Armed with his adventurous family, wife Kerry and two children Billy (8) and Eloise (6), bestselling author and travel writer SCOTT PODMORE hightails it from the deep south for
BURSTING INTO BRISBANE
WAS the idea of missing school for five weeks the biggest thrill for my “Podlets” before setting off on our great northern adventure? No, this was all about a “holiday in Queensland”, thankfully. For these little southerners the sunshine state had the allure of a Disneyworld, offering something magical before our road adventure had even begun.
Escaping Victoria’s cooler climes also resonated with us grown-ups, too, as we looked forward to a little fun in the sun. And a campervanning road trip with a bunch of randomly selected super holiday parks along the east coast was our simple but exciting plan of attack.
It’s important to keep it random, too. The uncertainty of a new destination offers an extra sense of excitement and adventure; unless it’s a peak period for when advanced bookings are advised, of course.
So here’s the tip. Sometimes simplicity is the key, especially if you’re working to a budget. Discovering Queensland’s coastline by road is a wonderful way for a parents and children to enjoy a holiday and it’s as much about the journey as the destinations themselves (despite a touch of character-building cabin fever here and there). The trip may come to an end, but at your family’s heart the experience promises to stay with you forever.
Some clever clicking pre-trip was the trick for being organized, and all was sorted thanks to the DriveNow website where a discounted campervan was snapped up through its nifty online comparison tool. Follow the prompts and a few swift clicks later you’ll have bagged, booked and bought a hot deal on wheels.
After arriving in Brisbane, we collected our Britz 6-berth campervan and opted for a couple of nights in the capital before zooming off to the Sunshine Coast. After all, we had set one Golden Rule for this road trip: ‘No deadline, no rush.’
Brisbane Holiday Village, only a half-hour trip to Eight Mile Plains and 10-12 minutes from the CBD, was our first port of call as it turns out - talk about stumbling upon one with the lot first pop!
The popular tourist destination isn’t your typical, old-fashioned caravan park tizzed up with that now-wonderfully common one-two formula of giant jumping pillow and a decent swimming pool = cool holiday park. This place offers more than that and genuinely sparkles like a mini resort, right from the minute ancient-looking Incas greet you at the front entrance.
Apart from the usual suspects on the facilities front, there are some exquisite features including Inca-themed swimming lagoons for a dip, ‘Court of the Warriors’ full size tennis court to settle any family feuds and stretch out, and the Inca Trail 18-hole themed putt-putt course for some fun with the kids. And while our smallest frowned at first mention of exploring the Temple of Terrors (aka a fully equipped playground area), it took only seconds to realise our biggest problem would be dragging her away for dinnertime at the nearby BBQ facilities.
As for accommodation? That would be a unanimous ‘wow’ from all of us. While our fully powered ensuite site offered everything we could ask for and more, it was with great envy Kerry and I wandered past the funky new 5-star open-plan Vogue cabins. Even the corporate, metro and cosmo cabins, complete with state of the art appliances, are out of this world for value.
Brisbane Holiday Village is a park to be reckoned with and the ideal base from which to explore the city and surrounds. What a great start to our Queensland journey.
NEARBY HIGH 5: Brisbane Holiday Park poses one big distraction if you’re wanting to check out the ‘outside’ attractions – it’s bloody hard prizing the kids away! But we managed it after a verbal arm wrestle and the family lure of these ‘must-do’ activities.
NEXT WEEK (PART II): BRISBANE TO MAROOCHYDORE – GET OFF OUR TRAIN!
Scott's trip was supported by DriveNow.com.au