21 Jun 2019

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a major travel movement happening at the moment… Couples, families and mates are jumping on the #vanlife bandwagon, switching the desk and the 9-5 grind for life on the road, and setting the nav-system to ‘explore’ in pursuit of an all-Aussie adventure.

Road-tripping tribes are carving out their own travel niche, and with no set timeline and endless opportunities to roam, these modern nomads are living it up in some of the country’s most picturesque locations.

Unsurprisingly, the Gold Coast is a hot spot for these van-life and caravan and camping enthusiasts, and we’ve got our fair share of epic tourist parks to choose from when it comes to an awesome home base. So if you and your own tribe are planning your road-trip adventures and are looking to stop in at the Gold Coast along the way, consider adding these top tourist parks to your travel itinerary.


The northern end of our hood seriously delivers the feel-good holiday vibes, and its tourist park offering is no exception. Sitting pretty in the heart of Southport and overlooking the calm, expansive stretch of water that is known as the Broadwater, the aptly named Broadwater Tourist Park is a frontrunner in the Gold Coast tourist park accommodation stakes. And here’s why…

Boasting an absolute waterfront position, this piece of prime real estate seamlessly connects guests with the sand and sea, so be sure to throw in the swimmers and blow up flotation device if your idea of a vay-cay involves lazy days in the sun.

When it comes to booking a ‘room with a view’, you’re spoiled for choice – live large in one of 28 waterfront, water-view, pool view and garden view villas, or if you’d prefer to BYO van or tent, there are over 200 sites in total to select from. Prices start from just $48 per night* for a powered grass site.

Stellar leisure facilities are aplenty, too, with it’s very own boat ramp (perfect for boaties), two sparkling swimming pools, a tennis court, bouncing pillow and playground. Australia Fair is also just across the road, so stock up on all your grocery essentials and make use of the onsite cooking facilities and throw a shrimp (or a snag) on the barbie.

You’re also in easy reach of our fabulous theme parks, so if you are looking for ways to fill your days, a trip to Dreamworld, Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild or the newly opened Topgolf is a no brainer. Oh, and in case we haven’t already convinced you that this place is top notch, the Broadwater Tourist Park is also a firm favourite on the coveted, annual Holidays with Kids Readers Choice Awards – making the list over and over again.


The Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park is an institution ‘round here – a destination that families flock to year-round. Offering unpowered and powered sites and ensuites, right through to cabins, spacious villas and an onsite motel, this sprawling 16-acre, riverfront hot spot has every type of accommodation need covered. The park’s premises and cabins are even pet-friendly, with doggy dare care kennels also available (for the day trips your pooch can’t come on with you), so skip out on the dog-sitter and bring your furry friend along for the ride too.

The Big4 is home to a massive water slide, shaded cabanas, oversize day beds, a lagoon pool (heated year-round to a balmy 28 degrees), floodlit tennis court and some awesome kid-friendly attractions – we’re talking an onsite BMX track, so don’t forget your two wheeler! Parents will relish the onsite a café serving up barista-made coffee on the daily, and for those not wanting the laundry pile to stack up while away, the Park offers a sizeable laundry with plenty of washing machines and dryers available for guests to use (or not…).

If theme parks are on your Gold Coast bucket list, this place is also a winning location to set up camp, with the likes of Movie World and Wet’n’Wild just over a kilometre away. It’s also just minutes from the latest outdoor dining hub and Australia’s largest outlet shopping destination, Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre, so if you’re keen to bag a bargain, hop on the free tourist shuttle and give your wallet a workout.

Rates start from just $38* per night for a Mini Campervan Powered Site.


We know the words ‘affordable’ and ‘beachfront real estate’ are a total oxymoron, but that’s exactly what holidaymakers are in for when they book into Ocean Beach Tourist Park on the central Gold Coast. Located in the cool beachside suburb of Miami, this place may be smaller than many of our other tourist parks (home to 55 sites and a handful of villas), but boy does it make up for it with location, location, location. Watch the sun rise over the ocean, the surfers paddle out for an early wave, and the joggers pounding the pavement, all from your private villa balcony.

Stretch the legs with a walk up the popular Miami Headland (the views are to die for), pop next door to neighbourhood café Piccolo for breaky and a cuppa, or ride along the Esplanade until you get to Nobby’s Beach – it’s here you’ll find an incredible line up of casual and fancier restaurants, teeming burger and juice bars, pubs, a deli, whisky bar, chemist, hair salon, florist and butcher.

Starting from as little as $48* for a powered site, if a peaceful, more intimate setting is what you’re chasing, this place ticks all the boxes, plus you’ll enjoy a number of onsite conveniences, such as barbeques, laundry block, kiosk and free wifi.


This southern gem is an all round crowd pleaser, and it’s not difficult to see why. Kirra Beach is easily one of the Coast’s most iconic stretches of beach – it’s laidback, easy-living at its best and offers swimmers, surfers and sun-lovers the chance to get salty and experience a relaxed holiday charm that will have you switching off and into ‘out of office’ mode in no time.

An easy 300m stroll from Kirra Beach is the popular Kirra Beach Tourist Park – this little beauty offers travellers over 180 powered and unpowered sites, starting from $37* per night, plus river-facing villas, and single and queen bed lodges. Plus, it’s pooch-friendly (in most cases, so check with the team prior to check in.)

Fire up the communal barbeques, cool off in the saltwater swimming pool, round up the fam for a game of footy, or try your luck and throw in a line. For a change of scene, head into town for a feed at the iconic Coolangatta Surf Club, wander the strip of boutiques and cafes in Kirra or treat yo’self to a scoop of arguably the best gelato on the Coast, Messina.

We’ll see you soon! – The official city guide for Australia’s favourite playground.

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Lauren Falchi
Lauren Falchi

When she’s not working on PR, social media or travel writing for clients, you’ll find Miami local Lauren Falchi with her nose to the ground looking for newcomers to the city’s food and culture scene. Born and bred right here on the Coast, Lauren’s got years of local tips tucked up her sleeves, from where to find the best smashed-avo, to top swimming spots and hidden gems.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.