While away in a winter wonderland

WITH travel restrictions eased, caravan parks and reserves in South Australia are almost booked out for the upcoming long weekend.

Melrose Caravan and Tourist Park managers, Steve and Chrissy Brindal, said this weekend is usually the busiest time of the year for the park.

“It’s our winter wonderland, it’s a beautiful time of year, and people come here to go hiking and bike riding on our trails,” Chrissy said.

“Campers started arriving last weekend, but we’re now booked out for cabins and powered sites for this weekend,”

Like many parks around the state, the unknown is how many people will arrive requiring unpowered sites, and Chrissy said they have been encouraging people to book.

“We still have to maintain social distancing, and numbers are limited in regards to using the community kitchen and toilet facilities,” Chrissy said.

While Easter is traditionally a busy time for the park too, Chrissy said COVID-19 put a halt to that.

“We were flat out preparing for the Easter crowds, but that didn’t eventuate,” she said.

“But it did give us a chance to do some renovations including painting, installation of retaining walls and instant lawn, and we graded flat sites,” she said.

Chrissy and Steve also employ a horticulturalist who has been busy planting natives around the park.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the government’s ‘Welcome Back’ campaign, which is all about getting behind regions and helping local communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible, has been a success.

“The long weekend is a perfect time for South Australians to get on the road and explore their own backyard,” he said.

“We ask people continue to do the right thing by observing COVID-19 guidelines. There are signs in campgrounds to remind people about social distancing, and park facilities are being regularly cleaned and maintained for visitors. We also ask visitors to be respectful of others and to “leave no trace.”