Roadhouse & CP Requirements

Submitted: Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 16:19
ThreadID: 95663 Views:2443 Replies:13 FollowUps:17
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Hi Guys,

I want lots of feedback from all kinds of travellers on this one.

We want to know what kind of things you like out of your campground or carvan park and what supplies, treats and souveniers you would buy from these places or roadhouses in remote areas. I.E crossing the plenty highway?

Thanks in Advance

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Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 17:59

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 17:59
Do you mind if I ask why you want to know?
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Follow Up By: Member - Shaun & Sarah N1 - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:14

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:14
I currently work at Tobermorey Station on the Plenty, NT and the owners have just re-opened the camp grounds. We are looking for feedback and has a Exploroz Member I thought best to ask other travellers. (My husband & I travel full time)
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:30

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:30
Sort of what I thought, we have had some great stays on Outback stations, only recently stayed at Mount Ive Station in the Gawler Ranges.
To be honest, the less like a caravan park they are, the better. Just need good amenities, maybe some basic supplies & if relevant laws permit, a small wet bar!


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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 23:06

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 23:06
Well hello .................. maybe you guys would be interested in contacting us, having worked in remote stores in the NT from the top to the bottom (Nyirripi) and now managing a roadhouse in QLD we can place you in the right direction for suppliers and products.....
Keep in mind most will want everything but wont want to pay for it, and we find what is most wanted you simply cant afford to carry and if you did it would be to "expensive" for them, it is a HARD game to be in eh ......
Cheers
Joe n Mel n kids n animals...
Doomadgee Roadhouse......
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Reply By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 19:05

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 19:05
Hi Shaun & Sarah. It seems like a very broad question that you are asking us. Do you own a Roadhouse or Caravan Park and are asking about improvements to one or are you asking for our opinion (good or bad) of what we have encountered on our travels so you can plan a better trip. From what you are asking, it sounds like you are thinking of operating, buying or managing one. More information on that would help us help you.

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Follow Up By: Member - Shaun & Sarah N1 - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:17

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:17
It is indeed a broad question but a question needed to be asked. Everyone always gives negative feedback on these types of forums and rarely look at it from what places need to improve. People need to starting looking at what they like and appreciate about camp grounds, free camps & caravan parks.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 19:47

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 19:47
Hi Shaun and Sarah

For a paid camping ground or caravan park; clean amenities, adequate hot water for showers at all times of day or night, washing machines in a caravan park. I would not be looking for souvenirs or supplies in such a location. Perhaps some take away food or icecreams. Fuel of course if a road house. Of course friendly hosts which I'm sure you are, who are willing to share local knowledge and point us in the direction of lesser known places of interest to see.

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Follow Up By: Member - Shaun & Sarah N1 - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:22

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:22
Thanks Motherhen!

Well Tobermorey has clean amenties and hot showers. And we have fuel: diesel and unleaded.

Ice-Cream: Not possible at the moment - logistics are an issue due to our remoteness and unfortunately no takeaway food or meals.

Tobermorey is more for the weary traveller crossing the Plenty. A place to refuel, have a cold drinks, rest over night and continue on with there travels.
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Reply By: Kev - Member - Wynnum - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 20:04

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 20:04
Hi Shaun and Sarah,
I feel sure that you will do well in your new endeavour.
I second all that motherhen said and think that being able to book in after hours to either powered or un-powered sites and pay in the morning. As you know the Plenty can be unpredictable and travel times get extended.
We have stopped at Tobermoray and we did purchase a tea towel. We liked the grassy sites.
Many travellers these days want cheap/no cost camping but if you set your prices reasonably I feel that they will stop. Everyone respects that you have to make a living and we will try to assist you by stopping with you the next time we travel that way.
Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Shaun & Sarah N1 - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:25

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:25
Camping is currently a flat rate of $20 and I believe the facilties and amenties are some of the best accross the Plenty.
You will be happy to know the grass is still nice and green.

Hopefully we will see you on your next trip accross the Plenty.
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Reply By: Off-track - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 20:59

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 20:59
What a great question! There are plenty of negative posts about bad CP's (which may benefit in perusing) but it will be interesting to see what constructive ideas can be posted...it actually does require some thought.

For my mind (and I havent travelled the Plenty,yet) I would think that such a stop on the Plenty would normally be an overnighter in transit. A successful approach would be to try to attract people to stay an extra night or more. The weary traveller will normally very much appreciate a hot shower, cool or warm swim depending on the season and an ice cold beer.

Easy to park campsites, shade, a camp kitchen and a central area to gather around a fire, drink, tell long stories and be merry. These things can stick in peoples' memories and be a good word of mouth promotion to your business.

For the shop sell ice creams, marshmallows (for the kids and fire), soft drink and stubbie coolers with your business on it. Basic cooked meals maybe but this could be a matter of how far can you go. Not sure about selling fuel but maybe just start with diesel only and maybe unleaded later on if funds/demands allow.

Ammenities need not be luxurious but can be very basic, just as long as they are clean. Guessing out that way demountables will be logistically easier.

And of course friendly staff with a good sense of humour...may need it often.

Barkly Homestead springs to mind for a few reasons as it fits a similar bill but would see much more traffic and on sealed road instead of gravel.
AnswerID: 486245

Follow Up By: Member - Shaun & Sarah N1 - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:32

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 21:32
I thought it was a fantastic question. Thanks for your response.

Tobermorey and other stops along the Plenty are generally overnighter although we do have campers stay on for 2-3 nights to relax and rejuvenate before heading back to the civilisation.

As stated we do have shaded grassy sites, hot showers, clean amenities, open fire place, wood bbq undercover.

We don't and have no plans to sell alcohol. It comes with many implications and at the moment is not needed along the Plenty. The campsites are easy accessible and plenty of space.

We do have friendly and informative staff and are happy to chat to tourists.

We do have ice cold drinks, lollies, numerous souveniers with more coming shortly, unleaded and diesel.

Amenities are donga style, basic, bore water but clean and hot showers.
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Reply By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 22:02

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 22:02
A remote area campground/roadhouse should have all or some of the following, in no particular order: Camping area - water, power for battery charging, powered and unpowered sites, grassy sites, large sites, level sites, shade, fully equipped laundry, clean, tidy amenities, dump point, fuel availability, gas refills and/or swap bottles, camp kitchen, communal camp fire, playground, rubbish bins, public phone, internet access, cabins c/w linen. Flexibility with after-hours arrivals. Pets??
A shop could stock: bottled water, fuel, soft drinks, ice creams, bread, milk, toilet paper, limited frozen meat lines, batteries (torch type, etc), good-keeping fruit and vegetables or frozen, a few basic grocery lines (but dont try to be a supermarket), a few basic first aid needs, smokes if you must, beer and wine limited. Could also have a coffee machine but know how to use it, cash machine or facilities, take-aways such as hamburgers and steak sangers. Souvenirs could be limited to stubby holders, fridge magnets, stickers, caps/hats, but try to be a bit creative with the artwork to be different.
Such establishments should be across road conditions and weather forecasts, as well as a basic knowledge of local history, sight-seeing, a sense of humour and unlimited patience.
Haven't touched on vehicle spares or limited repairs, if you wish to go that way. It would be hard to know where to start/or finish.
We wish you good luck with your endeavours.

John and Heather
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Follow Up By: Kev - Member - Wynnum - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 11:50

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 11:50
Hi John and Heather,
Can I say that if a remote camping ground had all these facilities, especially on the Plenty Highway I wouldn't go there.
We and I'm sure many other travellers enjoy the remoteness of an area and travel to get away from the majority of the necessities that you crave.
Might I suggest that if you need these refinements that you stay on the tar in the major cities.

Kev
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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 12:49

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 12:49
Kev, thanks for your follow-up. In the first sentence we said "all or some". It is up to the owners how they want to set it up. Sorry if our remarks were not helpful.
We had a hearty laugh at your last sentence. We don't necessarily desire some of these refinements, but some people do. Those who know us, know we have enjoyed some pretty rough and remote bush camping over the years.

John and Heather
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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 13:32

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 13:32
Kev, it has been actually Heather. She knows we have camped in odd quarries, creek beds, clearings and creek banks, but speaking with a royal 'we'.

That being aside, there are more people travelling these days without the experience, so many of Heather's suggestions may make life easier for the newer campers. You would find a picture of four Karavans in a clearing off the Plenty Highway a few kilometers. Hard to find an easy level spot there.

John
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Follow Up By: Kev - Member - Wynnum - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 13:52

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 13:52
Hi John,
Sorry, I have no doubt that you have done the Plenty but the question was "What you want from your camping ground/caravan park".
I still feel that people travel in the outback to stretch their ability and gain new experiences. If it were not so we would all be on the MS Johann Strauss sailing Amsterdam to Budapest.
Kev
P.S. By 'done the Plenty' I mean travelled the west. I was never questioning your ability or preparation for travel.
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Follow Up By: Kev - Member - Wynnum - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 14:07

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 14:07
Hi John,
Sorry, I have no doubt that you have done the Plenty but the question was "What you want from your camping ground/caravan park".
I still feel that people travel in the outback to stretch their ability and gain new experiences. If it were not so we would all be on the MS Johann Strauss sailing Amsterdam to Budapest.
Kev
P.S. By 'done the Plenty' I mean travelled the west. I was never questioning your ability or preparation for travel.
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Follow Up By: Kev - Member - Wynnum - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 14:08

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 14:08
Hi John,
Sorry, I have no doubt that you have done the Plenty but the question was "What you want from your camping ground/caravan park".
I still feel that people travel in the outback to stretch their ability and gain new experiences. If it were not so we would all be on the MS Johann Strauss sailing Amsterdam to Budapest.
Kev
P.S. By 'done the Plenty' I mean travelled the west. I was never questioning your ability or preparation for travel.
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Reply By: Member - Dirt Princess - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 00:18

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 00:18
Hi Shaun and Sarah
Good luck with the feedbacks and the future. Just wanted to add swings to the list of plenty. Just a few for the kids. Ready for when I get there:)
Thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - Dirt Princess - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 00:20

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 00:20
And maybe a telescope or two. I'm sure you would get some pretty sights your way
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Shaun & Sarah N1 - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 15:55

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 15:55
There is a nice little swing for the kiddies. Old school but good!!
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Reply By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 08:01

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 08:01
Shaun & Sarah. We were a bit negative with our first two replies but I thought you where a bit vague with your post. I think that we have given you some valuable information/ideas and am sure that if you ask visitors what they would like to see, as improvements, you will get all the information you want to make a really good stop-over/short stay and good amenity for the weary travellers that pass your way. All the best for the future. I hope it all works out for you.

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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 08:21

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 08:21
Chances are your visitors will be overnighters and as such it would be great for most to stay hitched. So drive through sites are the go. You would have to "mark out" the sites to prevent destruction of that lovely grass.

I seem to remember that that were a few trees in the area.

I personally hate trees above my site. They drop branches etc, shade panels, and provide roosts for birds above the roof. I know some seek shade. Maybe you need both.

Somewhere to park with clean amenities is all we ask.

All the best. When I travelled through there it was time to stop but camping had been suspended. Promote the camp as "far enough" drive from Boulia or Jervois as speed is not required on the road.

Plenty Highway is a very interesting drive and deserves more than one day thrash down it.

Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - John L (WA) - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 09:07

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 09:07
Glad you have reopened. Eleven years on we still remember & laugh about the ring of little green frogs that greeted us from the toilet rim. Do encourage the 'wildlife' - the frogs, birds, reptiles of another area are always fascinating - especially for kids.
A little history - either a photo album, story written on a the side of a tin shed or ask the artist/photographers to leave a memento of their visit.
As above - clean amenties, a campfire & choice of shady or open sites are our top choices.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 16:54

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 16:54
Alan

I'll go along with you.

My wife and I normally stay on the tar, but all we want at a CP is clean amenities, a campfire area, grass and a few trees.

Drive through sites would be a bonus, as would a more energetic hand maiden to get my beer. LOL

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Reply By: slave - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 10:36

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 10:36
Sounds like the type of place we would enjoy Shaun and Sarah.

We like the keep it simple approach, nothing 'fancy' for us. We use a caravan park to catch up on the washing and have a decent shower.

Price is an issue for us as we don't use the play equipment and swimming pool so don't want to stay at the higher priced caravan parks that have these.

Stubby holders always seem to be a good seller.

$20 seems to be a very good price for what you have available.

Mrs S
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 17:45

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 17:45
Hi Shaun & Sarah,

It's all been pretty much said: Clean amenities, grass, shade in summer, communal fire pit.

We would stay longer if there were interesting places to explore on the property. I thought the telescope(s) was a great suggestion. If we had been bush for a while before reaching Tobermorey we may be tempted by a camp oven stew or such. Souvenirs have to be unique and good quality before we would consider buying.

So pleased you are open again.

Min
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Reply By: JAX W - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 19:05

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 19:05
I imagine you probably have to run a generator for your power requirements. If you do, may I suggest a shut down at 10:00PM or the like is appreciated.

We first travelled the Plenty in 1998 and really enjoyed it. We would appreciate what you already offer - a good price, clean facilities, hot showers and fuel. That is about all we would need apart from enjoying the natural environment and peace and quiet.

We would most likely have our own cold beers/drinks or wine etc, so no need for those.

Souveniers are not important, but Tea Towels depicting local "attractions" (wildlife etc) are often tempting reminders of a great experience.

I look forward to returning there - sooner rather than later.

Regards, Jack
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Reply By: ExplorOz - Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 14:22

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 14:22
For what its worth, I will share some insights from a seminar the Outback NSW tourism council put together to support regional business operators. The key message was to sell tourists "the experience". So, take out of the above suggestions, the things that are not tangible items you have for sale, but the things that you can offer that make your place desirable as a highlight/as an experience they will remember from the trip. Given your location, it needs to be an experience that is meaningful to their journey - ie. can you offer local stories - either bring in a local around the campfire, or sell their self-published "story" (if available), or pass on some local knowledge to excite some thought/exploration of the local area that would engage the tourists attention to stay an extra night. Can you share some GPS positions for waterholes, birds nest, can you provide a list of local birdlife, reptiles, have you got some photos to show of intersting things seen in the area - focus on natural formations not seen from the main thoroughfare and excite people to find out the history of Tobermorey - who were the pioneers, why was it here originally, what is the story of their ancestors etc. These experiences are what make a trip truely special and go way beyond any tea towel or cloth badge sourvenir.

HOpe this helps.
Michelle

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