashing about in that beautiful blue water of the Coral Sea and exploring some of the region’s 74 islands has been high on my to-do list for ages – but a busy life with a large family got in the way and this trip, along with weekly yoga sessions sadly fell off the radar.So when an invitation to road-test the family holidays options in the Whitsundays crossed my desk, I jumped at the opportunity.Home to eight island resorts, countless coastal towns and family-friendly activities, there really is a Whitsunday’s holiday option that will suit all tastes and budgets.With affordable (I spotted Brisbane to Hamilton Island flights for $49 this week) 1.5-hour flights heading up there for a family break is neither intimidating (long haul flights with a two-year-old send shivers down my spine) or outside our holiday budget.
So we road-tested a few options at different locations and prices to give you a taste of what the Whitsunday Islands can offer for your next family getaway. BUDGET BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort Airlie Beach From the moment we checked in, the kids were busy. The BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort in Airlie Beach is the only mainland Airlie Beach resort to offer a year-round Kids Club activity schedule and it shows.We spent less than 24 hours at the resort but in this time we played tennis (badly), minigolf on the 18-hole course (competitively), raced about on the giant jumping pillow and zoomed around the 10.5ha of the resort on pedal karts (competitively again).Before dinner we cooled down in what we later discovered was Airlie Beach’s largest lagoon-style swimming pool complete with water slides and swim-up spas.Meghan, 14, Will, 12, and Ella, 9, instantly made friends with other children staying at the resort who they played Marco Polo with until the sun set.The following morning Jaala, 2, and I lined up for face-painting while Chris had a massage by the pool.Our three-bedroom cabin, which was one of 40 cabins at the holiday park, came with a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and two bathrooms as well as a lounge room large enough for us to all lie down and watch a movie. We really didn’t want to leave and could have happily settled in for a week. Information Camping from $33, studio cabins from $90. Our three -bedroom cabin starts from $220 and slept eight. Ph 1300 640 587MID-RANGE Daydream Island As soon as I stepped out of our room I could hear laughter and I instantly knew it was my family having a ball somewhere on Daydream Island.When I did hunt them down, over 250m away, I found my partner Chris and our eldest three children knee-deep in the resort‘s Living Reef – handfeeding stingrays as part of the island’s Stingray Splash tour.
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