Cubbies and gumnut banks

Making memories…

By ALICE BRADY

By ALICE BRADY

Manager, Caves Caravan Park

Gumnuts were the currency at this imaginary bank, and the ATM experience was a highlight. On holiday deep in the in bush of South West Western Australia my cousins and I would lineup at the ‘bank’ to make a withdrawal. After pleading my case to the bank manager (usually the eldest cousin) the cash advance would be approved and rolling down the hollow log came my gumnuts. With my pockets loaded with ‘cash’ I was off to buy moss carpet, sticks and twine. I was building my cubby house.

Camping in the bush and building cubbies are some of my fondest childhood memories. The best part – our parents would let us go for hours. We were warned about snakes, electric fences and that we were to listen to the eldest cousins…the rest was up to us with our imaginations running wild. Holiday moments like this are unforgettable and it’s no wonder young families are keen for their children to experience the same.

Our lives are changing rapidly with the evolution of technology and its commanding place in our day to day activities, sometimes bringing an overwhelming feeling of having to ‘keep up’. The opportunity to step back from our devices and enjoy memorable moments with loved ones is becoming more appealing than ever and camping ticks these boxes. Sitting around a camp fire gazing into the flames and telling stories, watching kids make mud pies after it’s poured with rain or spotting possums at night with a torch are all experiences that require no technology, just an imagination and quality time.

In front of my cubby house, Snapchatting my efforts 1990's style.

Here at Caves Caravan Park we feel proud to be part of an industry that is exactly that – creating memorable holiday experiences. The Caravan and Camping Industry reports $21 billion in economic value to the country annually and after hearing from industry experts at the 2019 National Conference for the Caravan Industry of Australia, there are no signs of the industry slowing down. In 2018 more than 23,000 caravans and RVs were built in Australia, the biggest demand in the last 38 years! This tells us the customers are out there and they want to adventure, so what are we going to do as a Park to attract them?!

“the evolution of technology and its commanding place in our day to day activities, sometimes bringing an overwhelming feeling of having to ‘keep up’”

The average Australian is reported to have six to seven weeks annual leave stored, which is certainly a statistic we want to combat. The phrase ‘no leave, no life’ was mentioned a lot during the conference and sets us with the challenge of encouraging weekend getaways and quick trips away. Lucky for us the charms of Dunsborough’s shops and cafes, Yallingup’s empty pristine beaches and walking trails and 200+ wineries in the Margaret River wine region are easy reasons to entice people down here.

Mud pies being made at Caves Caravan Park, Easter 2019

The guest experience was a big focus at the conference with Parks being asked what do they do best and what makes them unique? Focusing on your peaks and not the pits of your guests experience really stood out. A very cool example of this is the ‘Popsicle Hotline’ at a hotel in California, USA. From the pictures I’m sure you’ll agree it doesn’t look like the most appealing accommodation option with its bright yellow painted building and standard looking rooms. So why the 5-star reviews and Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor? They focus on their service to their guests and provide a particular experience like no other; located at the pool is a phone that rings through to a ‘popsicle hotline’. Kids simply make a call and presto, a free popsicle is delivered. It’s magic little moments like this that can make a holiday memorable and turn a good trip into great.

As we embark on this journey in helping create memorable holiday experiences for our guests, we proudly take our position in this growing industry with one quote from the conference ringing true “Failure and innovation are inseparable twins” – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. We’re looking forward to trying out new innovative ideas and seeing what we can do to help grow the industry. All while providing unique holiday experiences, gumnuts and all.

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