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There are all types of different glamping in the world today, but Big4 West Beach Caravan Park in Adelaide, South Australia offers the perfect glamping experience for every family.
Being a Big4 Park member (Perks Membership), we managed to steal a great deal for two nights. It was too hard to say no to! We went along for a few days to see what the Eco Tents were all about and find out more about Big4 West Beach Park, especially as it’s right on the beach!
Not a Big4 Park member? West Beach Parks have their own loyalty Beach Club. It’s free to sign up and you can receive 10% off future stays. Sign up at their website here.
Big4 West Beach Caravan Park is ideally positioned, just west of Adelaide and right on the coast. You couldn’t get much closer other than being on the sand!
It’s only 10km west of the CBD, taking about a 20-minute drive. West Beach has over 1km of sandy beach, perfect for swimming and just relaxing the days away.
Big4 West Beach Caravan Park is part of West Beach Parks, recently changed its name from Adelaide Shores. The West Beach Parks Resort is not part of the Big4 West Beach Caravan Park and can cause some confusion. It did to us. The two parks are separate and do not share internal facilities.
The Eco Tents at Big4 West Beach Caravan Park
Big4 West Beach Park has 6 Eco Tents available, located together to the south of the park. They have been landscaped well to give a feeling of its own little Eco area, with the splash zone water park directly to the front of them.
Each 4 person tent is the same size, facing the same direction. They have a safari look about them, being khaki/tan in colour and stretched canvas to create the 4 walls and external roof.
Big4 West Beach has made this experience affordable for families, which is great to allow everyone the opportunity to glamp! This is basic glamping though. Naturally, the large holiday park has all the facilities you need, but the tents have been kept to a minimum.
Each tent has a double bed, bunk beds, linen, towels, a small table and 2 chairs, 2 outdoor chairs, a stand-up fan, some shelving, a kettle, tea and coffee sachets, a box of plastic utensils and some cleaning equipment (brushes, dustpan and brush, etc).
Update: We’ve heard since that the tents now come with lighting and a fridge inside… perfect little creature comforts!
If you are looking for something a bit more deluxe, check out Glamping in West Beach Retreat – right next door for a true luxury glamping experience!
The tents fully open up at the front and it’s a good view of the water park whilst relaxing on the veranda! The Eco Tents have a larger roof covering the internal roof which provides good shade and shelter from the rain.
Each large side window has an unzippable canvas to be able to let the light in and is perfect when there is a light breeze. We kept it closed for most of the first day as there was little wind and were trying to give it some sort of shade inside! At the rear, there are two single doors that led to the back veranda. One door is inaccessible by the position of the bunk beds, the other can easily be unlocked and unzipped. You are provided with a key for the locks when you check-in.
Just a note during peak periods – sitting on these rear verandas will either have you looking directly over the powered sites that back onto the Eco Tent area, or you’ll be face to face with the other Eco Tents residents!
The tent was clean and tidy – but oh wow, was it hot inside! We arrived (maybe, unfortunately, but it was good to finally see some South Australian heat after a long spring!) on a 38-degree day. It was stiffing inside the tent. With only one fan on offer, it never really got cool until the next day when a cool breeze came in. Maybe when they get an upgrade, they can install air-con!
If you’re not a fan of creepy crawlies, take a can of bug spray with you. The way the canvas is stretched over the wooden structure of the tents means there are some places for some critters to find their way in. We had a few issues with ants, but nothing major.
A nice little perk is receiving a voucher for a bag of ice for each night of your stay. There is an esky provided, which we couldn’t find at first! It’s built inside one of the wooden chests which is pretty nifty! For us though, we, unfortunately, had a leak and with the hot temperatures inside the tent, it didn’t last that long! You can collect your ice from The Shack Cafe which is the on-site cafe at the entrance of the park.
The Eco Tents are conveniently located next to one of the main shower and toilet blocks. They are also a great spot for families next to the water park splash zone and one of the parks’ jumping pillows. What am I talking about ideal for families – Sara and I were the first under the water explosion in the splash area! Much needed relief – but it was wet… very wet!! And cold!
The beds are reasonably hard, but we still managed to get a good nights sleep. Even with the heat and the sound of the aeroplanes. Adelaide airport is very close to the park, but not directly under the flight path thankfully. The airport does have a curfew of 11 pm, but if you are a light sleeper, you may struggle with some of the bigger planes coming and going late at night.
Just one disappointment for us was not being able to park the car close to the tent. The car park spaces are allocated around the side of the road and generally means there is a bit of walk with stuff to and from. It’s not far, just something to be aware of if you were intenting on taking lots of stuff (or heavy stuff) with you. I guess we’ve just got so used to being able to pull up directly outside on holiday homes.
Big4 West Beach Caravan Park is impressive. It’s by far one of the biggest parks in South Australia if not the biggest and they have thought of everything. As we were just a couple, we didn’t experience everything on offer for kids. But it did look good!
Check out the West Beach Caravan Park map below:
For a park that’s 50+ years old, it has been really well maintained and looked after. Yes, some of it looks like it’s aged, but everything is still clean and tidy. The amount of maintenance work going on around the park during our visit, especially landscaping was impressive.
There are plenty of amenity blocks all around the park. The one next to the Eco Tents is a decent size. We just had one thought though that hopefully with future upgrades they will make them a bit more family-friendly. Things such as family showers and changing rooms (the showers were pretty small and a mum/dad with two kids would really struggle), unisex areas, etc. I guess things that show a change in the times. There are other family changing rooms around the park but hopefully, they will all become this way.
There are lots of outdoor seating and BBQ areas which give the park a true holiday feel. Some facilities look newer, whereas some are starting to rust and age, but still work perfectly fine and clean. The hub is a highlight for the park with a modern kitchen and cooking facilities. We were glad for the air-con for a while during dinner, but get in here early during peak times! There are other kitchens off to the side of the hub which we assume would be open during busier periods.
The hub is also a central activity point for social events such as bingo and other family games. Don’t forget to grab the current week’s timetable of things on that week when you check-in. There are a few TV’s to watch and a TV room off to the side where we saw a few of the ‘older’ kids chilling out.
Even though we went during a quieter period, the heated swimming pool was still really busy! It’s a good size pool and during the weekend and peak periods, The Shack Bar opens for snacks and drinks in the adjacent play area.
There are a couple of gas fire pits around the park which are great areas for socialising. Just hit the button to get it going and enjoy the ambience of the flames on a balmy night (we doubt these give off that much heat though!)
Other park facilities include laundries with washers and dryers, many clothes lines, recreation lounge, ensuite sites, cots and high chair hire, function room, games room, internet kiosk, tourist information in the welcome office and a TV & Video room.
The wi-fi worked really well and it was good to have such a good connection (for a change!). There were no login details or entering of information – it was just hooked up and go! We weren’t sure how well it would work for us in the tents as we were quite far from the main entrance but there must be several modems around the park to make it a great perk!
The main office is full of loads of information to do locally and beyond. The team were friendly and helpful and it shows that this park is truly cared about. You can easily book local tours and trips through them to save the hassle of doing it yourself, and don’t forget the Temptation boat experience – the only dolphin swim and watch cruise in South Australia that is located just around the corner!
The days of the old information folders left in accommodation have long gone for this innovative park. Instead, scan the QR code which is dotted around the park, entrance or on your room key if you have one. This will take you to their information kiosk – a wide range of information about the park, guidelines, map, park activities, events and more. Clever idea and it’s the first time we’ve seen this. Ideal for staying on a site because when can you ever access the holiday park folder from there!
Don’t worry though, at check-in, you will receive written information about the upcoming events, things to do and places to eat! It doesn’t always have to be digital!
The Shack Cafe
The Shack Cafe recently changed its name from Neptunes Cafe is Big4 West Beach Parks’ own run cafe. It’s located at the entrance of the park and does a wide range of food, breakfast, snacks on the go, light meals, ice cream, hot drinks, cold drinks and offers a reasonable range of alcohol brands (also available for takeaway). It also has confectionery, snacks, dairy items, newspapers and other items available.
As an extra bonus, BIG4 Members also receive 20% off main menu items.
Check out their Summer 2018 here:
With plenty of outdoor seating, it’s worth stopping by if you need to top-up with something or just want to enjoy and relax without the hassle of cooking yourself.
Whilst we didn’t grab something to eat here (we walked round to the next street to get fish and chips from West Beach Takeaway which we highly recommend!), we did grab a coffee when leaving. It was good coffee and definitely needed after packing up!
Just a note, the prices in the Shack are higher than average due to the convenience offered. There is a Foodland located in West Beach for those looking to do a bigger shop, just a couple of kilometres away.
Things to do
As Big4 West Beach Caravan Park is part of the wider West Beach Parks resort, there is loads to do both in the park and in very close proximity.
The park itself includes:
- Water park – Splashzone
- New lagoon swimming pool
- Bike and go-kart hire
- 2 giant jumping pillows
- Kids playgrounds
- Inflatable Trampoline
- Toy Room
- Foxtel Room
Within walking distance of the park, there is:
- Tennis Courts
- Football Centre
- Mini Golf
- Skate and BMX park
- West Beach Climbing Adventure
- Sporting venues
- Marina and Boat Ramp
- Adelaide Sailing Club
- Golf course and Driving Range
- Oceanfront Restaurant
- West Beach Surf Life Saving Club
As a Big4 Park Member, you can receive 10% discount on the golf course, mini-golf and the West Beach Adventure Park.
And don’t forget, this park has its own beach access to West Beach. There are two access points to the north and south of the park. One leads to stairs down to the beach. (north), the other over sand dunes (south). This park really is the ideal location to spend a day on the beach, but never too far away from your creature comforts!
There are conveniently showers just inside both access gates to wash all that sand off! Gates close at 9 pm!
We took a walk along West Beach to Henley during one evening and it was a perfect way to spend an evening. The sunsets are spectacular along this coastline. There are a few places for takeaway food in West Beach and Henley is a hub of great outdoor and indoor dining options, hotels and retail shops.
West Beach boat ramp is within walking distance of the park (see map above). From here, you could easily jump on a fishing charter or why not hire your own boat for the day with B.A. Boat Hire (boat licence required).
If you are looking for other ways to get on the water, check out our Top 12 boat trips and water sports post, all within close reach of Adelaide CBD. Or have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Glenelg for Water Lovers, which is just minutes away from West Beach Caravan Park.
Other accommodation available at Big4 West Beach Caravan Park
There is a wide range of accommodation options within this holiday park!
Check out all these different options available:
- Two Bedroom Beach House
- Three Bedroom Beach House
- Deluxe 6 Berth Cabin
- Norfolk 2 Bedroom
- Executive Cabin
- Tourist Cabin 5 Berth
- Tourist Cabin 4 Berth
- Deluxe Seaspray Cabin
- Budget Cabin
- Standard Cabin
- And of course, the Eco Tents
So if the Eco Tents aren’t for you, we’re sure you’ll find an alternative that will suit you.
Who wouldn’t want to stay in one of these beach houses??
For caravan and camping sites, they also have:
- Ensuite sites
- Powered sites – grass and slab
- Premium Ensuite sites – right on the waterfront
- Extra Large Powered sites
Big4 West Beach Caravan Park does not accept pets – not in accommodation or caravan and camping sites.
Check out was as easy as locking up and placing the key and access cards in the box when exiting through the boom gate. Done!
This holiday park means business and it’s easy to see why it has won a number of South Australian awards year after year. It’s good value for money and provides more than enough facilities and activities for any family. With the beach access, more activities on the doorstep, a boat ramp within walking distance and the parks own facilities and activities, you could stay here a week and still not get bored.
The park is clean and well maintained, and with friendly and professional service, what more could you ask for.
The Eco Tents are basic, but this is also reflected in the price. It would be wrong of us to expect anymore. They really do make the experience of glamping accessible and this is really what it’s all about. Just be aware of the heat and the aeroplane noise – these really are the two things that have stuck with us (apart from having a good time of course!).
It’s something different. It’s an experience to remember. And we would definitely recommend a visit soon!
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Inspirational content to spend more time outdoors, in blue spaces and experiencing Water Wellness.