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The camping’s fine at Fingal
  |  First Published: April 2004




THE FINGAL Holiday Park has special appeal for those people who love out-of-the-way camping and holidaying places. It’s located on a very quiet section of the northern New South Wales coast and is well out of the mainstream of traffic flow. With the Holiday Park’s access road leading only to local homes, the only constant sound you’ll hear is surf breaking upon the golden Fingal Beach on the Park’s eastern boundary. It’s a peaceful atmosphere.

The Fingal Holiday Park is located at Fingal Head, a narrow strip of land between the Tweed River and the Pacific Ocean (Tweed Heads is just across the river, with Chinderah and Kingscliff to the south). The Fingal Head turn-off is on the Pacific Highway, on the left just as you cross the main bridge on the Tweed River heading south. Other access is via the Chinderah/Kingscliff turn-off if you’re travelling from the south towards the border. Once you’re on the main Chinderah/Kingscliff road there are signs showing the way to Fingal.

The holiday park is located at the corner of Prince Street and Letitia Road. It’s fairly prominent within a very low density housing area where there’s no highrise to be seen, apart from the lighthouse on nearby Fingal Head.

PLENTY OF ROOM

The Fingal Holiday Park is around 150m wide and at least twice as long, set on .a narrow peninsula. In this unique location you’ll find an interesting mix of accommodation features. There are 11 luxury cabins with en suites, three on-site vans available for hire, 128 powered caravan sites and 46 grassed sites. A number of tempting tent sites are set just behind the low beachfront casuarinas and dunes, and I noticed several paths leading from the park to the beach. That beach is an irresistible drawcard, especially with a high tide at daylight or dusk. Never mind breakfast or dinner – I’ll be out wetting a line!

The dunes form the east boundary of the park, with Letitia Road running along the back of the main holiday park section. The large open and well maintained area on the west side of Letitia Road also forms part of the park grounds and this area is set aside for tents and campervans. Taps and allocated camping spaces are established in this bush-fringed area, with banksias forming a very attractive backdrop. A path connects this section of the park with one of the large amenities blocks nearby. Proprietors Val and Jack Davey advised me that at peak holiday times the open area is just as well patronised as is the remainder of the holiday park, so bookings are essential.

I was impressed by the large, clean, amenities blocks as well as the excellent laundry facilities where new washing machines and dryers are available for park patrons to use. There is also a large children’s playground and a very tidy covered barbecue area for campers to enjoy while staying at Fingal. While this is a fairly old holiday park, the Tweed Shire Council, which maintains this and other local camping areas, has done an excellent job of maintaining a clean and hospitable atmosphere to make visitors enjoy their stay and return year after year.

BEACH ACCESS

Just walk out the back of the holiday park and the wide beach beckons. There are a couple of kilometres of beach available to the north before you get to the training wall on the Tweed River, with holes and gutters to fish in various places depending upon beach conditions at the time. To the south, and only about 400m away, is the prominent Fingal Head with its lighthouse.

There are plenty of really good beach fishing places to enjoy between Fingal and Chinderah to the south. ‘Park and walk’ is the standard method of fishing here as beach driving is strictly taboo. If you’re a keen worm catcher you’ll be busy on these beaches, where worms are plentiful. The usual beach fishing tactics of fine line for whiting and bream, with bream sought in the holes and whiting in the washes, will work fine here. This month we can expect some big tailor to appear as well, in conjunction with the movement of schools of mullet.

TWEED RIVER

The ever popular Tweed River is virtually within walking distance of this caravan park – if you drive out to Fingal on Main Road you’ll see the river right by the left window of your car. From this month onwards there’ll be no shortage of anglers seeking luderick along the more steep areas of bank in the Tweed. Many even fish from the roadside sections of the river.

Boating anglers aren’t forgotten here, either. There’s a well signed public boat ramp en route to Fingal on Main Road, and the ramp is quite suited to small outboard craft. During autumn and into winter some mighty catches of bream are taken in this river and a small boat is a handy asset if you’re staying at the Fingal Holiday Park. Fishing from a comfortable position on the bank is quite productive, and many anglers do just that. Remember, the same as fishing anywhere else, the freshness of the bait can make a big difference to your results.

ROCK FISHING

The nearby Fingal Head is renowned for its plentiful luderick, bream, and tailor, while skilled anglers do well fishing for jew off the rocks as well. Tuna and mackerel visit the rocks at Fingal Head sometimes, providing sport for livebait anglers. I remember hooking a large tuna off the stones here early one morning just on daylight and the big finned rocket just scooted out towards Cook Island until my Alvey reel ran out of line – then I broke him off.

Another attraction is nearby Cook Island. Some fabulous wahoo and Spanish mackerel are trolled up hereabouts but this is the province of skilled boat operators who know the area. The Tweed River bar is not something to be taken lightly, and perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy the sportfishing and deep sea fishing in the area is to go out with a charter operator.

In all, Fingal Holiday Park has much to recommend it. While Fingal is a very quiet place the bright lights of the Tweed Coast and Gold Coast are only a short drive away, and all amenities and service clubs are close by – as are some very good tackle stores. There’s also a kiosk attached to the Holiday Park. For more information or to make a booking contact the Fingal Holiday Park on (07) 5524 2208 or fax (07) 5524 7092.

1) After you’ve taken the turnoff from the Pacific Highway onto Main Road you’ll soon see the Fingal Holiday Park.

2) The excellent rock fishing at Fingal Head is a 10-minute walk away from the Holiday Park.

3) The Park has a very clean and tidy covered barbecue area.

4) One of several beach access points in the Holiday Park.

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