Sell with Us

Practical Caravan Park knowhow transforms Park Lane Tourist Park in Latrobe Valley Victoria

January 24, 2007
Practical Caravan Park knowhow transforms Park Lane Tourist Park in Latrobe Valley Victoria

It is not easy to make a silk purse out of a sows ear but that is what has happened at Park Lane Tourist Park on the Princes Hwy, midway between the Victorian Latrobe Valley centres of Morwell and Traralgon.

The transformation has come from the kind of practical knowhow that goes with people like owners Graeme and Chris Hellings and the caravan park management skills of Barry and Denise Stewart.

This happy combination has propelled Park Lane from two stars to a AAA Tourism rating of four and a half.

Caravans, motorhomes and Recreational Vehicles of all kinds have room to manoeuvre on big drive-through sites.

Park Lane is close to great day trips like the Walhalla goldfields and railway experience, magnificent Tara Bulga National Park, 90 Mile Beach, Loy Yang open cut coal mines and Powerworks, art galleries, wineries and Gourmet Food Trails.

Ian of Latrobe Valley Visitor Information Centre told GoSeeAustralia today that despite bushfire damage to its popular railway Walhalla is up and running with about 40 percent of the track operational.

Attractions are running as normal in the Latrobe Valley, he said. The Tara Valley is 100 per cent. We had one big dump of rain, about 25mm and the smoke has gone in fact it is right all the way right through to Lakes Entrance, he said.

The only area which is out of bounds is the 4WD tracks. The Department of Sustainability, VicRoads, Parks Victoria, CFA and NSW Rural Fire Brigade websites give specific track and road closure advice to travellers and off-road entusiasts. This covers the North and South of Victoria, the Otways and through links with the NSW Rural Fire Brigade includes the Snowy Mountains.

Park Lane drive-through site
Park Lane drive-through site

Park Lane Top Tourist Park is roomy, bright, colorful and clean with a refreshing touch of quirky .

This is in the beach box impact of the cheerful shades which made the caravan park an eye-catcher as GoSeeAustralia's retro Sahara came off the Eastern Interchange flyover after an hour and a half easy running from GoSeeAustralia's southern office in the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood East.

GoSeeAustralia found the brand new amenities a shining experience and the modern laundry certainly makes light of the clothes washing chore.

Guests have access to a barbeque area, fully equipped communal kitchen, playground and recreation room.

When Park Lane says the kitchen is fully equipped they mean what they say and the kitchenware and crockery are good quality. Safety has not been forgotten and a fire blanket and fire extinguisher are handy to the cooking area.

Park Lane also includes 4.5 and 5 star family air-conditioned, ensuite cabins which thanks to Graeme Helling's skills as a builder are roomy and superbly appointed.

There is wireless internet access throughout the caravan park plus an internet kiosk.

Pets are allowed at the managers discretion. They must be on a lead at all times. Park Lane recognises that many people love their pets and want them with them on the road.

So there are a small number of Pet Friendly cabins available for travellers, and Park Lane has also added a dog run where guests can safely leave pets when they visit nearby National Parks, or go shopping.

Strong Cabin colours catch the eye as you drive over the East Gippsland interchange from  Melbourne
Strong Cabin colours catch the eye as you drive over the East Gippsland interchange from Melbourne

GoSeeAustralia found Park Lane's attention to detail refreshing. For example in providing easy access to cabin accommodation for the disabled the ramp which leads to the cabin door is part of a deck. The result is that both disabled people and the fortunately fit share the cabins benefits.

Going the extra lap extends to back of the cabins. It is not an area that usually gets great attention, but at Park Lane paving, landscaping and plants make it just as attractive as the front of the accommodation. The Deluxe cabin living dining areas have room for family and friends and the circular dining table has seating for six.

Lodges and Cottages come with a useful washing machine behind folding doors in the ensuite. They also have furniture which borders on the decadent. One lounge we tried is softly laid back with a fold out drinks holder in the middle. The master bedroom we saw had a warm suede contrast wall, bay window, quality bedding and plenty of hanging space.

Park Lane's Lodges with spa hold their own with any Australian touring accommodation option we have used and the cabins run away with the game in a price comparison with many hotels and motels.

The caravanEnsuite sites are effective, drive-through and fit easily into the thoughtful development of Park Lanes caravan and motorhome movement plan.

A wide ramp purpose built with this cabin allows easy access for disabled guests at Park Lane
A wide ramp purpose built with this cabin allows easy access for disabled guests at Park Lane

Children do well with modern games room, pool and playground. The TV room includes lounge chairs which allow a feet-up approach to the screen scene.

For complete relaxation for body and mind Barry has completed the launch of a serious all-weather outdoor spa under its own gazebo roof.

GoSeeAustralia believes that the major requirement for successful caravan park managers is that they must be able to turn their hand to anything.

Barry fills the bill and as far as the bubbling spa is concerned clearly takes special pride in his work. GoSeeAustralia notes that in our eight-seater spa picture the head at left in line with the hand-rail looks like Barry's. Which might explain his enthusiasm for spa maintenance. We could be wrong of course!

While you are at Park Lane Tourist Park Go and See:

Old Gippstown is the name and it tells it like it was

Michael Fozard of Old Gippstown says they have gone back to the old and most recognised name Old Gippstown, instead of Gippsland Heritage Park, but they have also captioned it with Gippsland's Heritage Park to retain some identity of the last name and to provide more of an explanation of what they are.

The name Old Gippstown derives from Gippsland/Town and it is to show that the park is set up to represent an old township which has the character and history of the Gippsland region.

Just off the highway as you enter Moe the Park is authentic and Old Gippstown is often seen as the Gateway to the Deli Trail, local Winery Tours, Walhalla and a host of other popular sights and attractions that give Gippsland its rich, vibrant culture.

It is a good cheap, fun, informativefamily experience. Adults (including 'Senior' card holders) $5.00 per person. Pensioners (Aged/Disabled/Sole Parent) $4.00 per person. Children (secondary school age) $4.00 per person. Children (primary school age $3.00 per person Children under 5 years of age FREE. Group entry rates make learning about how it was even easier on the wallet.

WALHALLA:

Take a step back in time to one of Victoria's great gold mining towns of the 19th Century. Visit the many historic building and ride the train on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway or tour the Long tunnel Extender gold Mine.

TARRA BULGA NATIONAL PARK:

The park is one of Victorians most popular National Parks noted for the renowned Suspension Bridge, lush moist gullies and giant Mountain Ash trees. The cool temperate rainforest of the park is at its best in winter. With glistening leaves and flowing creeks through the gullies. The Visitor Centre is a great place to start your walk

POWER WORKS:

The Latrobe Region is the location of vast thermal power resources based on brown coal. This area generates 85% of the electricity needs of Victoria. Visit the Powerworks Technology Centre and participate in one of its tours around this engineering marvel

NARKOOJEE WINERY:

Narkoojee is a boutique winery committed to the production of premium quality wines, reflecting both varietal and regional character. Enjoy tasting on the terrace while taking in the magnificent view of the Strezlecki Ranges. www.narkoojee.com

AERIAL SKYDIVES:

Experience the Ultimate Adventure, freefalling over the breathtaking scenery of the Latrobe Valley in Central Gippsland, Victoria or at Christmas over the spectacular coastline of Lakes Entrance and Ninety Mile beach

EAST GIPPSLAND:

The historical Port of Sale and the internationally recognised Wetland at Sale.Take the South Gippsland Highway to Yarram and seaside Port Albert for a visit to the maritime Museum, learn about the Omega Tracking Station. Lunch on fresh fish and chips at the wharf.

Travel through the rich farming lands of Maffra, visit the magnificent Glenmagie Weir travel back to Traralgon via the Cowwarr Weir and Art space, and taste the local wins at Narkoojee Winery.

Step back in time at the Old Gippsland town at Moe.

Editor's Note: Also see -

Modern playground
Modern playground
These Park Lane guests told GoSeeAustralia they came to see the Crows  play and just kept on driving
These Park Lane guests told GoSeeAustralia they came to see the Crows play and just kept on driving
Inviting  pool  and surrounds
Inviting pool and surrounds
Park Lane and  Mayfair Gardens owner Graeme  Hellings shows the TV room allows feet up viewing
Park Lane and Mayfair Gardens owner Graeme Hellings shows the TV room allows feet up viewing
Ensuite caravan site Park Lane Traralgon
Ensuite caravan site Park Lane Traralgon
The basketball firing range
The basketball firing range
Bright and shiny washrooms Park Lane
Bright and shiny washrooms Park Lane
Attention to detail extends to often neglected areas at Park Lane Traralgon
Attention to detail extends to often neglected areas at Park Lane Traralgon
Deluxe cabin kitchen dining Park Lane
Deluxe cabin kitchen dining Park Lane
Bright colours catch the eye
Bright colours catch the eye
Lodges with spa Park Lane
Lodges with spa Park Lane
Fun and Games room Park Lane Tourist Park Traralgon
Fun and Games room Park Lane Tourist Park Traralgon
Kitchen and dining area Standard ensuite cabin Park Lane Traralgon
Kitchen and dining area Standard ensuite cabin Park Lane Traralgon
Laundry included Lodges Park Lane Traralgon
Laundry included Lodges Park Lane Traralgon
Laundry facilities Park Lane
Laundry facilities Park Lane
Park Lane Manager Barry Stewart gets the big spa  bubbling
Park Lane Manager Barry Stewart gets the big spa bubbling
Park Lanes childrens bathroom
Park Lane's childrens bathroom
Superior cabin come with thoughtful touches Park Lane Traralgon
Superior cabin come with thoughtful touches Park Lane Traralgon
Superior cabin master bedroom Park Lane
Superior cabin master bedroom Park Lane
The communal kitchen is fully equipped
The communal kitchen is fully equipped
When Park Lane says fully equipped they mean it
When Park Lane says fully equipped they mean it
Read our Email and Privacy Policy