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Life Happens The adventures of Nora Dunn & Kelly Bedford, Professional Hobos. Nora writes, Kelly makes music. Together, we are on a lifelong journey to...wherever.

More Brilliant Caravan Parks

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 17 July 2008 | Views [3850] | Comments [2]

Pursuant to my earlier post on caravan parks, we have become quite acquainted with the likes of these travel stops as the weeks have progressed on our World Nomads Whirlwind Trip. And no two parks are the same, which is part of the charm of such travel.


When you check in at a big name chain hotel or motel, you know exactly what you’re going to get, right down to the brand of mints on the pillow. But even among franchised caravan parks (which are a rarity), you will get some terrific variety. Everything from the amenities, to the scenery, to the surroundings; it’s a crap shoot.


And unlike the variety of accommodations we saw in the guesthouses of Bangkok, the variations are all relatively appealing; it just depends on what you are looking for.


Like Forrest Gump said, “Caravan Parks are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Wait a minute. He didn’t say that. Ah well – something like that, I’m sure.


Since we are constantly on the move while in the World Nomads van, and since we enjoy the great outdoors, we tend to gravitate towards parks that are a little secluded and scenic. Not to say that our times smack dab in the middle of some of the towns we visited were bad – but it’s just not our idea of camping. For the permanent or long term residents of those parks though (and there are those in almost every caravan park), I’m sure being close to town is heaven on earth.


So when we rolled into the town of Mildura, we got a list of caravan parks, almost all of them directly across from the mall. Wireless internet access was a need since we hadn’t been online for a few days. So that alone became a deciding factor and brought forth a range of candidates. And the cost of the wireless internet ranged from $6/hour to over $20/hour.

While getting overwhelmed weighing options, nightly costs, and internet fees, we decided to fill up on petrol (that's "gas" for non-Aussie readers). While crossing the bridge over the pretty river, we saw a small sign for another caravan park, right on the river. We looked at each other.

“There’s no way they’ll have internet access,” I said. “But since we’re here, we may as well check it out.” It screamed of a more appealing atmosphere than the cramped city parks we had resigned ourselves to staying at.

As soon as we walked into the office of Buronga Riverside Caravan Park, we hit paydirt (and not the Opal kind). The atmosphere was great, the scenery spectacular, and the wireless internet: free. Praise be to the wireless internet gods; we found the one and only place in Australia to offer free wireless internet.


Needless to say, we stayed there. In fact, we were so impressed with the facilities and staff, we changed our plans of passing through to stay two nights there.


Our next stop was the Grampians: a national park close enough to both Adelaide and Melbourne to be a weekender’s Mecca. Nestled in the mountains with hundreds of walking trails and a charming little village atmosphere, we could see how it is counted among Australia’s little jewels.


And there too in the Grampians, the variety of accommodation for our little van was varied. We stayed in campsites with nothing more than a pit toilet and a fireplace. We also stayed at Parkgate Resort Holiday Park, a glorious top-notch facility with all the amenities you could want and more. And with a range of accommodations within the park ranging from tent sites to full cabins, amenities like the pool, dvd rentals, tennis courts, jumping pillow, and cafe are well utilized and appreciated.

We certainly appreciated such amenities; after camping for a few nights and smelling like campfire everywhere we went, a chance to wash up and enjoy some luxuries like a camp kitchen and dvds was a welcome treat.


As we press on and wrap up our trip, we continue to enjoy the mixed bag that caravan parks can be. No Trailer Park Boys episodes here…this is caravanning!

Tags: ambassador van, australia, caravan parks, grampians, mildura, world nomads



i know you like to travel more in the country and small towns the best way to find wireless internet to write your blog is at mcdonalds most have wireless internet and perhaps it would be far more cost effective to do this than pay for your wireless :p

  chris Jul 13, 2009 3:43 PM


@Chris - Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately many of the McDonalds I came across during this part of my Aussie travels ended up charging exorbitantly for the Wifi, although I am aware that many locations offer free Wifi.

  Nora Jul 15, 2009 2:39 PM

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