Paradise Resort

The moment you drive into Paradise Resort there is an instant fun, family warmth that immediately engulfs you. Only this time there is an additional feel – a touch of class that radiates as you enter the newly renovated lobby and are greeted by friendly staff. Paradise Resort boasts a multitude of awards and holds the title of Australia’s only family resort with a waterpark, ice-rink, kids club and multiple food options, giving you absolutely no reason to leave.

Paradise Resort is located in the vibrant Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Australia and if you do happen to venture out of the resort, convenience and entertainment is on your doorstep! The family friendly resort is less than a kilometres walk to the renowned Cavill Avenue which boasts everything you need from restaurants to take away outlets, fashion retail stores to Australian souvenirs, supermarkets to chemists and a heap of bars, pubs and clubs which make it arguably Australia’s nightlife capital. It is also walking distance to the iconic Surfers Paradise beach and is a short 20 minute drive to the fun filled theme parks (the Village Roadshow Theme Parks is a personal favourite of ours).

STAY

Set on a massive 5 acres of land, Paradise Resort has 360 hotel style rooms across 3 levels that mostly surrounds the pool and waterpark. The building is sectioned into colourful themes named after it’s four characters; Dusty’s Digs, Cleo’s Castle, Astro’s Alley and Captain’s Quarter and caters for everyone from couples or small families to large families of up to 8!  We must admit though, that whilst the accommodation is usually a critical component of any resort stay, this wasn’t the case for us. There are a couple of reasons why but the main one is because we hardly spent any time in our room, there’s just that much to do!

We ended up opting for the family room as it contains two bedrooms, one setup with a Queen bed and a single bed and the second bedroom with two single beds. You can upgrade to a Superior Family Room which contains a similar configuration just with bunkbeds (4 beds) in the second room however our boys choose to use the top bunk as a diving board so the two single bed option worked for us. The beds are also on wheels which allowed us to reconfigure the room so that the two singles were side by side. The Family room also contains a balcony, shower / bath and a mini kitchen with fridge and microwave. All rooms contain TV/s with individually controlled air-conditioning and a daily housekeeping service which includes removal of rubbish, fresh towels and your bed freshly made.

There are lifts from the basement car park to level 3 in each of the building sections, there is a communal laundry for all your washing needs and for the fitness fanatics there is cardio gym.

TIP: The Splashes Mini Mart sells holiday essentials such as nappies, toothpaste, sun cream, milk, beer and wine as well your usual grocery and snack items.

PLAY

For us the endless activities and play choices is a big part of what makes this resort the ultimate family stay and play. There are two waterparks, one larger waterpark for the older kids and a smaller waterpark for the younger kids. There is also a large round pool, a separate spa, two trampolines and an indoor and outdoor playground to keep the kids active. For a fee there is also an Ice skating rink (yes, you read that correctly), laser tag, a virtual reality roller coaster (VR Coaster) and an arcade games room.

When you check into the resort, make sure you get your hands on the A3 sized ‘WHAT’S ON IN PARADISE’ weekly activity programme. It provides a daily breakdown (every half hour!) of what activities are on, where they are being held and whether or not there is an activity cost. For the activities that require a booking, there are three barcodes below the programme that you can scan with your phone and book in electronically – its as simple as that!
TIP: Don’t throw your programmes away, as it conveniently doubles up as a resort map, just in case you have so much fun that you forget where you are!

We don’t want to ruin the surprise, but below are some of the activities we enjoyed across our 4 day stay – all were free except for the slime making which cost $10.

Slime Making Workshop, Captains Shark Tank, Aqua Hunt,  Face Painting,  Whipped Cream Madness, Jelly Eating Contest, Family Chess and Movie night by the pool. We also have to mention how incredible and friendly the entertainment staff were. Their energy and passion was infectious which makes the activities that much more fun.

In addition to the activities, one of the luxuries or ‘adult treat’ the resort offers is its Kids Club and more specifically, the daily complimentary kids club you receive when you book your accommodation directly through the resort (4 hours per child per day).  As parents of three boys 4 and under, to get alone time together is a pleasure obtained only rarely and this was a huge selling point for us and I’m sure it will be for many of you too. Where other resort kids clubs start at age 4, Paradise Resort is the only resort in Australia that caters for children as young as 6 weeks all the way up to 12 years (another huge tick if you have kids under 4 😉). The Club is divided into two age group categories (0-2 and 3-12) with age-appropriate care, facilities and activities and if you are unsure if the kids club is for your kids, you can visit the kids club and their friendly staff for a test and try daily between 2.30 and 3.30pm.

We opted to utilise the kids club twice – the first 4-8pm session we stayed on site at the resort, grabbed a pizza and booked ourselves into the Kahoot Trivia Cocktail Tasting. We took part in a few of the Khoot trivia’s activities across our stay but this was by far our favourite and most interactive. For $15pp you get to taste 4 different cocktails which are accompanied by questions testing your knowledge on the cocktails ingredients, origin and other fun facts. We had a laugh with the staff other participants and very quickly learnt that we aren’t cocktail connoisseurs! The second 4-8pm kids club session we opted to go out for dinner at the  House Of Brews on Orchid Avenue in Surfers Paradise and the food, atmosphere and selection of boutique drinks didn’t disappoint.
TIP: If the 1kg nachos are too big, even though it isn’t on the menu, ask for a half size, it will allow you to fit an extra drink or to in 🍻.

EAT

After smashing the waterslides, trampolines and activities all day, the kids are going to get hungry and the resort food options don’t disappoint! In fact its more than that, the options have been meticulously planned with a family’s’ convenience in mind so that you don’t have to go back to your room or pack the kids up (who are now screaming because they don’t want to leave) and head down the street! Penguins Restaurant, Jerry’s Burger Bar, the Poolside Café / Bar and Deb’s Pizza Shack all ensure the resort has something for everyone, caters for all budgets and nutritional or dietary requirements.  .

Included in our stay was the Continental Buffet Breakfast at Penguins Restaurant and is something we absolutely recommend including in your stay. On offer is plenty of cereals, toast selections with spreads, sliced meat, cheeses, yoghurts, fresh fruits and for the sweet tooth there is a variety of breakfast cakes, croissants and fruit toast. If an Eggs Benedict is your holiday go to, you can upgrade to a variety of hot meals at a discounted rate. We tried the veggie omelette with hash-browns and it was 👌🏽

The restaurant also offers lunch and dinner and has a bar that serves coffee, soft drink and alcohol with TV’s showing the daily news and sports in the background. The new layout of the restaurant has again been thought through as there is now a gated ‘kids’ nook’ for the youngans as well as plenty of space between tables where the kids can run around without being too disruptive. Small freebies such as coloured crayons and a small squeezy penguin are a nice touch and kept the kids entertained at the table, whilst at various times across our stay, we had visits from resort characters and a balloon twister who made balloon swords for our boys (much to their delight!). We did try dinner at the restaurant which had bistro / pub style  meals on offer. The food was well sized, tasty and we walked away with a bill of about $90 for the five us – pricey but in line with other resort style restaurant dining or your local pub, tavern or surf club.

Lunches were spent by the pool so sushi, fresh sandwiches, fruit salad cups and green juice from the Poolside Cafe were our daily go-to – quick, refreshing an healthy 😁.

We felt that come dinner time, the boys were knackered and ready for bed, so we generally opted for either burgers from Jerry’s Burger Bar or pizza from Deb’s Pizza Shack. Both have kids sizes, are very reasonably priced, can be taken away and most importantly are yum! The margarita pizza with added pineapple and a side of the shoestring fries was definitely a favourite for us.

TIP: Keep an eye out for the BBQ by the Pool and Movie Night! An awesome family night, you won’t regret it!

We are super excited to be invited back to Paradise Resort to review the brand new Lounge Bar and Pool Deck due to be completed early 2021. The Adult only Zone 4 will have a new swimming pool and lounge bar where you can unwind while your kids enjoy the free Kids Club. As mentioned above, there are plenty of activities and lounge areas that adults can enjoy now but this added feature will really complete the resort.

Thank you @paradiseresortgc for inviting us to share our experience at your newly renovated resort, we had such a great time and the kids are still talking about it three weeks later. We will see you all again in a few months 🤗
The Wannabe Nomads 🌸

Stop dreaming, start planning and escape to Paradise where its school holidays every day. Visit www.paradiseresort.com.au

If you find any of this helpful or you have any questions please comment below, and if you stay at any of our recommended holiday spots PLEASE tag us @wannabe.nomads we would love to hear all about your family travels!!

Turtle Beach Resort

 

If you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday on the Gold Coast away from the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise, but with easy access to the exciting hub, then Turtle Beach Resort is ideal for you. Conveniently located between Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads (10-15 minute drive to each), a 300m walk to the patrolled Mermaid Beach, 5 minutes drive to Broadbeach’s restaurants and nightlife, the activity-packed resort is also centrally located for a day trip to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or the fun-filled theme parks. It’s worth noting, with all that the Gold Coast has to offer, we only left the resort once – now that speaks volumes for a family of 5, who doesn’t want to spend half their holiday loading and unloading their SUV!

PLAY

The photos above are from @turtlebeach Social media.

Why didn’t we venture outside the resort? The Splash Zone Waterpark for a start! As the centrepiece of the resort, it features 6 waterslides – 2 of which are super fast, 2 winding tunnel slides and 2 toddler slides, (the latter was a lifesaver given Osher, our two-year-old, wasn’t quite ready for the other slides). The water park also has a large dumping bucket zone – we always get a laugh from watching our kids get dumped unexpectedly! For peace of mind, two lifeguards patrol the waterpark at all times and for those parents who just want to sit back and relax whilst their kids run amuck, The Deck Restaurant & Bar conveniently overlooks the waterpark. On the other side of the deck, there are 3 additional swimming pools, including a toddler pool and spa. This area was filled with screaming kids jumping into the pool splashing about, fair to say we had no trouble blending in. Just be careful, the kids did slip and slide on the concrete a few times!
Amidst the constant sunshine, our young water tribe never actually made it to the cinema or games room and weren’t quite old enough for tennis yet, however, we did have a family game of putt-putt (consisting of mum chasing the younger two) but a heap of fun for Ezra, our 4-year-old, who was having his first go at ‘golf’.
If you’re keen for some adult time, book the kids into Club Turtle Kids Club (age 4-12) for 3 hours at a very reasonable $25 (per child), this will give you enough time to hit up the fitness room or saunas, treat yourself at the Chelonia Day Spa or relax in the Adults only retreat. The photos above are from @turtlebeach Social media.
FYI: some accommodation packages include a complimentary Club Turtle session!.

The photos above are from @turtlebeach Social media.

STAY

Set upon a massive 4.5 hectares of land, Turtle Beach Resort offers a plethora of fully self-contained one, two and three-bedroom apartments across three zones; TB1, TB2 and TB3. Each zone offers a slightly different atmosphere based on its surrounding facilities i.e. TB2 is a very active, social zone as the accommodation is set around the Splash Zone Waterpark, two pool areas and the Deck Restaurant & Bar. We booked 4 nights in a 2 bedroom superior apartment and landed in TB3. TB3 is the quietest of the three zones which certainly had its pros and cons. We loved that once it was time to put the boys to bed, the pool was out of sight. It was also nice to have a peaceful drink on the patio under the stars after an active day. On the other hand, it would have been a little more convenient had we been closer to the waterpark – not a big deal though!
The apartment itself was spacious enough for the boys to run laps and not bounce off each other, it contained full kitchen facilitates, air conditioning, washing machine, dryer, bath and Foxtel – it was decked out with beautiful bright paintings and coastal decor. Our room was on the ground floor, its private patio was surrounded by beautiful lush gardens and was the perfect spot to enjoy brekky or an evening drink!
FYI: the patio isn’t enclosed, just in case you have any 1 – 3-year-old runners; we have two 😰

We paid around $180 a night through Agoda which we felt was excellent value for a young family of 4 or 5, However I think next time we would need to book a 3 bedroom apartment as Ariel will be needing his own room and we may book directly through the resort website in order to select the zone we want to stay in closer to the waterpark.
With no elevators throughout the resort, the underground carpark, apartments, pools, restaurants and activity rooms are accessed via stairs. Whilst by no means a deal-breaker, getting from TB3 to TB2 can be challenging if you have young ones in a pram. Dad got a good work out getting all the bags from the car park up to the apartment too 😬


EAT

The Deck Restaurant And Bar is a casual pool side ‘pub’ feel restaurant which offers generous sized meals at a reasonable price and is open for lunch and dinners. The Woodfired pizza is a must that fast became a family favourite followed by the “choose your own” Streets ice cream flavours. The Ice cream was a huge hit with the kids (and an excellent bargaining chip to ensure a peaceful dinner) The menu had enough variety to allow us to eat there most nights.

The ‘Fresh and Tasty’ Convenience Store is super handy for those little bits and pieces you may have forgotten to pack, and unlike most convenience stores we found this one to be quite reasonably priced! The store is slightly hidden but you will find it located within TB2 next to the resort reception and is open from 7.00am till 7:00pm daily. I bought my coffee there every morning and they always treated the boys with a babycino. They also have a limited selection of everyday necessities and groceries like bread, milk, cereals and fruit as well as floaties, sunscreen and the usual pool toys.

There are 8 barbecue areas set up around the gardens and a large choice of delicious restaurants literally outside the Resort door – Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese just to name a few as well as a BWS and a much larger convenience store/fruit shop on the corner.
FYI: This was where I bought fresh bread and eggs most mornings a well as half a delicious watermelon for just $2.50 DAILY!!

We find that eating breakfast and lunch in our apartment or by the pool starts our day feeling a lot more relaxed and free of time restraints and stress. Yes, if we are travelling by car I always bring my blender so we can make Smoothie and Açai bowls 😂. There was plenty of room in the kitchen to cook/prepare your own hearty meals for the day so this was a huge bonus!
FYI: The resort offers great deals on food and beverages orders for example Breakfast packs, discounted food and beverage vouchers, fruit and cheese platters as well as white, red and sparkling wine! Sounds perfect right!!!!!

Overall, @turtlebeachresort was incredible! We were able to utilise our yearly Theme Park passes and still take a trip to our afternoon beachfront market in Surfers Paradise.
Thank you Turtle Beach Resort for having us, WE WILL be back!! 🤗

The Wannabe Nomads 🌸

If you find any of this helpful or you have any questions please comment below, and if you stay at any of our recommended holiday spots PLEASE tag us @wannabe.nomads we would love to hear all about your family travels!!

 

Hamilton Island


Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island on the Whitsundays and ranks as one of Australia’s most renowned holiday destinations. With its heavenly location in the heart of the Whitsundays, it’s the perfect starting point to explore both the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach.
When planning for this family getaway, several friends recommended we travel elsewhere, suggesting that the island should be discovered without kids. I’m confident that this post, about our recent stay, will convince you that Hamilton Island is, in fact, the perfect destination for a family holiday.


Travelling from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island was very straight forward and hassle-free, the trip took approximately 1 hour with a short stop at Daydream Island to let passengers on and of. We booked our tickets the night before through Cruise Whitsundays, they offer 4 – 5 island transfers daily. The tickets weren’t cheap, costing $234 one way for our family of 5. The option to fly direct is also available from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns but we were already holidaying at the Big 4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort on Airlie Beach. They do have some snacks available to purchase on the boat or why not start your vacay a little earlier and enjoy a champagne 🥂

Pulling into the Hamilton Island Marina instantly makes you feel like you are a million miles away and the first thing you notice is that there are NO cars just lots of families driving around in cute little buggies. The change of pace instantly puts you in holiday mode. The Marina has all the facilities you need, whether you’re visiting for the day, enjoying resort living or parking your boat at the marina dock for a night or two. As you will see on the map, everything is easily accessible once you arrive; showers, toilets, laundry facilities, IGA supermarket, bottle shop, Post Office, ATMs as well as plenty of delicious dine-in or take out options.

 


STAY

As we stepped off the boat, we were greeted by friendly staff and taken directly to our hotel. What an easy transition that was… no taxis, no bookings – this was all included in our accommodation at The Reef View Hotel. Straight away, we felt comfort in seeing the streets filled with families and young kids, we were so excited for the week ahead. Check-in was quick and easy and the reception staff were super helpful with advice on where to go and what to do as first-timers on the island. Our luggage was taken straight to our room and within the hour we were down by the pool eating lunch and enjoying a delicious cocktail 🧉🍸 thank goodness, it had been a long morning!
We stayed 6 nights and paid $371.20 a night for the Reef Family Room in early March, the room configuration was perfect for us. The adjoining, yet separate bedrooms – one master suite with two queen beds, and a junior room with two single beds (which we pushed together) and Ariel in a provided cot next to our bed. The living room was attached to the master suite and provided enough space for the kids to play. Off the master suite, was a large balcony overlooking the beautiful Whitsundays, often alsoshowcasing between 5-15 hangry cockatoos, this was certainly a highlight for the boys!!
TIP 1- As tempting as it is, do not feed the cockatoos.. they will continue to come back with ALL their friends and will make it very hard to enjoy a morning or afternoon on the balcony.
TIP 2- The Resort offers a selection of convenient shopping items (eg. nappies) which you can purchase, as well as free items upon request (eg.pram). These can be ordered in advance so that they’re in your room when you arrive. Once you’ve received confirmation on your booking this option should come up!


PLAY

All guests on the island have access to the three main swimming pools. Dolphin Pool is attached to Sails restaurant (substantially smaller than the others), Main Pool is the largest on the Island with a swim-up bar serving cocktails, mocktails, beer/wine and canned spirits but unfortunately no happy hour 😩 Then there is the Bougainvillea Pool which is by far the most family-friendly option, with its lagoon-style design you’re sure to find families relaxing here. The Bougainvillea is beachside and offers a shallow end with plenty of shady spots to protect the family from the sun. Be sure to wear your sandals, as the concrete gets extremely hot!! All pools are approximately 200m from the resort, offering stunning views and access to the beautiful Catseye Beach.
Reef View hotel also has its own pool, exclusively for hotel guests. We spent most of our time there as it made it a little easier to manage nap time. The pool is located right next to the bar/restaurant which offers poolside service.. a huge positive when travelling with little ones!

CATSEYE BEACH

If you are looking to spend a day on the sand, Catseye beach is only a short walk from most of the Island’s accommodation and is the perfect spot to lay a towel down or make use of one of the sun lounges or hammocks available. The water is generally quite flat and clear, if you’re feeling adventurous you can hire all your Watersport equipment and stinger suits from the little beach shack out the front of the ‘Main Pool’. Stinger suits are suggested from November to May as this is termed ‘high season’ for marine stingers, however, we were there in March and most people enjoyed a splash without a suit.

 


EAT

If the above hasn’t sold you yet, kids eat free when dining with their parents at a large selection of restaurants on Hamilton Island. Depending on which hotel you are staying at, you may also have access to the free buffet breakfast offered at the main hotels. Most mornings we would walk across the road and enjoy the buffet at ‘sails restaurant’ as the view was spectacular and they had a little more variety of fresh fruit and the omelette bar was delicious!!
After a full day of swimming and lots of walking, dinner time was always a lot earlier than back home. We would get dressed up, jump on the free island shuttle, which operates daily between the marina and resort centre, then wander around the marina while we decided where to eat. We favoured one particular restaurant Pizzeria and Gelato Bar as it was very family-friendly, loud and more of a casual style dining. The gourmet pizza was AMAZING and the choice of 30 gelato flavours for dessert was a no brainer, we must have eaten there 3 out of the 6 nights!! Unfortunately, there was no air-conditioning in the restaurant which was tough on the warmer nights but there are plenty of picnic tables out the front by the water as a takeaway option.
Tip- The Herbivore pizza and the cookies and cream Gelato are a must-have!!
Marina Tavern was another great option, with a very laid-back, relaxed and family-friendly feel with generous sized pub-style meals. Both of the above restaurants were very reasonably priced which is always a bonus.


KIDS CLUB

While Hamilton Island has a bunch of family-friendly activities, we wanted to take a few hours of solo mum and dad time to experience the other side of the island, so we decided to book the boys into Clownfish Club. This was the first time we separated during our trip and we figured it was the perfect way to spend the last afternoon of our three week magical family holiday. The club caters for all ages – from 6 weeks to 14 years of age with lots of exciting activities, jumping castle and water play and the boys came home with cute animal faces! it was a HUGE hit and the boys were talking about it for days! We booked in for the half-day- afternoon session from 1.30 pm until 5 pm for $185 ( a little exy I know) but the boys had such a great time that I think we will do a full day next time or a couple of half-day sessions. While the boys were at the club hubby and I hired a buggy and explored the whole Island. Unfortunately, to do this with the kids we would have had to hire two separate buggies. maybe next time! It was magical.. not just the alone time but all the hidden beauty within the island that we hadn’t yet had a chance to discover. We were told by many friends and family that we MUST spend an afternoon at One Tree Hill sipping delicious cocktails and watching the sunset over the Whitsunday Islands. We did, and they were right! What an unforgettable experience and one better suited without the kids to truly appreciate the beautiful hilltop lookout.
I hope this has given you plenty of reason to visit Hamilton Island with the kids because we truly had a magical time. I wouldn’t change a thing from our trip however I think I would like to experience one of the newly renovated, self-contained private island palm bungalows next time we visit. This would still give us access to all resort facilities but would also provide extra space and a kitchenette. The option to prepare some meals would be handy and a potential cost saver.

Thank you for all the incredible memories Hamilton Island, we hope to be back sooner than later!!
The Wannabe Nomads 🌸

If you find any of this helpful or you have any questions please comment below, and if you stay at any of our recommended holiday spots PLEASE tag us @wannabe.nomads we would love to hear all about your family travels!!