All posts by BIG4 Holiday Parks

Caravan holiday packing hacks: top tips to make your next caravan holiday easier!

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

Caravanning is one of my favorite forms of travel. I will never forget when we did the ‘big lap’ of Australia in our ‘pop-up’ campervan – we often commented about how we never wanted the adventure to end. I loved how, after a day exploring the outback, we would set up our cosy home-away-from-home and have everything we needed. I never took those luxuries for granted (especially my coffee machine in the middle of the desert), and typing this from my home office makes me long for that trip…I’m sure you know the feeling!

Our trip of a lifetime, caravanning around Australia.
Our trip of a lifetime, caravanning around Australia.

But it doesn’t matter if you are travelling all the way around Australia or just heading down the road for a much-loved great Australian break – let’s face it, the ‘packing part’ can be overwhelming.

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Top tips for driving holidays with kids

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

“Are we there yet????”

These are the words we do not want to be hearing over and over again from the kids while we’re on a driving holiday. Children can be a hard audience to please on a long drive. We all know these kinds of holidays are totally worth it, though – the freedom of having your car on tour, the fact you can pack it up with as much stuff as you can fit, and the exhilaration of hitting the open road and getting a change of scenery…not to mention how economical and practical they are with a family.

Our family on the road.
Our family on the road.

So how do we please the little ones in the back to make the journey as fun as the destination?

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The best dive sites in Australia to see marine life

Heading underwater provides an extraordinary thrill. Scuba diving – and snorkelling – allows you to embark on a surreal journey where you enter a world bursting with incredible interactions and amazing colours.

Whether you’re being wowed by marine life or marvelling at colourful coral, each dive warrants endless superlatives: captivating, enthralling, exciting, fascinating…

Fortunately, Australia’s extensive coastline allows for ample underwater exploration, and the many BIG4 parks lined along the coast means we can easily put you at the heart of the action. Grab your wetsuit and flippers – it’s time to explore the best dive sites in Australia.

Diving with Seals, Narooma credit Sebastian Goldhorn
Diving with seals at Montague Island, near Narooma in New South Wales, is bucket-list material. Image credit: Sebastian Goldhorn.

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6 underrated Australian wine regions you shouldn’t miss

The Barossa, the Yarra Valley, Margaret River – it’s easy to reel off famous Australian wine regions. While they all warrant endless praise, Australia has dozens more wine regions that deserve a slice of attention, too.

Scratch below the surface and you’ll discover a wealth of magnificent vineyard-cloaked areas that demand the attention of your eyes, nose, and palate and are perfect for a weekend away.

Don’t know where to start? Not to worry – we’ll help you on your way with our handpicked selection of underrated wine regions. There’s one for each of the six states of Australia.

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Making friends while on holidays – a guide for parents

With thanks to guest blogger Janelle Boynton of Feathertop Family Adventures.

Think back to your time as a kid on holidays and it’s likely fond memories of meeting new friends will come flooding back. From riding bikes for hours, playing Frisbee until you could no longer see it, or simply laughing and telling jokes, these activities are likely to be at the heart of some of the happiest times of your childhood.

The ability to meet new friends with such ease is one of the greatest things about visiting a holiday park. The many shared areas of a BIG4 park – such as splash parks, play areas, and camp kitchens – make it easy to strike up a conversation and connect with fellow travellers.

For children, it is important and rewarding for them to socialise and meet new people. It provides them with confidence and a new perspective. Just as important, it greatly enhances the fun of their holiday.

Children tend to have a habit of breaking the ice quite easily, but I thought I’d share my thoughts about what I do as a parent – and used to do as a child – to ensure my children easily make friends when at holiday parks.

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Important tips for purchasing a used caravan

Caravans can be expensive to buy. This comment will hardly make the shortlist for ‘Most Profound Statement of the Year’ but it does demonstrate why so many people opt to purchase a used caravan instead of a brand new model.

However, it can be catastrophic if your bargain second-hand purchase turns out to be a ‘lemon’ and your savings end up in the caravan repairer’s pocket, or worse, your new toy is unsafe.

To avoid this scenario, it’s important to know what to look for when buying a second-hand caravan. That’s why we have put together a handy and comprehensive checklist to guide you along the right path. Arm yourself with this knowledge and you’ll be a thrifty van shopper in no time.

Young couple in a camper van

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Top tips when bringing your dog to a BIG4

If you’re a pet lover you’ll appreciate the joys of holidaying with your dog. When your pet joins you on a break it produces a feeling of completeness and ultimate happiness – as if the whole family is together. Conversely, a dog-less trip evokes a sad feeling; like a part of you has been left behind.

Considering that roughly 70 BIG4 parks now offer pet-friendly accommodation, there’s so much choice for those who wish to holiday with dogs. However, travelling with pets can have its challenges: unfamiliar surrounds, a change in routine, and other factors ensure that good preparation is essential. Then there’s the need to be prepared when on the road with your pet.

That’s why we have put together a bunch of helpful tips when staying at your pet-friendly BIG4 accommodation that will ensure you, your dog, and other park guests have a relaxing, fun, and memorable break.

Holidaying with dogs provides pet owners with plenty of joy.
Holidaying with dogs provides pet owners with plenty of joy.

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The best places to spot kangaroos

There’s something about viewing kangaroos in the wild that is truly captivating. Whether it’s their awkward stances, their inquisitive looks, or the way in which they appear to effortlessly yet gracefully bound through the air, kangaroos are a constant source of fascination.

These native animals can be spotted at abundant locations throughout Australia, but what happens if your four-year-old – or an international guest – exclaims ‘I want to see a kangaroo’. Do you know where you would take them?

Don’t fear – we have the answer. Whatever state or territory your travels take you, here are the top locations for kangaroo spotting. Please note: the best times to view kangaroos are either at dawn or dusk.

Kangaroo sunset

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5 essential tips for a smooth road trip with your pet

For many people, the thought of travelling without their pet is like travelling without an arm. A holiday just isn’t the same unless their furry friend is coming along for the ride.

If this sounds like you, you’ll be glad to know that there has never been a better time to hit the road with your pet. Many BIG4 parks now accept dogs, and this pet-friendly accommodation is scattered throughout Australia.

While taking a road trip with your pet can be a fun and memorable experience, it can have its challenges. So we’ve put together a list of handy tips when on the road with your dog to ensure you have a smooth journey.

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The best places to spot Australian wildlife

While you can’t beat zoos and organised tours for easy and reliable viewing of wildlife, there’s something special about spotting Australian animals in the wild.

Seeing wildlife in its natural environment is probably the closest thing we will ever get to being a part of the paparazzi. Ever notice how we act when we spot a wild animal? We crouch, we hide, we whisper, and we hold our cameras in this covert way, as if it all makes a difference to the animal that probably smelt us from 10km away.

Moreover, these wildlife encounters usually excite adults as much as kids. It’s like this massive personal achievement to be the first to spot a koala, wombat, or echidna.

If you want to be thrilled by a wildlife encounter – or simply compare the delight on your child’s face with that of your partner‘s – BIG4 has the lowdown on the best destinations to go.

We’ve previously covered off the best places to spot kangaroos in the wild. Now, let’s concentrate our energies on Australia’s many other popular cute and cuddly creatures.

Wildlife spotting requires preparation. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.
You can’t beat the chance to see wildlife in its natural environment. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.

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