Longreach locals, the Seccombes, consider themselves ‘a big Thomson River family’.
In fact, Louise and Andrew feel this Longreach treasure is underutilised. Their passion for skiing and swimming inspired their soon-to-open Muddy Duck Tourist Park. Set on 15 hectares, a few minutes’ drive from Longreach town centre, Muddy Duck will offer large grassy drive-through sites close to the water in the coming months.
“Our vision is to utilise the river, so we have kayaks available to hire,” explains Louise.
A space for all travellers
Longreach is popular with grey nomads who come for the Qantas Museum and the Stockman Hall of Fame.
“We’re looking to create a space for all kinds of travellers–where guests can enjoy the water, ride, explore the park or sit back and enjoy the surrounds.”
Indeed, Louise believes their new venture will show visitors another side to Longreach encouraging them to stay a bit longer or return–with a glorious natural lagoon filled with lilies providing a haven for bird species and a base to explore.
“I am not a twitcher but a friend of mine pointed out numerous birds that birdwatchers will find appealing.”
In town, a new cafe is opening. And there’s been significant investment in the Qantas Museum as well.
Stage 1 progressing well
The campsites are set high, with a grassy communal area by the river with the long-term vision for a kiosk. But right now, Louise and Andrew are focussing on their first guests, anticipated in the coming months.
“We have almost finished Stage 1, with about 40 powered sites, which are large, drive-through sites separated with garden beds,” Louise explains. There’s room for unpowered camping as well.
Weather pending, they’re days away from installing temporary amenities, which will offer family ensuites. Work on the Stage 1 camp kitchen will follow shortly thereafter.
“We wanted to offer family ensuite in the amenities; somewhere where families can wash up together!”
Learning from experience
Indeed, Louise, Andrew and their three boys have learned a lot about family in a camper trailer and up to Cape York.
“We’re always looking at what’s working in other parks.
“A few years ago, we did a trip up to Kununurra with an 18-month-old baby in a camper trailer! That was a learning experience.”
What’s in store
Down the track, Louise and Andrew plan to calve bushwalking trails through the natural landscapes and put in two playgrounds with one beside the proposed kiosk.
“We would also like to get some canoes, put together skiing packages and also SUP and paddle boats for kids, there’s definitely an opportunity for more.”