Do you like to escape to somewhere warmer during winter? Ever consider the RACV Cobram Resort? It has to be the best family friendly resort in Cobram, in my opinion anyway! Here’s why.
Earlier this year we was invited to visit the RACV Cobram Resort, part of the RACV Resorts group, I had looked at it a few times and we have friends that holiday here each Christmas so the decision to snap up the offer wasn’t a hard one!
Located on the Murray River, Cobram is one of what we refer to as a sister town, Cobram on the Victorian side of the border and Barooga on the NSW side. You will often here them referred to as Cobram-Barooga like they are the same place with a whooping big river separating them!
There are a few of these sister towns along the Murray River such as Echuca/Moama, Yarrawonga/Mulwala and Albury/Wodonga. One night even though we are staying in Cobram in Victoria, we went to the Cobram Barooga Golf Club for dinner in New South Wales!! Kind of cool, well the kids thought so anyway!
As it turned out, we were supposed to visit in early February and things just kept popping up, the RACV Cobram Resort was very patient with us and we finally secured a date in May. This actually turned out great because the weather in Melbourne has been very mild until the Friday we headed off so we got to extend our mild autumn by an extra weekend.
Every Melburnian knows the weather is always nicer over the Great Dividing Range and I was happy to leave the rain and gloom behind. The weather is much milder here and I enjoyed the last of the Autumn sunshine up here in northern Victoria.
Anyway enough about me escaping Melbourne’s winter, let me tell you about our stay.
Finding affordable accommodation for 5 people has always been a bug bear for me. I feel that most places only really accommodate the traditional family of 2 adults and 2 kids. I was so happy to check in to a 3 bedroom garden view cabin with 2 queen rooms and a third with a set of bunks. This cabin would accommodate 6 people easily. So nice to be able to make affordable options for larger families a reality.
The Garden View cabins are a couple of years old now but still have that new cabin smell when you first walk in. I love that the ‘kids’ room are at one end of the cabin and the master at the other, divided by the living area.
This means I can put the kids to bed and retreat to my own area with the worry of keeping the kids up at night. The kitchens are neutral in colour, have modern appliances and are very clean and functional.
The living area has enough room for 5 people on the couches and a 6 seat dining table, these seats can be added to the lounge common area and there is plenty of space around the 55 inch flat screen TV. The living area has a wall mounted heating/air conditioning unit that will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer! Got to be happy with that! Even though it wasn’t overly cold during the day, it was definitely toasty in there at night.
It there anything better than a relatively new, modern bathroom?
No there isn’t. I also love that even though its a compact cabin, they have still managed to have a separate toilet from the bathroom. With capacity for 6 people this is very important, it means the toilet can be utilised while others are in the bathroom. Only a mother of a larger family will truly appreciate that thoughtfulness in the design of the cabins!
RACV Cobram Resort is expanding and currently has capacity for 70 caravan sites and 60 cabins, there are 8 ensuite sites for the caravans. Right behind our cabin is the new expansion area that will house another 30 cabins by Christmas. That’s only 6 months away, by Christmas, the peak season there will be 90 cabins available for rent at this amazing resort. They might have their peak season at Christmas however their tenancy rates are fairly steady year round.
The Lakeview Cabins are located facing the lake (ironically) with a balcony and are surrounded by trees that change colour in autumn. It was a really nice time to be there as the leaves were all orange and yellow and had started dropping.
The lakeview cabins are all 2 bedroom which at first I scoffed at, as a larger family I feel that we are so often not catered for. However, after speaking with the resort manager he informed me that although they are 2 bedroom, they can still accommodate 6 people. The master bedroom has a queen bed and the second bedroom has 2 singles which can get pushed together to make a king bed and a set of single bed bunks.
I still prefer a 3 bedroom cabin because my kids are getting older now and need their own space but when they were little this would have been perfect. Also a great option if the 3 bedrooms are out of your budget, at least this way you can still enjoy a holiday at a much more affordable price. Win/win I say!
The Park Cabins have 2 bedrooms and sleep 4 people, the master has a queen bed and the second bedroom has a double bed option or single bunk bed option. Perfect if you have 2 kids but also great for 2 sets of couples that are cutting down on costs. If you have 2 kids you probably don’t want to pay for the larger lakeview cabin so this would be perfect.
What I loved about the cabins is that they are very well spaced out and you don’t feel like you are all on top of each other and your neighbours can hear you sneeze. The cabins are set out in courts or cul-de-sacs with 6 or 7 in each court. They have separate driveways and plenty of grass area around the cabins. They planted a heap of trees but unfortunately they had such a hot summer they lost quite a number of them. Gary, the resort manager, was planting new ones while we were there so by Summer they should at least be established and in a better position to last the season.
The standard cabins are the perfect budget option for families, they sleep 4 people and consist of a queen bed in the master and a set of single bunk beds in the 2nd bedroom. The rooms and the living areas are much smaller but if you aren’t planning on spending to much time in the rooms you could make this work well. The living area and dining is combined and are really quite small but functional all the same, if it were summer and you were hardly inside the cabin this isn’t a bad option.
All cabins have split systems which work fantastic for air conditioning in summer and heating in winter. Leave all the internal doors open and the system will regulate the temperature in every room. The bathrooms are modern and clean in all cabins and I love the neutral colour theme throughout. We had enough hot water for all of us and considering my kids don’t take short showers I was pretty impressed with that. I consider these standard cabins to be the best affordable accommodation in Cobram.
The RACV Cobram Resort has 70 caravan and camping sites, the sites are by far the largest and most well designed sites I have ever seen. There is nothing worse than a pokey small camp site with no grass, these sites all have a concrete slab for the van, a nice green grass area for the annex with a good deal of space between the van and a dedicated car spot for each site. You definitely won’t be sitting on top of the people at the next site!
There are also 8 sites with an ensuite so if you’re the type that can’t make it all the way to the loo in the morning these sites are perfect for you. You will have your very own bathroom attached to your site for your own personal space. Some people love caravanning and camping but just aren’t that keen on sharing a bathroom and the midnight dash to use the bathroom so these sites would be perfect for you.
Now if all these options aren’t enough for you there are even apartments located at the RACV Cobram Resort. Each apartment has 2 bedrooms, master with queen bed and the second with two single beds, there is also an option for two rollaway beds for a total capacity for 6 people.
The apartments also have a bathroom, laundry, kitchen and lounge, they are fully self contained with a carport for your vehicle. You can enjoy the verandah with outdoor setting for your morning coffee. If you’re lucky you might even have a kangaroo grazing on the grass outside your apartment.
As far as holiday resorts go, RACV Cobram Resort accommodates families well, they appear to have families front and foremost in all that they have introduced recently to basically keep our kids entertained and happy. We all know, happy kids equals happy mum!
So what have the kids been up to during our stay?
As our stay was during Autumn, we didn’t get to utilise the sprawling outdoor resort style pool. Aimed at kids with a waterfall and soft play area for the little ones, the fountain will definitely keep the kids happy and playing during those hot summer months.
Swimming isn’t just a summer sport though and I love that the RACV Cobram Resort also has an indoor pool that is heated to 29 degrees and good for swimming all year round. In fact, that’s where my kids are now, with Craig while I’m writing up this post! The indoor pool is a 25m lap pool which is good for fun and good for laps.
You know a resort has gone above and beyond when there isn’t just one playground but two! The main one in the sports and fun precinct and one up here where our cabin is. That’s so great because my kids are old enough to go to the park by themselves but I really wouldn’t want them to be too far away from me.
I can walk to the end of our court and the park is right there. Its nice to relax knowing they aren’t that far away and it also instills some responsibly in them. Both parks are perfect for kids of all ages, some low activities for young kids and more challenging higher activities for the older kids.
I was pretty impressed when the kids told me there was a BMX track at the park, it was over the back in the new area behind the playground. You can hire bikes with helmets from the reception if you can’t take the kids bikes with you. We often do take the kids bikes but we didn’t this time so the bikes at reception came in handy.
I can imagine the BMX track would be really busy at Christmas time with all the kids racing each other around the track. There is plenty of space out the back there and they wouldn’t hurt anything except themselves! Kids will be kids!
Its not really a holiday park without a jumping pillow is it? My kids love a good jumping pillow and the best things about the one at the RACV Cobram Resort is that it has shade sails over it. This is important for two reasons, firstly the summers are pretty hot up there so that will keep the sun off them but secondly those jumping pillows pretty much bake in the sun and the kids jump on with no shoes on and burn their feet. I did notice both the playgrounds also had shade sails covering them as well.
Craig and I have an ongoing rivalry about tennis, I’m not a bad player and he thinks he can beat me! Pfft! The have two tennis courts and both are well kept. They were pretty much in use most of the weekend apart from when I took this photo! You can hire rackets and balls from reception if you forget to take your own.
They can’t help you if you forget your sneakers like Craig does all the time….!
The basketball court was more of a half court but perfect for shooting hoops. Get the kids out for a shooting competition and run the energy out of them. No doubt at Christmas time there will be at least a full basketball team of kids that would be able to play together.
Now if all that isn’t enough, you can have a crack at the cricket nets, you would need to be a bit careful there as the net looked a bit short! Last thing you need is a cricket ball hit halfway across the park!
The go karts were a big hit with the kids, you hire the go karts and helmets from reception and off they go. My kids took them out to the new area and drove them like they were stolen! I could see them racing each other around the empty roads and going hell for leather!
Of course on the way back to the reception to drop them off Caelan hit the boom gates with his helmet and the back of the go kart! All while I was having coffee with the resort manager! Kids hey, I was so embarrassed but Caelan was fine so I suppose that’s the main thing and he didn’t break anything.
Next to the BMX track and the playground is a soccer field with goals and all. My kids were out there kicking a footy within 15 mins of arriving. They checked out the cabin and then straight out for a kick of the footy. This is a great space for keeping the kids busy, surely there’s pretty much something for every kid’s interest!
There was even a volleyball court nestled amongst the autumn trees, I suspect it could be used for badminton as well and I even saw some grey nomads out there playing a game of bocce on the grass. Now that’s multi purpose! The lawn was very green and lush as well and with all the autumn leaves falling off the trees it was a really pretty area of the resort.
The kids were kept so busy during our stay at the RACV Cobram Resort, there wasn’t a dull moment! My kids are at the perfect age now, I can let them go and be assured they are having fun at the resort and enjoying all the amazing activities designed to keep the kids entertained. Alannah is old enough to have some responsibility and take the little ones on little adventures and I know my kids are responsible enough to behave appropriately given a little freedom.
However, I do not allow them to go to the pool unattended. The reason for this is not because I don’t trust them but even the strongest swimmers sometimes get into trouble. We all know how quickly things can go wrong at the pool and I would never forgive myself if I wasn’t there if something happened. Other than that, I was happy for the kids to get out and about and they pretty much road tested every activity on offer.
I could just imagine during the peak periods with the park full, the kids would go off and find new friends their own age and have so much fun at this resort. I grew up going on a yearly holiday to Queenscliff in a caravan park and I have the fondest memories of having fun with all the kids and coming home when hungry or at my 10pm curfew. They were the best days!
We were so lucky to have the team at the RACV Cobram Resort organise some amazing activities to keep us even more entertained! Where did we have time you ask! Following are some of the places we also got to experience over the weekend that I can highly recommend are worth a visit.
In Australia we like things ‘big’, from the big banana, big koala, big prawn and big merino so I was happy to see the Big Strawberry was just down the road from the RACV Cobram Resort. How many things do you think you can make with strawberries? I was totally blown away when we dropped in for afternoon tea, Craig and I tucked straight into the strawberry cheesecake. The kids surprised me and opted for the ice cream counter!
It didn’t stop there though, Craig road tested the strawberry wine, strawberry port, strawberry creme and the strawberry liqueur! There were pickled strawberries, strawberry jam, strawberry topping, strawberry sauce, strawberry nearly everything you can think of and the kids of course road tested the strawberry lollies. We never leave empty handed so we purchased blueberry liqueur and strawberry port and a few jars of lollies for the kids!
Now this is a fantastic family friendly place to explore, the kids spotted the playground area and went straight to the life size chess board. Like who plays chess?? That went well until dad started to help Keira and then they started fighting! Life with 3 kids! There is a cubby house and slide for little kids to play and a grass volleyball/badminton court that was a hit with the adults. The farm animals were lots of fun too, our little city slickers had a great time feeding the lambs and chickens.
We stopped for lunch, Alannah and I had a delicious homemade chicken and veggie soup with a dollop of feta in the middle, Craig had pea, ham and cumin soup which he said was great. The little ones had kiddy packs with a savoury roll, jelly cup, fruit juice and some toys to keep them busy while we ate. They loved it.
We explored all the olive oil produce in the shop, they had a huge variety of flavoured olive oils, salad dressing, jams, spreads, beauty products and so much more. All made from local produce, as per usual we never leave empty handed and we bought home a rosemary and garlic meat rub which I put to good use on a roasted leg of lamb the day after we got home and it was delightful! Somewhere along the line Caelan developed a love of quince paste so we bought a jar of persimmon and quince jam for him to have on his toast in the morning.
Created by a tight bend in the mighty Murray River, Quinns Island is used by many of the locals for walks or bike rides and Gary, the Resort Manager, suggested we should head down there to try and spot some koalas in the gum trees. We did the 4km walk on our first night and we had a competition to see who could spot the most. We ended up splitting into two groups, kids against the adults. The kids won 6-5 so a total of 11 cute, cuddly koalas were spotted.
I was so looking forward to having dinner at the Cobram Barooga Golf Club, Craig has been there a few times on golf trips with the boys and said they serve a good meal. Like always I chose the eye fillet and the steak was tender and perfectly cooked and I thoroughly enjoyed my steamed potato and side of greens. Craig ordered pork belly and when he saw mine he thought he was going to have food envy! He ended up very happy with his choice and it was superbly cooked. The kids are per usual had nuggets and chips and Alannah had arancini balls which was something new for her. They all had dessert for a change as well. I certainly didn’t need dessert, my steak was plenty enough for me!
Watch out for the roos when you leave though, they are likely to be sitting right in the middle of the road. I had to slow down to 10kms to pass about 8 or so kangaroos sitting right on the edge of the road. Great to see but you need to be careful of them.
Definitely, RACV is perfect for families particularly for larger families like mine. I loved that I could let the kids explore and know they would be safe and have fun. Having all the different options means there are affordable options for every budget and every family. I can imagine some families wouldn’t even have to leave the resort as there’s so many family friendly activities to suit kids of all ages.
Gary the resort manager has been at the resort for 18 years and some of the staff have been there a total of 30 years. A great boss is supported by happy and engaged staff and I can honestly say all the staff I interacted with were very happy to be there. They are a great team and the place runs like a well oiled machine. Gary was up every morning greeting guests and helping cook breakfast, which includes pancakes on Sunday’s for a gold coin donation. Soon after breakfast he’s out and about planting new shrubs which will hopefully be big enough to withstand the next hot summer.
I can’t recommend the RACV Cobram Resort more highly, we loved our stay and hope that we get back to the area soon to explore and of course eat more of the amazing local produce.
Sal, Craig & Our3kids.
Disclaimer: We were guests at the RACV Cobram Resort, however our opinion as always is our own. Thanks for having us.