Saturday 1 March 2008

No contest

Sure, I'll congratulate the Coconut Caravan park at Woree.

They were awarded the best caravan and camping park in the universe last night at a slap up do in Canberra.

Now, they call it a "resort". I won't. Almost every hotel has adopted the "resort" tag of late. Who are they kidding? A resort is more than a hotel, more than a caravan and camping park plonked right alongside a State highway.

Now let me see what the competition is.... or was. Yorkeys camping / caravan park was ripped out and replaced with two 3-story apartment blocks. No backpackers nor campers come to Yorkeys, and we evidently have one of the best Kite Surfing beaches in the country here.

Council also approved that monstrosity at Woree, on the site of the caravan and camping park - now insultingly called City Waters by developer Glen Corp.

They same developer got special treatment from Council to rip out the camping and caravan park at Clifton Beach, and look at the result: A community up in arms, angry neighbours that are now a meter from a 4 story high complex with no screening, verging right on river beds that are getting the concrete treatment - makes them look nicer and there's no weeds to mow on Sundays according to Council PR dept.

All this got me wondering.

So I made contact with the Grey Nomads and they told me they avoid the Eastern part of FNQ north of Innisfail. "We head over the Palmerston to the lovely Tablelands," says John and Jools Crampton of Victoria. "Why would you go to Cairns? There's nothing there anymore for us to stay, we're not welcome."

The Grey Nomads website avoids any mention of Cairns and there's no reader recommendations about our place.
The other Grey Nomads site - the competition - list a few caravan parks around Cairns including Lake Placid, Cool Waters at Brinsmead and White Rock. But it's the camping and little motels that attract guests. They also cater for a lot of permanents, but few Nomads.
When was the last time you saw a caravan with some lovely oldies wobbling all over the road?

I have visited the Coconut caravan park, complete with fake electric coconut palms that line the highway border, and sure it's nicely presented, but I've stayed at parks in the Northern Territory that have abundant wildlife and stunning natural vegetation and swimming creeks. They'd get my vote any day.

So good on you Woree, but it was hardly a fight to get this award in Cairns. You're almost all on your own - won't be long before Palm Cove's camping ground gets the chop too if Mr Byrne carries on the way he is.

Wonder if Kmart sell those fake palms?

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