2020 Gordon Harris Turnaround Award
Esk Caravan Park & Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Motel
When Paul and Jackie Lawson purchased the then Esk Caravan Park in 2013 it was tired, run down and still need of a clean up from the 2011 flood, including the removal of flood mud.
The main camp kitchen consisted of broken chairs and tables piled up in a corner and a small damaged pizza oven. There was nothing welcoming or comfortable to be seen there, and minimal useful kitchen facilities. and the Small Camp Kitchen, referred to as “The Swamp”…
Fast forward seven years and you wouldn’t recognise the park…
Now including a number of motel rooms and renamed, the Esk Caravan Park & Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Motel, the park has seen several upgrades and refurbishments.
The Main Camp Kitchen has had a huge face lift with handmade rustic tables, natural spotted gum bar tops, bistro blinds, four portable pizza ovens and a magnificent fireplace! This is now the social hub of the park and campers gather at the fireplace every afternoon for nibbles and happy hour before dinner.
The Swamp has been replaced by the Chill n Grill with portable pizza ovens and a BBQ, cladded walls with corrugated iron and timber posts and an outback country feel. Guests and residents can book this facility for meetings, prayer sessions, private parties, and other activities.
There are new cabins, refurbished cabins, refurbished amenity block shower – with heated flooring which winter guests will love when the cool kicks in. The office, staff laundry and carpark have been completely rebuilt. And the 10 acres of lawn and gardens have been recreated.
As well as the physical changes to the property, Paul and Jackie have introduced an activities program, live music, pizza making sessions and so much more, making this not just a place to stay but a destination in itself.
Any what does the local community think?
Well according to one of the local councillors:
“The Esk Caravan Park has become the premier caravan park in the Somerset Region. The Park has become a destination and attraction of its own and a crucial economic driver in the township and district of Esk.
“The Park’s operators Paul and Jackie Lawson have become valued community members taking a once run-down facility and creating a crucial business and focal point.
“The Park encourages visitors to patronise the town’s local businesses, provides stable local employment, sponsorship for local community groups and regularly participates in community events and initiatives.
“The Park’s continuous improvements represent some of the strongest private infrastructure investments in the Esk district complementing the public spaces maintained for the amenity and enjoyment of locals and visitors alike.”
These changes haven’t just improved the parks reputation with locals and guests, they have also seen the park’s turnover increase by 107%, the business valuation to increase by 142% and their bookings placed over a 1 year period increase by over 155% on the same period in the year they purchased the park.
Get in touch with Esk Caravan Park & Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Motel
Location: 16 Hassall St, Esk Qld 4312
Phone: 07 5424 1466