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JULY 2021


Investment will 'turbo charge' family tourism

Park's major upgrade forecast to pour millions of dollars into local economy

Discovery Parks - Goolwa  Have your say

A MAJOR upgrade at a caravan and holiday park on SA's Fleurieu Peninsula is expected to pour millions of dollars into the region's economy.

Alexandrina Council Mayor Keith Parkes said the $22 million development at Discovery Parks - Goolwa would be a major drawcard for families and provide valuable economic stimulus.

"G'day Group's investment in Goolwa confirms the confidence levels we are currently experiencing, with 60 new accommodation cabins, 100 new and improved caravan and camping sites, improved amenity and the addition of a nature play area and water park," he said.

"This will further accommodate visitors and customers for our existing businesses ensuring creation of more local ongoing jobs, as well as tapping into the visiting friends and relatives market, a very important contributor to our local economy."

The park would become "a paradise" for children with a new waterpark, swimming pool, outdoor cinema and coastal nature playground.

The investment was designed to "turbo charge" family tourism and is part of the G'day Group's $40 million vision to boost day trips in the Fleurieu region, with a range of family-friendly activities.

It was expected to create more than $12 million in economic benefit to the region in the first year and 118 jobs during construction and $17 million a year additional economic benefit and nearly ongoing 130 jobs.

Goolwa caravan park upgrade launch

Pictured at the development's official launch are, from left, Mayor Parkes, MP David Basham, Ms Baldwin and Alexandrina Council CEO Glenn Rappensberg.

Expected to be completed in time for summer 2021-22, the park will offer a splash park, outdoor resort pool, indoor pool, nature play and access to a neighboring skate park, BMX track, new pump track and basketball stadium.

Patio sites with fire pits and barbecues will mean guests can toast marshmallows and there will be new accommodation with disability accessible facilities, as well as an alfresco camp kitchen.

The G'day Group's general manager of investment, Amanda Baldwin, said the project was a vote of confidence in South Australian regional tourism which had been booming following last year's COVID lockdowns.

"People are rediscovering regional tourism which is increasingly providing that touch of luxury and connection with nature they are looking for ... and we're excited by the potential of regional tourism," Ms Baldwin said.

"The approval process was very smooth - the Alexandrina Council clearly demonstrated that the Alexandrina is open for business and investment in the region."

The G'day Group acquired the Goolwa holiday park and the McCracken Country Club before Christmas last year, developing a master plan to boost tourism to the region and attract larger events.

Guests at Goolwa and McCracken will have reciprocal access to the waterparks at both properties free of charge and day passes will be available for locals when there is capacity.

The master plan is part of the G'day Group's vision to diversify into golf courses, events and conferences to complement its high-end offerings such as glamping and restaurants in some of Australia's most spectacular locations.

Founded in 2004 by Grant Wilckens with three properties in WA, the G'Day Group is now Australia's largest regional accommodation provider with around 300 properties across the country.

It reached $1bn company status in 2020 and is home to three brands - Discovery Parks (owned and managed parks), G'day Parks (independently-owned licensed parks) and G'day Rewards (membership program) and is majority-owned by Sunsuper.

Founder and CEO Grant Wilckens is also the chairman of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia and board director of the South Australian Tourism Commission.


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Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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