NSW : DARLINGTON BEACH
From the moment we drove through the gates at NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Resort we loved it. Within hours of arriving we agreed that it was one of our favourite parks to date.
It has everything you could possibly want in a holiday park, located on 10 acres of sub-tropical bushland that borders the beach. Each spacious site is nestled under towering gum trees and palms and resident kangaroos laze about on the grass all day. You feel like you’re a world away!
And yet it’s only minutes from the A1 Highway, a half-hour drive north of Coffs Harbour and a short drive from Woolgoolga; a sweet seaside town with great coffee (try Ground Earth on Market St) and a laid-back holiday vibe.
It’s no surprise that it’s the kind of park that families return to year after year, booking well in advance so they secure their favourite caravan site or cabin. The sites were the biggest we’ve ever had in a holiday park and when you’re surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife, it really does add an extra layer of enjoyment to your experience.
The cabins are private and cosy; tucked into well established tropical gardens with some boasting views of the waterlily lagoon and surrounding bushland. Winding pathways connect the cabins to the children’s park and the pool so while you feel like you’ve got your own little space, you’re still close to the main features of the park.
And the features are plentiful. In fact there’s so much do to at Darlington Beach, you’ll be hard pressed to tick everything off your list. Perhaps that’s why it’s one of our favourites; Daniel and I relished in the beautiful, natural setting and spacious sites where we could easily sit all day and enjoy the birdsong. As for the kids; they spent their days going from the jumping pillow to the waterslides to the kids club where they made necklaces and created beautiful dot paintings. They enjoyed mornings at the beach and afternoons at the lagoon and in-between they scooted around the park, counting kangaroos and making friends with other kids (there were so many kids!).
As well as all the kid-friendly features, NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Resort has a privately-owned cafe/restaurant, a bowling green and a 9-hole golf course. You can hire bikes and go-karts, have a go at archery and take a walk along a coastal walkway just before you reach the sand.
We took a day trip into Bellingen which won our hearts with its green fields, delightful high street and quirky cottages with rambling gardens. Coffee and cake at Hyde Bellingen will go down as one of the best of our travels and our visit to the lolly shop, sourdough bakery and brewery made it a day to remember.
And if day trips aren’t your thing, rest assured that you can check-in at Darlington Beach, stay put and know that everyone in the family will be happy for at least a week. It’s a really beautiful place to escape to and it makes for an easy, relaxed and very enjoyable family getaway.
I’m sharing my favourite family-friendly destinations in collaboration with NRMA Parks & Resorts as we travel the East Coast of Queensland and NSW.