Four council-owned caravan parks in Queensland are the latest to announce they are being re-developed in order to offer more sites capable of accommodating larger rigs.
It’s a move that will be welcomed by the growing number of grey nomads who are travelling in ever-larger caravans, motorhomes, buses and fifth wheelers. Slowly but surely, it seems then that caravan park infrastructure is changing to keep pace with RV trends … but is it happening quickly enough?
The Deputy Mayor of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, Denis Chapman, said the council parks on the beachfront in Scarness, Burrum Heads, Torquay and Pialba, would all be refurbished over the next few years to ensure the parks meet ‘current standards and visitor expectations’.
“The existing infrastructure in the parks is ageing and the parks need upgrading to suit modern vans, especially RVs,” he said.
Mr Chapman said the parks would soon have fewer sites, but ones that were larger in order to cater for bigger, modern vans.
The move is not an isolated one.
When the Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park in Kingscliff in northern New South Wales was renovated a few years ago, catering to big rigs was a key consideration.
“Every site in the park is two-to-three times larger than what the sites were in the old park,” Tweed Coast Holiday Parks unit coordinator, Andrew Illingworth, said at the time.
In that case also, the upgrades meant a reduction in the overall number of sites. At a time when camping is surging in popularity, that can lead to other issues, such as a shortage of available camping spots. And the rising number of cabins in many van parks is further contributing to that ‘problem’.
Some time ago, writing on the Grey Nomads website, Simon Cook, said parks were building more cabins and this was pushing caravanners away … especially ‘big riggers’ like him.
“We have an 8.5m Paramount and, although sites are available, there’s a shortage of manoeuvring room in a lot of parks,” he said. “Parks need to move with the times.”
Another grey nomad, Yvonne Maxwell, agreed. She travelled in a Spaceland van towed by a LandCruiser 200 series, with a total length of just under 15 metres.
“We have had problems with parks that are still designed for smaller rigs,” she said. “We try to stay in free camping spots as much as possible but sometimes it’s not possible.”
And she said there were some practical issues that needed looking at.
“Parks need to rethink their sites remove huge trees that can cause problems in manoeuvring,” she said “It’s very annoying when they confirm the site is large … but, in reality, it’s far too small!”.
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