Tourist in My Town: Rediscovering Hastings Point and the mother of all waterparks

Known as a hotspot for coastal biodiversity and less than an hour from Surfers Paradise, Hastings Point is a much-loved destination for Gold Coast day-trippers and visiting holiday-makers alike.

Most Gold Coasters would only make a day-trip to Hastings Point but there’s plenty of reasons to stay for the weekend, not least of which is being front and centre for one of the best sunrises from the headland.

Right before the school holiday squeeze I did just that with my 3yo son and 83yo dad in tow. Normally wilderness campers, we choose Big 4 North Star for this short stay for a few reasons. Dad needed a real bed. I needed a real break. And my son, apparently needed a waterslide. Which is where we spent a great part of the three days we were there.

Sammy’s Adventure Lagoon is a $1.3 million waterpark with slides, pools and shooting jets of water. It’s a very obvious hint that this caravan park is a haven for families. As well as the waterpark, there’s a fully supervised (and free) kids’ club, modern playground, weekend film screenings and a marine information centre.

For adults there’s an onsite coffee van and café as well as a leisure centre (for over 16s only) with three spas, a 25m lap pool and sauna.

We stayed in a two-level villa right at the edge of the waterpark. Naps were a nightmare as the waterslides were literally a stone’s throw away. The villa itself was big enough for two families to stay in. One room had four bunks! Three bathrooms. Two kitchens. Massive deck. Three TVs. You get the picture. I already said this place was designed for families and I was not joking.

Villas aren’t your only option here though, with everything from tent spots through to slabs for your caravan and annex, traditional van park cabins and even apartments.

And if the thought of being tied to a waterpark all weekend isn’t appealing, fear not. The estuary at Cudgera Creek is just one block away and it’s a veritable seaside delight. The creek is warm (depending on which way the tide is flowing) with plenty of rocks and fish for exploring. The beaches to the north and south of the headland are sweet for surfing and SUPping and the tides running through the creek allow you to float upstream or downstream on your li-lo of choice.

Chinderah, Kingscliff, Pottsville and Cabarita Beaches are just a short drive away. Fishing, boating, beach adventures and exploring neighbouring coastal villages will keep you busy, as will whale-watching, weekend markets and modern cafes with plenty of local produce on the menu.

Then again, there’s always the kids’ club and three adult-only spas to choose from.

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Hastings Point is 50km south of Surfers Paradise, but really a world away. I stayed as a guest of Big4 North Star where tent sites start at $45 a night and cabins from $115 a night.


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