When is a ‘caravan park’ not a caravan park?

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Avoca Beach caravan park
Powered or unpowered? Artist's Impression of one of the proposed long-term dwellings. PIC: Daily Telegraph

When is a caravan park not a caravan park? That’s the question that many grey nomads are asking as they come across increasing numbers of parks full of cabins and units rather than sites for on-the-road RVs.

The seeming absurdity of the trend is perfectly illustrated by the proposal for a $22 million ‘caravan park’ on the shores of Avoca Lake on the New South Wales Central coast … which will have places for just five caravans.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Platinum Property Adviser No. 10 Pty Ltd instead seeks to install 57 two-storey three-bedroom ‘relocatable’ dwellings on a 2.8 hectare site.

The newspaper says the land was previously used for a caravan park for 50 years and the developer was granted council approval to upgrade the park in November 2011.

Some earth works started just prior to the approval lapsing in November 2016.

Under that approval, the developer could have 16 long term, 98 short-term and 7 camping sites.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the vision then changed and a proposal for a relocatable home park plan was lodged in 2017 and proposed 58 long term site (movable dwellings), nine short-term sites (caravan) seven camping sites and associated civil and landscaping works.

Now, the latest version of the plan seeks 57 long-term sites, with five caravan parks in a western corner of the site.

The movable dwellings will be manufactured off site and later installed. The homes will all be two-storey three-bedroom double-garage designs.

A single level office and amenities building is also proposed near the site entry.

Nearby residents have already lodged numerous complaints about traffic, noise, environmental impacts, loss of privacy and overshadowing.

  • Have you noticed how ‘caravan parks’ are changing character quickly? If owners see more profit in cabins and units, should they be free to go down that path? Comment below.
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19 Responses to When is a ‘caravan park’ not a caravan park?

  1. 3 bedrooms, 2 storied, double garage……..moveable????
    Council rates must be a hell of a lot cheaper for a caravan park than for what sounds all the world like an over 55 retiree village.

  2. Start charging council rates as per home units and see how long it lasts.

  3. Check out the new “luxury” cabins at Reflections Caravan Park at Evans Head. I did hear how much the nightly tariff was but I can’t recall exactly. I do know that is an awful lot more than you would get from four or five powered van sites

  4. I see a trend going the other way too, less developedment to cater for the self sufficient caravaners.
    Many new places are popping up are not much more than a flat grassy paddock with simple toilet shower if even that. Low cost sites and they are very popular.

    • Have you been to Brooms Head Holiday Park!! Has everything you need , reasonable rates,older amenities but very clean, spacious sites, friendly staff and right on the beach, no pets allowed.

    • Lets hope that an app is available to show the places u mentioned

  5. Is it going to be that caravaners will have no where to stay, the park owners are trying to force councils and the like to close Showgrounds free camp spots. Highway services are preventing caravaners from staying in rest areas, and caravan parks are turning into either resorts with cabins and glamping options or they are going for the long term tenant option. National parks are tightening up on numbers. Will It soon be we are not welcome anywhere, paying or not?

  6. Interesting article, but the thing is that caravaners “Do Not” have to stay there. But like to Winge. Personally I would be heading away from this type of park, and leave it to families, groups etc. There are plenty of
    alternatives. You just need to look at WikiCamps. Regards Hetho.

    • In city areas when a caravan park is “upgraded” there are no alternatives in the area. I need to visit my family in Wollongong and am fortunate there is a suitable caravan park nearby. If my family were on the central coast I’d have significant iss use finding a site.

    • Correct!

  7. We have all had to chase a quid throughout our lives but the advent of control by bean counters has meant that pursuing your dream or a public good no longer counts.
    All that matters is the “bottom line”.
    Why not make it compulsory for councils to provide a suitable camping area in each town?

  8. It really amazes me how caravan parks have very little occupancy during winter months or off peak, except maybe the older travellers who don’t require all the extras, but the prices of there sites are so expensive. Surely they could cater for others who in later life might like to see some of this beautiful country. I would think it would be better to have more coming off season and giving them income, when there parks are at low occupancy rate. A lower weekly rate for accommodation would be really appreciated. Especially the ensuite sites..

  9. The same thing happened at Sussex Inlet, and that doesn’t seem like a caravan park as such.

  10. I agree with Alex concerning Councils providing an affordable option as many do so, that is until Reflections Holiday Parks take them over in NSW and it is only a matter of time and forcing us to camp illegally as they say.

  11. In Chinchilla Queensland there was a good caravan park in town that seemingly got greedy and went totally cabins for workers. When the gas business fell flat the cabins were removed and the place shut. Now a derelect overgrown site while people camp at the showground with mediocre facilities.

  12. Would appear that the owners are cashing in on the caravan park zoning by loading it up with 57 long term sites with what sounds like inappropriate 2 storey dwellings that would challenge most retirees. Having said that it just might be their aim to keep up the turnover. A shameful 5 caravan sites obviously needed to meet the “caravan park” zoning. As a caravanner I would avoid this “park “. Feel for the locals that have to live with these inappropriate developments. One would think that the size and number of these long term dwellings should not exceed the standard for an urban growth zone?

  13. Hi there, I have a question;
    Why or how does a Council
    who exist to provide benefits for a community, discourage and force closure of low cost camps
    in its town and surrounding area, but own and operate the only campground in the town at high cost a night through the winter months. I note that the town has a small free camp area (no water or toilets) just on the edge of town but close it for 5 months,
    and has RV friendly signs up ?
    New Norfolk Tasmania

  14. These will just become slums of the future. It’s a low standards bar and inevitable. The good thinhg about it is that it will be cheap housing for the poor and homeless. It’s just a time factor thing.

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