An oasis on the Gold Coast
NOW I know that this is the NSW Fishing monthly and I should cover things within this great State of ours. But Australia is one of those unique nations where we often don’t even know we have crossed a State border.
Of course, there are the Banana Benders to the north and the Mexicans to the south but these borders are only lines on a map and the only real rivalry exists when sporting teams clash – then it is a matter of life or death.
Anyway, the Gold Coast doesn’t just belong to Queenslanders –it’s a place just about every Aussie visits at some time in their life. For many it is a pilgrimage to a place of fun and sun, beautiful one day perfect the next, high-rise apartments on the beach – and how can you forget the theme parks?
Yet you can still back in the van or put up the tent in an oasis among the glitz and you will go a long way before you find a park of the quality of the Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park. It has an RACQ the Queensland NRMA equivalent) rating of four-and-a-half stars.
I would love to see a five-star place – it must have hot and cold running champagne! Because the Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park has the lot and you are close to everything – including patrolled surf beaches and great fishing in the creek just metres from your camp.
The Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park at Palm Beach, a few kilometres south of Surfers Paradise and just over the hill from Burleigh Heads – and right on the beautiful creek. For me it is about an 11-hour drive with a few stops for the kids, which means you really look forward to planting yourself somewhere comfortable when you arrive.
Well this place is comfort in a camping area, whether you are towing a van or just want to throw up a tent. There is no way you will be roughing it. If you don’t want to bring anything you can stay in on site-cabins on the waterfront with spectacular views.
The grounds are impeccable, with all services and conveniences provided. Even the garbage bins are cleaned every day, a rarity these days. Most parks just have a couple of large bins around the place, which can get smelly in Summer and if you are unlucky enough to be camped downwind on a hot night, well you get my drift.
What extras that give this park its four-and-a-half stars? One attraction is the extra-large, heated saltwater pool that is partly under cover – the kids will love it, along with the games room with entertainment machines and pool table. There is a television room, not that you really need the TV when you are away camping, but for the must-see stuff this one is well patronised.
The front office is spacious and has an information board with brochures on enough attractions to keep you busy every day of the week for the next two years. Also in the office is a general store for virtually all you could need in the way of food except maybe meat and fresh fruit. And there’s ice and a gas refill station.
The staff who were friendly, polite and always ready to help and nothing was a problem, which always helps when you are a long way from home in unfamiliar surroundings. There are several spotless amenities blocks and toilets spread about the park and a large laundry with the obligatory coin-operated washing machines and dryers. The clothes lines are all kept out of sight behind tree-shrouded borders.
There’s a half-court basketball court and a tennis court in mint condition. You can hire racquets and balls for a small fee from the office. Did I mention a ripper kids playground?
The park has its own beach on the shores of the crystal clear Tallebudgera Creek, which is more a huge lagoon than a creek in this area. It has a large area netted off for safe swimming.
Accommodation is many and varied, starting with about 45 unpowered tent sites and about 280 powered sites, every single one dead-level. You can have a plain powered site on the grass or a site with a slab for your van and then there are sites with slabs, sullage and sewerage and, the piece de résistance, sites with your own ensuite. Almost every site has its own tap – they are everywhere.
There are rooms called the lodgings, which are single rooms with double bed, single overhead bunk, TV, bar fridge, lounge chair and wardrobe. These are clustered around a central camp kitchen with undercover food-preparation areas, cooking and eating facilities, all kept impeccably clean.
Then there are the 19 cabins, each with spectacular water views and big verandahs covering hot- and cold-water sinks adjoining electric barbecues. Each verandah also has a large table with bench seats and, as I said, the views are spectacular as the sun sets over the lagoon.
Each cabin has a kitchen and a dining room with lounge chairs, satellite cable TV and video, separate toilet and bathroom and some cabins even have spas. There are two bedrooms one, with a queen size bed and another smaller TV, the with a double bed with a single bunk above. Each room is equipped with fans, just to keep the air from the air conditioning moving around. They are very, very well presented.
Camp sites start at $23 a day and accommodation goes up to $115 a day for a spa cabin in the off-season. Prices do vary in peak seasons. Give the park a call on 07 5581 7700 for an information pack.
If you are looking for something to do while you are up this way, there are the four big theme parks, Movie World, Wet and Wild, Dream World and Sea World. If you go to Sea World, take time to check out the monster bream and whiting in the main show area. If you are lucky you might spot one of the metre-long flathead that I saw along the edges.
Then there is the Currumbin Wildlife Park, Jupiter’s Casino, heaps of golf courses, joy flights in planes or choppers, skydiving, surfing, bushwalking – the list goes on.
And there is fishing. Tallebudgera Creek right at the park has plenty of whiting, flathead, bream and trevally, with jacks and other assorted critters around the bridge pylons. And there just have to jewies cruising around there some evenings.
At the creek entrance there is a breakwall where there were tailor, bream and heaps of whiting on the bite – and this is all within metres of the park, which even has its own boat ramp.
If you want to venture offshore there are plenty of charters available to suit every taste. And unlike the lousy fishing reports you get in the NSW newspapers, (that’s why everyone gets NSW Fishing Monthly for their info) the local Gold Coast Bulletin has daily coverage of where the fish are – and there is always Queensland Fishing Monthly for even more detailed info.
So there it is, just over the border: A great park where Mum and the kids can stay in comfort and get worn out at the theme parks and later watch Dad do some serious fishing just metres from camp. What more could you want?
The view from the verandah of the waterfront cabins is superb and there are plenty of fish in Tallebudgera Creek.
Cabins at the Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park are well-maintained and have all you need for a relaxing holiday.
All of the camp sites are flat and there is ample shade from the trees.
The barbecue facilities in the Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park are as good as you will find anywhere, and spotlessly clean.