Mungo-bound campers will enjoy better views, easier access to power and improved site drainage as part of a major overhaul at Willow Bend Caravan Park, central to Wentworth.
Currently, on-site managers Tony and Ana Smith are trucking in and flattening soil to raise the height of the riverside campground.
The Smiths are also organising upgrades to the plumbing and moving all power infrastructure underground. A new camp kitchen and more onsite amenities will round up the first phase of renovations underway.
SLABS FOR CARAVANS AND ANNEXES AT WILLOW BEND CARAVAN PARK
When complete, many of the large grassed 8-metre campsites will feature two slabs suitable for a caravan and annexes with a handful of drive-through sites factored into the plans.
Guests will also find it easier to access their campsites with sealed driveways and curbing planned throughout.
“The concrete curbing won’t be too high. There will be three or so drive-through sites for large setups and travellers passing through,” Tony explains.
Currently, Willow Bend Caravan Park is the only park within the Wentworth Shire Council offering powered campsites close to the river and is the closest holiday park to Mungo National Park.
NEW CAMP KITCHEN AND AMENITIES BY EASTER 2021
More amenities and a large communal camp kitchen form part of the caravan park phase-1 renovations, due for completion Easter 2021.
“The new camp kitchen will be fully enclosed and measure 12x12m to provide a nice big gathering area for our guests and our park events,” Tony explains.
“We’re also installing new amenities and will shift existing cabins closer to the water.”
Preliminary plans for phase 2, commencing in 2022, will focus on recreational facilities including volley and basketball courts.
Currently, guests can moor their boats on-site and can access a pontoon within the Darling River.
Moving the existing camp kitchen to make way for the refurbished camping ground.
ON-SITE MANAGERS’ VISION
Willow Bend Caravan Park was privately-owned for many years with the Wentworth Shire Council acquiring the xxx hectare site in 2017.
Council sought expressions of interest, with Ana urging Tony to abandon their mining careers in search of a green change.
“As part of our submission, Council asked us to write our vision for the park, and they’re using a lot of our ideas which is fantastic.”
The planning committee also received input from a consulting firm in Mildura.
Ana tends the camp kitchen garden
Tony, a farmer who’s ‘handy with the tools’, grew up on land adjacent to the Darling River.
“For all my life, [every year] we’ve had 30 vans camp up along the river edge, so I learned how to have ‘happy campers’ from an early age.
“Ana loves entertaining people, wearing silly hats and so on. And I am a musician.
“We like to entertain guests during our Tuesday night events. Our guests love it.”
BOOM TIMES FOR WENTWORTH
Tony is optimistic for the local community, with news that the Loch 10 Weir and Restaurant is reopening its doors under new management.
“There’s a bit of infrastructure happening with the bitumen roads underway.”
Tony says travellers are often surprised by Wentworth’s beauty.
“They come to see the juncture Murray and Darling rivers, and decide to stick around,” Tony explains.