There must be something out of the ordinary about Gippsland'sGlen Cromie Caravan Parkin Main Neerim Rd Drouin because after 12 years as regulars about 200 Vietnam Veterans and their families and friends will camp there again, this time from Tuesday November 13 to Tuesday 20th.
The Official Family Weekend is Friday November 16 to Sunday the 18th, but the Veterans always arrive early in the Victorian Gippsland centre and stay longer, so the dates tend to blow out.
Organiser David Wain says singer Denise Drysdale comes every year. Normie Rowe and Macia Jones of Marcia Jonesand the Cookies have been known to roll up too. Employed as Melbournes first go-go dancer at age 17, Denises popularity led to the Australian Government inviting her to perform for the troops in Vietnam for three weeks in 1967.
They performed for us at concerts in Vietnam and that makes them veterans, David said.
Glen Cromie swimming hole
Why so loyal to secluded Glen Cromie? - Well- says David it's beautiful, central and we have fun. We involve the kids and play ridiculous games for the Pigs Arse Award.
You would have to be a Veteran to really understand, but the 7th Royal Australian Regiment's mascot is a pig and the 7th has been a Victorian Battalion since the 7th AIF, he said.
But we are a real mix of Army, Navy and Air Force personnel who served in Vietnam in the period from 1966 to 1972.
David Wain was long-term Regular Army and he recalls the Vietnam personnel mix as 30 percent Regulars and 70 percent National Service.
Twelve years ago there were no grandchildren, but now that has changed and the basic weekend has expanded as many Vietnam Veterans have caravans. Of the group about 90 per cent have caravans, some have tents and the real flash ones stay in the Glen Cromie cabins. A good percentage of Vietnam Veterans are Grey Nomads, David said.
Grassed sites make for camp comfort at Glen Cromie
Friday night (Nov. 16) is the big barbecue tea with meat provide by a Warragul butcher. The town, its facilities, and a good hospital are close. That's important to people our age, David said.
Glen Cromie Caravan Park is less than 100 kms from Melbourne and easily accessed from the Monash Freeway. Set on 35 acres in a secluded valley with the Tarago River running gently through the park you can just sit and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature.
The park is surrounded by majestic, towering gum trees and tree ferns. The park also has its own bushland walking trails with stunning scenery and an abundance of bird and wildlife.
Glen Cromie has luxury cabin accommodation, flat grassed powered and unpowered sites.
Jayco cabins Glen Cromie CP on the Tarago River
Park facilities include a fully equipped laundry, baby bathroom and a number of amenities blocks. There is also a well stocked kiosk for immediate needs.
Glen Cromie is also well known as a Day Park because of its idyllic location.
There is a day visitor fee. Glen Cromie has five big Shelters available for hire for family picnic, school, work or social group gatherings.
There are also a number of electric barbecues around the park.
There is a large gas barbecue available for hire if needed.
Editor's Note: Pictures courtesy of Glen Cromie Caravan Park.