West Beach Parks - an impressive line up of facilities. See the recent photos from a heidi who photos shoot.
The changing face of Caravan Parks. Caravans, camper trailers and tents.
A long weekend. It comes with its pros and cons for the business owner - me.
Pros: Time with family, escape the house, have fun, do something different, time out from work.
Cons: Need to find time to catch up the lost time, tonnes of washing to do on return, too much eating and drinking.
Every Easter, my family goes up to Barmera, in the Riverland. It's a long weekend of speedboat fun (if the weather is kind), relaxing, kids playing, lots of eating, an easter egg hunt and a wine or two. Holidays revolve around the river, however, when Mother Nature doesn't play nice, we have other options.
Berri has a fair on the Saturday - nothing big, but fun. The community comes out, my kids love watching the gymnastics demos and then trying to catch all the eggs being thrown off the stage for kiddies.
Barmera has a big fair, music and big screen movie on the Sunday arvo/night. We go every year. It's fun to have a look through the stalls, grab some festival food (fish and chips were great this year!) and then sit and listen to the musician or band. We haven't made it to the movie yet, but as the kids get older, we will rug up and stay on.
Banrock Station is not far away - wine and wetlands. What more do we need?
Lake Bonney - we ride and run around it. About 22km. I need to do this to get rid of all the chocolate I eat over Easter. And it's also a good mental challenge. Note: if you are going to do it, do it early morning or late afternoon so you can entertain yourself with beautiful light on the lake as you go. And, don't expect to follow the lake around the edge - the road veers out in sections - but follow your nose, you will find your way.
Loveday and other dirt tracks are to be discovered by 4wd. Haven't done it by 4wd (hubby loves it though), but went for a jog along the tracks near the caravan park. Can see how it would be a bit of fun - for the right person.
This year, we found a wholesale fruit and veg shop too. I can't remember the name of it, but it's on the highway, just out of Barmera, when heading towards Berri. You have to turn down a country road, and then enter what looks like a farm with big sheds - but it's worth it. Cheap prices and yummo quality. We'll be shopping up there again, next year. (If you know the place, please tell me the name.)
And of course, Caravan Parks lend themselves to relaxing and not doing much. While the kids run between the playground, jumping pillow and new friends' caravans, adults can sit back and enjoy. Yes, some campers enjoy a bit too much, cracking a tinny at 8am, but nothing has become too rowdy yet. Even the fireworks that go off like a barrel gun at 10.30pm are taken lightly.
Question to end… why do we lock our houses up like a fort, but when in a caravan park, we believe a zipper will do the job?
One of my excuses as to why I like holidays in caravan parks is that they are social. One step out your bedroom door, whether it's the tent, camper trailer or caravan, and you have a crowd to people watch, say hello and get to know. I associate the caravan park with getting to know people, leaving valuable belongings secured by just a tent zipper, and watching kids zoom up and down the roads on their bikes and scooters, screaming and laughing. No privacy. No quiet times. But fun.
I do really like to travel in style too, and love to stay in resorts where I am pampered with fluffy bed and crisp linen, buffet breakfast and my own little haven behind my suite door. One thing I have noticed though, in many hotel and resort lobbies, there is no ambience. And no people. Sure, they are nice and beautiful to look at when you arrive, but how many of you have said 'hey, let's go hang out in the lobby' while on holidays. Particularly if you are staying in a hotel.
Luxury and boutique hotels have mastered it, drawing free-spending crowds to their lobbies. But now, large traditional hotels are spending billions in renovations to lure their guests down into the lobby. Upgraded wine lists, semi private nooks, communal tables, free Wi-Fi and comfy seats are just a few of the changes.
It will be a nice change, walking into a city hotel and finding people lingering. As opposed to the sound of elevator music playing and receptionist with their head down at the desk.