Caravan holiday ideas without the towing
To see me lounging back in my foldable chair, enjoying the breeze skimming off Tallebudgera Creek, you would be forgiven for thinking I was camping.
Well technically I am, except for two things. I didn’t have to pack a car load of shelter, bedding and supplies to meet the needs of my family and I sure haven’t worked up a sweat setting up a tent. In fact, I’m relaxing under the awning of a caravan, booked and set up through the peer-to-peer caravan renting website MyCaravan.
Yes, following the rise of Airbnb and Uber, the shared economy has pulled up at caravan parks across the country.
MyCaravan allows caravan owners to rent out their vans and camper trailers when they’re not being used, giving families like mine a chance to experience Australian caravan holidays previously reserved for those lucky enough to own a van.
Families have the option of hiring a caravan to tow to wherever their hearts desire, or for those who have a particular spot in mind (as we did), vans can be delivered to your caravan park of choice.
For a small fee the caravan owner will have the van set up for you and ready to enjoy as soon as you arrive. This is why after arriving at the Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park on Queensland’s Gold Coast, my family and I were settled in and relaxing within fifteen minutes. This is just one of the many Caravan holiday ideas and options on offer from MyCaravan.
After enjoying the evening breeze, it’s time to snuggle down for the night. Our van boasts a double bed and a dining table that converts to another double bed for the kids. After we make some simple changes to the configuration, everyone is comfy, cosy and finally asleep.
The following morning we’re woken by a cacophony of bird song. The scent of sea spray is quickly replaced with the aroma of sizzling bacon and eggs. Our caravan contains a kitchen stocked with all the pans and utensils we could possibly need to cook up our breaky feast, which we dig into while admiring the water views.
With MyCaravan, you can take your pick of Australia’s best and most beautiful holiday destinations. Our caravan site is superb as it overlooks the stunning Tallebudgera Estuary.
Following breakfast, a short stroll sees us pass by many stand-up paddle boarders and canoeists. We follow the path that hugs the tourist park and within five minutes we hit the expansive squeaky white sands of Tallebudgera Beach, where we spend a couple of hours swimming and lazing in the sun.
After filling up on a chicken parmigiana for lunch at the Talle Surf Club, we head over the bridge for a short trek along the ocean-view walk through the Burleigh Heads National Park. This path takes us along the picturesque coastline up to the southern edge of Burleigh Heads.
Heading back, we follow the rainforest circuit, with a break at the Tumgun Lookout to take in the view. By the time we return to the tourist park we’re all ready for a swim, and the kids make the most of the park’s waterslides.
In the evening we decide to check out the Miami Marketta, a new laneway precinct serving up authentic international street food.
As well as being home to Ciccio Pizza, (the best wood-fired pizza I’ve ever had), the Marketta comes alive every Friday and Saturday night with a fantastic line up of food stalls, live music, a wine and cocktail bar and a dedicated dessert hall for the sweet tooth.
It’s in the dessert hall that we load up on sticky date puddings injected with caramel sauce, before heading back to our caravan.
As it turns out, a big dose of sugar is exactly what we need to face a late night of board games, played, of course, under the stars. Finally we’re under our blankets and chatting about life and school.
Our weekend in a caravan has definitely been a different experience. The biggest benefit is the quality time you get to spend with your family. And after all, that’s what family holidays are all about.
Marianne travelled as a guest of MyCaravan.
Additional images: Bigstock
About the writer
Marianne Diaz is a research scientist by day and a freelance travel writer by night! She’s travelled to Sri Lanka to explore her children’s part-heritage and embarked on nerd-travel – travel for research to Japan, Bloomington, Chicago and Boston in the U.S. Her main aim is to get to the Italian Aeolian Islands one day with her whole family to check out the other half of her kids’ heritage (and her own). Marianne’s favourite travel love is exploring history-laden country towns, and the unique and intriguing landscapes of Australia. She believes there really is no place like home.