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Backpacker bride and authentic Aussie re-launch customised comforts in Halls Gap

October 28, 2012
Backpacker  bride and authentic Aussie re-launch customised comforts in Halls Gap

Dutch backpacker Josephina McDonald met and fell in love with a dashing Aussie who drove a big mower in Lorne Victoria 12 years ago. She went back to Holland but missed him so much she came back and supported by the McDonald family married him in Halls Gap,the town which looks up to the towering ramparts of the Grampians National Park.

Now she and husband Rohan (the bloke with the mower) have leased the park and re-opened a completely revitalised Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park with ownersAlan and Pam Hislop in a $1 million redevelopment.

The sign near the brand new office - Wildlife Hwy points to Lakeside's difference. As this comes with new facilities, big campsites and new cabins with Josephina's personal touches Lakeside has changed big time. The range of new family cabins provide the newest accommodation facilities available in Halls Gap.

In a proactive about-face the new cabins now look out of the caravan park to the Grampians mountain grandeur. With fences removed kangaroos and emus are part of the caravan park as they graze below the broad barbecue decks of the new cabins. The crisp new family cabins include multi-jet spas and flexible accommodation options.

The major re-development of the caravan park also includes installation of a new En-suite amenities building, office, kiosk complex, staff amenities and three bedroom residence.

Josephina is good with people. Rohan is good with grass.But not to worry Rohan says people are a lot like grass. Once they are established they just keep coming back.

For Halls Gap in particular, the Grampians region and Australia in general caravan parks are a real barometer of how Australia is travelling in every sense.

Mayor Cr Dorothy Patton, of Northern Grampians Shire, says she recognises the value of people like Rohan and Josephina in the risk taking world which establishes business and underpins communities. Halls Gap and the Grampians Region are notable and fortunately typical of Australians who are prepared to put it all on the line and have a go.

She said the shire was working on a bike track extension which will connect Halls Gap to Lake Bellfield via Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park. This was expected to be completed by Christmas, she said.

The sign says it  all at  Halls Gap Lakeside TP 020
The sign says it all at Halls Gap Lakeside TP 020

Bathers are a must at the revitalised Halls Gap Lakeside as the outdoor pool is heated to 32 degrees. A dressing gown to make getting out of the pool a little more special is useful too.

Rohan has engineered Billy the Boiler to impressive wood-fired hot water production. The boiler would not be out of place on a paddle-steamer and the pool steams too in the early morning air as swimmers splash in what is certainly a positive result in practical caravan park management.

Rohan is, to be frank, nuts about wood. What wood produces the most heat? he asks. Redgum is the obvious answer, but- No says the woodsman, It's Grey Box.

As he quotes the respective thermal unit values of Australian timbers it is impossible not to recognise that Lakesideand Rohan areAuthentic Aussies. Handy Rohan is useful with a tractor and front-end loader too so major landscaping has changed the pretty caravan park.

Big Red drops in for cake Halls Gap Lakeside TP IMAG0975
Big Red drops in for cake Halls Gap Lakeside TP IMAG0975
Serious spa Halls Gap Lakeside Top  Tourist Park
Serious spa Halls Gap Lakeside Top Tourist Park

Apart from the obvious improvements in the caravan park's presentation the flocks of local native birds enjoy a bonanza as they scratch and bill about in the thick compost which now nurtures hundreds of new native plants.

Rohan's diverse experience includes golf course green keeping during his time in Lorneand that certainly shows at Lakeside. Hard work, grass seed and water have worked magic and the caravan park is glowing green.

Once again the wildlife are delighted as they graze the new pastures .

Up to 60 kangaroos, accompanied by emus are part of daily life at Lakeside so this is an Aussie animal bush encounter and it all comes with the camping.

Editors note: Pam and Alan who are members of thewww.GoSeeAustralia.com.au team have ownedHalls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park in Tymna Drive Halls Gap (near Lake Bellfield) since 1996. They lived in Halls Gap until they moved to Geelong about seven years ago.

Recently, new lessees Rohan and Josephina McDonald purchased the business side of things and since March this year there has been a major re-development of the tourist park.

Halls Gap has been through some rough times over the past few years and we are excited with the new direction Halls Gap is taking with new marketing initiatives, the fitness and health opportunities provided with almost complete 'bike track' to Lake Bellfield, tours, attractions and festivals, all positive and inviting to visitors to the area, Alan said.
We are proud of Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park's new direction and support from past and new customers is extremely encouraging. We particularly made a point of using local tradesman and businesses in this major upgrade and want to make Halls Gap the place to visit, he said.
The 're-launch' of Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park was held on Friday , October 26. Here are Information Articles from the free GoSee library which reflect the Halls Gap and the magnificent Grampians National Park.

<!--mo1####mo2-->34 degs in the woodfired Lakeside swimming pool<!--mo3-->
34 degs in the woodfired Lakeside swimming pool
<!--mo1####mo2-->GoSee 23ft Jayco and tug at  Halls Gap Lakeside TP 011<!--mo3-->
GoSee 23ft Jayco and tug at Halls Gap Lakeside TP 011
<!--mo1####mo2-->Hop-scotch team work on fun  and games 024<!--mo3-->
Hop-scotch team work on fun and games 024
<!--mo1####mo2-->Mayor Cr Dorothy Patton re-opens Halls Gap  Lakeside Tourist Park.IMG 0336<!--mo3-->
Mayor Cr Dorothy Patton re-opens Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park.IMG 0336
<!--mo1####mo2-->Roos are comfortable with people 034<!--mo3-->
Roos are comfortable with people 034
<!--mo1####mo2-->Wood fired Billy Boiler heats the swimming pool 022<!--mo3-->
Wood fired Billy Boiler heats the swimming pool 022

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