Anglesea Family Caravan Park Final Master Plan

Anglesea Family Caravan Park Final Master Plan

Background

In July 2017, the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) resumed direct management of the Anglesea Family Caravan Park. GORCC committed to a major investment in the park, to be implemented through a consultative master planning process.

The 10-year staged master plan focuses on:

  • enhancing camper experience
  • caring for and improving the natural environment and acknowledging the cultural heritage of the park
  • updating existing amenities and developing new facilities that model sustainable practices.

Initial camper, community and stakeholder consultation took place over January and February 2019, with an emphasis on identifying issues and opportunities that needed to be considered in developing the draft master plan.

Consultation and feedback was strong, with over 1,100 individuals and groups contributing. The key themes identified included protecting and enhancing the character and natural environment of the park, increasing the number of pet-friendly sites, an upgrade to the pool area, the introduction of campfires, and providing more entertainment opportunities in the park.

The draft master plan was informed by this feedback, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Improving Equity of Access to Crown Land Caravan and Camping Parks policy, GORCC’s Coastal and Marine Management Plan, and in response to increased visitation pressure to the Great Ocean Road.

During April and May 2019, GORCC gathered camper, community and stakeholder feedback on the Anglesea Family Caravan Park Draft Master Plan. Over 350 individuals and groups contributed feedback during this round.

Final master plan

Feedback received during the issues and opportunities, and draft master plan consultation rounds, has informed the development of the final master plan as follows:

Theme 1: Transition zones proposal

There was resounding opposition to the proposed transition zones – respondents suggested opening up the identified transition zones to all annual permit holder areas in the park, not just a designated area.

Response: The identified transition zones have been removed from the final plan. As a response to increasing visitor demand and improving the equity of access, it is proposed that the total number of twelve-month permit (TMP) sites will continue to reduce through natural attrition from 307 to 247 over the length of the master plan. This will be managed operationally, as it is now. All TMP sites under existing Moonah vegetation will continue as such.

Theme 2: Tented camping proposal

Respondents believed it was important to retain these sites for dual purpose, and stated tented camping would not be suitable in this area due to strong winds and environmental reasons.

Response: The final plan includes the introduction of 12 environmentally friendly glamping tents in the estuary and beach areas. These will be introduced over the medium to long term to ensure adequate consultation and notice to all campers affected. This has already been successfully achieved in both Lorne and Torquay. A planting and landscape design will be completed to negate the effect of wind on this area. This option helps to diversify our accommodation offering, introducing a new market to the park.

Theme 3: Pool and recreation area upgrades

Respondents agreed with the proposed pool and recreation upgrades and see them as essential to the future success of the park.

Response: The final plan has removed the BMX track from under the Moonah forest in the recreation area. We will be working with the local traditional owners to activate this area as a ‘Story Telling/Contemplative’ space. The viewing platforms along the surf coast walk have also been removed from the final plan. All further upgrades to the recreation areas as proposed in the draft master plan have been adopted. Further investigation of the extent and design of the pool area upgrade will be undertaken in year 1 with delivery planned for years 4-5.

Theme 4: Increasing dog-friendly sites

Respondents were evenly split on this proposal – those not supportive of the proposal raised issues with dogs impacting the environment, including the local blue wren population, and the enjoyment of guests, and those supportive of the proposal would like to see annual permit holders allowed to bring their dog/s.

Response: The final plan does not allow for an increase in the provision of dog-friendly sites. A survey of TMP holders across GORCC’s three caravan parks will be undertaken to consider the possibility of allowing dogs at certain times of the year on TMP sites.

Theme 5: Introduction of campfires

Respondents were evenly split on this proposal – those not supportive of the proposal raised issues of the park being a bushfire prone area, guests destroying native vegetation for firewood use, contributing to air pollution, and safety reasons, and those supportive of the proposal agree it would add to their camping experience and be a positive communal initiative.

Response: The final plan proposes the introduction of a stone-built, lockable community fire pit to be located near the camp kitchen in the beach area. This will be available on request to groups and schools, with an additional calendar of events for general camper activities. Individual fire pits will not be catered for.

Theme 6: Amenity upgrades and new Environmental Education Centre

All proposed upgrades and the addition of a new Environmental Education Centre were viewed as positive changes to the park.

Response: The final plan has moved the location of the Environmental Education Centre to replace the existing office space/residence behind the caravan park reception, as the original location impacted on existing Moonah vegetation. All upgrades to existing buildings as proposed in the draft plan have been adopted in the final plan.

Next steps

GORCC will commence priority works in 2019-20, including:

  • the conversion of existing games room into the main camp kitchen
  • repurpose small games room in the estuary area
  • creation of new playground and multi-court facility in the recreation area.

In 2020 GORCC will present and advocate the master plan to the new Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCPA) for adoption.

Project documentation

Projects