“I was born and bred on a dairy farm. I had three older brothers, I was the only girl, very much a tomboy as well and I spent a lot of time with Dad being the youngest. He was involved in the local council and tourism through council. We had stud dairy cattle and did a lot of showing; we did all of that together. He always said ‘you’ve gotta try it, if you don’t try you won’t know.’ He was a big influence in doing the things I’ve done all through my life. You know, have a go and don’t walk away. Mark and I converted a sheep farm to a dairy farm, did that for 16 years, then sold it. I was already working off-farm as well, in the building industry, then Mark got a job with the dairy company. We did that for seven years. Then said we wanted to work for ourselves again rather than other people so we bought a caravan park.
We went looking on Google for caravan parks for sale. That’s what we thought we’d like to do. We wanted something we could work on, put our own spin on. We didn’t want a swimming pool, didn’t want a jumping pillow, we just wanted something where we would stay when travelling. We hadn’t been to Kangaroo Island before. We came for four days, did the express tour, looked around the park and said, ‘yep, we can work with this one.’
We came here in September 2015; this is our 6th year. This was going to be our quiet year. We finished renovating, finished all the work and were just going to do what we had to do, not have a project.
We lost three cabins which we’ve now replaced, lost the office, shop, house, camp kitchen, sheds, all power and water.
Toughest time was the four days after the fires. We left on the Friday and we didn’t get back until Monday and we didn’t know. That is hard; you are guessing, people are trying to help and find out, but no one really knows. That weekend was a massive rollercoaster. It’d be nice to finish the year on a high. It’s also my big birthday year. My 50th birthday is on the 22nd December but at the moment, we wonder whether we will even see our kids for Christmas because we haven’t seen them since January. Hope for next year to finish our rebuild, to feel like we achieved our goals and feel like a bit of normality. It’d be nice to just deal with the day to day not all of that extra madness on top of the day to day.”