One last Kingy summer before the end of an era
THIS January holidaymakers - some after more than 60 summers on site - will say goodbye to the Kingscliff Holiday Park as they have known it.
The venue is set to be redeveloped as part of a bold $21.2 million undertaking to revitalise the Kingscliff foreshore with a three-stage project.
Many have celebrated the move saying it will open up a key part of the frontage to ocean views and expect this will attract crowds to the town CBD; they say there will be better facilities, walkways along the foreshore, a seawall, a playground and a new promenade to connect Marine Pde to the beach.
But some have concerns a huge part of the past will be lost.
"It's devastating," said Carol Barnes, from Melbourne, who has spent summer holidays at Kingscliff for more than 30 years.
"Just devastating. Everyone is devastated. They don't want to think about it.
"We're going to lose our holiday family, and our kids will too."
Joan Alexander is another who fears after 63 summers on the Kingscliff foreshore, she has watched the tide turn for one of the last times.
When asked how she will spend Christmas and the new year following this summer, the Murwillumbah local was reluctant to consider the prospect.
"I don't want to think about it," she said. "I don't know what I'll do at Christmas. I probably won't be able to come anymore; the chances of getting in will be pretty slim. I've been coming for six weeks every Christmas but I don't think that will happen anymore."
On January 30 the holiday park will close to undergo redevelopment.
It will signal the beginning of the Kingscliff foreshore revitalisation project.
About one third of the holiday park land will be claimed by the council and used to make space for a new Kingscliff Central Park, a public area of about 10,000sq m.
The upgrade means the number of campsites will be reduced from 176 to 61 to cater for larger modern vans, to create more beach access and to make way for an erosion seawall.
There will also be more cabins instead of van sites.
Sue Noble, 72, of Brisbane, worries the reduction in sites will mean an increase in fees.
In her entire life she as spent only five summers away from the venue.
She fears the paradise she's enjoyed all of those years will soon be lost.