I'm a freelance writer living on the Sunshine Coast.
Published December 18th 2016
Where Kids Can Be Kids
My family of five stayed at the "Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort" at 25-29 Shute Harbour Rd, Cannonvale QLD, for five nights during December 2016. It rained on and off for the first two days but by the fourth day the weather was glorious, so we booked a day trip to Daydream Island which you can read about here
Relax by the 32m long lagoon style pool while the two slides keep the kids entertained. (Photo courtesy of author)
1. Close to Port of Airlie. It's only a short drive to Port of Airlie and parking at the marina is only $6 for 12 hours. Be sure to book your choice of island day trip a day in advance. Once there, you board a large catamaran ferry to whisk you away to one or more tropical islands (options include Daydream Island, Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island). Day trips to the islands are very popular and provide an opportunity to access the same facilities as the people who are staying on the islands (with the exception that daytrippers usually have to hire watersports equipment).
View of Port Airlie - gateway to the Whitsundays. (Photo courtesy of author)
The activities at the Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort suit children aged between 5 to 12 years of age and include: a large lagoon swimming pool with two slides, an 18 hole mini golf course, two jumping pillows, outdoor movie cinema, tennis court, adventure playground, basketball court, badminton/volleyball court, animal farm, and kids club.
Two jumping pillows (one for young ones and one for all ages) are loved by all. (Photo courtesy of author)
3. Choice of Accommodation Options. All Big4 parks offer a range of accommodation to suit all budgets. We stayed in a 2 bedroom cabin which had very comfortable beds and bunks but was otherwise very ordinary. The spa bath took ages to fill because it was so deep and the water pressure was low and so we just took showers instead. But it was great to have air con and fans for those extremely hot, humid summer nights. Just a word of warning: the loud bird noises in the early hours of the morning can ruin a good night's sleep here! The surrounding tropical gardens, however, are delightful.
Inside our 2 bedroom cabin. (Photo courtesy of author)
4. Close to Shops. Whitsunday Plaza which houses Woolworths and Big W is about 500m away at 8 Galbraith Park Drive Cannonvale. Coles is a 2km drive at 226 Shute Harbour Rd Cannonvale, inside the Whitsunday Shopping Centre. Eating out for dinner is a breeze because there are so many excellent family-friendly places nearby such as Banjo's Bar and Bistro , the Reef Gateway Hotel Bistro, and the Whitsunday Sailing Club just to name a few and the food is superb!
The shade of the tropical gardens keeps keen golfers cool. (Photo courtesy of author)
5. Tourist Attractions. Forget the beaches as poisonous jellyfish abound during summer. Instead, head to Airlie Beach Lagoon or Cedar Creek Falls at Conway National Park to swim in the waterhole. If you have a boat, why not try catching a barramundi at Peter Faust Dam in Proserpine. Further north is Bowen, the place of the 'big mango'.
No waterfall at Cedar Creek Falls the day we visited. (Photo courtesy of author)