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Published April 29th 2013
Holiday on the edge of the outback
Travelling from the Barossa Valley to Coober Pedy, Port Augusta seemed like a likely place to make an overnight stop to break the journey.
Amidst squeals of delight from the children that there was a BIG4 caravan park, we headed to the entrance.
Pleasant swimming spot to rest
The staff were pleasant and check in was efficient, although it seemed ridiculously expensive compared to other sites we had stayed at (over $60 for a powered site).
All the powered sites near us were slightly sloping, not a great deal, but just enough to put your head below your feet when sleeping.
There were some slightly grassed sites, although the amount of grass on those areas was a bit scarce. We were placed on a dirt site, which meant that I had to sweep the RV every single time the children entered it from the red bull dust which clumped on their feet from the water and turned to red mud.
Some of the other sites had been filled with pebbles, which was a great idea and prevented the dirt problem, but we weren't so lucky.
As a long time advocate of glamping over camping, this caravan park really fits the camping option a little better than glamping. However, let's put it in perspective, it is the edge of the outback and camping is more than expected.
It is surrounded by a metal fence with barbed wire on the top of it, and the amenities blocks are all shut down and under lock and key. Mind you, as we drove out of Port Augusta the next day, we noticed that most of the town was adorned in much the same manner. On the positive side, it did make for a secure place to stay.
The children made their way to the promised playground which turned out to be just a couple of objects. Once again they came back covered in dirt (which I possibly wouldn't have minded if it had of kept them amused for a little longer than the 3.5 minutes they were gone for!).
The children then made their way to the swimming pool which I thought would be a nice respite. My daughter had asked the lady at reception the pool temperature and the lady told her 2°, she laughed and thought she was joking. Upon entering the pool she quickly discovered it was no joke! 32° outside and about 2° in the pool. Now, I did not have a thermometer with me and perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but it was really too cold to go swimming.
My children are the type that sit in water with blue lips shivering and shaking and having a great time and they found the pool too cold to enter. We had a great joke at the couple of elderly men that leapt in after the kids wouldn't, then almost came out horizontally.
The good parts of the caravan park:
It is reasonably well maintained and clean.
The pool area is clean and tidy and has reclining chairs to rest on.
If it was really sunny the pool has a shade cloth over both ends.
The amenities blocks are huge and spotlessly clean.
I did not enter any of the cabins but they looked very pleasant.
It was relatively quiet while we were here and we didn't really notice the traffic noise.
The mountains in the distance were like something out of a painting.
Ask for one of the sites that have grass or pebbles and perhaps a little closer to the amenities blocks.
Port Augusta Big4 holiday park is located at
the corner of Highway 1 and Stokes Terrace Port Augusta 5700