Eco-friendly caravan park planned for WA. Is it the way of the future?

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Exmouth eco-friendly caravan park
The eco-resort would be located north of Exmouth. CONCEPT DESIGN: Kerry Hill Architects

Any grey nomad who used to go camping as a child will know that today’s caravan parks are very different places than they used to be … and they’re still changing.

In decades past, the facilities were more basic, bouncing pillows hadn’t been invented, luxury cabins weren’t a ‘thing’, and sites were always affordable … even in the school holidays.

Trying to pick what will happen in parks over the coming years can be a dangerous game but it’s fairly safe bet that a lot more focus will be put on sustainable camping … particularly in more environmentally sensitive regions.

A concept design for a new $85 million park in Western Australia perhaps offers a revealing glimpse into the future. Mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s investment company, Tattarang, wants to transform a well-known caravan park 13 kilometres north of Exmouth into a renewable-powered, plastic-free eco resort.

The resort near the Ningaloo Lighthouse on Vlamingh Head would have 550 guests accommodated in eco-tents, villas, hotel rooms and caravan bays. There would be restaurants and bars, swimming pools, a spa, tennis courts, a leisure centre, children’s playground and boating facilities.

The plan is to have the whole site operate using a range of renewal energy sources, including solar and wind power. It will also have on-site wastewater recycling and a bio-digester for food waste which is expected to divert 60 tonnes of food waste from landfill, which will be turned into tonnes of fertiliser. There will be no single-use plastics on-site.

“This is an investment in world-class, sustainable tourism in the North West which will benefit the local community and the state,” Tattarang chief investment officer John Hartman said. “Watching the sunset at the Exmouth Lighthouse is one of Western Australia’s iconic tourism experiences that we hope to improve for locals and visitors while safeguarding the site.”

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall welcomed the plans and said it had been years since a world-class resort had been built in regional WA.

“Western Australia has long lagged behind other destinations in creating new, sustainable resorts in regional areas, providing authentic experiences for Western Australians and out-of-state visitors,” he said. “

The diverse offering at the resort will accommodate the needs and budgets of all visitors, improving the guest experience for everyone.”

If it gets development approval, Tattarang says the resort would bring more than $30 million of income to the town every year.

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