13 minute read

Facilities to keep the whole family entertained

By Sarah Davison,

Industry Reporter

For holiday parks, creating memorable guest experiences that include the whole family is the key to happy campers, and returning customers.

Aft er some diffi cult years due to COVID-19 and border restrictions, holiday parks have seen a record number of Aussies choose to book caravan and camping holidays for their family vacations. Brisbane Holiday Village General Manager Geoff Illich who has worked at the park for 27 years, told AccomNews that the facilities off ered on-site for guests were part of the holiday park’s enduring success. He said: “I think people have refl ected on their own childhoods and the memories of camping with their family, and they want their children to experience that too. “It’s a full resurgence of people gett ing back to basics.” Located only 15 minutes outside of Brisbane’s CBD, Mr Illich said providing an environment for guests to enjoy onsite activities was key to their ongoing success. Trends show that holiday park guests typically spend two to three hours enjoying the activities on-site, before venturing out for the day. He said in his experience: “People will obviously want to go into town, or go to Dreamworld, but we fi nd that guests generally spend those three hours on-site.” Brisbane Holiday Village boasts several areas for the young and young at heart to have some fun in the sun. In addition to the pool area, playground, tennis courts, and minigolf course, the holiday village also off ers larger-than-life games for families to enjoy, with a giant ‘Connect 4’ and a large timber puzzle available to use.

Brisbane Holiday Village also recently began renting out electric scooters for kids to use while holidaying, and they had proven incredibly popular.

Mr Illich said he had noticed a real change in the behaviour of guests, with families opting to spend time together, more than in previous years. “There’s a lot less ‘device time’ and a lot more family time,” he said. “They’re all in the pool together, they’re playing minigolf as a family and they’re enjoying family barbeques. “They’re gett ing out of the cabins and gett ing out in the fresh air. It’s lovely to see and it’s a real trend I’ve seen this year.”

Mr Illich said that while Brisbane Holiday Village was lucky to have 33 acres for facilities, providing free activities on-site was a simple way of creating a memorable guest experience. “Every school holiday, we’ll organise free activities for the families. We’ll have movie and popcorn nights, pett ing zoos, pony rides, wildlife shows, balloon art, face painting as well as poolside music and discos,” he said.

“We still need to get more customers back, so off ering free activities makes sure families come back but also advocate for us when they leave. “It means they’ll tell their school friends and work colleagues about us.”

AccomNews reached out to a couple of industry experts who are in the business of providing family orientated activities.

Image courtesy of Peninsula Pool Contractors

Image courtesy of Parkitect Australia

Modular Pumptracks:

a proven winner for holiday parks

We spoke to experts at BIG4, NRMA, Tasman Holiday Parks, All Parks Insurance and Innoviv Park Services.

Here’s their take on why Parkitect’s Modular Pumptracks are a great addition to any holiday park. There’s no doubt that having the right mix of activities at your holiday park is key to att racting families and visitors of all ages and interests. Parkitect Australia has become a leading supplier of innovative play equipment - for good reason. Their Modular Pumptracks are certifi ed riding tracks suitable for bikes, scooters and skateboards. With their fun, distinctive design, each track is created with smooth rollers and smart corners to create the best flow to propel riders around the track with less pedalling.

Pump tracks are a proven holiday park drawcard

The days of just sett ing up a swing or slippery dip in your play area are over. If you’re trying to promote your park, give it a bit of ‘pizazz’, and att ract families, it’s important to choose play equipment that’s novel and fun. That’s why holiday parks are installing a Modular Pumptrack to att ract new and past business. David Comiskey, Director of the Comiskey Group, installed one of the latest fibreglass Modular Pumptracks in his popular BIG4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort at the end of 2021. The pump track is just one of the many facilities that he’s sure have contributed to the resort’s more than 5000 five-star reviews.

“I was a skateboarder myself, back in the day, so I was really att racted to a pump track. Parkitect’s new fibreglass version is awesome.” “I felt it would be a real hit for our main demographic, 6 to 12-year-olds. Plus, it was a nice-looking unit and quick to install. The feedback has been fantastic. The kids love it, and so do the parents.”

A unique design that both entertains and keeps kids safe

As we all know, happy kids equal happy parents. When the kids are busy, active and out of trouble, parents and carers can also kick back and relax. That’s why holiday parks with great play facilities for kids are always in demand. But parents worry. They want to know their kids are able to play safely, within a short distance of the campsite or cabin. Though riding around a holiday park is popular with kids of all ages, it’s not without risk. Busy holiday parks where campers are allowed to drive around in large vehicles, oft en towing caravans and trailers, can pose a risk for children. That’s why dedicated playspaces, like pump tracks, where kids of all ages can ride their bikes, scooters, and skateboards, are safer. They also make supervision easier. Kieran Sullivan, Victorian Regional Manager at NRMA Parks and Resorts, has had a lot of great feedback about the Modular Pumptracks they’ve had installed. “We’ve used them at a few of our locations, including a new pump track at our Halls Gap Holiday Park in the Grampians. We’ve found them to very popular with our guests. They are built sturdy and handle the high volume of traffi c that our sites see.”

Pump track design is complicated and easy to get wrong

Parkitect’s Modular Pumptracks are based on a unique, worldleading design. A bit like Meccano, the tracks are easy to assemble – it oft en only takes a day and you’re up and running. You don’t even need specialist trades. Unlike old-fashioned tracks made of dirt or concrete, Modular Pumptracks are low to the ground and are equipped with a non-slip surface. And having play equipment that’s low maintenance is also a bonus.

Modular Pumptracks are certifi ed and compliant to help you manage liability issues

Of course, reducing liability is also important for park managers. The Modular Pumptrack system is certifi ed and complies with the latest Australian Standards AS EN14974:2021.

Julie Pernecker, CEO/Director at All Parks Insurance Pty Ltd is seeing the insurance market changing quickly day to day. “All Parks Insurance are proud to be insurers of Parkitect Modular Pumptracks throughout Australian Holiday Parks and Resorts.”

Popular with kids of all ages

Riding is a traditional activity that every generation loves – girls and boys can jump on their scooter, bike, or skateboard and enjoy themselves. Modular Pumptracks are designed to give every rider a great experience, whether they’re a beginner or a seasoned BMX or MTB rider, a toddler or a teen. The new Park Edition Modular Pumptrack at Tasman Holiday Parks - Moama on the Murray is just one of the resort’s many facilities.

Moama on Murray’s Brand Manager, Kate Humphreys explained: “The new pump track fits in perfectly with the rest of the activities. It was important to us that we have a mix of options for both younger and older kids alike.

“Our guests love the new addition to the park, with many commenting on the sleek design and ease with which their wheels go around the track. Most of all they love the laughter and giggles and seeing their kids make new friends as they race around the track.”

Free design service

Parkitect’s experienced design team work with holiday park owners and managers to create a pump track to fit any playground area and budget. Not only that, their design service is free with all quotes.

Free Holiday Park Pump Track Finder

According to then General Manager of ATPM, and Principal of Innoviv Park Services, Andrew Chapman installing a pump track led to an increase in night stays and expanded the park’s database to include new families.

Parkitect’s exclusive Pump Track Finder website helps families fi nd a holiday park that’s equipped with a Modular Pumptrack. Plus the website helps promote those parks through extra online exposure. www.pumptracks.com.au

For more information, contact Shaun on 0411 423 773 or visit www.parkitect.com.au

Shaun Leicester

Managing Director of Parkitect Australia


Shaun Leicester, Founder and Managing Director of Parkitect Australia, agreed camping and caravanning has always been a popular holiday choice for Australians.

“Holiday parks are increasingly becoming popular, especially with families”, said Shaun.

“There’s an opportunity for parents to reduce their kid’s screen time and encourage them to explore more outdoor entertainment. Now is the best time to invest in safe, fun, outdoor play areas for your holiday park.” According to Shaun: “City dwellers dream of escaping to ‘the great outdoors’, to get closer to nature and create memories with friends and family. For many people, holiday parks are also the most economical holiday choice for their family.”

“Before COVID, local destinations were competing with other popular types of holidays like cruises and cheap trips to Bali. Now people are looking for holiday accommodation options closer to home.

“It’s a great time for holiday parks to invest in their guest facilities. It’s a sure way to add value to their accommodation offering and attract more travellers. “For families, the key to keeping their kids happy and entertained is to choose a holiday park or resort that offers plenty of safe spaces for kids to ride, play and swim.” AccomNews asked the best ways to create safe and fun outdoor play spaces. He said: “Offering a novelty activity is a great way to attract kids. Not only is it important that it’s fun and popular, but it also has to be safe. A Parkitect Modular Pumptrack not only looks fantastic, but it’s also preengineered and easy to install. It’s designed to naturally encourage learning and riding skills in a safe environment”, he explained. On why creating a great play space in a holiday park or resort makes perfect business sense, Shaun makes three important points: 1. Happy kids make happy parents. If you keep kids busy, active, and out of trouble, it makes for the perfect family holiday. That’s why camping and caravan holiday parks with great play facilities are always in demand. 2. A safe play area in a holiday park can reduce the risk of injury for kids. Riding bikes, scooters and skateboards around a holiday park is extremely popular with kids of all ages, but it’s not without risk due to traffic and reversing vans. Having dedicated play areas, such as pump tracks, where kids of all ages can ride their bikes, scooters, and skateboards, means kids are safer. It also makes supervision easier. 3. Play areas and pump tracks are good for business. Giving your guests plenty of recreational options often leads to increased bookings and longer stays. Pump tracks tend to have a keen following by kids of all ages, therefore holiday parks and resorts offering a pump track are sure to attract kids and encourage their families to stay longer. Shaun added that feedback from many park managers confirms that providing great recreation options is key to success by increasing bookings and length of stay. He gave this example: “Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park in South Australia was the first to trial the new Modular Pumptrack during the summer of 2015. It resulted in an increase in night stays and expanded the park's database to include new families. As a result, they went ahead with a permanent Modular Pumptrack installation.” “Put simply, a Modular Pumptrack is a playground for all wheels and all ages”, explained Shaun. “They’re built to cater for bikes, scooters, and skateboards, all year round, so children can

Images courtesy of Parkitect Australia

ride their choice of wheels on the track, simultaneously with other riders. But Modular Pumptracks are not just for kids. Adults enjoy them too! “We’re in the business of delivering fun. Our pump tracks work because kids, from toddlers to teens love riding them. Families love that they’re a safe yet fun way for their children to be outdoors and active. Playground designers appreciate that they get a preengineered, proven product that communities enjoy.” Chris Pett igrew, Managing Director, of Peninsula Pool Contractors shared his opinion on providing family water play spaces. He told us that although all guests have diff ering needs or wants when it comes to water activities while on vacation, keeping kids occupied is probably the most important consideration for holiday park guests. He said: “Water play areas, splash pads and generally anything interactive are most popular.” Because kids love to be active and adventurous on holiday, AccomNews asked what were the most important things to consider when designing a pool or water park? He replied: “It’s not only making it interesting or fun for kids but to also consider the parents. Having areas where parents can set up next to the pool and be comfortable for sometimes hours is important in ensuring everyone has a great time. “Resort or water park pools are designed to be versatile, off ering something for everyone, play areas and interactions for the kids as well as the increasingly popular kids free pools in some upmarket hotels and resorts. Knowing what your guests want is one of the most important things before planning any new facility or renovation.” Safety is always the top priority when off ering water play facilities and pools. He said: “Water quality is probably the most important aspect of maintenance with any aquatic facility, and having the right equipment to handle bather load and meet demand is essential.

When it comes to industry trends he said: “Energy effi ciency is a focus for most hotel, resort or facility operators and having effi cient equipment upgrades always helps.

“Heating is normally one of the biggest costs associated with the running of any pool and having the most effi cient heating can make a big diff erence to overheads.”

He added: “We supply and install a wide range of energy effi cient heat pumps and variable speed circulation pumps to reduce the overall running cost of any facility, Australia wide.”

Chris Pettigrew

Managing Director, of Peninsula Pool Contractors

Image courtesy of Peninsula Pool Contractors



Pool Contractors


Peninsula Pool Contractors is a Melbourne-based company servicing Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland & the Whitsundays that specialises in the design, construction & repair of high quality Commercial Pools.

For over 25 years, we have consulted, designed and built projects for Hotels, Resorts & Holiday Parks. When it comes to the construction of commercial facilities...


• Pool Heating Upgrades • Resort Pool Construction • Filtration Equipment supply and installation

Contact: Chris Pettigrew, Managing Director, Peninsula Pool Contractors Pty Ltd on 0417 538 555, chris@penpools.com.au or visit www.penpools.com.au.