If you’re a parent, you will know the feeling of groundhog day. It starts with lunchboxes, then there’s the school gate, work, back to the school gate and some homework.

Then you eat, wash, sleep and repeat. You might sprinkle a little bit of extra-curricular ballet or soccer into the mix but that Groundhog Day is a cheeky beast – you don’t always know you’re suffering from it until it sneaks up and taps you on the aching shoulder. It’s at this point that you realise you desperately need a family break. And here’s where you’ll find just that…

Paradise Resort at Surfers Paradise is self- proclaimed as “Heaven for kids, a paradise for parents” and when our family visited, boy, did the kids think it lived up to exactly that. This place is like a cruise ship on land – minus the cruise ship price. For those wanting a one-stop-shop, this is it. And for those others who like to explore, you will also find a great base here.

From the moment we were welcomed at the front desk and given our map of the resort by staff who were genuinely happy campers (and we found many of these happy-camper staff members during our staycation), we knew this place was dripping with fun. The accommodation is divided up into four sections – each named after a Paradise Resort character. Our room was located in the “Captain’s Quarters” with a pirate gecko our guiding beacon throughout our weekend. Cleo’s Castle, Dusty’s Digs and Astro’s Alley are the other three wings of this resort, together forming a border around the central kids’ fun zone. And ‘fun’ might be an understatement. Think twin waterparks, lagoon pool, spa, playground and Adventureland, jungle gym, ice skating rink, virtual reality rollercoaster, dunk tank, stage, trampoline, giant chessboard, rock climbing and more!

Even though we visited during winter, for my two kids, the Paradise Resort aqua play attractions were what understandably grabbed their attention. With separate waterparks for under-fives and over fives, the large Z4K water park offered my 10- and 13-year-old water babies three storeys of slides, climbing structures, water cannons and splishy-splashy adventure. I’m a firm believer that you can judge a water park by the size of its tipping bucket and the shrieks of laughter that come straight after said bucket tips. At 600L, Paradise Resort’s mega bucket was a hands-down winner! Hubby and I found some sunny pool lounges and bid our children good luck and the waterpark captured their complete attention for the time it took me to top up my vitamin D intake and read a full edition of Home Beautiful magazine. Bliss!

In fact, that’s what’s so great about Paradise Resort. When your family’s batteries need recharging, for the parents that generally looks like peace and quiet and even some couple’s bonding time. But for the kids, well, they just want to find fun and adventure. And this place caters perfectly for both. There are extensive and ever-changing daily activities and entertainment program for the kids offering everything from slime-making and cupcake-decorating workshops, to plaster art and sand art, magic shows, fancy dress parades and movie nights. And, of course, there’s the wonderful Zone 4 Kids Club which is its own mini fun park for the littlies. But, equally, for the adults, Paradise Resort has your best interests covered too. With most accommodation packages including Kids Club entry, there’s a prime opportunity for you to indulge in something on the ‘Zone 4 Adults’ program – you could learn to mix cocktails or cook a chef-inspired meal, enjoy your fill of wine and cheese, or even sing karaoke! All in the company of other adults. How about that?!

And when all the activities have your entire crew hungry, eating here at Paradise Resort is convenient and completely family-friendly. The Bistro offers breakfast and dinner menus. They really ‘get’ kids here – they will bring out the kids’ meals first without asking (because they know hungry kids have #nopatience), the costumed staff are happy to offer extra winks and smiles at the smallest diners and Popeye cartoons play in the background. The mural on the Bistro wall says it all: “Some of the best conversations are had with family over a meal”. Spot on. For a casual bite instead – at breakfast, lunch or dinner – the Poolside Café & Bar is where you’ll be able to top up the fuel tanks.

While you have everything you would ever need for your recharging staycation right here within the grounds of Paradise Resort, the bright lights and adventure of Surfers Paradise are walking distance from your accommodation. White sand, surf beaches and wide esplanade paths make for a great Saturday afternoon sunset walk. Throw in your skateboards, like we did, and add pre-dinner ice cream to the mix (#becauseholidays) and you know you’ve got your family staycation sorted. Batteries officially recharged.


Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.