All posts by BIG4 Holiday Parks

Reasons to visit Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement

Blog contribution by Jennifer Adams, presenter of the popular TV travel series Places We Go.

Let’s be clear. South Australia is an absolute treasure. It’s overflowing with beauty, history, world-class food and wine, and the most welcoming locals you could wish to meet, I could reel off several places you ‘must’ visit.

But I have to admit, until recently, I had never heard of Hahndorf. I knew of its neighbour, the Barossa, but this charming little German town had somehow slipped under my radar. Now that I have been, I urge you not to let it slip under yours!

The iconic Hahndorf Inn. Photo source: Places We Go.
Get a taste of Germany at the iconic Hahndorf Inn.

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10 spectacular Australian national parks that dodge the spotlight

Did you know Australia is dotted with more than 500 national parks? From the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between, you’ll find these enormous gem-filled patches of turf wherever you choose to roam.

Some of these national treasures fall into properties that are classified as World Heritage-listed; others earn this honour all on their own. And then there are the many national parks that have been holiday hotspots for generations.

While these big guns deserve the headlines, there are many other Australian national parks that warrant a slice of attention, too. And it’s time you were in on the secret – we don’t want you missing out on a wonderful experience on your next BIG4 holiday.

It’s time to lift the lid on 10 Australian national parks that you must explore.

Great Otway National Park, Great Ocean Road region, Victoria.
You’ll be green with envy if you don’t stroll through Great Otway National Park in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road region.

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BIG4 parks with cafes and restaurants

Have you ever noticed when you’re on a relaxing break how the simplest of tasks can seem like a huge effort? When your body and mind are finally given a chance to unwind, wow, they really do unwind. While immersing yourself in your wonderfully relaxing BIG4 accommodation, suddenly the thought of having to head into town for dinner feels like a massive chore, likened to scaling a 100m-high wall followed by a tightrope walk over crocodile-infested waters.

Enjoy a meal at the on-site licensed family restaurant at BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park.
Enjoying a meal at the on-site licensed family restaurant at BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park.

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BIG4 parks with massage facilities

For many of us, a holiday means rest and relaxation. It’s a chance to shake off the stresses and hassles of everyday life and indulge in a little ‘me time’. And if there’s one thing that sums up holiday indulgence, it’s pampering yourself with a relaxing massage. The chance to unwind with a massage is priceless and is an ideal way to embrace the holiday vibe.

Indulging in a relaxing massage at BIG4 Beacon Resort.
Indulging in a relaxing massage at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

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BIG4 parks with spas

Spas and holidays go hand in hand, and it’s not hard to see why. Think spa, think relaxation. Enjoying a spa is one of those activities that doesn’t even feel like it’s an activity at all. It’s achieved with the easiest of effort and is a superb way to unwind after a busy day’s exploring or to enhance the laidback vibe of your break. You can even socialise while you’re at it!

Relax and unwind in the spa at BIG4 North Star Resort.
Relax and unwind in the spa at BIG4 North Star Resort.

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5 simple tips for healthy holiday cooking

A change in diet can create issues when on holidays. It sometimes leads to having pesky, unwanted kilos accompanying you wherever you go – and even hanging around once you return home!

Weight gain, or simply feeling a bit yuck – to use a technical term – is often difficult to avoid when taking a break. A lack of routine, a carefree, holiday attitude, and being removed from your own kitchen means wholesome meals are sometimes overlooked in favour of unhealthy alternatives.

In fact, independent research by BIG4 Holiday Parks shows four in five Australians turn to the faithful but not-so-healthy sausage sizzle whenever a barbecue is in sight.

It doesn’t have to be that way. BIG4 parks have fully equipped kitchen facilities for whatever accommodation option you choose, which enable you to whip up a healthy meal with ease. And by following these handy holiday cooking hints, your task becomes much easier.

Hold the snags! It's time to chuck another shrimp on the barbie.
Hold the snags! It’s time to chuck another shrimp on the barbie.

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7 rewarding one-day Australian mountain climbs

There’s something special about climbing a mountain, and it’s a feat that conjures up a whole range of thoughts and feelings. You start by psyching yourself up for the challenge, ooze energy and enthusiasm as the climb begins, question your sanity part way through, and then, with elation, enjoy a huge sense of achievement when you reach the summit.

Holidays are the perfect time to tackle a mountain: you literally have all day to play with and plenty of recovery time.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share with you our favourite Australian mountain climbs. We’ve highlighted those that can be conquered as part of a daytrip from your BIG4 accommodation; yet still present a decent challenge. And the further you read, the tougher the climbs become!

It’s time to put on your walking shoes and prepare to encounter these incredibly rewarding Australian mountain climbs.

Hiking within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is incredibly rewarding.
Hiking within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is incredibly rewarding.

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The Gold Coast is not just theme parks and beaches

Blog contribution by Jennifer Adams, presenter of the popular TV travel series Places We Go.

“We’re just off to the Goldie to do the theme parks”.

It’s obviously my age and having a seven-year-old daughter (let’s face it, what kid doesn’t love the thrill of a good old-fashioned roller-coaster?), but this statement has become increasingly popular among my friends lately when they refer to a family holiday on the Gold Coast…

Oh, and of course everyone expects clear blue skies and that irresistible long stretch of white sandy beach where the waves illuminate as they curl in the afternoon sun and families happily play beach cricket.

I am sure most Australians would have their own holiday memories of the Gold Coast. I remember a visit to Sea World to swim with the dolphins when I was about the same age as my daughter; and then taking her to Wet’n’Wild a year ago and watching her squeal with excitement as she ploughed down the enormous slides.

The Gold Coast skyline
The Gold Coast skyline

The Gold Coast, or the ‘Goldie’ as many affectionately call it, has been famous for being a fun tourist destination since the boom of the ‘80s. Go back a hundred years and, with its rolling surf beaches and inland waterways, it held a reputation for being a secluded holiday destination for upper-class Brisbane residents.

Today, of course, it’s anything but secluded! It’s a major tourist hotspot, a go-to place for a bit of fun in the sun, with theme parks, skyscrapers, and a shiny nightlife for all the family. But let’s be clear, I believe it’s a lot more than that. With its sub-tropical climate and lush rainforest hinterland, it has a few gems that are well worth the visit. And the kids will love them!

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Top 6 Australian flower festivals to brighten your spring

Nothing better signals the arrival of spring than a display of bright, colourful flowers carpeting the landscape. It’s a comforting sign, indicating that the cold and wet of winter has passed (for many Australians) and plenty of sun-kissed days lie ahead.

A stack of destinations around Australia embrace the floral theme by hosting flower festivals each spring. In fact, some of these festivals have a history that dates more than half a century, and they attract big crowds. And with more than 180 parks scattered across Australia, BIG4 has fantastic accommodation that can put you at the heart of the action.

Here are half a dozen annual Australian flower festivals that have caught our eye.

Ruston's Rose Garden is centre of attention for South Australia's Renmark Rose Festival in October.
Ruston’s Rose Garden is centre of attention during South Australia’s Renmark Rose Festival each October. Credit: SATC.

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6 scenic cycling trails you must complete

For much of Australia, spring is a great time to strap on the helmet and push the pedals along a magnificent cycling trail.

The relatively favourable weather conditions allow two-wheel exploration of our scenic country to be reliably achieved without you sweating up a storm or, conversely, finding your fingers frozen to the handlebars.

Cycling is a fantastic activity to enjoy when on holidays and you don’t have to be a Tour de France wannabe to participate. Relatively flat cycling paths abound, enabling the whole family to come along for the ride, and bike hire is available in many locations.

Whether checking out the sights of a major city or exploring a regional centre, there is a plethora of superb Australian cycling paths to plant the wheels along.

We’ve put together a list of our favourite ‘leisurely’ cycling trails – those that can be tackled within a day – which are easily accessible when staying at a nearby BIG4 park.

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