With the Coast soaked in glorious winter sunshine last month, I booked a weekend away for myself, my husband and our two sons at Oaks Oasis Resort in Caloundra, which is ranked in the top 10 family resorts in Australia by Holidays with Kids.
I dutifully checked out the glowing reviews on Trip Advisor and I’m happy to report, the resort deserves its top reputation.
We are hinterland dwellers and it ticked all the boxes – only half an hour from home, low season prices and free meals for kids under 12 with paying adults.
The kids and the man were in burger and pizza heaven, while I was in no-cooking heaven. My lunch consisted of apple juice. Bubbly apple juice. Okay, Strongbow.
On a tight budget, we went for a one-bedroom executive family room, which had two comfy queen beds, a dining table and chairs, a large TV, tea and coffee-making facilities, bar fridge and a sparklingly clean bathroom with an exceptional shower.
Our objective was to spend quality family time together away from screens. To connect and take things slow. And connect we did.
The second we arrived and discovered our package included free WiFi , we connected two laptops, an iPad, a tablet and two smartphones, but to our credit, we headed straight to the waterpark after that.
Open every day from 9am to 5pm, this waterpark is a nirvana for parents with kids under 12.
Picture this: water heated to 30 degrees, a shallow toddler-friendly depth, three waterslides, fountains, spill buckets and lots of space. Surrounding the pool are large cane sunlounges and tables with comfy cushioned chairs, where parents can relax.
Speakers built into the ground around the waterpark have excellent sound and add to the mood. Reclining on my sunlounge, Strongbow in hand, Fleetwood Mac playing, kids entertained, I couldn’t stop smiling.
The waterpark’s kiosk is fully stocked with every beverage under the sun, as well as snacks and slushies. The lunch menu is fast and friendly, like the staff.
Order at the kiosk and generously proportioned meals are delivered from the restaurant before the kids have had time to cry ‘I’m starving’.
Burgers, chips and nuggets plonked in their laps, they scoffed it all and returned to the water, leaving us to marvel at the rare pleasure of an uninterrupted conversation.
Also in the waterpark area was a play park with slides and two enclosed spring-free trampolines with basketball hoops.
Go through another gate and there’s a large shaded jumping pillow, a climbing frame, an 18-hole putt-putt course, beach volleyball and tennis. It’s all included in the price, so you don’t get any nasty little surprises.
A large lagoon pool wasn’t heated and was a tad too chilly for a mid-winter swim, but a large spa beside it was nice and toasty and was handy to the sports bar and Reflections Restaurant.
The restaurant has an excellent breakfast buffet – we paid $25 for two adults and the kids feasted for free on cereal, pastries, bacon and eggs.
Oaks is close to all of Caloundra’s main attractions, but once we checked in and started to unwind, we didn’t want to go anywhere. While the kids are fed and watered and having fun in the sun, why leave?
– The writer paid for her own travel.
IF YOU GO:
Oaks Oasis Resort is at 2 North Street, Caloundra. To find out more go to