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Review: Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut

With a water park, adventure playground and go-karts, Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut is a kids’ paradise, writes Snezana Belevska-Bennell. Thanks to lush gardens, comfortable villas and plenty of pool time, parents will love it, too.

Palm-lined paradise

When I arrive at Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut, I walk through tropical palm trees and lush gardens. I hear kids laughing and splashing in the pool. I smell the Tropics, and, instantly, I am in vacation mode.

An easy ten minutes or so from central Cairns, the resort is set on 11 hectares of lush gardens and rainforest, with mountains that make for a spectacular backdrop. The resort is as kid-friendly as can be, with an impressive water park, two large pools with water slides, an adventure playground and more. As you stroll down the palm-lined streets – they have names like Coconut Boulevard and Sugarcane Drive – you’ll pass rows of fancy motorhomes and luxury cabins shaded by tropical foliage.

© Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut

A villa to call our own

We opt for a two-bedroom villa, which is air conditioned and very spacious with a master bedroom, a kids’ room with bunk beds, a living room area and a full kitchen that makes it easy for families who want to dine in. The interior is bright, white and immaculate. The living room opens up to a verandah with views of mountains and – you guessed it – more palms. I can smell summer flowers on the breeze.

Park fun

As for holiday park fun, where do I start? Cairns Coconut has so many activities to keep the kids active and entertained, from as soon as they wake up to when they hit the bed. Every morning my boys make a beeline to what they call the “fun park”, a massive area dedicated completely to endless enjoyment.

With its slides and water zones, Splash Waterpark is one of the boys’ favourite spots. Another highlight is the giant jumping cushion, said to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. There is also a second, smaller jumping pillow so toddlers can bounce, too. The boys also love the interactive playground, the bike tracks, the pools and, of course, the go karts. Other cool stuff includes tennis courts, volleyball courts, mini-golf and a gaming room, and there are even two gyms for adults, one near the playground and another inside.

© Snezana Belevska-Bennell

Off-site adventures

For those looking to get out and explore, the park has an array of tours and activities that can be booked on-site. Tour drivers are able to pick you up and drop you off at the park, too, so you won’t have to handle too much organisation mania.

We choose to visit Cairns’ iconic Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, a glass-bottomed gondola that glides over nearby rainforest canopy. The boys are in awe as we look down upon the treetops. The Skyrail makes three stops: Red Peak, where we explore a rainforest walkway; Barron Falls, where we admire the popular Cairns attraction; and Kuranda, a delightful little village where we enjoy a delicious lunch and go for a stroll around town (if you have time, call into the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary).

Then, we book a snorkelling tour on the Great Barrier Reef and get to meet famous Wally, the Māori wrasse. It’s a trip highlight.

© Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut

Family time to remember

Cairns Coconut is the type of place kids can roam free with other holidaying children so parents can take time out for themselves. That said, there are plenty of opportunities for family bonding, too. We spend hours by the “garden pool”, set amid manicured gardens. The kids love the slides and I love listening to their sounds of joy.

My husband and I enjoy sunset afternoons on our villa verandah while the kids skate and ride bikes close by. Some nights, we go to the camp kitchen to cook a barbecue feast; other nights, we dine at the on-site restaurant, Coco’s Kitchen. The airy, open eatery serves dishes such as pizzas, pastas and steaks, which please the entire family. Afterwards, the kids head back to the “fun park” while we enjoy after-dinner drinks and live music.

On our last night, we pack a picnic of cakes and cuddle up on our blanket to watch an outdoor movie under the stars. It’s the perfect way to finish our stay.

This article originally appeared in volume 11 of Caravan & Camping with Kids. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

© Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut

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