Written by Raff – Aged 12
Like everyone else, my feet have been pretty itchy since our planned travels got stopped by COVID in 2020. So much so that a visit to NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park, which isn’t much more than 30 minutes from home, had me so hyped you could be forgiven for thinking we were flying to Tahiti.
But you know, my excitement was completely justified because our weekend of sun, surf and sand was as good as any holiday, anywhere because it had all the right ingredients: a change of scenery, awesome beaches, plenty of wildlife, comfy accommodation, good food (even if we had to cook it ourselves) and my favourite people, my family.
One of the only beachfront camping spots in Sydney, NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park is definitely the closest to our place! We stayed in a two-bedroom Lakeview Villa, which has plenty of space inside, a huge balcony to soak up the views, undercover parking that made my parents weirdly excited, and a TV and DVD Player that did the same for me.
The only thing is that we didn’t actually spend all that much time in our villa, because there was so much to do outside. I don’t think my sister even saw inside because when she wasn’t collecting shells, bothering ducks, or trying to submerge herself into the sea, she was sound asleep.
There was also a selection of other cabins and studios for families of different sizes, and plenty of powered and unpowered camp sites. I think next time we visit we should haul out our tent and rough it a bit (and by a bit, I mean I want an en-suite site) because camping at Narrabeen would be so much fun. Even if we couldn’t get an ensuite site, there are really good shared amenities including a family bathroom, plus a huge camp kitchen and barbecue pavilions for hungry campers.
For me though the best thing about NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park was its awesome position on the edge of Narrabeen Lagoon overlooking the dunes of Narrabeen Beach, which I reckon is one of the best beaches in Sydney. That’s because as well as three kilometres of golden sand and some crazy surf breaks, there’s still gentle bits for swimming where the lagoon and ocean meet.
Plus, the dunes were awesome for climbing up and rolling down. At least when I wasn’t getting ridden by my crazy little sister who seems to think I am her pony every time we get near sand.
The Narrabeen caravan park is also just a short walk to North Narrabeen Rock Pools, two massive ocean pools that were the perfect spot for us to safely take a leap when the surf started getting a bit rough on the beach.
As if we weren’t already wet enough, NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park has its own kids’ water park, and we spent hours running and playing in the spraying, shooting, squirting water.
There’s plenty of fun above the water too because next to the water park is a playground with things to climb, slide and spin on. The park also has a games room and awesome pedal karts that mum hired for us to tear around the park’s biking and walking paths.
As the sun set we stopped to watch fishermen hauling in their catch. We were so busy it was almost dark by the time we got back to our villa to wash off the salt and sand.
After a barbie on the balcony, we went bunny spotting with dad then came back to play board games and watch movies until my sister fell asleep on the couch, exhausted from our adventures.
We all ended up heading to bed pretty early, because we had big plans for the next day, and the super comfy beds meant we all woke up well rested.
We started with a barbecue breakfast (we did have a full kitchen, but the novelty of the veranda barbecue had Dad so excited I’m surprised he didn’t barbecue my cereal). Then it was time to tackle the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail. I have to admit we ended up piking out and taking the lazy option by hiring kayaks when our legs got sore.
There was stacks of wildlife to spot in and around the park. My sister was obsessed with the ducks that appeared to call NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park home, but there were also pelicans, pied stilts and kookaburras for her to bother.
A couple of cheeky cockatoos and some chirpy lorikeets came right up to our balcony to beg for scraps at breakfast and dinner (we didn’t give them any as human food is not good for birds).
We even spied wild rabbits frolicking on the lawn outside our villa. But perhaps the most awesome sighting was an enormous white-bellied sea-eagle who hovered for ages right above us in an updraft. So. Freaking. Cool!
The area is an important natural ecosystem and the Coastal Environment Centre (CEC), a community learning centre focusing on the coastal environment, is based in the park.
After another quick morning pitstop at the waterpark, we drove home still dripping. And while my itch was well and truly scratched, we’re already planning which of NRMA Holiday Park’s 33 East Coast holiday parks we’ll head to next.
Disclosure: The BoyEatsWorld family were guests of NRMA Holiday Parks, but all itch scratching, splashing and opinions are our own.