New caravan park near EPIC to boost tourism offering

Ian Bushnell 24 January 2020 52
Canberra Park site

The 12 ha Canberra Park site. The caravan park is the next phase of its development. Photo: Supplied.

A new 73-site caravan park near Exhibition Park will boost affordable tourist accommodation in the national capital and increase its capacity to cater for longer rigs.

Work has started on the next phase of development at Canberra Park on Old Wells Station Road, which opened in 2017 and caters mainly for school and sporting groups visiting Canberra.

Canberra Park, owned and being developed by FreeSpirit Investments, has 154 rooms accommodating 408 guests, up to 72 supervisors/teachers and private accommodation for coach drivers, as well as a multi-purpose building that offers dining for up to 300 guests and a flexible meeting space.

Owner Blake Cottle says Canberra Park has set a new benchmark for group accommodation in Canberra and the addition of caravan sites and associated facilities will provide further options for people visiting Canberra.

The new development will offer a mix of drive-through and back-in sites, all with power, and include a camp kitchen offering internal and external cooking options, barbecues, a fully equipped guest laundry and an amenity block complete with a family bathroom and accessible facilities.

Canberra Park manager David Grigg said it was expected the caravan park would open in June, bringing the number of like offerings in the ACT to four (comprising Canberra Park, Southside Village in Symonston, Alivio Tourist Park at O’Connor and Exhibition Park). There are three others just across the border.

Caravan park layout

The plans show the layout of the caravan park. Image: Supplied.

But Mr Grigg said this would be a step up in the level of caravan park offering, with high-end amenities and facilities, and sites large enough to take the longer rigs.

Rather than competing with EPIC, the new park would complement it.

“The aim is to have a property as far as location goes that would actually bring people to Canberra, as opposed to them going through,” he said.

The park would also potentially include self-contained cabins in the future.

The original 2015 plan for the 12 ha site also included a recreation area, water park, a possible athletes village and hotel, but that depended on the shareholders and the government’s tourism market requirements, Mr Grigg said.

He said the idea was to serve multiple markets that would be attracted by events at EPIC, such as the National Folk Festival and the Canberra Show, and other attractions in the capital.

The government has committed to keeping and updating EPIC as an events and entertainment precinct, so Canberra Park fits into the accommodation needs of what will be a developing area.

Mr Grigg said Canberra Park would approach EPIC about pedestrian access through the site to the light rail stop on Flemington Road.

Since opening, Canberra Park has served just under half a million meals in the dining space and welcomed more than 60,000 guests, equalling approximately 160,000 room nights.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
52 Responses to New caravan park near EPIC to boost tourism offering
Mark Dunstone Mark Dunstone 11:42 am 31 Jan 20

Isn't it gobsmacking that on the south side of the Federal Hwy the caravan park was allowed to redevelop for housing with the renter of the land (leaeholder) pocketing the monetary gains from the change in land use (as caravan parks & camp grounds are unprofitable), but low and behold a new park starts on the north side?

Mike Hobson Mike Hobson 11:04 pm 30 Jan 20

Quarantine centre anyone?

Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:14 pm 29 Jan 20

It may have to be acquired to be a coronavirus quarantine centre when the true potential of this problem is realised.

Benny Franc Benny Franc 8:17 am 29 Jan 20

This thing looks purpose built to be used as an onshore processing facility like all the motels in Darwin

Russell Paxton Russell Paxton 5:16 pm 28 Jan 20

Grant Paxton when you come back to Canberra, this is where you're staying

Larissa Jane Larissa Jane 5:10 pm 28 Jan 20

Shane the comments about the look of the place..

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:17 am 28 Jan 20

For once something in Canberra is designed and built according to the function required. No doubt it won’t win any awards for being edgy and vibrant but the people who follow that creed won’t be using the place anyway.

    ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 5:14 pm 30 Jan 20

    There is already a very nice facility like this called GreenHills out on the Cotter.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 1:31 pm 31 Jan 20

    Cotter ain’t Canberra.

Amanda Fisher Amanda Fisher 8:07 am 28 Jan 20

I’m sure that once the drought is over and planting/sustaining trees becomes viable again we will see leafy improvements. Mean while spending money on landscaping that will most likely be a dead investment will again only generate irate responses about wasting precious tax payers money and even more so precious water resources.

Those with doubting Debbie responses - imagine yourself having an idea on a new adventure and having people cast their negative Nancy vibes all over you. Try to find something positive in the scheme - jobs will be created (albeit short term) but there will also be room for people in desperate need of somewhere to stay in time of hardship and disaster - you know like fleeing raging bush fire infernos 🤔

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 4:37 am 28 Jan 20

This is something laid out and built by bean counters. Six more or less identical accommodation blocks, connected by walkway to a mess hall and admin block, with some staff quarters for the immigrants who clean the place and cook the cabbage.

The camping areas will be to the right, and I wouldn’t expect a real lot of room between sites, judging by the existing design philosophy.

In contrast, the actual jail a few hundred metres north is a far more pleasant and less crowded place, with some actual architecture and landscaping and sports areas. No covered walkways connecting the cell blocks, but hey, a lot more nature.

The place is described as a “three star hotel” and my guess is that is optimistic. When a few school groups move in and discover the limitations, I’ll bet those walls echo with the charming sounds of adolescence cramped into cheerless proximity.

Craig McLaren Craig McLaren 10:23 pm 27 Jan 20

Looks like a jail. If I was a kid coming there for the weekend I'd be terrified.

Simone Sorrelle Simone Sorrelle 9:37 pm 27 Jan 20

Russell Rowell Judy Tunningley. We (& Mark) were discussing this last night.

Karen Osman Karen Osman 8:43 pm 27 Jan 20

Canberra needs more caravan options.This is a good step.

Jordyn Gibson Jordyn Gibson 5:48 pm 27 Jan 20

Jessica Musulin great news for next time ANU hosts a major 👀

    Jessica Musulin Jessica Musulin 6:34 pm 27 Jan 20

    excellent, can finally make ANU WUDC 2023 happen 🤫

Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:42 pm 27 Jan 20

Is it pop-up or permanent?

Meegan Ward Meegan Ward 5:07 pm 27 Jan 20

Great idea as long as its not so visible to folk coming into ACT, we don't want our main road to look cheap and tacky. Don't spare the cash, the grey nomads that travel each yr are pretty cashed up too. Good luck. 😊

    Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 6:17 pm 27 Jan 20

    Meegan Ward with plenty if shade trees!

    Tim Pratten Tim Pratten 6:44 pm 27 Jan 20

    Most caravan parks are fairly nice these days.

    Meegan Ward Meegan Ward 6:50 pm 27 Jan 20

    Tim Pratten yes I'm sure they are, at the moment the place they are suggesting does kind of look like a prison yard. Here's hoping the make it look nice like the ones you see in camping Australian shows 😊

    David Green David Green 9:00 pm 27 Jan 20

    Meegan Ward it always looks tacky coming into Canberra can't change that

    Dennis Murray Dennis Murray 9:20 pm 27 Jan 20

    Meegan Ward What a typical Canberran response, after 45 years in Canberra it’s easy to see why I am glad to have divorced myself from the place with comments like these.

    David Jongue David Jongue 10:02 pm 27 Jan 20

    Lol if you think that mock up looks bad, take a visit to south Canberra caravan Park at symonston

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:15 pm 27 Jan 20

    Many grey nomads look for free camping. And some councils supply it to attract tourists. If they want a caravan park they are often not interested in expensive caravan parks where you pay for things such as bouncy castles. That sort of attraction is of no interest to them. They want cheaper caravan parks without the frills. Or that's what I gleamed from grey nomad travel site comments. I certainly prefer cheaper, but well kept caravan parks, without the frills.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:30 am 28 Jan 20

    David Jongue ???? What offends you there at Symonston?

    Bri Travalos Bri Travalos 11:47 pm 28 Jan 20

    Meegan Ward grey nomads predominantly camp in free camps mate 😂

Daniel Howell Daniel Howell 3:25 pm 27 Jan 20

Where are they going to fit that

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:35 pm 27 Jan 20

    Daniel Howell if you look at the article there is a map. That might answer your question.

    Daniel Howell Daniel Howell 8:36 pm 27 Jan 20

    Ashley Wright interesting

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 1:57 pm 27 Jan 20

There really is no requirement in Canberra for anything to be aesthetically pleasing. Ugly= good.

Vikki Downing Vikki Downing 1:57 pm 27 Jan 20

It needs a play ground, swimming pool and bbq area for people to use outside the vans

Robyn Pom Robyn Pom 12:36 pm 27 Jan 20

Will they be accepting travellers with dogs?

Brian Birt Brian Birt 12:22 pm 27 Jan 20

Yvonne and Ken - could be another option when you bring the van south again - depending on when this is actually completed, of course.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site