11 Mar Mt Larcom Officially One of the Best Grey Nomad Experiences
A local caravan park has been named a finalist in the national Grey Nomad Awards, further cementing the Gladstone region’s reputation as a bucket list destination for mature age tourists.
The Mt Larcom Tourist Park has been shortlisted in the 2020 Best Grey Nomad Small Caravan Park category.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday 2 March at a celebratory event on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. Conveniently located on the national highway west of Gladstone, the Mt Larcom Tourist Park offers nearly seven acres of manicured lawns, stunning gardens or bush in a multi-tiered setting. Purchased by Del and Kev Smaldon in 2018, the park and its 10 powered sites and 15 unpowered sites have been transformed into the perfect place for an overnight stop when traversing the Queensland coast.
Working from top to bottom, and front to back, every aspect that affected the guest experience received the couple’s attention and care. The Mt Larcom Tourist Park, which is a member of the nomad-friendly Kui Parks groups, now boasts a newly refurbished amenity block, contemporary camp kitchen, renovated BBQ area, log fire pits, sunrise viewing area, and solar lighting, plus an outdoor bistro setting on every powered site so travellers need not pull out their own tables and chairs.
Awards Director, Kim Morgan, said the Grey Nomad Awards provide vital, credible information to mature-age travellers while supporting positive aging through soft adventure and social inclusion.
“The COVID situation has meant that some older Australians felt uneasy about travelling in 2020, with health and safety becoming an even greater factor in their decision making,” she said.
“That is why the Grey Nomad Awards’ criteria focussed on the actions that tourism operators, caravan parks and unique campgrounds like Mt Larcom Tourist Park took to make the lives of grey nomads happier, healthier and safer,” Ms Morgan said.
“In this way, the Awards are fostering a better lifestyle for over 50s by providing verified information that will guide their decisions on where to travel safely in 2021 and what to experience along the way”.
Ms Morgan said that with a 31% decline in overnight trips within Australia for the year to September 2020 compared to the same period to September 2019^, it is even more important that mature-age Australians have somewhere to turn that inspires and encourages them to travel.
“Tourism is pivotal to many regional economies, with money from visitors supporting local businesses and generating employment,” she said.
The Grey Nomad Awards are judged by mature-age tourism professionals, some of whom have experienced the grey nomad lifestyle personally, adding weight to the Mt Larcom Tourist Park’s success as a finalist.
The judges commented on how they loved the quirky aspects of the caravan park, which has a purpose-built sunrise viewpoint that boasts ‘The Big Picture Frame’ which perfectly frames Mt Larcom in the distant, retro-themed shower curtains that are a real talking point, cheeky hen and rooster murals identifying the amenities entrances, a shabby-chic book swap corner, a sunrise over Mt Larcom mural, and an Australia map in the camp kitchen where grey nomads are encouraged to “pin their home” on the map as a conversation starter.
“These facilities are matched in quirkiness and quality by homely, genuine and impeccable customer service, witnessed through little touches that surely bring a smile to grey nomads’ lips, such as fresh fruit grown on-site or eggs from the owners’ chickens in a bowl on the camp kitchen table for guests to enjoy,” the judges said.
^ Tourism Research Australia (TRA) – National Visitor Survey September 2020
* Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)