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.

Tasman Holiday Parks Caps Off $265 Million Growth Spree

Leading holiday park operator Tasman Holiday Parks has capped off a $265 million growth spree doubling its portfolio to 40 properties across Australia and New Zealand.

Tasman Holiday Parks wrapped up 20 acquisitions over the last 18 months and expanded its development program which has boosted the value of the group’s portfolio to more than half a billion dollars. The expanded group welcomed more than 650,000 customers across it’s holiday parks during this period.

The group continues to gain ground, with forward bookings up more than 30% per cent compared with the same time last year, driven by Tasman Holiday Parks’ continued investment in place creation, customer experiences, and growing brand awareness.
The strong momentum follows a record year in 2022, which delivered like for like growth exceeding 25% across Australia and New Zealand.

“The drive market enjoyed a resurgence of popularity during COVID and has continued to remain buoyant in both Australia and New Zealand,” said Tasman Holiday Parks CEO Nikki Milne.

“The underlying fundamentals of drive markets in Australia and New Zealand remain strong, even as international travel continues to rebound. We are uniquely positioned to convert emerging market opportunities, with a focus to provide customers a safe, genuine, and easily accessible holiday experience across all price points.

“The singular vision for our group is to create timeless destinations where families can ‘escape the busyness of life’ by enjoying a great drive and stay holiday.

“As cost-of-living pressures increase, more families are seeking authentic holiday experiences and are taking to the road for a holiday. Tasman Holiday Parks provides a value based alternative to overseas travel in these challenging times.

“It is our investment in park experiences, delivering genuine customer service, and creating places where busy families can escape to freedom that sets our holiday parks apart,” said Ms Milne.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) Chief Executive Officer Stuart Lamont welcomed the investment in the holiday park industry.

In Australia, the holiday park sector has continued to capture the imagination of the Australian consumer throughout recent times of economic and COVID uncertainty. The growth trend remains strong with CIAA research identifying that more than 80% of consumers are expecting to undertake the same or more travel, and to spend the same or more in 2023 as they did in 2022 across the sector.

“Tasman Holiday Parks’ investment in place creation and focus on customer in the holiday park market bring benefits to a broad range of holiday makers across Australia and it demonstrates their emerging leadership within the industry,” said Mr Lamont.
Ms Milne said the acquisition program has doubled the Tasman Holiday Parks portfolio to 40 in line with the groups three-year strategic plan outlined in 2021.

“The Tasman Holiday Parks strategic plan remains unchanged, and we have demonstrated our ability to execute with agility in a changing market”.

The 40th holiday park, located in Western Australia, is scheduled to settle at the end of March and is among a series of acquisitions that have expanded the group’s portfolio in key tourism markets across Australia and New Zealand.

During the past year Tasman Holiday Parks made a significant push into Victoria with the acquisition of Big 4 Bright, South Bright Holiday Park, Big 4 Bendigo and Big 4 Warrnambool.

Tasman Holiday Parks have strengthened their position in NSW with the addition of Big 4 Ballina, Big 4 Tathra, and Kioloa Holiday Park.

The group has recently expanded its capital structure by a further $250M to underpin future growth.

“We remain disciplined in our deployment of capital with a focus on securing the right strategic opportunities.

“The group’s portfolio is now scaling with a value over half a billion dollars.

“In addition to strategic acquisitions, our growth is underpinned by our investment in place creation with more than $100 million dedicated to major development projects across the portfolio over the next three years” said Ms Milne.

The scale of acquisitions over the past year has positioned Tasman Holiday Parks as the fastest growing owner, developer, and operator of holiday parks across Australia and New Zealand.

First of its Kind, Exclusive Glamping Tents to Rebound Tourism in Airlie Beach

Rapidly expanding tourism group Tasman Holiday Parks is gearing up to launch Airlie Beach’s first ever glamping tents as the Whitsunday region re-opens post Covid looking for new adventures.

Tasman Holiday Park – Airlie Beach has created five fully airconditioned, ultra-luxe glamping tents with each tent boasting three spacious bedrooms with an ensuite, a modern kitchenette, and a capacious dining and living room.

Glamping guests can enjoy high quality park amenities including a resort pool, BBQ areas, pedal kart buggy hire, tennis court, mini golf, playgrounds, and a complimentary bird feeding experience.

Tasman Holiday Park – Airlie Beach is positioned at the gateway of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef where guests can relish in a tropical oasis and explore the scenic views of the rainforest and secluded beaches.

Tasman Holiday Parks CEO Nikki Milne says the launch of the glamping tents will accommodate to the increasing demand for new and refreshing ways to holiday as borders reopen.

“Glamping is an emerging mega-trend, and these environmentally sustainable glamping tents will provide our guests with an upmarket camping experience with all the comforts of home,” said Ms Milne.

“With the demand of glamping growing rapidly, Tasman Holiday Parks are leading the way by accommodating to the modern traveller’s desire for luxurious, one-of-a-kind experiences.

“The arrival of our exclusive glamping tents will play a key role in our post covid rebound,

delivering wonderful guest experiences and the highest quality parks to welcome back our customers.”

Tasman Holiday Parks has identified the emerging opportunities in the tourism sector now that travel restrictions are beginning to ease in a post-COVID environment and are expecting a surge of travel demand as borders reopen across Australia.

“The reopening of state borders in Australia has seen a surge in the travel market which we believe will continue especially with international travel restrictions also easing,” said Ms Milne.

“We are anticipating a strengthening of our domestic travel markets and we believe this will translate to a robust demand for all of our holiday parks as holiday goers make a comeback,” said Ms Milne.

Holiday makers can secure a night of ultimate luxury among the stars from only $199 per night.

Tasman Holiday Parks are the fastest growing owner, developer & operator of holiday parks across Australia and New Zealand.

With more than 4,000 sites across 26 iconic locations, Tasman Holiday Parks welcomes more than 325,000 guests each year.

Rare One in Five Year Draining Event in the Works for Popular Lake

Holiday-goers will be given a unique opportunity to observe an unrecognisable Lake Mulwala when its water levels are lowered for environmental rehabilitation in June.

Tasman Holiday Parks – Lake Mulwala sits at the gateway to Yarrawonga’s renowned water sport precinct, set directly on the shores of Lake Mulwala, and will offer spectators an unparalleled front row experience to the one in five-year draining event.

Tasman Holiday Parks CEO Nikki Milne says Tasman Holiday Parks are proud to be supporting the environmental practices of the area and looks forward to re-opening a cleaner lake to future visitors.

“While we regret to announce water activities will be limited during this time, the draining of the lake offers an excellent opportunity for the community and visitors to witness a once in five-year event from the comfort of premium holiday facilities,” said Ms Milne.

“During the draining period, Tasman Holiday Parks – Lake Mulwala will still be a slice of paradise and as soon as you step through the gates, you will know you’ve arrived somewhere special you can unwind and truly relax.

“This season will showcase a very different Lake Mulwala to what many regular holiday makers may be used to, providing guests with a unique way of experiencing the area

“Guests can venture out to explore the region’s history, food and wine, clubs and entertainment or go for a stroll through nature, take in the picturesque sunset, or simply relax by our pool.

Featuring contemporary self-contained villas and a range of spacious caravan and camping sites, Tasman Holiday Parks – Lake Mulwala is a pet friendly venue and offers an exciting range of high-energy activities for all ages such as scenic bicycle and walking tracks, pedal karts for hire, an opulent pool, tennis courts, jumping pillow and playground.

Lowering the level of Lake Mulwala will assist with waterweed control and is set to commence early in May 2022.

“Lake Mulwala is used as a popular water-skiing and boating spot, and the waterweed can make it difficult for our guests to launch boats, fish, swim or water ski without getting tangled in the weed,” said Ms Milne.

“Extensive consultations between the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and Goulburn-Murray Water were had to ensure the timing and extent of the lowering has the best results with as little impact as possible.

“It is important the waterweed issue is combatted this winter to improve the condition of the lake for the community, visitors, and the health of the lake itself.

“Tasman Holiday Park is an advocate for the importance of environmental care, and we are committed to providing our guests with sustainable holidaying.”

Lake Mulwala is expected to be back to its operating levels by early August.

Yarrawonga, which is part of the Moira Shire region, is renowned for the array of festivals and activities held in the area throughout the year and the region welcomes up to 1 million visitors per annum.

Tasman Holiday Parks Completes $65 Million in Acquisitions with First Move Into Victoria

Rapidly expanding tourism group Tasman Holiday Parks has completed $65 million in acquisitions this quarter, highlighted by the company’s first foray into the key Victorian market.

The settlement of four acquisitions for 2022 solidifies its foundations as the leading trans-Tasman operator of holiday parks.

The company has a further $120 million in holiday parks either under contract or in advanced pipeline in Australia, coupled with a further $30 million (NZD) in New Zealand.

The latest acquisitions have grown the Tasman Holiday Parks portfolio to 26 properties, with 21 in Australia and five in New Zealand. The number of revenue-generating sites has grown to over 4,000, positioning Tasman Holiday Parks to meet its target of doubling in size over the two years to the end of 2023.

The company, supported by a $300 million capital raising late last year, is tapping into rising demand from the tourism drive market for holiday accommodation in idyllic locations.

Tasman Holiday Parks has deployed more than $65 million in capital through acquisitions in the latest quarter, in addition to significant development investment.

The latest Australian acquisitions comprise two major investments in Western Australia, with Yallingup Beach Holiday Park and Yallingup Caves Holiday Park, highlighting WA as a key market for the company, positioning Tasman Holiday Parks for a domestic tourism boost as the nation celebrates WA’s long-awaited border reopening.

An award winning park in New South Wales has also joined the fold, with Tasman’s recent acquisition of BIG4 Ballina Headlands Holiday Park.

BIG4 Ballina has been notched up a string of awards, including the People’s Choice Award at the 2020 BIG4 Annual Awards, and more recently the Bronze Award in the People’s Choice Caravan Park of the Year at the 2021 Caravan Industry Association Awards.

The family-owned park has been tightly held for 25 years, developing a legacy which Tasman Holiday Parks CEO Nikki Milne said they were looking forward to continuing.

“We have a huge respect for the proud family history BIG4 Ballina possesses alongside being one of NSW’s most awarded holiday parks, and we are looking forward to playing an active role in maintaining this tradition moving forward,” she said.

Tasman is venturing into the Victorian market with the milestone acquisition of Riverglen Holiday Park in Geelong – a substantially sized, scalable holiday park comprising 125 permanent cabins.

Each of the newly acquired properties will further strengthen Tasman Holiday Parks’ position in market.

“The Geelong acquisition marks our first entry into the Victorian market as we continue to explore opportunities for key holiday parks across Australia and New Zealand,” said Ms Milne.

“The reopening of state borders in Australia has seen a surge in the domestic drive market which we believe will continue even with international travel restrictions also easing.

“Our operations in Australia have been performing extremely well. Victoria will play a key role in our expansion strategy, with our properties in the NSW Murray region showing continued strength and growth.

“We are well positioned in the New Zealand market with major investments underway as we prepare for the April 13 border reopening date.”

Tasman Holiday Parks’ proposed New Zealand acquisitions will add significant scale to the group’s New Zealand operations, taking the company’s total number of revenue-generating sites under management to almost 1,000 across its holiday parks in New Zealand.

“New Zealand remains a prime drive market for the group, and increasingly so as international borders reopen for the country, and we will continue to pursue new opportunities as they arise,” said Ms Milne.

Tasman Holiday Parks is also rapidly increasing its focus on development across its portfolio, led by the expansion of its premium holiday park holding at Racecourse Beach at Bawley Point on the NSW South Coast, with a strong development pipeline also commenced in QLD.

“We have an incredibly strong development pipeline across key assets in NSW, QLD and NZ, and we are preparing to invest a further $30 million in re-development in the year ahead,” said Ms Milne.

“Reinvesting in our acquisitions and recapitalising assets is an important part of the group’s growth strategy.”

Tasman Holiday Parks, which currently welcomes more than 325,000 guests a year across Australia and New Zealand, has now invested a total of more than $350 million in acquisitions and development activity since mid-2020.

Tasman Holiday Parks, the Largest Trans-Tasman Holiday Park Group is Poised for Expansion

Tasman Holiday Parks has announced the creation of the leading trans-Tasman
holiday park group after bedding down a series of acquisitions and developments
totalling more than $250 million over the past 18 months.

Tasman Holiday Parks, backed by Tasman Capital, a leading private equity group, is setting its sights on becoming a market leader in the sector. The fast-moving group has quickly capitalised on emerging opportunities in the holiday park sector in Australia and New Zealand as travel restrictions begin to ease in a post-COVID environment.

The emerging holiday park powerhouse, led by industry veteran Nikki Milne and a management team with more than 75 years’ combined sector experience, currently has a portfolio of 21 holiday parks following an acquisition spree that has consolidated quality assets in iconic destinations under the new Tasman Holiday Parks banner.

A recent $300 million capital raise has armed Tasman Holiday Parks with a warchest that will allow the group to double its asset base over the next two years. The pace of acquisitions since early 2020 has positioned Tasman Holiday Parks as the fastest growing owner, developer, and operator of holiday parks in Australia and New Zealand.

Among the latest acquisitions, is Christchurch TOP10 Holiday Park. The significant 277-site asset brings the total number of sites owned by Tasman Holiday Parks to more than 3,000, comprising cabins, caravan & camping sites, and short-term holiday sites.

The group now owns and operates 16 holiday parks in Australia and five in New Zealand and employs more than 300 staff across its operations. Tasman Holiday Parks CEO Nikki Milne says the group has targeted the launch of the consolidated consumer platform, tasmanholidayparks.com to catch the new wave of growth and increasing demand across domestic drive markets as borders reopen.

“We believe a desire for a more timeless touring and travel experience was returning prior to COVID, and the pandemic has only just accelerated this,” said Ms Milne.

“The growing popularity of an iconic cabin, caravan and camping holiday is an emerging mega-trend, and we are positioning ourselves to capture this return to authentic travel experiences with quality assets in iconic destinations across Australia and New Zealand.”

Tasman Holiday Parks is expecting a surge of travel demand as borders reopen across Australia and New Zealand throughout 2022 and beyond.

“While we are anticipating a strengthening of our domestic travel markets, we believe this will translate to a robust trans-Tasman demand for all of our holiday parks as holiday makers make a comeback,” said Ms Milne.

Tasman Holiday Parks has focused its acquisition strategy on quality independent holiday parks, with strong development upside in strategic locations.

Tasman Holiday Parks has recently undertaken a capital raise to restock its war chest with over $300 million available to grow its network and deliver a multi-milliondollar redevelopment program of its iconic holiday assets across Australia & New Zealand.

“We believe in delivering wonderful guest experiences and will focus investment to ensure we have the highest quality parks to delight our customers now and into the future,” said Ms Milne.

Tasman Holiday Parks currently has a deep pipeline of projects and acquisitions to double the size of the business over the coming 24 months. The group’s current development pipeline has the capacity to add an additional 500 sites to its existing portfolio.

Stuart Lamont CEO of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia said the investment into the sector was timely and acknowledged the commitment to quality from Tasman Holiday Parks.

“Holiday Parks are the backbone of the great Australian touring holiday and essential to the social fabric of our communities. Quality, well-funded corporate groups with a strong commitment to re-investment are essential to the delivery of a leading guest
experience,” said Mr Lamont.

“We are excited to support and welcome Tasman Holiday Parks as an active member of the caravanning and camping market and an emerging leader in the trans-Tasman market.”

Tasman Holiday Parks are the fastest-growing owner, developer & operator of holiday parks across Australia and New Zealand. With more than 3,000 sites under management across 21 iconic locations, Tasman Holiday Parks welcomes more than 250,000 guests each year.