Final Thoughts on Location No 8
Emerald Beach, Mid North Coast, New South Wales
(Initial thoughts were posted as The Beauty of the Emerald)
Christmas 2014 arrived all to quickly and our week at the Big4 Emerald Beach Holiday Park ended quickly as well. It is hard to image we were planning this stage of our trip (almost) six months ago and now we’ve been and it’s time to move on.
Christmas day was a very quiet affair around our mini home with Dean starting the day off with a surf and ending it with his nose in a book.
I spent most of the day relaxing and also enjoyed reading a good book. I did muster the energy to cook dinner, but as this was on the BBQ, all I really did was put the food in and the Weber did all the work.
This was not our first Christmas alone, that happened back in 2013, but all the same, it was a very different day compared to Christmas days of years gone by.
Although we celebrated the day quietly by ourselves, our girls were not far from our thoughts and at least we weren’t out of phone range and were able to call them and wish them a lovely day.
It is difficult to see what has changed in the park since we were last here three years ago. This tells me it’s in need of a make-over and a spruce up. However, a fact that did nothing to deter the copious holiday makers from putting the Big4 Emerald Beach Holiday Park on their ‘must do’ list of Christmas (and school) holiday destinations.
The park was at capacity; every inch of available space occupied with barely moving room visible amid the camper vans, caravans, tents and silver tarps used to create homes away from home.
Some of them camping “Taj Mahals” that add a whole new perspective to the term glamping.
Unfortunately we found ourselves parked next to two facilities that we would never use – the jumping pillow and the camp kitchen – both areas competing with each other for the Christmas 2014 Noisiest Facilities title. At least the air was removed from the pillow each evening otherwise I’m sure the children would have been on it 24 hours a day. Twelve hours a day was enough to listen to the squealing and bouncing and jumping and screaming and fighting and yelling and .. can you tell I’ve had enough?
At $76/night for two adults, on a powered van site, I hate to think how much it’s costing the families with three and four children, and there are plenty of them on powered van sites and plenty of them with more than 6 people on the site.
Still, when all is said and done, the cost must be cheaper than staying in a holiday apartment at this time of the year and a cheaper option for families – those who like camping at a Big4 caravan park with all the amenities to keep the kids amused anyway.
For Dean and I, being at Emerald Beach was never about staying in this caravan park. It was all about the beach and the nice little left-hand break on the south side of the Look at Me Now Headland, part of the Moonee Beach Nature Reserve.
Dean surfed that wave every day and most days returned exhilarated and exhausted all at once.
After crawling down the New South Wales Mid North Coast, we now sprint down to Cessnock and another Big4 caravan park – the BIG4 Valley Vineyard Tourist Park, the only place we could book and I’m sincerely hoping we’re not parked next to the jumping pillow.