John and Ni­cole McCabe

Alpine Observer - - News -

What do you do?

We own the Bright Free­burgh Car­a­van Park and have just re­cently pur­chased River­side Hol­i­day Park in Bright.

Is man­ag­ing hol­i­day parks some­thing you’ve done for long?

We’ve been in parks and ac­com­mo­da­tion for about 25 years.

We first worked for other peo­ple star­ing in a park in Lake Eil­don in 1996 be­fore go­ing to Echuca Moama.

We then bought a mo­tel in Corowa which we had for five years and that was our step­ping stone to here.

We al­ways wanted to own our own park and bought Free­burgh al­most four years ago now.

I un­der­stand you’ve done a lot of work here since tak­ing over?

There’s prob­a­bly not one stone that we haven’t turned over in four years.

The park was pretty run down when we got here, so we’ve done a lot of work.

We re­fur­bished all the cab­ins, added more cab­ins, up­graded the camp kitchens and main­te­nance wise we’ve done every­thing you could imag­ine.

We’ve built up the gar­dens, added a jump­ing pil­low and have just resur­faced the ten­nis court.

The only thing we haven’t touched is the pool. It’s a great lo­ca­tion just five min­utes out of Bright.

The best thing about the park is its spa­cious so the kids can roam freely and we back onto the river too.

Hav­ing done this for 25 years you ob­vi­ously en­joy it?

You wouldn’t do it un­less you were com­fort­able with the work load.

You do the hard yards but the free­dom of liv­ing and work­ing to­gether is pretty good.

You can set your own hours and have time for fam­ily when you want.

Sum­mer is ob­vi­ously a busy time for you?

Yes, we’re nearly fully booked from now right through to the end of Jan­uary.

There used to be a bit of a gap the week be­fore Aus­tralia Day but things are just get­ting busier and busier and you don’t re­ally have that now. Our clien­tal over Christ­mas is prob­a­bly 80 per cent re­peat guests, ev­ery­one just keeps com­ing back to the same spot on the same date, each year.

We thought that was a neg­a­tive when bought the park but it’s ac­tu­ally a pos­i­tive.

Peo­ple know how you op­er­ate, they know no noise af­ter 10pm so you don’t have to teach them those rules.

The ones that keep com­ing back also know our rou­tines and know that we like things to be left clean so that makes it eas­ier too.

What do you do in your spare time?

When we do have time off we go car­a­van­ning and check out what other parks are do­ing.

John moun­tain bikes with the kids and I have just started play­ing mid­week ten­nis in Bright.

We’re both on the Free­burgh Hall Com­mit­tee and hold a few com­mu­nity events here.

We held a fundraiser re­cently and put on a bar­beque and mu­sic and will do the same on New Year’s Eve for guests and lo­cals.

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