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A pretty Big4 Holiday Park in a pretty village…
After a spontaneous decision to take a road trip from Adelaide to the Great Ocean Road (and back) over 48 hours, Big4 Port Fairy Holiday Park was an ideal overnighter for us during this road trip.
At the end (or start if coming from Adelaide) of the Great Ocean Road, Port Fairy is a beautiful fishing village, taking pride in its historical port character. It feels as though it has been frozen in time, and even though it’s not officially on the Great Ocean Road, it’s a popular holiday resort for those taking this famous road trip.
As the winter weather forecast suggested rain during our trip, we decided to book accommodation instead of getting wet with all the camping gear. If we’d allowed more time to plan, we would have looked at alternatives, but as there was a Big4 Holiday Park nearby, we decided to stay here whilst we had a look around.
It was literally just a bed for the night, so we booked a budget cabin – the one-bedroom cottages, called ‘Gull‘. They call them ‘cottages’, but they look more like cabins to me! The surprising thing was that when doing a quick price comparison, Booking.com still came out cheaper than using our Big4 Loyalty Card! So guess who we booked with!
We arrived around 9 pm, grabbed the details from the late check-in area and took 5 minutes to work out the boom gate needed a # pressed after the code! We must have been tired after that drive!
The Big4 Port Fairy Holiday Park is on the west coast of the state of Victoria and is clearly visible and signposted from the Princes Highway, at the Eastern end of the village. From Melbourne, it is just over 3 and a half hours drive, or 6 hours drive if you are travelling the Great Ocean Road. From Adelaide, it is just over 6 hours drive.
Just a 3-minute drive from the park and you are in the centre of Port Fairy. The beach is just 2km and is a gorgeous place to spend the day relaxing and enjoying the stunning views of the coastline.
The cabin at this Port Fairy Caravan Park was an ideal size for what we needed. Any more than 2 nights though and I think we may have struggled. Unfortunately, because it had been raining and the car was parked on the grass, with no internal doormat, we soon got the floor inside pretty wet and dirty. The queen size bed was in the living area part of the cabin, so walking through this for the rest of the night wasn’t overly pleasant.
The kitchen had everything you would want with a 4 gas stove burner, microwave, kettle, toaster, fridge and all the utensils and kitchenware necessary.
The bedroom was made up of 2 bunk beds, both of which were unmade ($15 each for linen to be hired). It was light and airy, with a couple of small wardrobes and would have been good for kids.
The bathroom was small, but again, fine for a quick shower before we hit the road in the morning. The only thing we did notice, and this isn’t at all bad considering the age of the cabin, is that the corners in places were starting to build up with excess dirt.
The decor looked like a blast from the ’70s! Wooden panelling is definitely a feature in many of the cabins on-site, with the floral patterns to go with it. If you are looking for something a bit more modern, check out their Albatross or Kingfisher 2 bedroom cottages, or the studio apartment in the Shearwater building that all look like they’ve had a modern refurbishment.
The air con unit worked well for some heat and it wasn’t long before we warmed up. Although we didn’t use the bunk bed bedroom, this may have been difficult to heat up with only 1 heater in the main part of the cabin.
We went for a wander around the park and found an electric heater in the camp kitchen. It took a while to warm up, but the ambience of the flames meant we stayed there for an hour or so, chatting about our adventures for the next couple of days.
Back in the cabin, the queen size bed was hard but comfortable and gave us a good nights rest after a long drive. It was a little close to the wall so it was interesting getting out – half-face against the window whilst trying not to fall backwards onto the bed!
With the sun coming out, we went exploring more around the park. It is very well equipped for kids. A little on the smaller side, especially for a Big4, but a good size for a village of this size.
There are plenty of cabins around the parameter of the park, with several shaded powered sites, including ensuite powered sites. There are no unpowered sites within this caravan park.
The camp kitchen is large and could easily fit a few families at the same time. With bench-style seating, there was also a large fridge, freezer, TV and book swap shelf. It was a clean and tidy area that is well looked after.
There was also a smaller outdoor BBQ area to the side of the swimming pool that was clean, but considering there are no pets are allowed on site, it baffled us as to why there was dog poo lying around this area. Not a pleasant thing you want to see, and it was a shame it had been left there.
The amenities areas were clean and well maintained, with laundry facilities available (charges apply).
As it was the middle of winter and schools had just gone back, the park was quiet with only a handful of others staying at the time.
If we’d had more time (and bought stuff to swim in!), the pool looked very inviting to go for a dunk. It was so cold outside, there was steam coming off the water! It was a good size for playing or swimming in, with a toddler pool just to the side.
The pool area was clean and there are changing facilities just outside. Sara had to relax my screwed up face when I saw, what looked like a cleaning filter hanging for the ceiling, to tell me it was a filter to catch leaves from the rainwater pipe falling into the pool. I’d never seen one before!
The outdoor mini-golf course looked like fun, but again, we were fighting time to hit the road again. There is also a giant jumping pillow, tennis court, basketball rings, a pump track (like a skateboard ramp), a games room and a TV room.
The TV room is located in the Shearwater Room but was locked when we had a look, despite it being within the opening hours.
If I was 20 years younger, I would have jumped straight into the outdoor playground area! And the Monkey & Mermaids Indoor Playland would have kept me entertained for hours (if I was under 6 years old which is the age restriction!).
We couldn’t work out why there were signs for bikes, pedal go-karts, etc. when there were none around. Until we realised they were all inside the reception area! There were several different ones to choose from to hire.
In the reception, there was also a range of everyday essentials to buy, a few snacks, a DVD library to borrow from (DVD players in each cabin, charges apply to borrow) and lots of information about the local area.
The reception team were friendly and wanted to know how our stay was. The check out process was quick and easy as we’d already paid online – we just needed to hand the key back. We didn’t really come into contact with anyone else in the park, so is difficult for us to comment on the overall service. The cute bag of lollies to take away was a thoughtful touch before we hit the road again.
Out of 10, we would score this park a 7/10. It is looking a little tired, but a new, shiny, modern campground would probably look out of place in such a pretty, historical village. There are a number of caravan parks in Port Fairy, all with varying standards and appeal.
This Port Fairy Caravan Park park has excellent reviews, especially from those travelling with kids. It is also popular for couples travelling so it really is a park that suits many needs. Although, not having unpowered sites and a no pet policy will naturally deter a few travellers from staying here.
Just be careful of minimum stays during peak periods as these could alter your travelling plans if you wanted to stay and double-check any additional costs that you may incur.
We would recommend this park to anyone travelling through, especially whilst on their Great Ocean Road adventure! It’s good value for money, with a range of suitable accommodation for all budgets and an excellent location for exploring Port Fairy.
Stayed here before? Have you previously visited the beautiful Port Fairy? Lets us know in the comments below!
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!