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My dad was born on the Sunshine Coast and most of his family still live there, which meant I grew up visiting the Sunny Coast a lot. It’s changed so much since I was a kid, but is still one of my favourite places to holiday with the family.
The Sunshine Coast is so easy to get around, and I’ve never felt overwhelmed by people and that hectic holiday-destination tourist vibe. There are lots of things to do and the beaches are amazing yet it still feels personal and relaxed.
There are plenty of family-friendly resorts on the Sunshine Coast. Here are my tips to choosing the one that’s best for you:
1. Where possible try to choose the ground level
I know this sounds crazy as beach views can be a beautiful thing, but having a courtyard with three children (including a very active one year old boy) and direct access to the pool is a very good thing. Remember to ask the resort before booking on the ground level whether the room has a private courtyard.
2. Beach access
Booking a family resort directly on the beach is awesome. If you can eliminate having to cross a road to get to the beach takes out another layer of stress.
3. Find out about the food
It’s a good idea to ring up and make sure the resort where you’re staying has a kids menu, buffet breakfast and a variety of food options. When we’re holidaying at a resort, we always have those days where we’re super tired and a night in is needed. Knowing there’s food on hand the kids can eat is great.
4. Child friendly play area close by
Rooms can get quite squishy when you’re on a holiday with kids so you need to know you can get out quickly without needing to jump in your car. I always like to check if there’s a play space at the resorts we stay at, and if not if there’s one close by.
5. Kid friendly pools
This would have to be one of the most important things for us. Our kids spend so much time in the pool when we’re on holiday that I need to know the pool is kid friendly so we can relax and watch them while they play.
6. Kids’ programs and family activities
It’s great to book a resort that offers programs and activities for the kids. We’ve stayed at a number of resorts in the past that have scheduled activities during the day for kids. It could be as simple as biscuit decorating, face painting or a kids club for part of the day. This is great for keeping the kids busy onsite if we’re wanting to have a slow down day.
A few places at the Sunshine Coast to stay with kids:
Novotel Twin Waters Resort: This resort is fantastic for families as it has a wide range of activities for the kids PLUS mum and dad. Some of the activities available include swimming in the private lagoon, golf course, tennis, day spa, laser skirmish, cycling, kayaking and relaxing on the beach. What’s great about it is you don’t have to get in the car as all of these activities are right on your door step and the kids can be entertained while you relax or get a massage/play golf.
Landmark Resort Mooloolaba: My brother and his wife holiday here three times a year. Although it’s not a new resort, the location is amazing and the rates are really reasonable. What they love most is it’s directly across the road from the main playground area and beach in Mooloolaba and when I say directly, I mean 10 metres. The Mooloolaba beach is a fantastic beach for children as there’s lots of sand at low and high tide and the waves are mostly kid friendly because it’s protected being north facing.
Oaks Oasis Resort, Caloundra: Oaks Oasis has an amazing water playground built onsite that you can access for free if you’re staying there. The resort is set out on a massive property so there’s plenty of space and grassy areas for the kids to run around and play. They have family rooms available with their own kitchen, which can be great for saving money on food, and it has been recently refurbished.
When visiting the Sunshine Coast a few places I would recommend going with your family include:
Currimundi Lake: Currimundi would have to be one of our favourite places on the Sunshine Coast. We have never gone there and had a bad time. No matter what time of day you go, it’s always perfect and is suitable for six month olds up to adults. The water is calm and there’s a mix of shallow and deep water. For us, it’s just perfect!
King’s Beach Playground and Salt Water Pool: not often do you get to swim in a pool of beach water. If the surf isn’t great, the salt water pool at King’s Beach is a great option. There’s also a great playground and water feature for kids to play with and best of all – it’s all free.
Maroochy River: Maroochy River is another place we love to visit as the water is calm and the kids enjoy the swim. It’s not as small-child friendly as Currimundi, as it gets deeper quicker, but the bigger kids like that. There are a few spots along the river which aren’t too busy and great to setup camp for the day with a picnic.
Aussie World: we’ve taken our kids to a few theme parks on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast as they’re close to home for us. Aussie World would have to be my pick at this point. It’s reasonably priced, the lines aren’t insane and it’s a fantastic first theme park experience for smaller kids. It does have rides for all ages however it’s particularly great for the 4-10 year age group.
Australia Zoo: we have season passes to Australia Zoo so have been there many times! It’s such a fantastic Zoo. The animals are well looked after, the shows are amazing and you get one of the most authentic experiences of seeing how some of these animals would live in their natural habitat. I love the work Australia Zoo do and think they’re worth supporting.
So there are some of my top tips for picking a family resort on the Sunshine Coast and some of the places you need to put on the list to visit while on holidays. The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful place and absolutely worth the effort to visit. A mix of beautiful beaches and great laid back atmosphere makes it a winner with families in my opinion.
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