John and Nicole McCabe
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.