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BIG4 Kryal Castle Holiday Park

Home > Melbourne > Fun for Children | Family | Escape the City | Dog Friendly | Accommodation
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published May 22nd 2023
What's it like to stay at BIG4's newest holiday park?
Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

The peak-hour traffic throttles me leaving town. Half of Melbourne seems to live in the suburbs off Ballarat Road, heading to Melton. As drivers siphon off into their housing estates, I imagine them pulling into their driveways with a light of relief they are home.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

The saying "an Englishman's home is his castle" comes to mind as it equally applies to Australia. We love to shut our doors and retreat from the demands of everyday life to our own space to do as we, please.

I'm mindful of the saying because I'm heading to a castle – Kryal Castle, the famous replica of a medieval fortress constructed in 1972 by Keith Ryall. His namesake recalls his first initial and surname.

These days even plebs like me can stay inside Kryal Castle in accommodations ranging from King and Queen suites to bunking down in the guardroom.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
This is how close the accommodation is to Kryal Castle. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

But I'm trying the newest accommodation– Kryal Castle's Big4 Holiday Park outside the castle walls.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Looking up at Kryal Castle, I muse how peasants in medieval times lived close to a castle to seek refuge in times of attack. Those peasants would live in simple huts or tents close to the moat.

Instead, the recently opened BIG4 Kryal Castle Holiday Park has two-storey luxury tiny homes, contemporary one-bedroom and family cabins, and camp and caravan sites—all pristine, new, and state-of-the-art.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

I'm staying in one of the 16 one-bedroom cabins. The first thing I note is the King-sized bed. It would fit Henry VIII and a few of his wives.

My cabin has everything I need for a comfortable stay; crisp white sheets, fluffy towels, a double-sized walk-in shower, block-out blinds, and even a mini-bar, something I'd not seen in a holiday park before.

Kryal Castle Big4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

I grab a glass of wine and sit on my cabin's deck on the ultra-modern balcony furniture.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Sunset views Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

With views out to the West, the sunset was promising a stellar performance, so I took my camera out with me to explore.

Kryal Castle Big4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

I peep into one of the four two-story luxury loft tiny homes on offer. These sleep up to four people, making them perfect for groups or a family with older children. The inside stairs wouldn't suit toddlers.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Interior tiny home - Photo supplied

The chance to experience a tiny home is here if you have ever considered buying one. They certainly looked spacious and eco-friendly and were brilliantly designed by Adelaide firm Tiny built-co.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Interior - image supplied

With windows to the West, you can soak up the stunning sunsets. I noticed that the windows on the other side framed a view of the castle, which you could see while lying on the day bed.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Family staying at BIG4. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

There are 57 powered campsites. I peep into the vacant shower block, the camp kitchen, and the laundry—all flash, well-equipped, and all brand new. A few families arrive in their impressive rigs. I didn't see anyone camping, but the lush grassy sites looked inviting.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Grassy campsites - Image supplied

Some work is still being completed on the landscaping, but around the cabins, the original lines of trees have been left intact, making for an attractive setting.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo supplied

This pet-friendly holiday park boasts incredible views of the surrounding countryside.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
In the midst of the countryside. Photo @nadinecresswell-myatt

The paddocks are dotted with cows, and I watch a small herd of black horses - I swear they are playing chasey - their hoofs thundering from one end of the paddock to the other and back again. The leader turned his head repeatedly to check on the competition.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

With the dying light, the reflection burns like embers on cabin windows. And in the middle of the park is the perfect setting for watching the light show of a large tree canopy over a deck with a table and chairs.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Lovely area to watch the sunset. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Because Kryal Castle is on an elevated site at the base of Mount Warrenheip, like a king in the castle, you look down on the rest of the world.

As the light dies, Ballarat's rows of twinkling street and house lights make me realise how close Kryal Castle is to this tourist Mecca. Kryal Castle is 8 km from Ballarat, home to many tourist attractions, including Sovereign Hill, Lake Wendouree, the Ballarat Wildlife Park, the Art Gallery of Ballarat and Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

But this proud heritage city at night becomes a light show at your feet.

Ballarat nights can be freezer crisp. But my split system heating works a treat. I'm warm as buttered toast, sprawled on my humongous bed, and watching the mounted smart TV.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

The following day I explored Kryal Castle. One of the benefits of staying here is the discounted entry to this medieval-style theme park.

Kryal Castle has changed since I was there decades ago. New owners have developed the Medieval adventure, fantasy, and theme park concepts. And Kryal Castle is popular with reenactment groups.

In 2022, Kryal Castle was nominated for Best Victorian Tourism Attraction.

The attraction is particularly fun for children, with a Braveheart playground and a stone maze.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Ballarat light twinkle at your feet - photo @nadinecresswell-myatt

Attractions in the arena are free to watch, such as medieval dancing and the incredible knights jousting dressed in full regalia.

Like any theme-style park, other activities come at an additional cost. But many will fulfil a child's need for fantasy, such as Knight School and mixing potions. These interactive activities bring medieval times to life in a Disney Merlin-type way.

Fantasy is also fueled by the many special festivals Kryal Castle holds. Forthcoming is Kryal Castle's Festival of Magic from Saturday, 10th to Monday, 12th of June. Visitors are immersed in magic with daily spell-casting lessons, potion-making, tarot card readings, and live magician performances.

But plenty of other festivals are on offer if you keep an eye on their events page, including murder mystery nights and medieval feasts. Recent festivals have included a baroque horse festival and others themed on fairies, goblins, dragons, and unicorns.

Like any theme park, there are ways to part you from your money with plenty of temptations, including princess dresses and toy daggers and mead at the alehouse.

But an Englishman's home is his castle. And how many times do Australians get to visit a medieval-style castle in their own backyard?

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Entry inside outside of normal operational hours. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Please note: Kryal Castle Theme Park is open from 10 am-4 pm on weekends and school holidays. Outside of opening hours, families can access the themed playground inside the castle. When Kryal Castle is open to the public, those staying at BIG4 receive discounted tickets into the castle, where events are held. The discount is higher for those with a BIG4 membership.

Review Kryal Castle BIG4 Holiday Park
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
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Why? Brilliant sunsets and views and visiting a castle
When: Any time
Phone: Phone 03 5334 8500 International 61 3 5334 8500
Where: 121 Forbes Road, Ballarat 3352 Victoria
Cost: Cabin - Sleeps 4- From $150 per night Cabin - Sleeps 2 From $90 per night Tiny Home - Family From $250 per night Economy Powered Site - Grass/Slab From $45 per night
Your Comment
Another great article Nadine. Looks like a great place to visit and a good base for exploring Ballarat.
by Graeme Lofts (score: 1|15) 9 days ago
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt on 31/03/2023
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