Have you considered a BIG4 holiday park for your next intrastate getaway? This network of roughly 180 holiday parks located all over Australia has evolved over the years to offer variable and modern facilities in some truly amazing locations. You can stay in anything from a glamping tent or retro caravan to a stylish cabin or waterfront villa. The parks have facilities like swimming pools, fire pits, mini-golf, woodfired pizza ovens and on-site dining. More than 70 per cent of BIG4 parks are also pet friendly, so forget about leaving your poor pooch at a kennel.
Whatever you’re into – spotting baby whales, catching a beach sunrise, chowing down on Mooloolaba prawns or discovering an ancient rock-art gallery – you can live your best van life in Queensland, and there’s a BIG4 holiday park to suit you.
BIG4 Caloundra | Photograph: Supplied/BIG4 Holiday Parks
Hervey Bay, crowned the world’s first Whale Heritage Site, is a “whale kindergarten”. Catch parents and babies relaxing and frolicking in the calm waters while staying at BIG4 Hervey Bay Holiday Park – just 200 metres from the ocean. Hervey Bay is also the gateway to K’gari (Fraser Island) – the world’s largest sand island – that’s home to tea tree-stained lakes and waterways. Perch on the edge of another waterway at BIG4 Caloundra Holiday Park, which overlooks Pumicestone Passage (home to herds of dugongs) and the northern tip of Bribie Island. Hop in a kayak for endless fun here at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast. In Tropical North Queensland, there’s more aquatic fun on the doorstep of BIG4 NRMA Atherton Tablelands Holiday Park. Hit the waterfall circuit to pose for a snap in front of the photogenic Millaa Millaa Falls. The holiday park is surrounded by lush rainforest and has the adrenaline-pumping Atherton Mountain Bike Park right behind it. After a day of adventuring you can relax in the saltwater pool.
BIG4 Mackay Blacks Beach | Photograph: Supplied/BIG4 Holiday Parks
Hit the beach
Between searching for rainforest-dwelling cassowaries (the closest living species to a dinosaur), laze under a coconut palm near BIG4 Tasman Holiday Parks – South Mission Beach, which fronts a stunning stretch of sand along what’s known as the Cassowary Coast and look straight out onto Dunk Island. Tumble out of bed at BIG4 Mackay Blacks Beach Holiday Park and toast the sun as it rises over Blacks Beach, Mackay’s longest continuous beach with views of the Whitsundays. A café van stops by here on Sunday mornings to fix you up with barista coffee and brekky. Base yourselves at BIG4 Maroochy River and you’re smack-bang in the centre of the Sunshine Coast’s string of glorious beaches. Head north to Noosa’s main beach and bunny-hop your way south, stopping at Peregian, Coolum, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba to check the surf.
BIG4 Cania Gorge | Photograph: Supplied/BIG4 Holiday Parks
Bask in nature
Keen to explore Carnarvon Gorge in central Queensland’s Sandstone Belt? Check into BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Carnarvon Gorge before diving between the main gorge’s towering sandstone cliffs to discover ferns, cycads, streams and endemic Carnarvon fan palms, and discovering an Art Gallery of some 2,000 ancient Aboriginal paintings and hand stencils. While Cania Gorge isn’t as well known as Carnarvon, this national park – about an hour’s drive from the big-hearted town of Biloela – is worth a visit. Base yourself at BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks – Cania Gorge and head out to see rock art on the gorge’s sandstone walls while keeping an eye out for brush-tailed rock wallabies and 90-plus bird species. The park has a water park, kayak hire and daily bird feeding for the resident parrots and lorikeets. At Airlie Beach (the gateway to the Whitsundays), BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort borders Conway National Park – the state’s largest tract of lowland tropical rainforest outside of Tropical North Queensland. On-site events include movie night, live music, sausage sizzles and a winter spit roast.
BIG4 Sandstone Point | Photograph: Supplied/BIG4 Holiday Parks
Eat and drink
Mooloolaba prawn toast, anyone? From BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Noosa, you’re perfectly positioned to head to Noosaville to try Sum Yung Guys’ Asian bites or to venture into the hinterland for gems such as the Imperial Hotel, home of the Eumundi Brewery. Settle into BIG4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort, at the gateway to Bribie Island, for old-fashioned fun. The swimming pool here is 500m2 and has a mini-water park with a 800 litre tipping bucket. It's a short stroll to the Sandstone Point Hotel to enjoy a tasty range of international cuisine while enjoying live music and sunset over Pumicestone Passage and the distant Glass House Mountains. Southern Queensland’s Toowoomba is the hub of the Darling Downs food bowl. From BIG4 Toowoomba Garden City Holiday Park, graze your way around the Walton Stores precinct, home to eateries, wine bars and a beer garden. The park itself has a pizza oven – make your own and top it with herbs from the on-site herb gardens.
BIG4 Aussie Outback Oasis, Charters Towers | Photograph: Supplied/BIG4 Holiday Parks
Find arts and culture
Never been to the drive-in? From your base at BIG4 Aussie Outback Oasis Holiday Park, you can head to Charters Towers’ retro Tors Drive-In Cinema that’s been around since 1966! The park has a brand new shady pool and the town is filled with reminders of the gold rush era. Park up at Innisfail’s BIG4 Innisfail Mango Tree Tourist Park to explore the town’s thriving Indigenous art scene at the Girringun Art Centre. Walking tracks will take you through the rainforest to lookouts, waterfalls, picnic areas and swimming spots. While heading to BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Townsville, stop at Cardwell for its annual UFO Festival (August 12-14, 2022). In Townsville, check out the fabulous regional gallery – its impressive collection features Oceanic visual arts, ceramics and works on paper. At the park you can ride a go kart, have a round of mini golf or try out the pool and its waterslide.