Caravan parks aren’t what they use to be. These days the good ones are totally focused towards children and making sure they are happy and well catered for. Most, these days, have a pool and jumping pillow but some go the extra mile. Like Big 4 Park Lane Holiday Parks, there are four in Victoria, Traralgon, Yarra Valley, Bendigo and Shepparton.
Operating in Victoria for over 26 years, the Australian owned and managed parks pride themselves on their outstanding customer service, quality facilities and well-maintained grounds. To be honest those qualities are probably the best qualities to set a caravan park at the top of their competitors.
We have been invited to road test two of the Big 4 Park Lane Holiday Parks and our first stay was at Traralgon, their flagship park and where it all started. We were invited to spend a long weekend there, arriving early evening on the Friday and staying until Sunday.
The Big 4 Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park is pretty impressive on arrival. When you first drive in the first thing you notice is the kids screaming ‘OMG’ from the backseat when they spot the amazing kids play area to the left of the entrance. We stopped at the bright blue reception office and collected our keys to our superior family cabin.
There are a number of different cabins to choose from that accommodate from 2-6 people. The onsite cabins are a rainbow burst of colour with each one painted a bright colour. A kaleidoscope of colour as you look down each row and even in the rainy weather it was a breath of fresh air that put a smile on your face when you looked around.
Following are the cabin types and how many people they accommodate, as you see there is a cabin to suit everyone and every budget:
|Room Type||No of Guests||Bedrooms||Bathrooms|
|Superior Family Cabin||5||2||1|
|Easy Access Cabin||2||1||1|
All cabins come with everything you need for a comfortable stay including, towels and linen, kettle, toaster, cookware, crockery, utensils, iron, ironing board and electric blankets on larger beds. Dogs are welcome in all cabins.
In the centre of the holiday park are powered grass sites for caravan and camping. Some of the sites had some shade from mature trees and it is obvious that the park manager makes an effort to ensure these spots are well maintained and grassy.
There are also ensuite sites for those that prefer their own bathroom near by. I can totally relate to that as the one thing I hate about camping is the middle of the night dash to the toilet that’s a 100m away. The ensuite include a toilet, shower and vanity. They also come with towels for your convenience.
There were quite a lot of extra facilities on offer at this holiday park. I was very impressed with the number of clothes washers there were to use and all machines looked new and were fully functioning. There were at least two bbq areas were guests could cook and they both had shade and cover over them and were sparkling clean.
The camp kitchen was huge and well equipped with microwave, fridge, cook tops, seating and a TV on the wall, the camp kitchen was attached to a games room where the kids could watch tv or play air hockey while you’re preparing dinner.
There was also a small gym attached to the games room that would be handy for any guests that were having a bit of a longer stay. I have never seen a reasonable well equiped gym in a holiday park. This shows that the owners have thought about what facilities people might need if staying longer. The equipment was clean and well maintained.
There were also a parents room, this is great as it had a change table and bath were you could bath toddlers and babies saving you from placing them on the floor of the showers. It was private and tucked away and again clean and well equiped with paper towel and soaps and anything you might need.
There are so many reasons why kids will love this holiday park. First thing the kids will notice is the little kids playground, swimming pool with toddlers splash pool and massive jumping pillow, all covered with shade cloth to ensure our precious cherubs can safely play without getting sunburnt. These are pretty stock standard inclusions at holiday parks these days. However that’s not all, Big 4 Traralgon goes above and beyond.
Following are other activities your kids can experience at Big 4 Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park:
Grab the kids and go hire a couple of go-karts and zoom around the concrete roads of the holiday park. You’ll get some great photos of the rainbow cabins with the kids riding in front on the go-karts. The speed limit in the park is 5kms so its nice and safe for the kids to explore and have fun. My kids had a great time taking it in turns to dink each other around the park.
The Big 4 Traralgon Holiday Park has a full 18 hole mini golf course, its well maintained and in great condition. Each hole is either a par 3 or 4 and the staff will provide a score card to fill out as you go around. Watch out for the wild animals lurking around the course, I’m sure you won’t miss the two resident dinosaurs! Like all things with kids, ours quickly became competitive and the biggest kid taking out the title – yes that would be dad!
Grab a group of kids you’ve just made friends with in the park and your siblings, the more the merrier and hit the laser tag tent. You’ll be fitted by staff with your laser gun and then let loose in a massive tent and run till around just like GI Joe! The tent is not completely dark but with all the walls it does make for a good game of hide and seek laser tag. The tent is outside and has a shelter over the top so the kids don’t cook in there!
My kids were beside themselves with excitement when they saw the ropes course and couldn’t wait to have a crack. There are three levels, 3m beginners, 6m advanced and 9m challenging. From the top of the 9m platform there is a zip line to take you across to another platform which you then zip line back to the lower level. The kids will need to watch a safety video and then will have a practice with a staff member on how to use all the safety hooks and latches. There are two latches, only one opens at a time ensuring the your kid is secured at all times.
Our kids were straight up there and Craig and I had a go on the first day also. Its deceivingly challenging and a decent work out as well. I got to the 6m advanced level and that was enough for me. There was a howling wind which was making it more difficult but I could also see the rain coming in. I was lucky enough to get in just before a big rain shower hit, the rest of them had to get down quick but they still got soaked. The kids had another go the next day and covered every part of the course.
Perfect for a rainy day or for little kids the holiday park also has its very own play centre. The play centre is padded so little kids don’t get hurt. We visited on our first day because it was raining and they kids had a great time running around the play equipment and launching themselves in to the ball pit.
My kids were probably a little old for it and they were in their alone for a good half an hour so I let them go a bit crazy. However when another little girl arrived, they calmed down as the play equipment was perfect for her age. If the weather is average, it is still a great space for the kids to burn off a bit of energy!
Definitely, we were very impressed with the Big 4 Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park. It was a nice little getaway from Melbourne and the city rat race. The drive is only a couple of hours from Melbourne and there is definitely plenty to keep the kids entertained. You could easily visit the park and not have to go anywhere as the kids would be more than happy to explore all the different kids activities that were available to them there.
If you did want to get out and explore the area there is plenty to do, I was keen to explore Tarra Bulga National Park or the scenic historic town of Walhalla, both are not to far from Traralgon. While we only had a long weekend, I could easily have stayed for a week and really got out and about exploring.
We found our cabin more than sufficient, it was clean and I especially liked the double shower in the bathroom! The coloured cabins were really refreshing and added a bit of character. The reception building was like a little shop with great coffee, milk, soft drinks, ice creams, chips and best of all, a few different alcohol options incase you’re feeling like a beer on your balcony!
We are already looking at returning for another weekend as there are a few things I would still like to do in the area. Its an easy drive and the kids were very happy there and we all know, happy kids = happy life!
If you are heading out to Gippsland and looking for somewhere to stay, I highly recommend the Big 4 Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park. Next we road tested the Big 4 Park Lane Yarra Valley Holiday Park and that was different all together.
Sal, Craig & Our3kids
Disclaimer: We had a mutually beneficial arrangement with Park Lane Holiday Parks, however as always my opinion is my own.