Alivio Tourist Park - where the smart tourists stay
School Holidays are approaching soon and if you are after family friendly accommodation in our Nation's Capital, I have found the spot for you - Alivio Tourist Park. It is located in a suburb called O'Connor which is about 7 minutes from the main drag of Canberra. This huge tourist park is located near the bush (Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve) and you could almost presume that you were in the middle of the country except for the fact that the iconic Black Mountain Tower dominates the skyline.
You have numerous choices of accommodation at Alivio. Cabins of varying levels of comfort, modern 2 & 3 bedroom villas that can sleep up to 8 people, motel rooms, campervan and caravan spots plus a camping ground, which is currently under construction. The accommodation ranges from 2.5 star cabins up to 4 star premium villas - so basically something to suit all budgets.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa - not quite the poshest cabin in the park but it had a lot more creature comforts than the more basic cabins at Alivio. The villa had a large balcony with an outdoor setting for 6 people, a large combined living/dining/kitchen area once again set up for 6 people (it can fit a lot more if you are entertaining your friends for a meal). The main bedroom had a queen bed and large built in robe and the 2nd bedroom had 2 sets of bunks with 2 small cupboards. The large bathroom had a generous sized shower - all toiletries and towels provided, actually linen was provided throughout the cabin. There was a TV and DVD player in the lounge room plus another TV in the main bedroom.
The kitchen was fully kitted out with everything you should need - just be warned that it only has a small convection microwave. I had bought a large lasagne from home to have on the first night only to discover that it would not fit in the oven to reheat. There isn't a dishwasher which would have been a nice little luxury - especially seeing that they only provided one measly little tea towel for our 3 night stay (this is a common complaint that I have about most self contained accommodation). Tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits and a large bottle of water were complimentary, and wait for it - a pod coffee machine with 6 complimentary pods - first time I have seen this at a tourist park! Oh and there is free Wifi - so the cabin ticks loads of boxes for the perfect family friendly accommodation. Cots and high chairs are available for $10.00 each.
The park's Reception is housed in the same building as the Ridge Cafe and Bar. This is open for breakfast and dinner everyday. Breakfast is a buffet. The cost is $19.50 for an adult and $15.00 for a child (it's a wee bit cheaper if booked in advance). We decided against dining here as it would cost us $69.00 for our family of four. I think that $15.00 for a child is a bit too expensive. Your cabin has all the facilities to make a cooked breakfast. If this is too messy and you detest washing up when on holidays, then Canberra has so many fabulous cafes to eat out at for breakfast. Why not try Gus' Cafe in the city centre -it's a Canberra institution!
If you do decide to dine at the Ridge Cafe, it over looks the pool area so it would be a very pleasant dining experience. Their evening menu is quite reasonably priced and they have a few menu options for kids. The cafe also provides takeaway meals of an evening. Examples are burgers, pizzas and wedges (which are all quite affordable) - you just ring up and order them and than pop down to the cafe to pick them up. Actually I should mention here that you can also get takeaway coffee from the Ridge Cafe and it is quite decent ($4.20 for a large).
We prepared dinner in our cabin each evening as we were staying as part of a large group. We bought all of our supplies on a little explore to nearby Bungendore, where we picked up loads of fabulous food from the Food Lovers Market. If you don't want to travel that far, there is a small IGA supermarket just down the road at the O'Connor shops. Within the park you also will find 3 different BBQ areas which are free to use.
As far as leisure facilities go there is a beautiful pool (not heated), large spa which is heated, tennis courts, basketball and volley ball court, a secure children's playground as well as bush walking tracks and mountain bike tracks that are on your door step. Other facilities within the park include a large laundry area with both washing machines and dryers plus an enclosed area with hills hoist washing lines (basic ironing facilities are provided in your cabin). For those that are in campervans etc there is a dump point, bathroom amenities and a group kitchen/dining hall available for use.
Now onto to the all important hip pocket! The cabin we stayed in wasn't cheap that's for sure. For a family of four the 2 bedroom villa costs from $215 - $265/night. The thing is, Canberra is one expensive city when it comes to finding family friendly accommodation. I did a price comparison with hotels in Canberra and everything was north of $300/night. So $265 in the scheme of things isn't too bad. If your hip pocket can't stretch this far, the cheapest cabin at the park is the Acacia Cabin and it costs around $130/night for a family of 4. They are perfectly adequate, you just don't have as much space or a coffee machine - just get your takeaways from the Ridge Cafe!
Alivio Torist Park is now our preferred accommodation in Canberra. It has everything a family needs and it suits all budgets. It is also within easy driving distance of all of Canberra's famous "must see" tourist spots. So next time you are visiting the Nation's Capital and are after accommodation for all of your family, look no further than the Alivio Tourist Resort.