Torquay Beachfront Tourist Park earns international recognition with Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award

Torquay Beachfront Tourist Park, situated on the beachfront of popular tourist destination Hervey Bay in Queensland, has been awarded the prestigious Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award.

The Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award recognises the top 10% of accommodation providers worldwide, acknowledging the ‘best of the best’ in the industry. The list is drawn from experiences of real travellers and is based on genuine experiences of millions of travellers worldwide.

Torquay Beachfront Tourist Park is proudly managed by BelgraviaPRO on behalf of Fraser Coast Regional Council. The venue has consistently received an average four- or five-star rating on Tripadvisor with several travellers commenting on how much they enjoyed their stay.

Park Managers Bruce and Varee Ginn have managed the Tourist Park since 2017 and have seen it flourish under their management. “We love managing Torquay Beachfront and we think our passion shows when we interact with people who come and stay at the Park. We go the extra mile in ensuring every guest has everything they need for an enjoyable stay,” they said.

Belgravia manages all four of Fraser Coast Regional Council’s beachfront caravan parks.

“It has been a pleasure working with the professional team from Belgravia,” said Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour. “We congratulate Bruce and Varee for this well-deserved award.”

Belgravia’s General Manager of Tourism and Wellness, Karen Golden, attributes the successful result to the hard work of Bruce and Varee Ginn and the partnership between Belgravia and Fraser Coast Regional Council. “2020 was a challenging year for tourism operators, so it’s exciting to see that Torquay Beachfront has been able to rise above all the restrictions imposed by COVID to create enjoyable and memorable experiences for their guests,” she said.

For more information on Torquay Beachfront Tourist Park, visit https://www.beachfronttouristparks.com.au/our-parks/torquay-caravan-park

Ocean Beach Tourist Park wins ReviewPRO People’s Choice Caravan Park Award

Ocean Beach Tourist Park was awarded the ReviewPRO People’s Choice Caravan Park Award at the 2021 Caravan Industry National Conference. The People’s Choice Caravan Park Award recognises businesses for their outstanding effort. This award is 100% based on online reviews and customer feedback of all ReviewPRO accredited caravan parks.

Ocean Beach Tourist Park, proudly managed by BelgraviaPRO in partnership with City of Gold Coast Tourist Parks, was also awarded the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2020, having been awarded the prestigious accolade for ranking within the top 10% of properties worldwide on Tripadvisor.

Park Managers Sue and John Palmer have managed Ocean Beach Tourist Park since December 2018 and have seen it thrive under their customer-service oriented management. “We have always gone out of our way to connect with our guests. Being caravanners ourselves, we understand the expectations of our guests and we take the time to ensure that they feel at home at Ocean Beach.”

Belgravia’s General Manager of Tourism and Wellness, Karen Golden, attributes the successful result to the tremendous teamwork between City of GoldCoast Tourist Parks, BelgraviaPRO and park managers Sue and John Palmer. “Through collaboration and partnership, we have managed to create an environment where guests receive an exceptional experience at Ocean Beach. We are incredibly proud of this achievement,” she said.

For more information on Ocean Beach Tourist Park, visit https://goldcoasttouristparks.com.au/park/ocean-beach-tourist-park/.

Road Trips – Top 10 Tips for a Great Adventure

There is nothing more enchanting than the thought of setting out along a myriad of open roads for a holiday experience of a life time. Whether it be pulling off the main highway to explore scenic routes, exploring rugged scenery while absorbing breath taking panoramic views, or cruising through the outback lapping up every truck stop experience, road travel allows you to experience the simplicities of nature where you will find yourself discovering the unexpected. 

While travelling by car has many unique benefits such as freedom and flexibility, it also requires forethought and organization. A road trip, no matter how long or short, requires a significant amount of planning. Even the most seasoned of road trippers know there are several must do’s before driving off into the sunset. Below you will find some handy tips on how you can best be prepared for your road trip before embarking on an adventure of a lifetime across our great southern land. 

1.      Get your vehicle professionally serviced 

Approximately two weeks before you set out on your road trip adventure, ensure that your car is serviced so it is in good working order and in a road-ready condition. Road trips are like a marathon race for your car. Ensure the mechanics complete a thorough inspection of your vehicle which should include all fluids, brakes, tyres, lubricants, radiator, wipers and air-conditioning. Be sure to check the operation of your lights. A roadside assistance membership is also recommended. With this task completed you will minimize the chances of breaking down during your journey. 

2.      Have multiple playlists organized and downloaded  

If music is your vibe, then why not curate the perfect play list. On a road trip, you are likely to encounter many long and lonely stretches of road. At times, the option of listening to the radio will be non-existent. We suggest making numerous playlists combining different genres which will suit the mood of the moment. If these playlists are on a platform like Spotify or Apple Music, it is recommended to make these playlists ‘available offline’ so you can listen to them when there is no network service. 

3.      Be prepared (spare tyres, jerry cans, first aid kit, tissues, paper towel, rubbish bags) 

Boy Scouts rule number one. BE PREPARED. No one should have to tell you twice how important it is to be well prepared before going on holiday, especially when travelling by car. If you are prepared and organized, you will ensure maximum enjoyment. Be sure to have at least one spare tyre on the car. A jerry can of fuel is a must and a first-aid kit is an essential item in case of an emergency. Tissues, paper towel, rubbish bags, insect repellent, a blanket and water bottles are items well worth considering taking with you, as they will no doubt come in handy during your journey. Also consider carrying some spare cash in case your preferred electronic payment method is not available. 

4.      Pack for all weather occasions  

The weather can change rapidly so it is important that you pack for all seasons. Plan your clothing options accordingly, including items that will serve different purposes in all weather conditions. A wardrobe recommendation is to pack items of clothing than you can layer and mix and match. Think light, warm, durable and waterproof. Ensure to include a rain/wind jacket, towel, swimmers, hat and sunscreen.  

5.      Use Wiki Camps  

Wiki Camps is one of the largest databases of caravan parks, backpacker hostels, campgrounds, amenity blocks, tourist information centres and a whole lot more. Here you can read other travelers’ reviews, costs of accommodation and easily discover places of interest which are on your route of travel. This is an excellent tool for those with a loose itinerary as it gives you the ability to find and book accommodation the day before you plan to arrive with ease. Wiki Camps also works offline, so if there is no phone signal, no worries. All you have to do is download the content to your preferred device before your departure date and it will conveniently be in the palm of your hands wherever you go. 

6.      Purchase a UHF CB Radio 

Having a UHF CB Radio device in your vehicle is a great way to be able to connect and communicate with other drivers on the road, whether they’re in your travel convoy or not. This enables you to travel on the roads safely and communicate with those around you. Trailing vehicles can be warned of upcoming obstacles and roadside animals or if there is an area you need to avoid. In case of an emergency, the UHF radio will connect you to Emergency Services if you are no longer in phone network range.  

7.      Avoid driving from dusk till dawn 

If you wish to avoid a collision with native animals, then we would advise against driving from dusk until dawn, or if you are, drive at slower speeds. The majority of native animals are active at dusk and dawn therefore presenting danger to those behind the wheel. Your own safety is paramount, so we highly recommend that you drive during the day time as it is a much safer and more picturesque option.  

8.      Pack plenty of offline entertainment 

As we have already mentioned, network reception can be limited in some areas, if it exists at all. It is a great idea to have other forms of entertainment where you are not relying on social media and Netflix. These could include books and magazines, Sudoku, crosswords, card games, an art bin, board games, a bag of toys, soccer/football, musical instruments, a play tray (colour pencils, colouring books, word puzzles, dot to dot) and outdoor games like ring toss, bat and ball or Finska. Having an abundance of options will decrease the likeliness of boredom and will increase quality time spent with your travelling companions. 

9.      Take the road less travelled 

Sure, getting from A to B quickly and easily is great, but have you ever explored what’s in-between? The whole idea of a road trip is to explore what’s on offer between your start and end points. Far more appealing than the flying alternative. The feeling of freedom, relaxation and flexibility will soon envelop your senses. Plan ahead and choose a route where you can freely explore untouched communities, national parks, nature’s beauty at its best, farmers markets, off the beaten path 4WD tracks, glistening waterfalls, agricultural fields, secluded beaches and waterholes, rambling homesteads, unusual flora and fauna and majestic peaks. A road less travelled will result in an adventure of a lifetime. 

10.      Be flexible  

Road trips often don’t go to plan. In fact, it is highly likely a curve ball will be thrown your way on more than one occasion during your time on the road. Flexibility and adaptability with your itinerary is a must. At times you may need to make changes or adjustments quickly (if this is the case then Wiki Camps comes to mind). It is highly recommended that you allow a few extra days of travel in your itinerary in case something does not go to plan. Remember to keep calm and keep driving. Set reasonable expectations, stay positive and be accepting of any situation you may find yourself in. 

“There is a time when one must decide either to risk everything to fulfill one’s dreams or sit for the rest of one’s life in the backyard.”-Earl Nightingale 

Travel New Zealand’s North Island

New Zealand is well renowned for its stunning natual landscapes, cultural heritage, and friendly people. It is filled with an abundance of adventure, great surfing locations, plenty of opportunities to relax, and countless locations to wine and dine. The North Island is home to just as many “must do’s” as the South Island and we’re here to outline a few of our favourite locations to visit. Travelling by car is hands down the best way to see the North Island, so hiring a car or a van would be our top tip to ensure you have a one-of-a-kind experience.  

Approximately 220 kilometers south of Auckland you will find Mount Maunganui, a small coastal town known for its stunning beaches and laidback atmosphere. Here you can indulge in an abundance of outdoor activities, from surfing and snorkeling to hiking and fishing – there’s plenty to do. Likened to the southern coast of California, The Mount is the perfect place to go if you’re searching for chilled out vibes and some great local food and drinks. Perch yourself on the white sand beach and watch the world go by whilst soaking up some warm sunny rays. 

If you head west for approximately 115 kilometers you will arrive in Hamilton. Hamilton is a hub for all thing’s tourism. Home to rolling green hills, grand limestone caves, spectacular coastlines and more, Hamilton is a must do spot on your NZ road trip. Not far out of town you can experience magic at Hobbiton – the location where the movie “The Hobbit” was filmed. Here you can explore their homes in the hill and dine like a Hobbit with an evening dinner tour. Another great activity close to Hamilton is the Glow Worm caves. Here you can explore the underworld by taking a boat tour through striking limestone caves twinkling with glow worms. Hamilton is also home to a number of museums and art galleries where you can go to admire the work of local artists.  

If you continue west, you will hit the picturesque west coast of New Zealand. Here you will find endless surfing locations, stunning coastal walks, and plenty of sleepy coastal towns. One of our favourites would have to be Onaero Bay. Situated less than 30 kilometers from New Plymouth you will be treated to stunning vistas and the coastal town vibe, without being too far away from the big town action. Check out the scenery either on foot or by car. Explore what the area has to offer. Not far south you will find the towering Mt Taranaki, Pukekura Park, Brooklands Zoo, and plenty of place to eat and drink! For more information on what to do in and around Onaero Bay click here!

If you head further south towards wellington you will find yourself in Masterton. Located in the Greater Wellington region of New Zealand, Masterton is the largest town of the rural Wairarapa region, separated from Wellington by the picturesque Rimutaka Range. Masterton is one of the earliest inland settlements of New Zealand and is well-renowned for its historical sites and lush parklands, including Queen Elizabeth Park, and its growing wine industry and culture. Serving a combination of sheep, dairy, fruit and cereal farms, the town is widely known as the ‘capital’ of New Zealand sheep shearing, hosting the annual ‘Golden Shears’, the World’s premier shearing and wool handling championship. 

New Zealand’s North Island is home to so many more adventures and experiences we highly recommended looking into a NZ road trip for your next holiday – especially since it is advised we holiday at home this year. 

Top 8 Camping Must Haves

There’s nothing worse than arriving at your campsite, getting set up and settled in, then coming to the realisation you forgot a key item or purchased poor quality essentials. Trust us, it’s the worst. We have pulled together a list of eight things we think are absolute must haves when you’re camping.  

Item 1: A quality tent  

This is probably the most important item you want to get right. Having a tent that is of poor quality, or that is not the right size will end up causing a massive headache. There is nothing worse than being wet or cramped into a tent that’s for sure. Be sure to plan ahead and figure out how many people you want in the tent, then when purchasing be sure to get one that fits MORE than the amount stated (4-man tent really only fits 3 people comfortably). We would also recommend splurging a little extra cash to get a tent with better canvas that can withstand weather conditions.  

Item 2: Appropriate bedding  

Packing the appropriate bedding is so important if you want to have a good night’s sleep. We would recommend to always pack a quality blanket or sleeping bag, even if its summer. Winds can pick up at night making it a bit chilly in the tent, leading to a poor night’s sleep if not prepared (been there, done that). Sheets are also a good option if you need an extra layer, or even a lighter layer. It is always a good idea to pack good quality camping pillows (or regular pillows if space allows) to ensure maximum comfort in your tent.  

Item 3: Lighting  

Whether you’re staying at a large-scale caravan park or a small outback campground, it’s always a good idea to bring some sort of lighting, as it’s rarely provided by the campground. There are so many different options available to suit what kind of campsite you’re staying at. There are LED strip lights available that can be plugged into your power source, into the car, or into your camping battery box (if you have one). If none of those options suite you, there are also large size torches, camping lanterns, and headtorches available from camping stores and even Bunnings. We definitely recommend having your lighting sorted before embarking on your next camping adventure. 

Item 4: Shade! 

Having shade at your campsite is so important, especially during peak summer in Australia. Having some sort of shade around your campsite can provide a great place to seek refuge from the scorching Australian sun, whether it be to shield your site in the morning or cover you for your afternoon drink and cheese board, you won’t regret having shade. There are many items available that can provide appropriate shade. This can be an awning that is attached to your roof racks or mounted on the back of your car, it could be a small 3×3 marquee, or even a beach umbrella. Theres something available to suit every type of camper. Not only is having these items good for blocking sun, they’re also great for when it’s raining. Allowing you to move freely from your tent to your seating and table area without getting wet. Relying on natual shade is risky and unpredictable as you can never be certain that there will be trees or buildings around to shield you.   

Item 5: Table and Chairs  

Trust us, you’re going to want somewhere to chill out and relax that isn’t in your tent! A table and some chairs are essential if you want to be comfortable when camping. Folding tables and chairs are definitely the way to go as they’re much easier to store in your car. Having these items provides you with a place to eat, drink, relax, and socialise. It also saves you the hassle of going to find a communal picnic bench or area to hang out in – unless that’s what you like to do.  

Item 6: Quality Esky/fridge 

Having a high quality esky or fridge to keep your food cold is a must have here in Australia. The last thing you want is to be buying ice daily because your esky isn’t properly insulated resulting in melted ice. This is particularly important if you’re staying somewhere that doesn’t sell ice. If we’re being honest – Coles insulated bags just aren’t going to cut it. 

Item 7: First Aid Kit 

Make sure your kit is well stocked, up to date and includes items such as insect repellent, band aids, disinfectant wipes, bandages, scissors and tweezers. If you are camping in snake season, remember a pressure immobilisation bandage is worthwhile having in your kit. 

Item 8: A hammer and shovel  

These items come in handy when around the campsite. The hammer is great to use to bang in your pegs for your tent or shade items. Having the pegs in the ground encourages stability for the items and prevents them from blowing away in the wind. The shovel is handy for digging firepit holes, moving firewood in the fire, clearing a campsite, or banging unwanted spiders. 

Be sure to create a list in the planning phase of your next camping trip and check each thing off once you’ve packed it into the car. This will ensure none of the essentials are forgotte