Happy holidays turn sour at popular seaside park
HOLIDAY plans were thrown into chaos over the weekend when visitors learnt they had just days to get out of the Woolgoolga Beach Holiday Park.
Jill Hollis had booked 12 months in advance for her regular holiday with her husband to spend time with their daughter and grandchildren.
They were one week into their holiday when they were told they had just days to pack up and leave, to make way for ongoing upgrades.
Coffs Harbour City Council manages the holiday park which is undergoing a major revamp. Work has already been completed to relocate the entrance and check in area to improve traffic flow.
"We were just gobsmacked. Very angry, disappointed and upset and we certainly weren't the only ones affected," Mrs Hollis said.
"I don't want to bad mouth anybody; that's not my nature. We want to be able to come back here and hold our heads up high.
"People have been wonderful offering for us to camp in their front yards and things like that. You wouldn't expect anything less of Woolgoolga. We just love it here."
Mrs Hollis said park staff were incredibly helpful in finding alternative accommodation and offering to help them pack up.
"We can't fault the staff. They helped us find a site at Moonee but that's our second choice. Woolgoolga is great because you can walk everywhere."
Deputy mayor Tegan Swan met with council staff on site today to find out what went wrong.
"I get that it would be frustrating and inconvenient but staff went above and beyond to organise alternative accommodation or refunds and most people were grateful for that," Cr Swan said.
"Originally when the works were planned it was going to be staged but the contractor, who was only appointed last week, said we would get better value and a better timeline if we were to do it all in one go," Cr Swan said.
People have criticised the timing of the work with Curryfest, one of Woolgoolga's biggest events - just around the corner on September 28.
The work is scheduled to be complete in time for the Christmas holidays. While underway the park will only be able to offer seven sites and three cabins.
Once complete the park will occupy a smaller footprint and work will commence on the upgrade of the public amenities including the children's playground.
"A lot of the work will be bespoke like the toilets in the shape of a wave and even the bike racks will look like whale tales. It's all very exciting," Cr Swan said.