hamelin bay caravan park- very disappointing

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 20:30
ThreadID: 75040 Views:15231 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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Hi all, just thought I would relate our experience today, which may save others from similar grief. Booked and paid for a night at Hamelin Bay Caravan Park. Arrived there today- given our site number and a printed 'mudmap'. We drove to the site- which was not marked out (very typical of this caravan park). Upon carefully inspecting the mudmap and surrounding landmarks we set up our camper trailer. Three hours later, more campers arrive and inform us that we are camped on their spot. Trudge down to the office to try and clarify the situation- only to be told that our site is a tiny triangle of sand on a slope between three trees and yeah sorry- the map we gave you is not accurate. When we said the site was not suitable for a camper trailer the office person just wanted to argue that if it was an "off road" camper then it would fit. We said the site was unusable and would have to return home. There was no apology and no offer of a refund. I do intend to write a letter of complaint to the management(not that I have any faith it will achieve anything). In my opinion the managers of Hamelin Bay Caravan Park need to tear themselves away from the cash register long enough to 1- mark out their camp sites, 2- draw an accurate site map, 3- educate their staff that when booking a campsite the customer actually wants a campsite, not just a parking space!
This is the second time we have had issues with campsites at this park. Whilst the location is idyllic, and I have many lovely childhood memories from down there, I vowed today never to return to camp there again.(not that the camp owners would give a fig- they are too busy working that cash register!)
So I would suggest if anyone intends to camp there in peak season- get the office people to show you your site before you set up and if possible, only pay the minimum depost until you have made sure the site they give you is suitable to camp on.doc.
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Reply By: Member - greg S (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 21:31

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 21:31
oz doc,

When we went away a few xmas' ago we inspected every caravan park we were wishing to stay at.
This is great if you don't have an itinery like we didn't have, but if you have booked and paid for it is very hard to recover funds from these guys.
Some of the parks we inspected, we had absolutely no chance of setting up our camper (Cape York Deluxe hard floor) as the camper drawbar would of been encroaching on the road and blocked vehicles getting past. Actually it would've been hard to park a 15" van in some and not have their drawbar over the road.

It's a right pita to have to pack up because the park hasn't done the right thing by their customers. I suppose this is one of the many reasons that many choose to bush camp.


AnswerID: 398562

Reply By: Member - mazcan - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 22:15

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 22:15
oz.doc that's a bugger
hamelin bay used to be one of the best c/pks down there but since it's been changing to predominantly chalets they dont seen to value the caravan/camper side of the business
i say sock it to the management and hope someone takes note of your complaint
just read a thread about dunsborough c/van pk 2 days ago about bad conditions and service there
so now thats 2 in a week it's a great pity as i said there's not many parks left on the west coast
by the way did you get your engel sorted that died your not having a good holiday are you
cheers hope things improve
AnswerID: 398570

Follow Up By: oz doc - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 22:24

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 22:24
Hi Mazcan- yes it is a major pita. We have had and absolutely unbelievable run of negative things happen to us of late and were really looking forward to getting away in the camper for a night of fishing/relaxing and a few ales. If the buggers had just admitted that they were fully booked we would have made other arrangements. Instead we spend time and money to get down there, only to have them try and cram us into a parking space on the edge of someone elses campsite.
As to the engel- we took it in to be repaired, however it decided to start working again, so the refrigeration guys suggested it may be an intermittant problem of some sort.Just great-hard to find the problem if it is not active, and hard to rely on the fridge when you know it has a problem somewhere. So we have brought it back home and loaded it up again an will wait and see what happens.cheers, doc.
FollowupID: 667523

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 23:43

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 23:43
Hi Doc

It used to be lovely campground years ago. Did you speak to the actual owners or only staff? Do write a letter of complaint to their most senior management, now, while you are still angry enough, then leave it until tomorrow to re-read before you post it. If you were not speaking to the actual owner at the camp, they need to know what is happening.

I know you do need to book along the coast in peak periods. We try and holiday away from the crowds and don't book ahead. Sometimes our rig simply will not fit so we move on - usually out into the bush. Ideally, we should be able to inspect the actual site before we pay.

I think they should offer you a complete refund, as well as a voucher for a few days stay at a time you choose.


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AnswerID: 398578

Reply By: disco driver - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 00:46

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 00:46
From my experiences any caravan park on the coast from Mandurah right round to Esperance will be chokablok during the school holiday period.
In many cases it's the only time the parks have an opportunity to make a reasonable profit, the rest of the year is barely break even, hence the tendency to jamb in as many as possible in the peak seasons. It does not excuse rudeness or incivility though.

Having said that, I too have been shunted down the back into a tent site with my 16ft caravan, I didn't stop, I did as Motherhen does, Out of there and find a bush site nearby for a day or two.

On another trip, using a tent, we were given a space that allowed us to erect the tent but next door's tent pegs were alongside my tent and my guyropes almost were against the walls of the next door tents, talk about shoehorning them in. Again only for 1 night at the end of a very long day at the wheel, moved into the bush the next day.

Now we have no one else to worry about, just the 2 of us, we never go away during school holidays or Easter.

Maybe I'm getting old and grumpy but at least I can camp/caravan in peace now.

AnswerID: 398584

Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 02:16

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 02:16
Join the club!

It is certainly good being retired - you can choose your travelling schedule.

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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 09:32

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 09:32
It is certainly good being a hater of caravan parks, - We can chose a spot of our own and still have the money to put extra fuel in the tank to take us further.

FollowupID: 667563

Follow Up By: oz doc - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 09:57

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 09:57
Hi DD, I do understand your point of view. However my issue was that when we arrived- because the site was not marked, beacuase the mudmap they gave us was wrong, and because the lazy so and sos dont bother to show you the site, we were under the false impression that the site we were on was fine. It wasn't until later in the afternoon when the other campers arrived that we learnt the truth. By this time it was too late to pack up and go searching for other places to camp(we had checked out contos, sues bridge, alexandra bridge on our way down- all were chokkas and best time to grab a spot was in the morning).THis is why I spat the chewwie and came home. Had I realised the site was so small and unusable when we arrived, I would have left then and hunted around for a spot. All business try and make the most of the busy season but this sort of experience is an example of pure greediness on their part. I'll stop here because I'm starting to rant on and on.As you can tell I am still absolutely livid at this situation. Time for a cuppa and a few deep breaths.doc.
FollowupID: 667568

Follow Up By: Member - Neville & Sally C (VI - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 10:51

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 10:51
Hi oz Doc, A very similar happened to us at Hidden Valley caravan park in Kunnanurra WA. We had to go in for repairs and had chosen the Park very carefully. The girl at the desk told us we could choose our spot. We were racing to get to t he repair people before closing. Then the bloke came along and shifted us too a place far too small and almost on top of the other camper. This resulted in a complaint from the neighbors. We don't blame the, the same as us we were very angry. The woman from the desk and cameand blamed us. We don't like conflict but I stood up for myself. Neville was at the repair place. The Par k was a lovely clean Park but the people running it were so disorganised. I swore I'd never recommend it to anyone. THis was back in 2001, maybe they've changed. Take care. Safe travels. Bye Sally.
FollowupID: 667577

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:08

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:08
Sorry to hear of your doings at Hamelin Bay C/p. We intended stopping there in
Sept but after driving in for a look & being told we could not inspect the sites, we
continued on to the C/p at Gracetown. What a little beauty...bush setting, good
kitchen & facilities, & very central for doing the Margaret River thing. Not much help now I know, but maybe others may find it useful. As an aside, we never pay
until we inspect the site & park first for unbooked stops. We dont book anymore
either unless essential, but that is aided by avoiding peaks. Not possible for all
though. Great part of Oz..we enjoyed it immensley.....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 398619

Follow Up By: oz doc - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:56

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:56
Thanks Oldbaz- have just had a look at website for Gracetown Cvp- will definitely give it a go next time. doc.
FollowupID: 667581

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:37

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:37
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Foul Language Rule .

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AnswerID: 398622

Reply By: aimee - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:10

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:10
Try the accommodation at Hamelin Pool Station. Great place with good facilities.
AnswerID: 398668

Follow Up By: Russ n Sue - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:33

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:33
G'day Aimee,

Hamelin Pool and Hamelin Bay are two different places.


FollowupID: 667665

Reply By: Member - Dalb (SA) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:03

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:03
Hi Oz Doc

Bad luck about the Hamelin Bay CP.
We, by chance, stayed at the nearby Hamelin Station CP last August and loved it.
I recorded the following in my trip report "The first place we came to was Hamelin Station, so we drove in for a look around. It is a working sheep station and has only recently been opened to tourism. The amenities block is literally 5 star standard. The host said he didn’t want us walking around picking up firewood and denuding the environment. We thought bugger, we would have liked a camp-fire. He then said there is a large trailer containing cut firewood and we could have as much as we liked! Bliss. Hamelin Station is near Hamelin Pool Caravan Park and the famous ancient stromatolites, relics of early life on earth billions of years ago, that are found in the bay. The station is highly recommended."

Cheers Dalb
Cheers, Dalb

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AnswerID: 398708

Follow Up By: oz doc - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:18

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:18
Hi Dalb, thanks for your input however the Hamelin Bay I was referring to is down south near Augusta. Still I will note your positive comments about Hamelin Station for when we travel north again. Cheers, doc.
FollowupID: 667695

Reply By: Member - Garry G (WA) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:02

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:02
Hi oz doc, I am a friend of one of the owners of this caravan park. I have passed your thread details on to him for his information. Being in business myself I know only too well that staff can make or break you.
AnswerID: 398738

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