Sandra and Leon Juffermans from GlamXperience have a knack for turning problems into solutions.
Indeed, local challenges shaped their approach to building holiday park accommodation, now comprising Bell Tents, family-size Safari Tents and CC-Container conversions.
“We really looked into the climate,” says Sandra, who emigrated from the Netherlands to Australia three years ago.
“It’s one of the hardest to deal with. You have more radiation here than in the US, you’ve got to deal with cyclones and the fires as well.”
Then there’s the matter of hauling the timbers, the canvas, white goods, cubby-style bunks and more across the country.
- Local considerations changed GlamXperience’s offerings, BIG4 Wye River installation.
TWO BIRDS, ONE STONE
It can cost $5-7,000 dollars to transport a family-size Safari Tent into the Red Centre or over to Tasmania.
“You have to put the stock into a container, so we thought ‘why not design a family-size Safari Tent that closes up into a shipping container?’.
“They’re very suitable because they’re made of steel and are cyclone proof,” Sandra explains.
“Then we began asking our other clients if they needed anything else [from the containers]—that’s how we came up with the ‘glamtainer’.”
Sandra says most of the work is done within the factory in Pakenham, Vic, with many designs reclassified as CC-Containers for travel by railway or seas.
Combined, it can equate to quite a transformation.
- Fabricating shipping container conversions on-site at GlamXperience’s factory in Pakenham
BIG4 WYE RIVER HOLIDAY PARK
Accommodation is GlamXperience’s mainstay but they’ve created some amazing shared spaces since launching in Australia three years ago.
“We started with an amenities block at Jervis Bay. Then we looked into designing barbecues—we wanted something special for the BIG4 Conference.”
Here, BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park approached Sandra to help modernise their outdoor cooking facilities.
So GlamXperience designed and built a camp kitchen, incorporating sinks and a fire-pit to complement the existing barbecue area.
“We could make this one quite open as we weren’t travelling as far, so it was easier to transport via road.”
- The BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park kitchen (shown here, in concept) complements exisiting spaces
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
Slide-out elements can really open up the new spaces. And projects aren’t necessarily limited to a single container.
“We always liken it to building with Lego, my husband especially likes that you can stack them on top of each other.”
A lovely single-level project commissioned by NRMA currently at NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park in Umina Beach illustrates their flexibility.
“We have the 6m container, which has a full open glass section that pulls out with bedding and a lounge seating.
“We connected it to a 3m container, which has a separate bathroom for the kids.”
Because it’s transportable, NRMA plans to use it in two locations.
“They are going to move it to NRMA Jindabyne Holiday Park, which has a two-month peak touring season.”
- NRMA Ocean Beach. Because you can transport it, NRMA can offer a luxury experience at Jindabyne during its two-month peak season.
GLAMXPERIENCE’S VARIOUS SOLUTIONS
Sandra says the designs vary in complexity according to budgets and needs.
“Sometimes customers want a lounge, a storage facility or maybe a reception,” says Sandra.
And at times, GlamXperience has engaged local and Indigenous artists to assist in designing these spaces’ designs.
Understanding what the climate is doing is paramount to furnishing and building for different destinations.
“You can’t put a container painted in black out in the middle of the desert.”
And having a grasp on legislation in each jurisdiction really matters as well.
Investment needn’t be significant, though. Bell Tents provide operators a great way to ‘dip tip their toes’ into camping accommodation that appeals to other travellers.
“It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to be cool,” Sandra explains.
MORE PEOPLE ENJOYING HOLIDAY PARKS
But knowing how to speak to different travellers is vital for the success of holiday parks investing in emerging accommodation trends.
It’s still a niche market but Sandra reckons local uptake echoes their experiences in the Netherlands when launching their brand in 2009.
She credits parks like Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, BIG4 Bellarine Holiday Park and BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park for embracing the opportunities.
“BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park took a gamble with us when they purchased five family-size Safari Tents two years ago.
“We assisted them in their marketing, helping them reach a different audience.
“Twelve months later, we received a call, thanking us with an order for five new tents. They’d attracted guests—a new clientele—who’d never stayed in a holiday park before.
“Those same guests are now booking accommodation in other parts of the park,” Sandra explains.
BIG4 Bellarine Holiday Park was an early adopter of the family-size Safari Tent