ellaslist Reviews: Bear Grylls Survival Academy at NRMA Holiday Parks - Let The Kids Go Wild!

  • Kids
    All Ages

I have a small confession: I don’t camp. I love to travel and take the kids on new adventures, but I don’t camp. If you were to ask why, I’d mutter something about too much dirt or the fear of shared bathroom facilities, but the truth is... I just don’t know how! How do you set up a tent? How do you keep all the bugs out? Is it safe?

The list of questions goes on, but lately, I’ve been questioning if I’m setting my city-slicker kids up to fail in the great outdoors. My son knows if you have flint and steel you can make a fire in Minecraft, but I started to wonder if he also knows you can do that in real life!

So it was time to roll up my sleeves, put the excuses in a box and learn some bush survival skills with the kids.

Ocean Beach Holiday Resort - My Kind Of Camping

NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort Umina
Jumping for joy at the NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort on the Central Coast.

OK, I wasn’t quite ready to pitch a tent and go full Bear Grylls the first time round, so we booked a cabin at the NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort in Umina Beach, located on the NSW Central Coast about 90 minute drive from Sydney.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or taking the family to a campsite for the first time, NRMA Ocean Beach does not disappoint! As soon as we drove through the reception gate, the kids were already bouncing out of their seats at the sight of the giant jumping pillows and grabbing their buckets to run down the short path to the beach.

Ocean Beach Holiday Resort Umina
The sparkling resort-style swimming pool.

By the end of the first day, we had fed Rainbow Lorikeets on the front porch of our cabin, explored the adventure playground, ran through the waterpark, jumped in the pool, cycled our buggies through the camping and caravan sites and cooked up a delicious BBQ dinner under the stars. Little did the kids know, the real adventure hadn’t even started yet and they were about to get “SHIPWRECKED” at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy!

Kids Vs Wild At Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Bear Grylls Survival Academy
Bear Grylls Survival Academy's SHIPWRECKED is an action-packed adventure program.

SHIPWRECKED is a fun survival program for kids, exclusively available at selected NRMA Parks and Resorts across the east coast. The program includes four 60-minute missions designed by Bear Grylls himself, and each mission aims to teach kids important survival skills and how to think like a true survivor.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy
Getting roped into some fun nature challenges!

As soon as we told the kids they were going to the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, they were on the fence about whether to think it was going to be "so cool" or "so crazy". They know who Bear Grylls is. He is that "so cool, but so crazy" guy on that interactive Netflix show, You Vs Wild, who swings from vines and actually eats poo (which they choose him to do obviously)! Would they have to do that? Because that would be crazy. But would Bear Grylls be there? Because that would be so cool!

Bear Grylls Survival Academy at NRMA Parks and Resorts.
Not your average getaway! Bear Grylls Survival Academy at NRMA Parks and Resorts.

The latter is the first question our kids asked as soon as we got to Base Camp, which is conveniently located on-site at the NRMA Ocean Beach Resort. Unfortunately, the answer is no, Bear isn't personally there to run the program, however, they are supervised by a wonderful team of NRMA Park Survival Experts.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy Experience with your stay at NRMA Parks and Resorts.
On a mission to learn essential survival skills.

The four missions each focus on a key survival theme - Protect, Rescue, Water and Food. The kids learnt first-hand how to build a basic shelter and blend into their surroundings to protect themselves; tie safety knots and commando crawl across a rope to survive in a rescue situation; as well as navigate rugged terrains and use plants to find their way.

NRMA Parks Bear Grylls Survival Academy
Lunch is served! Foraging for food in the wild.

They also learnt the right technique to throw a spear and light a campfire with flint and steel to be able to capture and cook their own food in the wild. They made damper and considered trying some wriggly protein for their first bush tucker meal, but unfortunately, I couldn't click a remote to get the kids to eat a worm this time!

Happy Campers

Bear Grylls Survival Academy Experience with your stay at NRMA Parks and Resorts.
Missions accomplished at Bear Grylls Survival Academy!

At the end of each mission, the kids received a completion certificate that also doubled as a piece of a map to help them get safely home after being shipwrecked.

And at the end of our stay at the NRMA Ocean Beach Resort, we didn't want to go home! Not only did we learn some great survival tips, but we can now say "we do camp" and maybe, just maybe, we'll go a bit more Bear Grylls next time!

“Survival can be summed up in three words - Never Give Up.
That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying.”
 - Bear Grylls

The beachfront Ocean Beach Holiday Resort.
Soak up the beach and the bush right here at Ocean Beach Holiday Resort.

More Details About Bear Grylls Survival Academy

  • Currently available on-site at five NRMA Parks & Resorts across the east coast
  • Missions are run over weekends and every day during school holidays
  • Each mission costs $15 per child staying as a guest at the NRMA Park
  • Each mission is standalone, so you don’t need to sign up for all of them
  • Suitable for children aged 6 to 17 years old
  • Parents of children aged 7 and under need to stay for each mission
  • All other parents are welcome to stay and learn some survival skills too!

Book your family getaway now at NRMA Parks & Resorts.


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