I'm a freelance writer living on the Sunshine Coast.
Published April 5th 2016
Smiles All Round
The Big 4 North Star is located on the beautiful Tweed Coast at Hastings Point, NSW. My family of five stayed there for three nights during March 2016 in a Grande Villa cabin named "Rhodes" (a Greek Island). It was an off-peak time just before Easter so there were not many people there at all.
The resort has an underwater theme. (pic courtesy of author)
We have frequented Big 4 parks for many years, so we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the facilities. Our cabin had the tallest (80cm) and softest beds I have ever slept on (king bed, a queen bed, bunk beds), full gas kitchen, washer and dryer, luxurious spa bath, separate shower, Foxtel TV, Wi fi, and shady patio.
Local beaches are great for water sports and fishing. (pic courtesy of author)
Once we unpacked and settled in, we explored the resort's games room which was closest to our cabin. This indoor area has an assortment of money-operated gaming machines (pinball, arcade), snooker, air hockey and table tennis. It also has a shelf with books for casual reading and a separate gated section for toddlers to play. My kids enjoyed playing the air hockey game the best. Behind the games room is a gated outdoor playground with climbing equipment, slide and monkey bars so the kids could burn off some energy after their long journey.
Just one of of the many climbing structures in the outdoor playground. (pic courtesy of author)
The Big 4 North Star also has an indoor climbing play area and ball pit called Neptune's Castle, which is also home to the resort's kid's club on weekends and school holidays. My kids thoroughly enjoyed playing tag all over the three-level climbing maze. Kids also need to wear socks to play in this area.
Kids love the huge indoor climbing area. (pic courtesy of author)
After a quick change into our togs, we headed to Sammy's Adventure Lagoon (which is the resort's own water fun park). This was the best part of our stay at Big 4 North Star. My youngest son loved getting splashed by the giant bucket of water which tips over every 6 minutes.
The ultimate water fun for kids! (pic courtesy of author)
It should be noted that the pools are only seasonally heated, so the water, on this particular occasion, was rather cold. Everyone who ventured into the pools commented on this fact. This didn't bother the kids though! My oldest two kids enjoyed the water slides the best. So after 40 minutes of playing in the water park, everyone was cold and ready for a nice hot spa bath!
Endless fun for kids and adults alike! (pic courtesy of author)
The next day we made a booking to play tennis on the concrete court. I played with my eldest son while my husband played chess with my youngest son using the resort's giant chess set. I hadn't played tennis for so long and it was so good to get back into it again. We had so much fun and it was all free.
Our accommodation included breakfast buffet at the resort's own Ripples cafe which is open all day. The food presented was your standard fare - scrambled eggs, baked beans, pancakes, cereals (cornflakes, rice bubbles, muesli), canned fruit, yogurt, cheese melts, bacon and sausages, bread/toast, and orange juice. The cafe also has themed dinner nights including a Monday night curry bar, and Wednesday Italian pasta night.
Ripples Cafe is modern and convenient. (pic courtesy of author)
Another convenience at Big 4 North Star is the service station and shop onsite. Unfortunately, the smell of the petrol fumes occasionally wafts into the water park area. I noticed this on two occasions as I sat in the sun-lounge area watching the kids play on the waterslides. This was annoying because the last thing you want is to breathe in petrol fumes on your holiday! To avoid this happening to you, don't sit near the waterslides! Also the shop is a little too pricey for some items, so it's best to drive 4 minutes to the nearest Woolworths at Cabarita to do your grocery shopping.
The spa and lap pool at the leisure centre. (pic courtesy of author)
Guests over 16 yrs will be pleased to know that they have access to the Seascape Leisure Centre which includes a gym, 25m lap pool, 3 spa pools and sauna. Beauty and massage treatments are also available by booking. The facilities here are excellent and a big bonus for all the mums and dads who love to exercise and work out.
The gym is something you would normally find in a top hotel not a Big 4 park. (pic courtesy of author)
Overall, we loved our holiday and the resort's facilities, which were of the highest standards. Wearing the wrist bands 24/7 was a little annoying, even for the kids. (The wrist bands are mandatory for entering Neptune's Castle and Sammy's Lagoon). Normally Big 4 parks focus only on kids' activities, but at North Star mums and dads are catered for too and this is what sets them apart from the rest. Highly recommended.