Living in Southeast Queensland we are spoilt for beaches and sunshine. But even then, sometimes you need to get away for a night, somewhere the kids can be entertained for a truly fuss-free weekend break.
Thankfully we don’t have to go far! Because, located in Caloundra and within easy reach of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, the Oaks Resort is the perfect blend of kid-friendly activities and parent retreat. And we were lucky enough to take a sneaky peak recently, putting the resort through its kid-friendly paces with our mini testers.
There is stacks to keep the busiest little adventurers busy for a whole weekend within the resort. The main attraction is the water park, situated amongst the lush, landscaped gardens. The 500m2 multi-level water play park is complete with water slides, fountains and plenty of interactive activities to kept the mini-ones entertained for hours. The water park is gated and there are plenty of loungers, tables and chairs within the area – so Mum and Dad can sit back and relax whilst still keeping a close eye on the little ones. There is also a (licensed) kiosk within the gated area so you can get drinks and snacks without having to worry about leaving the area. The waterpark is for children under 12 years old.
Adjacent to the water park is a huge kangaroo jumping pillow, a large climbing frame and 18-hole mini golf course to enjoy.
As well as the water play pool, there is a tropical lagoon pool in the centre of the resort which is overlooked by the bar, so you can enjoy a cocktail if the kids still want to splash a little longer.
The resort is nicely laid out with the blocks all arranged along quiet private roads. There is a range of accommodation choices on offer, from hotel rooms up to 3-bedroom villas. We had a 2-bedroom apartment which was perfect for a family of four. The apartment was beautifully appointed, with flat-screen TV, air conditioning, fully-equipped kitchen, two single beds for the kids and a gorgeous master bed. The apartments are well spaced, so you don’t feel like your kids are disturbing next door when having the usual evening meltdowns about brushing teeth or washing hair.
Overlooking the picture-perfect lotus lake, in the centre of the resort is the Reflections Restaurant and Bar. Offering an appetising menu of fresh innovative flavours as well as traditional favourites, there is plenty on offer for Mum and Dad as well as a straightforward kids’ menu for the little ones. They also have an extensive wood-fired pizza menu which you can have in or takeaway to your apartment. Being set next to the lake and amidst the gardens, the kids had space to explore whilst Mum and Dad enjoy a delicious meal and glass of wine as the sun sets, but keep an eye on smaller kids as the lake isn’t fenced.
The next morning, there is an impressive buffet breakfast on offer with something to suit everyone, with everything from bacon and eggs to fruit, pastries and pancakes.
The Oaks Oasis, Caloundra, was the perfect family-friendly escape for the weekend, and we’ll certainly be back! The kids had a great time and though it’s only a short drive from home we left with the feeling like we’d really had a break. As for the ones that matter, the kids’ verdicts were:
Little Mr. tester (age 9): “The water park was heaps of fun; my favourite was the big slide. And I really loved the mini golf course, I scored better than Mum!”
Little Miss tester (age 5): “I loved the water park. The little slide was really cool, I wasn’t brave enough to try the big slide yet. There are the cutest ducks splashing in the pond next dinner but my favourite thing is that you can get ice-cream right next to the pool and as many pancakes as you want for breakfast.”