Van parks geared toward grey nomads

Tony and Denyse Allsop — 29 October 2011

AS THE RV industry grows, and huge numbers of RVs are using free offroad camps, Denyse and I have noticed a trend in parks identifying their niche market and catering for it. Of course, some parks are still trying to please all groups, and charging accordingly. This is a contentious issue, as it is very hard to get it just right.

While Denyse and I love dogs, we do not appreciate finding our clothes coming out of the washing machine covered in dog hair, or stepping in the mess a dog owner may not have cleaned up. We seem to be part of a group of travellers who prefer a quiet park with clean amenities and no pets.

IN CAIRNS RECENTLY, we came across a park that caters particularly for the older person who does not wish to camp with a lot of loud noise or animals, and not pay for all the extras geared at entertaining children.

Most Top Tourist Parks accept dogs, but Cairns First City Caravilla Caravan Park does not. While they obviously accept children, their main market is grey nomads, and their advertising is aimed at this group.

This park is family owned and managed, and they live on the premises. Prices are competitive – they are the closest park to the city, with a bus stop outside and restaurants within walking distance. The park looks out over rainforest-clad mountains, and gardens and lawns are neatly manicured. Amenities blocks are older, but very clean. As we walked around the park, we noted that around about 90% of RVers were over 55.

Obviously this park caters to a certain market and they have found their niche.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Big4 Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort is a five-star resort, catering for everyone, and a great park for a holiday with kids. Site fees appear high, but all entertainment is included. They do not accept animals, but we heard recently that 29 Big4 parks are presently taking dogs.

Whatever your preference, you may be able to find a park now that is geared towards your particular wants and needs, and we hope this trend is on the increase.

First City Caravilla Caravan Park: phone (07) 4054 1403 or 1800 224767

Big4 Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort: phone (07) 4054 6644 or 1300 262 668.


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Tony and Denyse Allsop