Tweed popular among campers
IN spite of the global economic downturn, or perhaps because of it, the Tweed is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists – particularly campers.
Tweed Billabong Holiday Park manager Paddy Johnson said between 400 and 500 people would camp at their South Tweed Heads park over the holiday period.
“We’re fully booked out,” Mr Johnson said.
“I think the economic downturn has turned people back to camping.”
The Tweed Billabong Holiday Park’s occupancy rates are in line with the rest of the state according to the latest statistics released by Tourism Research Australia.
The data showed caravan and camping accommodation in New South Wales had undergone a 10 per cent increase in visitor nights from the September 2008 to the September 2009 quarter.
Mr Johnson said their family-orientated park attracts tourists every holiday season.
“The park’s long established; we’ve been here 32 years,” he said.
“We’ve got people that come back year after year.”
Among the park’s regular visitors are Brisbane’s Wayne Fing and his family and friends.
“We love it here,” Mr Fing said.
“We have five children ranging in age from 17 to 15, with a set of quads, and we’ve been coming here for nine years.
“We’ve been in just about every area of the park but this is the pick,” said Mr Fing, indicating his prime position next to the park’s namesake billabong.
Mr Fing and his happy campers celebrate Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Australia Day and Easter at the park, decorating their tents and campers appropriately for each occasion.
“There are six families here this time and we’re staying for 22 days,” he said.
Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW CEO Barry Baillie said the value for money, camaraderie and quality experiences offered by caravan and camping holidays is what attracts many Australians to the lifestyle.
“Many coastal holiday parks across NSW are booked out for the Christmas and New Year period and powered and unpowered sites for camping seem to be growing in popularity for family holidays this year,” Mr Baillie said.
“Our industry truly offers something for every budget, whether it is travelling in a caravan or motor home, staying in a cabin or camping in a tent in a holiday park.”