A NEW South Wales sports club's trial
of an overnight RV camping area has mushroomed
into a resounding success.
The experiment, launched two years ago at Sporties
Tuncurry, got off to a slow start but quickly gathered momentum
with nearly a thousand self-contained caravans and motorhomes using the
facility last year.
Bar and bistro takings at the club in the State's Mid
North Coast region have soared, proving that RV
travellers are using club facilities.
The club now has plans to double the area available to RVs and create a
better layout for vehicles, with designated sites as part of the overall
There will be a mix of 12-metre-long caravan
sites and 'Big-Rig' sites 20 metres long.
Water points and better lighting for pedestrians going to and from the
club premises will also be included.
host helps guests at the RV site
Caravanning News asked club official Phil Jones, who runs the RV
site, why it been such a big hit with grey nomads and other RVers.
"Anecdotal responses from visitors list many things – the usual club
activities to swimming, fishing, boating, walking the beach, photography
of the area and cycling across the Forster-Tuncurry cycle paths amongst
others," he said.
"It is also open to dogs with well-behaved owners!"
It was decided to open the RV site after many requests over the years from
travellers wanting to stay in the carpark after a night at the club.
"In mid 2017 Sporties decided to run a 12-month trial including the
stipulation that it was for self-contained RVs," Mr Jones explained.
"Non-compliant vehicles were referred to local caravan parks. A voucher
system was introduced, set at $5 per person per night."
The site is a small gravel area that takes 10 to 12 RVs comfortably.
"During the first few months of the trial, the club received about 40 RVs
a month, increasing later to about 100 a month," Mr Jones said.
Over the 2017-18 summer period the club hosted
224 RVs, while the same period the following year brought 286 RVs.
"Year 2017 saw 850 RVs visit whereas in 2018 a
total of 920 RVs stayed at the club."
Guests, he said, were offered access to
only fresh water and a free-to-use dump point but were able to use
all the club's usual activities.
These included outdoors lawn bowls and tennis, the bistro and restaurant
along with free club entertainment and live music at weekends.
During the busy Christmas holiday period, Sporties engaged the services of
a volunteer camp host.
"There were three volunteer camp hosts, each on
site for two weeks during the 2018-2019 holiday period,"
Mr Jones said.
Their role was to meet and greet arrivals, offer them both club and
tourist information and supply owners of
non-compliant RVs with a map of the area pointing out the locations of
half a dozen caravan parks they could use.