Tasman Holiday Parks

Tasman Holiday Parks is a huge new player snapping up Australia’s best destinations

As published on Escape.com.au by Kirrily Schwarz.

Haven’t heard of Tasman Holiday Parks? You’re not alone.

The property start-up launched in 2019 and has been quietly buying up Australia’s best holiday parks. Its portfolio now has 40 properties (including seven in New Zealand), totalling $500 million. You can stay with them everywhere from Shark Bay in Western Australia to the Bay of Fires in Tasmania, the Shipwreck Coast of Victoria, the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, and everywhere in between.

On top of that, a phenomenal amount of money is flowing into improvements and additions. Every park has something different, from glamping tents to tiny homes and even office pods for remote workers.

A recent visit to Airlie Beach Caravan Park, one of the acquisitions, reveals five new glamping tents, all with shiny black Weber barbeques on the balconies.

There’s a new playground, with a new shade sail and new barbeque to come. The palm-fringed pool was recently retiled and the roads recently repaired. Six tiny homes are on their way. One new camp kitchen has been installed and there’s another en route. Ensuites are inbound and new astroturf will be laid soon.

Everywhere you look, the level of investment confirms classic drive-and-stay holidays are having a resurgence. So does the consistent demand.

I stop by in April, right at the end of the wet season, when the temperature is about 35 degrees Celcius and the humidity is somewhere around 90 per cent. As soon as you move, you sweat uncontrollably. But the blazing sun and soupy air hasn’t deterred visitors from this iconic North Queensland destination.

Site manager Lynn Clough has been with the company three years. She and her husband Stephen managed Tasman Holiday Parks in Western Australia and Tasmania before taking on the Airlie Beach property in July 2022.

“It was busy the whole way through the wet, not flat out, but constant,” she says. “I expected we’d go quiet, but we haven’t really had an off-season at all.”

Every effort has been made to create something special at this park. Everything is designed to be relaxed and self-paced, creating a calming feel. It’s clearly a perfect base from which to explore the area, including the Great Barrier Reef.

There’s a coffee van at the front gate serving Byron Bay Coffee Co brews, next to a wall of signs offering every water-based activity imaginable. All of them can be booked through reception, whether you’re wanting to go snorkelling, fishing, skydiving, jet-boating, sailing at sunset, or on a crocodile safari.

Food vans rotate throughout the week, arriving in the evenings to serve Korean dumplings, Thai noodles, or fresh woodfired pizzas to hungry guests. There’s fresh fruit by the pool on Saturdays and cheese and crackers on Wednesdays.

Every day at 4pm, guests can feed the birds. Lorikeets and cockatoos swoop down from their nests for a nibble, often standing on the heads and shoulders of delighted guests to create unforgettable moments.

“We’re really committed to moving with the times,” says Clough. “We get families, as you’d expect, but we also get a lot of backpackers, grey nomads, and couples. I think they like it because of the peace.”

I’m staying in one of these cool new glamping tents. The layout is great: a queen bed front and centre, with bunks tucked around the corner on both sides to create some privacy. The left side has a bathroom; the right has a kitchen. There’s a glass door at the front and zippered sides that can be opened and shut as desired.

It’s air-conditioned, with a bowl of fresh fruit on the table and the scent of frangipani in the air. And because of the canvas walls, you can hear the birds singing outside. It’s quite innovative, with the perfect blend of indoors and outdoors.

I pull up a deckchair in the shade, ostensibly to read, though I’m covertly watching those around me. As I enjoy the pop of fresh grapes and a few friendly chats with passersby, I realise the simplicity of experiences like this timeless.

“A lot of us are looking for meaningful and authentic experiences, we want a sense of community,” says Nikki Milne, CEO of Tasman Holiday Parks. “Pushing kids on a swing, jumping into a pool, cooking snags in the camp kitchen, sharing stories with each other. You get that in a holiday park more than any other kind of tourism accommodation, because people want that connection.”

Figures from accounting firm BDO and the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, released in November, said forward bookings for the 2022/2023 summer were 37 per cent higher than the year before. Soaring demand put park operators on track for their most profitable season since 2019. These holidays are becoming even more popular as the cost of living rises and families seek affordable stays.

Milne says the recipe for success in the holiday park industry is straightforward. Once the location is sorted, the experience simply needs to be “clean, safe, and easy”. The company recently surveyed 100,000 of its past guests, and those three things were repeated time and again. So that’s what’s being delivered.

The rate of acquisition is astounding, the level of reinvestment is impressive, and the commitment to innovation with the launch of new product types is admirable.

However, the appeal is uncomplicated.

“Holiday parks are part of the fabric of Australian society,” says Milne. “The last few years have forced everyone to ask themselves what’s meaningful. And they’ve decided it’s classic holidays like these.”

Original article published in Escape.com.au by Kirrily Schwarz.

Top Things to do in Bendigo

Here’s a guide to all the top things to do in Bendigo:

Visit Bendigo Art Gallery

Credit: visitmelbourne.com

The Bendigo Art Gallery is one of the city’s most popular attractions, showcasing a diverse collection of art from both local and international artists. The gallery is housed in a beautiful Victorian building, and its exhibitions constantly change, so there’s always something new to see. From contemporary art to historical pieces, the Bendigo Art Gallery has something for everyone..

Take a tour of the Central Deborah Gold Mine

The Central Deborah Gold Mine offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the city’s gold mining past. You can take a guided tour of the mine and see the old mine shafts, tunnels, and equipment used by the miners. The tour also includes a visit to the museum, where you can learn more about the history of gold mining in Bendigo.

Explore Bendigo Botanic Gardens

The Bendigo Botanic Gardens is a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city, offering visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The gardens feature an extensive collection of plants from around the world, including a stunning variety of roses. There’s also a lake, a playground, and plenty of space for picnics and relaxation.

Whether you’re a plant enthusiast or just looking for a peaceful place to unwind, the Bendigo Botanic Gardens is a must-visit attraction.

Things to do in Bendigo
Credit: Bendigo Tourism

Visit Bendigo Pottery

Bendigo Pottery is Australia’s oldest working pottery, and it’s still producing handmade ceramics today. You can take a tour of the pottery and see the artisans at work, or browse the shop and pick up a unique souvenir to take home.

Take a stroll down View Street

View Street is the cultural heart of Bendigo, lined with beautiful heritage buildings and home to a range of galleries, shops, and cafes. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and soak up the city’s charm.

Check out Bendigo Tramways

Bendigo Tramways is a heritage tramway that operates in the city. You can take a ride on one of the vintage trams and see the sights of Bendigo from a unique perspective. The trams also stop at various points of interest, such as the Joss House Temple and the Alexandra Fountain.

In conclusion, Bendigo offers an abundance of exciting attractions for both locals and tourists. With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and natural beauty, there are endless things to do in Bendigo. The city has something to offer everyone.

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or simply enjoying a relaxing getaway, Bendigo has it all. With its welcoming atmosphere and friendly locals, you’ll feel at home as you explore the city’s hidden gems.

So, don’t miss out on visiting this remarkable destination. Start planning your trip to Bendigo today and discover why it’s a must-visit location for those seeking a diverse and enriching experience. Enjoy all the wonderful things to do in Bendigo and make the most of your time in this remarkable city.

Where to stay in Bendigo

Tasman Holiday Parks – Bendigo is a fantastic accommodation option for anyone looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay in Bendigo.

The park offers a range of accommodation options, including cabins, villas, glamping tents, and caravan sites. The cabins and villas come in various sizes, catering to both couples and families and are fully equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.

In terms of facilities, our holiday park has everything you need for a fun and relaxing stay, including a pool, playground, BBQ area, and camp kitchen. There’s also a guest laundry, Wi-Fi access, and a kiosk where you can buy basic supplies.

So, if you’re looking to have a fantastic stay in Bendigo, then look no further than Tasman Holiday Parks – Bendigo!

Kioloa: Where Outdoor Adventures and Family Fun Collide!

Here’s your guide to the best things to do in Kioloa:

First stop, Kioloa Beach of course!

Kioloa Beach is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun. The beach is patrolled during the summer months, making it a safe place for families to swim and enjoy the water.

The beach also has a playground and picnic area, making it an ideal spot for a family day out. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding.

Explore the Tide Pools at Merry Beach

Merry Beach is another great spot for families, with its calm waters and secluded location. Rocky cliffs surround the beach and feature several tide pools that are perfect for exploring. Kids will love searching for crabs and other sea creatures, while parents can enjoy the stunning views of the coastline.

Take a Coastal Walk

The Kioloa Coastal Walk is a scenic 6km track that runs from Merry Beach to Pretty Beach. The walk takes you through the lush rainforest, rocky cliffs, and several secluded beaches. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to spot wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species. The walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a great option for families.

Top things to do in Kioloa

Visit Mogo Zoo

Located just a short drive from Kioloa, Mogo Zoo is home to over 200 animals from around the world, including rare and endangered species. The zoo is dedicated to conservation and education and offers a range of interactive experiences, including behind-the-scenes tours, animal encounters, and feeding experiences.

Kids will love getting up close and personal with their favourite animals, while adults will appreciate the opportunity to learn more about wildlife conservation.

Get closer to nature: go camping!

Tasman Holiday Parks – Kioloa Beach is a fantastic accommodation option for anyone looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay in Kioloa.

Our park offers a range of accommodation options, from camping sites to cabins to retreats, you’re sure to find accommodation that suits your group (and budget!), and the best part? We’re just a stone’s throw away from the stunning Kioloa Beach!

After a long day at the beach, you can relax in our BBQ area or grab a cold drink from our onsite kiosk. Make use of our range of facilities available to keep you entertained during your stay. Take a dip in our pool, play a game of tennis, or take the kids to burn off some energy at the playground.

Our Kioloa cabins and retreats offer all the comforts of home, with fully-equipped kitchens, comfortable beds, and air conditioning to keep you cool during those hot summer nights. And for those who prefer to camp, our sites offer stunning views of the beach and you’ll still have full access to all our facilities.