By Julian Wright, Midland-Kalamunda Reporter
REPORTS may be indicating WA’s inflated prices and lack of accommodation are keeping tourists away in droves, but that’s not the case in the Shire of Kalamunda.
The Shire has just renewed the leases of four caravan parks, two of which are home to permanent, retired residents and the other two trading as holiday accommodation.
Forrestfield’s Discovery Holiday Park and Caravan N Park Home Village have been operating since the late 1960s, with High Wycombe’s Hillview Lifestyle Village and Maida Vale’s Advent Park since 2006 and 2008, respectively.
Despite Springvale Village closing down in 2010, tourism seems to be booming, according to Discovery Holiday Park manager Wendy Thomas.
The park, which features 52 caravan/camping sites, is usually booked out and there are plans to expand on the number of sites.
In 2007, nine additional cabins were built and, last year, another 16 were installed to keep up with demands. This year, there are plans to construct six or eight more caravan sites, she said.
“The only down period we experienced was during the global financial crisis in 2010, but that only lasted about nine months.”
Carolyn Duniam and her husband, who came from Tasmania with their new caravan, turned a two-week visit into four weeks.
“We liked the location because it is close to the airport just in case we had to fly back in an emergency,” she said.
“We have just been discovering the area and catching up with some family we have here.”
Chairwoman of the tourism division of the Kalamunda Chamber of Commerce, Caroline Babbage, confirmed high Perth prices were not affecting tourism in the Hills.
“People are drawn to the small town feel of the Hills,” she said.
“And every season offers something different up here, so even the winter is busy.”
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