By Katie Toney
Daniel and I have always loved regional travel. We were a television news crew in Queensland for a combined 35 years and would always use our role to champion rural Australia. In our annual leave time, we’d hit the road to far flung places with our kids and our swags chasing the outdoors and adventure.
When we made the move to the tourism industry we knew we wanted to be in a place that valued nature. We wanted to encourage families to spend time together enjoying the environment; putting down their phones to experience real connections instead. Reflections Holiday Park Seal Rocks is the perfect place, it’s where the national park meets the beach and the days are filled with fishing, surfing and hiking.
When planning school holiday activities it was a no brainer to us that we wanted to reinvent the activities on offer. Although movie nights, face painting and jumping castles are fun, we wanted to give our guests more. We wanted kids to have the opportunity to experience new things, challenge themselves and engage in nature based activities.
We approached Surfing NSW who put us in touch with Simon Basile at Great Lakes Surf School to work together to organise a skills clinic. These school holidays we booked our first session.
We took the lead from Simon who chose the date and time depending on when would be the safest wave conditions for learners.
Then we put the word out to guests who were staying in the park and who were due to arrive the following day to tell them details about the clinic including the time, meeting place, cost and age limits. We collated a list of names, ages and if they required a wetsuit and messaged this information to Simon a few hours before the lesson so he could gather the equipment.
The clinic was a massive hit. All of the children who came had never tried surfing before. Their parents were happy they were entertained, supervised for a couple of hours and that they got to try something new. The kids had a ball, they felt challenged, invigorated and proud.
We have another surf clinic planned these holidays and expect to run more over summer.
We feel this is an example of partnerships in action; a genuine win win approach. We at Reflections Holiday Park Seal Rocks get to offer a new and exciting activity for guests, the surf school gets to fill a session quickly and easily, and Surfing NSW now has dozens of new fans of the sport.
We’re all about creating memories and we know for the children who attended it’ll be a school holiday to remember.