After almost 12 months closed, a popular caravan and camping ground in the small coastal town of Southend in South Australia has reopened in time for the school holidays.

Key points:

  • The Southend Tourist Park has reopened after being closed for renovations for almost 12 months
  • Infrastructure issues and coastal erosion caused lengthy delays to its reopening
  • The managing directors of the site hope the reopening will trigger a boost to the small town’s tourism 

The Southend Tourist Park in regional South Australia closed in late 2020 to allow the local council to undertake renovations before reopening with new managers.

The Wattle Range Council had planned to reopen the site in February.

Little did the community or council know that on-site infrastructure and coastal erosion would result in lengthy delays.

One of the managing directors of the site, Claire Hubbard, said it was a “relief” to get to this point.

“We’re really excited to finally reopen,” she said.

A grassed area with a car and caravan parked, ocean in the background

The first visitors to the Southend Tourist Park on Friday morning.(

Facebook: Southend Tourist Park


Ms Hubbard said the unexpected delays had caused a lot of angst for everyone involved.

“It’s been frustrating to be honest.

“For [us as] the new managers and council as well, because they didn’t realise how long it was going to take either,” she said.

A beach with greenery-covered dunes behind, a white ute parked on the sand

The Park’s managing directors hope reopening the site will help boost tourism to the coastal town over the warmer months. (

ABC South East SA: Grace Whiteside


Ms Hubbard said there were lots of reasons for the delays.

“We’ve had delays with the lease, as well as all of the on-site delays with the engineering.

“Mainly underground works have been tricky.

Happy holidaymakers

Ms Hubbard said it was positive to have the site ready for the September school holidays, which start this weekend for South Australian students.

“Hopefully we can make some holidaymakers very happy,” Ms Hubbard said.

“We’re not really sure how many people we’re going to get that come past and just decide to stay.

“We’ve got quite a few bookings already, especially for the long weekend in October.”

‘Just been thrilled’

Ms Hubbard said it was also a relief for the Southend community to see the site reopen.

“It felt like such a long process for everyone that’s watched it all happen – and watched stages where it felt like nothing was happening,” Ms Hubbard said.

A coastline with a drop off from the ground to the sand

Coastal erosion at the Southend Tourist Park, after storms in July, concerned the Wattle Range Council.(

Supplied: Wattle Range Council


“Especially the last couple of months that we’ve been allowed to erect the barbecue area and the office… it really starts to feel like it is happening now.

Traveller benefits

Ms Hubbard said she hoped having a caravan and camping ground for overnight travellers would bring economic benefits to the town.

“We’ve got John [at] the general store,” she said.

“He’s obviously got a lot of local support around town – we’re a pretty tight-knit community in Southend – but without that passing trade he has really been hurting.”

She said summer tourism was a big boost to the town.

“Over the summer you really have to capitalise on tourists coming through,” Ms Hubbard said.

“Hopefully we can help him with his trade and up at the community centre, the community club doing meals … Hopefully we can get them jam-packed and help everyone out.”

Coastal community ‘thrilled’ to see tourist park reopen for school holidays
Source 1


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