My travelling twosome have never met a holiday park they didn’t like, though they’ve certainly been a little more smitten with some than others. The most recent addition to their love list is NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Resort, a park so packed with fun it had them swooning.
Indeed, I’d go as far as saying it is love at first sight when we drive into the sprawling Holiday Park, spanning over 45 hectares of coastal forest just a 30-minute drive from Coffs Harbour and its embarrassment of family delights, including beautiful beaches, the iconic Big Banana and the awesome TreeTop Adventure Park.
The fabulous holiday park, located metres from the dazzling blue waters of Arrawarra Beach – a hidden gem just off the Solitary Islands Marine Park – offers just the right combination of relaxation and adventure for every member of the family.
We’ve barely switched off the ignition of our Let’s Go Motorhome and the kids are scooting off to check out what’s on offer in eco-friendly holiday resort. By the time they return – flushed faced and beaming after testing out the jumping pillow and begging to be allowed to sign up for tomorrow’s archery sessions – hubby and I have plugged in to our allocated powered ensuite site amongst towering eucalypts, set up our outdoor table and chairs and are lounging under our massive retractable awning, sundowners in hand, ready to enjoy a Coffs Coast sunset.
“There’s something missing”, declares Sugarpuff urgently as soon as she spies us. Racing into the van she returns with her daypack, pulling out a massive string of lights she appears to have flogged from our Christmas decorations. Right!
With the all-important fairy lights strung across our awning, and the thumbs up from our decorator daughter, Raff decides to make it a party, grabbing his guitar to add to the existing soundtrack of bird song. Either he has mad Pied Piper skills or the wildlife of the Coffs Coast are music lovers because his playing attracts a couple of local kangaroos who stop by for a brief roo boogie before hopping off into the nearby bush.
Dinner is a seafood spiked paella cooked over the campfire with fresh ingredients we’d gather in Coffs Harbour on the way in. Cooked over flame, its devoured in moments and then its time for movies and cuddles in the motorhome.
For those not motor homing, there’s a huge range of easy to access accommodation, from pet-friendly unpowered and powered ensuite camping sites to glamping safari tents and luxe Lagoon Spa Villas with vaulted ceilings and waterfront balconies.
There’s also a selection of accessible accommodation, and a beach wheelchair available for hire from reception to make the beach accessible for the whole family.
The girls of our family are early risers and it pays off as morning brings more visitors, skippy and family, who join us at dawn for a cup of freshly brewed tea with a side fawning adoration from my girl.
Our new roo friends stay behind to keep an eye out for the boys, as we set out for a stroll to Arrawarra Beach and a spectacular sunrise on the gorgeous stretch of beach.
We take a long stroll along the sand. stopping to take stock of the treasure trove of colourful pebbles and shells (which are duly deposited back right where we find them) until we reach Arrawarra Headland and a series of Ancient Gumbaynggirr stone fish traps that are ever so slightly exposed by the low tide.
By the time we return, several hours have past, the boys are finally awake, and they have breakfast sizzling in the kitchen. Fuelled up, the kids head off for a session of archery and to tackle the pump track on their scooters.
We book in for a raucous game of lawn bowls on the resort’s green. Given its convenient location by the resort’s café, we stop only for a quick lunch washed down with coffee, before the kids are off again.
They hire resort Go-Karts to pedal their way from our motorhome to the resort’s 9-hole golf course and tennis courts and back again. And again. And again. Loving the sense of freedom that a stay at an NRMA Holiday park delivers.
Then it’s time to get wet. While the beach is a little wild for the kids on this occasion, the resort’s two swimming pools are irresistible. They splash and slide until they turn pruney, flitting between pools and the cool new waterpark with two water slides, fountains and an enormous tipping bucket.
After dinner, they drag us to the resort’s entertainment hub to challenge us to pool and table tennis (and by “challenge”, I mean get whooped, because we grown ups take no prisoners and beat them soundly).
Back at the motorhome, Raff busts out some blues guitar by fairy light while I cook us all up some steaming hot chocolate and they salve their wounded pride by whipping us at card games. We’re all happily exhausted when we hit our beds, the kids keen for another early start to pack in more of what NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Resort and Coffs Harbour has to offer.
NRMA Darlington Beach Holiday Resort
104/134 Eggins Drive
Tel: 1800 888 999