Finding suitable accommodation and facilities for Best Aussie Vans is no easy task. With 16 caravans, at least a dozen staff, various manufacturers and their families, and a Masterchef to find space for, not just any caravan park will do.
So the Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park in Anglesea – set on 16ha of parkland, with both ocean and river frontage, and with more than 250 visitor sites (and several hundred more permanent ones) – ticked all our boxes.
Nestled on an impressive headland formed by spectacular cliffs and the vast ocean on one side and a family-friendly beach and Anglesea River inlet on the other, this park has the ultimate prime position in this part of the world.
ANGLESEA BEACHFRONT CARAVAN PARK
The park, which is a member of the Top Tourist Park group, is family run and, despite its size, has a true family feel to it.
It’s clear that kids are king here, with much of the park organised to keep them happy and occupied no matter what time of year you visit.
Facilities include a pool and spa complex with heated (September to April) outdoor pool, heated (all year round) outdoor spa, and an indoor spa as well. While the weather was gloriously sunny and relatively mild for most of our stay, it was still only early October but that didn’t stop kids from filling the pool nearly every day.
There’s also a games room, indoor toddler play room, various playgrounds, a jumping pillow, giant chess board, basketball and volleyball courts, mini golf and pedal go karts to keep kids amused. All facilities are free, or have a nominal cost attached (indoor spa, games room, go karts).
General facilities include two camp kitchens, many electric barbecues dotted throughout the park (which are safe to use on total fire ban days), a gym, internet, meeting room, and heaps of amenities blocks.
While a large portion of the park is filled with permanent on-site vans and cabins, the park manages to retain a strong holiday vibe, making it hugely popular with visiting families.
The Surf Coast Walking Track borders the park on three sides, running beside the inlet and across the top of the cliffs, and there are many access tracks linking into the park. So no matter where your site is, you can be on the beach, the inlet or high above it all on the cliffs within minutes.
Our 16 vans were scattered throughout ‘Gummy Cove’ – a tree-laden, woody camping area at the park’s southern-most point, and along ‘River Esplanade’ – the sites closest to the river inlet. Both were, while very different, beautiful areas and exhibited the range of camping options on offer at the park.
There’s also a range of cabins and cottages, suitable for couples, families or larger groups, and the park now has pet-friendly cabins and campsites (off-season).
We had a large camp kitchen as our base, which was perfect for our head chef Macca and his offsider Lynton (2013 Masterchef Australia runner-up) to whip up daily feasts. Macca, who’s more comfortable cooking over an open fire out in the middle of nowhere, felt thoroughly spoiled with electricity, running water, an oven, sink and cooktop at his disposal. And, boy, did he make the most of it! Not only feeding, but also satisfying, such a large group is no mean feat but our dynamic kitchen duo pulled it off with aplomb.
While most of us would have been perfectly happy with a hot snag and a cold beer at the end of the long days of photographing, filming, driving, and reviewing, Macca and Lynton went several steps further. We feasted on perfect pork belly (even better the second day when we had leftovers for lunch), Macca’s signature lamb shanks in Lynton’s secret sauce, delicious sticky ribs, and that was before the delectable desserts! Think camp doughnuts, apple crumble with caramel sauce, and sticky date pudding, to name just a few.
Yep, it’s safe to say, the Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park suited us just fine.
Getting to Angelsea
Anglesea is located on Victoria’s Surf Coast, off the Great Ocean Road. It is 112km, or just under a 90-minute drive from Melbourne.
- Various caravan park activities for kids – pedal karts, giant chess, jumping pillow, etc.
- Walk the Surf Coast Walking Track from the caravan park.
- Water-based activities at the beach or river inlet, such as swimming and surfing.
- Mountain biking.
- Drive the Great Ocean Road to Lorne or beyond.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #533, January 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!