Thursday, 7 November 2013

The BIG4 getaway

Let me just tell you what a great weekend we recently had. Living in Victoria has the perk of a long weekend for Melbourne Cup and what could be better than to make time for a short break? You'd do the same, right?

Well, when the BIG4 invited us to bring our family of six to one of their holiday parks, I jumped at the opportunity to head to the BIG4 Anglesea.* Best decision. Ever!

Our 4 wonderful kids have an affinity for the beach, so travelling there along the Great Ocean Road was a treat for us all and I can assure you there was much excitement in the car ... all the way there! Once upon a time we had a beach house around these parts and so this long weekend was also a trip down memory lane - it's great to revisit places which bring wonderful memories, isn't it?

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia - an amazing and breathtaking view!
The BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park was a destination that more than lived up to our expectations for a fantastic weekend. The majority of BIG4 Holiday Parks are operated by franchisees, but collectively they are in the business of revolutionising how families holiday.

It had been a little while since we'd ALL gone away on a family holiday - you know how hard it can be travelling with kids in tow. Often child-friendly places leave the adults wanting more, and those places most appealing to the grown ups can sometimes be kid-unfriendly.

Not with the BIG4 Holiday Parks, no way, there is absolutely something for everyone here and for our family, this impromptu get away was exactly what we all needed! 

Our family of 6 - ahhh, so relaxed!
We were amazed by how many things there were to do and see here over the weekend. All on offer gave us a perfect combination of keeping active and yet relaxed at the same time - perfect for families wanting a few days time out.

The BIG4 Anglesea staff were just fab. Sue (pictured with me below), Jess and John know how to make guests feel welcome. We arrived to broad, beautiful, friendly smiles and the amazing hospitality just did not stop. These guys have energy to burn and are committed to ensuring that all guests have an awesome visit.

Gorgeous Sue welcoming us with her warm smile. Hospitality is key, and there was plenty here!
Our self-contained cabin had 3 bedrooms and was perfect for this family of 6. Note to Santa, please, please bring us a King size bed! We certainly felt like we were weekending 5 star and the kids were super-excited to be getting their own rooms to share. Have a look though at what was waiting for me ... my very own welcome pack with the latest issues of Fitness and Frankie magazine plus a personalised Fitness, Food, Fun and Style itinerary.

Such a thoughtful treat, I was chuffed!

The kids were too, not only from the buzz and excitement of checking in but also anticipating the fun filled activities and attractions that were to come ... 

Welcome to the BIG4 Anglesea cabin, when can we move in?
One of the things we really appreciated about our accommodation was the facilities which allowed us to prepare some healthy meals. Although we did cut lose with some treats - pizza dinner and ice creams - when we travel I still like to pack or buy fresh foods so we don't fall into the junk food trap and come home with holiday-food-remorse.

Typically while we are away, I like to use fresh, raw ingredients and below is the easy breakfast whipped up for kids ready to have a mega-active day! A bit of fresh fruit, a sprinkle of dried fruits, a handful of nuts and eggs for protein and energy! Easy and delicious!

Breakfast fruit salad with eggs soft boiled sunny side up

So many 5 star amenities can be found at the BIG4 park - there are outdoor toilets/showers, laundry facilities, a camp kitchen and even an indoor swimming pool. From experience, I can tell you that when you have 4 kids with wet clothes needing to be dried ASAP the laundromat is gold!

Fully optioned up BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park with all the necessary amenities
The facilities for kids in the kids club are just a-m-a-zing! The combination of outdoor playground activities and indoor kids' club lounge, means there is no excuse for downtime or boredom. There's even a toddler room for the little ones and as you can see below, the playground is a kid's paradise!

Even more is coming though and in December a brand new pool complex complete with water slide, interactive water play and a dive-through waterfall will be opening ready for Christmas!

Our awesome foursome kids (front - Noah and Mietta) (back - Oscar and Zali) loving it!
One of the highlights for our kids was the Grand Prix track around the entire park. Kids can zoom around on their scooters or skateboards safely and even I had a ball out and about on wheels with Miss Zali!

You're never too young to skate or scooter ride. Zali and I racing together. 
We did splurge and experience some restaurant meals throughout our 4 day getaway, but mostly we chose to eat fresh. There were local places to source fresh supplies, making it easy for me to prepare quick salads alongside some meat tossed on the BBQ. 

Just so you can see how easy it is to maintain a fresh lifestyle while travelling with the fam, here's an example of what we had for lunch;

1/2 avocado
Handful of alfalfa and bean sprouts
2 chopped tomatoes 
2 hard boiled eggs 
Drizzle of olive oil & lemon juice 
Salt & Pepper 

Egg and alfalfa salad - easy, delicious and healthy

We loved being close by to a number of amazing tourist attractions. As a family we took the time to enjoy long bush walks, play with the kids at well equipped skate & recreational park areas and of course we were all thrilled to enjoy the area's beautiful wildlife and native animals. 

Loads of kids activities and places to go in Anglesea

In fact, I'm pretty sure that Skippy was happy to hang out with us as well and our kids thought it was better than Christmas having their "own" kangaroo in the backyard. Just look at the view we had from the loungeroom!

Australian wildlife through our lounge room window 
It was easy to lose track of how much time we spent at the playground - there were so many pieces of play equipment and fun things to keep the kids occupied. It was great seeing our 4 kids so confident, comfortable and safe when they wandered the park without adult supervision. It gave them a sense of confidence, independence and freedom and it really was great to watch them grow and develop over the 4 days we were there.

We loved the fact the peace of mind that came with knowing the park was totally kid friendly and a safe place for them to explore. Knowing that the kids were enjoying themselves in a safe environment made it easier for us to relax and enjoy our time away. It was super cute when our kids brought their new little friends to the cabin - happy days. 

Noah, Oscar, Mietta and Zali with Dad
Dinners were easy meals and it was helped by having a super hand outdoor kitchen available to whip up simple meals like this one. For this salad I just cut up:

1 cucumber
1 red capsicum
3 tomatoes
Handful of afalfa & beans sprouts
Mixed green salad
Squeeze of lemons juice & drizzle of
Olive oil.

Super easy, very delicious and a healthy holiday meal!

Fully raw garden salad 

Even on holiday, I aim to squeeze in some time for fitness and the best part about my current Freeletics fitness regime is its portability ... you just have to take your body with you!!! No gym equipment needed so you workout anywhere, anytime with your own body weight.

For more Freeletics FITNESS info click on my Fitness page here on the blog!

Freeletics join me now!!

I completed The Aphrodite program - 5 rounds of burpees, squats and sit ups. Starting at 50 reps and working your way down to 10, I managed to complete this circuit in under 30 minutes. A great kick start to my day, even on a weekend away ;)

So many things to see and do, it's difficult to pinpoint our highlights ... but looking at the photo below, I'm sure you can see that the jumping pillow was a big hit, and not only for the kids ;)

BIG4 Anglesea jumping pillow
The BIG4 Anglesea gave us a great weekend, I'd recommend it to anyone, particularly families with young kids, wanting a happy, safe and well appointed place to holiday. There's accommodation available here for all price ranges, with the park offering camping sites as well as the appointed self contained cabins.

When asked if Oscar would be returning to a BIG4 Holiday park, he said 100%

We'll definitely be back, especially as Oscar has given it his thumbs up recommendation when asked if he'd had a great weekend.

Have you enjoyed time at a BIG4 Holiday Park with your family yet?


Come like their Facebook page here and I'd seriously recommend considering BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park for your next family get away.

*DISCLOSURE: My family and I stayed at the BIG4 Holiday Park Anglesea as guests of the facility. There has been no payment received for this blog post and all opinions are my own and reflect our experience.

xx love and friendship
Dani