Lake Hume Tourist Park responds to strong Trans Tasman demand for good quality, value caravan park accommodation

April 19, 2008
Lake Hume Tourist Park responds to strong Trans Tasman demand for good quality, value caravan park accommodation

By Garth Morrison Editor GoSeeAustralia & New Zealand

It was a sizzling 40degs at 11.30am and we blessed the cool haven of the self-contained Lake Hume Tourist Park cabin and its reverse cycle air-conditioning as it purred comfort to greet our early arrival.

We had called Lake Hume Tourist Park the day before and passed on our early ETA after the Bureau of Meteorology gave us the word that we must rise with the morning star to stay ahead of the worst of the weather. So we fired up the truck at 5.30am and headed for Albury

The thing about our Lake Hume cabin experiences is that in winter the welcome is just as thoughtful, but its warmer in the cabin to suit the climate to our comfort.

Our GoSee group see too much of the boring, much road-worked, Hume Highway as we head for our head office in Canberra on regular road voyages north.

When the weather does its worst with blazing heat or wind, cold and rain (we wish) cabin accommodation in caravan parks like Lake Hume Tourist Park just out of Albury/Wodonga meets our needs.

GoSee knows there is a strong demand for good quality, well priced, basic cabin accommodation throughout Australia and New Zealand.

We know because ContACT, the Canberra company home of GoSeeAustralia and GoSee New Zealand, moderates major caravanning and caravan industry forums 24/7 and the need is plain to see in the comments of website users.

Lake Hume is across it with basic caravan park accommodation which is much better than average as it comes completely self-contained with fine views from the balcony.

Despite the challenges of the drought he has just added six excellent Jayco cabins in a perfect fit with what many travellers say they want. He has also created big powered camp sites with outstanding views.

Sure the lake is drought low, but boating and water-sports in general are bubbling along fine and none of the Lake Hume boat ramps we saw near the caravan park are out of the water.

Scenic Lake Hume Tourist Park is a member of the Family Parks chain and Kevins commitment to cabins and extensive caravan and camping site improvements also lines up with Family Parks marketing position throughout Australia and New Zealand.

It is about good value at a good price.

40 degs and this is why we stay in cabins
40 degs and this is why we stay in cabins

More caravan park users than ever before are now interested in a stay at caravan parks which rate at between three and three and half stars under the Australian Automobile Clubs AAA Tourism assessment criteria.

The response is similar in both islands of New Zealand although GoSee has learnt through experience that New Zealanders take a more literal view of camping when compared with Australia.

GoSee believes that this market shift is driven by far more than debatable reported perceptions that AAA Tourism sees high value in pretty pictures on park cabin walls in terms of star rating cabins in caravan parks throughout Australia.

GoSee is also amazed at the idea that plaster cabin walls rate higher in Auto Club assessment criteria than the caravan style materials used by builders like Jayco in the six extremely well equipped cabins which now overlook striking Lake Hume sunsets.

Frankly my dears GoSee does not think caravan park cabin regulars give a damn about pictures or plaster walls.

They, like the Auto Club members, are crystal clear about their needs. They want cleanliness, service and value.

We see where accommodation trends are headed because ContACT Internet Solutions and its international shopwindow websites GoSeeAustralia and GoSee New Zealand are in daily touch with the mood and direction of caravanning and tourism as it happens.

Clean and bright
Clean and bright

Our daily role as moderators on Public and Industry Forums of popular caravanning websites show the strong interest in basic caravan park accommodation.

We use all styles of caravan park accommodation from camping to spa cabins. ContACT and GoSee staff is constantly on the road and stay and pay their way at caravan parks in Australia and New Zealand.

Cost is an issue for people who travel in caravan parks and also an opportunity for caravan park management planners but it is not just about dollars.

On aMarcheditorial tour to the National Folk Festival in Canberra we came back south over Clyde Mountainto Batemans Bay, Mogo Zoo and on through coastal NSW and Victoria.

GoSee paid $57 (peak period) for two adults overnight when we parked the Retro GoSee Toyota camper on a powered site at Pambula Beach.

We could have paid less at other caravan parks or free camped out-of-the wayin our completely self-sufficient -GoSee almost anywhere - turbo diesel Toyota Sahara 4WD.

Most caravan parks charge peak rates during school holidays and we wanted to stay at Pambula Beach as part of the ACT/NSW GoSee editorial camping tour to experience the camping realities of families on school holidays in a popularcaravan park.

The Sahara has a high roof and is plenty big enough for comfort for two.

But wewere trying new sleeping gear and camping equipment in the truck and I subscribe to the wise words - Happy wife = happy life.

So we came in from the roadto use the caravan parks power and shower facilities. We think caravan park value is about what is needed by the user, so like many travellers we are happy to pay for facilities, comfort and security.

Excellent  mattress, clean linen and soap Lake Hume Tourist Park
Excellent mattress, clean linen and soap Lake Hume Tourist Park

During the 14-daytrip we found particularly good value in standard ensuited cabins.

We paid $60and about $80 a double a night respectively for standard en-suite cabins with all comforts at Yass in 40deg heat and Batemans Bay on route to Mogo Zoo to do a feature story on the unique white lions.

The cabinswere equipped with everything we require for comfort andself-catering.

Good beddingwas supplied (linen is often an extra so always check prices)but we prefer to use our own double sleeping bag.

But just getting a site/cabin in peak periods is an issue as some caravan parks are booked out 12 months ahead. Supply and demand can collide for more immediate reasons too.

At Yass we had to move on after one night as the heat wave meantthe caravan parks airconditioned cabins were booked out the next day. Major events in centres produces the no room at the inn response as well.

At the recent Caravan and Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA) conference which we attended in Hobart GoSee felt some industry leaders are in denial on the peak seasonal period challenge.

Delegates were told by an industry panel that there was no problem in Queensland. This is not supported by comments on caravanning forums from site userswho can't even get into the booking queue. Noris the suggestion that big caravans are the major seller in Australia.

This may be true is somedealerships but GoSee was told bya senior RV manager of an Australian warranties company which underwrites industry that his company was doing significant warranty business in 18 and 21ft ensuite shower caravans.

Lack of site availability in some areas of Australia in peak periods is now a seasonal consideration which is a challenge for the caravan park industry. This particularly relates to some Queensland and Western Australian caravan parks during the cooler months in southern Australia.

Too hot to sleep in the truck so we take Jayco overnight cabin Yass
Too hot to sleep in the truck so we take Jayco overnight cabin Yass

But good accommodation value and customer service which goes the extra lap as demonstrated by caravan parks like Lake Hume Tourist Park works for travellers who vote yes with their hip pocket.

Eric Hayman Award winner for service to the caravanning industry, (the late) Noel Guthrie, told GoSee that the Family Parks chain is experiencing a big increase in the use of caravan park cabins.

More Family Parks guests are opting for cabins over towing their own caravan. Again cost and convenience is the driver, he said.

During a March 2007 editorial tour in New Zealand's North Island GoSee evaluated the real costs of using a motorhome against a Ford six-cylinder hire car and chalet/cabin stays over about a fortnight and found that the hire car and chalet/cabin option cost about NZ$70 more.

Of its 162 Australian caravan parks Family Parks has 115 which rate at between three and three and half stars. In New Zealand the Trans Tasman chain has 35 holiday parks which are of a similar (Automobile Association) AA standard.

On both sides of the Tasman the demand for good basic caravan park accommodation shows in a big response to Family Park's VIP Member Club, particularly the 24 Month Membership for $25.

The VIP Card Holder Benefits are -

10% Discount all year to a maximum of $20 per stay on sites or a maximum of

$40 per stay in cabins/chalets/units. (No other discount or commissions apply.)

A chance to win $250 of Holiday Vouchers every month just for staying atFamily Parks. Free book ahead service.

There are conditions. They are -

Tourist use only. Not applicable to permanent, annuals, long term or storage patrons. Not transferable.

Everything a cook needs
Everything a cook needs

Extra beds and linen
Extra beds and linen

Fully equipped quality value
Fully equipped quality value

Good sized fridge Jayco cabins Lake Hume
Good sized fridge Jayco cabins Lake Hume

Pots too. Jayco cabin Lake Hume Tourist Park
Pots too. Jayco cabin Lake Hume Tourist Park

The stove has an oven Jayco cabins Lake Hume
The stove has an oven Jayco cabins Lake Hume

Barbecue cruiser Lake Hume beach
Barbecue cruiser Lake Hume beach

Basic camp kitchen Lake Hume
Basic camp kitchen Lake Hume

Cafe society Lake Hume Tourist Park
Cafe society Lake Hume Tourist Park

Cedar cabin Lake Hume Tourist Park
Cedar cabin Lake Hume Tourist Park

Cedar Cabin sunset views lake Hume Tourist Park
Cedar Cabin sunset views lake Hume Tourist Park

Cool pool on a 40deg day  at lake Hume Tourist Park
Cool pool on a 40deg day at lake Hume Tourist Park

Entertainment centre
Entertainment centre

Four bunks Cedar Cabin Lake Hume Tourist Park
Four bunks Cedar Cabin Lake Hume Tourist Park

Green scene by the Lake Hume pool
Green scene by the Lake Hume pool

It  is 40 degs and pictures on the  walls are not our priority
It is 40 degs and pictures on the walls are not our priority

Jayco cabin view Lake Hume Tourist Park
Jayco cabin view Lake Hume Tourist Park

Kevin Downie of Lake Hume Tourist Park with one of six new Jayco cabins
Kevin Downie of Lake Hume Tourist Park with one of six new Jayco cabins

Lake Hume caravan site
Lake Hume caravan site

Lake Hume views from the new sites at Lake Hume Tourist Park
Lake Hume views from the new sites at Lake Hume Tourist Park

Luxury cedar cabin Lake Hume. We dont come for the plaster walls
Luxury cedar cabin Lake Hume. We dont come for the plaster walls

Water-sports Lake Hume
Water-sports Lake Hume

Cedar cabins Lake Hume Tourist Park
Cedar cabins Lake Hume Tourist Park

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