Go retro: caravans are cool again – why Lake Macquarie is one of Australia’s top holiday park hotspots.
Once the sole domain of grey nomads and 1970s family getaways, caravanning is cool again, as travellers the country over are discovering – and loving – the community spirit and prime locations of our hottest caravan parks, many of which occupy spectacular lake and beachfront sites mainstream hotels would die for.
And it’s not just baby boomers getting up close and personal with caravans and cabins. Holiday parks are becoming a fast favourite with young groups and families keen to get away from it all without breaking the budget, or sacrificing a sought-after location.
In fact, data from Tourism Research Australia reveals that the 35 to 44-year-old age group has enjoyed the most annual camping and caravanning trips for the past five years running and, according to IBISWorld Australia, is now worth $1 billion.
The question is, why?
No doubt for some it’s reliving childhood memories of summers spent by the sea making new friends in the local holiday park; for others it’s getting close to nature, enjoying the community vibe or creating memories in a budget-friendly beach, lake, rainforest or riverside location.
Families who like to travel with other friends with kids are also finding that holiday parks are the most accommodating option for several families travelling together, with groups able to book adjacent caravan sites or cabins much more easily than trying to book a block of large or self-catering hotel rooms in a substantial hotel. Add to that the plethora of holiday parks offering premium facilities, playgrounds, pools and organised children’s activities and the appeal is clear.
As for where the action is, Lake Macquarie (NSW) is home to the highest number of holiday parks in the Hunter region – one of Australia’s camping hotspots – with 9 parks continually upgrading facilities to meet consumer demand by installing cafes and restaurants, organised evening and outdoor activities and adding a broad range of accommodation styles, such as two-storey family cabins, that go way beyond traditional unpowered sites.
It’s little wonder IBISWorld expects caravan parks and camping grounds will continue to expand their services and increase their share of the domestic travel market over the next five years. Why not join the movement this summer and experience one of the popular holiday parks in and around Lake Macquarie?
Active Holidays BIG4 Lake Macquarie – top spot for families
This award-winning park in the township of Mannering Park on the southern shore of Lake Macquarie offers a range of accommodation styles from waterfront powered camping sites to luxury lakeside villas with spa baths. Sprawling over more than eight acres, kids will love the playground, jumping pillow, pedal bikes and in-ground saltwater pool, while the well-equipped camp kitchen, BBQs, boat ramp and jetty make water activities and home-cooked meals a breeze.
Belmont Pines Lakeside Holiday Park – great for groups and action hunters
Perfectly perched on the shores of picturesque Lake Macquarie, visitors enjoy a laidback island-like ambience in a setting almost entirely encircled by the lake. Whether you like to fish, swim, sail or windsurf, the lake provides plenty of opportunity for action, while a mix of villas, cabins and tent sites ensure there’s somewhere suitable to stay for every traveller.
Blacksmiths Beachside Holiday Park – perfect for beach lovers
If the beach is your bliss, Blacksmith’s Beachside Holiday Park – just 100 metres from the patrolled Blacksmith’s Bach and a short walk to Swansea Channel – will be your idea of holiday park heaven. Offering cabin accommodation, ensuite, powered and unpowered sites, a children’s playground, resort-style swimming pool, tennis courts, camp kitchen with al fresco eating area and BBQs throughout the park, Blacksmith’s is hard to beat.
Redhead Beach Holiday Park – a surfers bliss
Sensational surfside accommodation in luxury self-contained villas, family cabins with ensuites and traditional sites sit alongside an enticing playground, pool, undercover gas BBQ entertaining areas, modern amenities and laundry facilities at this popular park. The nature board walk is one of the park’s highlights – besides its incredible location!
Swansea Gardens Lakeside Holiday Park – surrounded by favourite fishing spots
Ideally situated on the Swansea Channel at the entrance to Lake Macquarie Swansea Gardens, this tranquil, tree-studded park is literally surrounded by the shores of spectacular Lake Macquarie. Home to a brand new mini-golf course, a swimming pool and a playground to keep the kids occupied for hours, accommodation includes powered waterfront sites and comfortable cabins.
Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park – ideal for boating enthusiasts
Tucked away between the shores of remarkable Lake Macquarie and the National Parks and Wildlife Flora and Fauna Reserve, Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park invites you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city to soak up the serenity of the naturally beautiful bush setting, and lovely lake views. Villas and cabins sit amongst the trees with an outlook towards the lake, the park has a jetty and boat ramp on the waterfront, and there’s a range of powered ensuite, powered and unpowered sites available.