A BIG hello and welcome to our blog

If you’ve been watching television lately, you’ll know all about the prevalence of reality TV. If you’re like me, you’ll be wondering how much of it is real and how much is a set up.

Well, at BIG4 Holiday Parks, we’ve had a first hand experience because our new CEO Ray Schleibs went under cover in the Australian reality TV series of Undercover Boss Australia.

Filming the rubbish collection at BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park
Filming the rubbish collection with ‘Jim’ and Quentin

Most people reckon they would be immediately suspicious if a camera crew arrived and followed them around. But for us, the camera crews had a legitimate story and we weren’t suspicious at all. The production company contacted each of the four BIG4 Holiday Parks that were on the show. They explained they were filming for a program that focuses on people who are looking for a career change and they had a man called Jim who was interested in investing in a holiday park.

Wayne at BIG4 Taggerty Holiday Park and film crew
Wayne and film crew at BIG4 Taggerty Holiday Park

So, charged with showing ‘Jim’ the realities of running a holiday park, Wayne and Camille at BIG4 Taggerty Holiday Park, Rana, Kanya and Rhonda at BIG4 Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort, Quentin and Patrice at BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park and Sophie at BIG4 Bellarine Holiday Park set Jim to task greeting guests, cleaning bathrooms, mowing lawns and making sure the parks were clean and tidy.

Each one of our parks is individually owned and operated, so it truly was a once-off opportunity for Ray to get the experience he could never have as CEO of BIG4 Holiday Parks. From a business perspective, he now has some great ideas that he can put into practice. He also has a much better understanding of the people working behind the scenes of the business.

Learning the ropes at BIG4 Cairns Coconut Resort
‘Jim’ learning the ropes with Rana

During the show, Quentin from BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park revealed to Ray that his life had been saved when he received a liver transplant. We learned that while in some Australian states we can record our intention to become an organ donor on our driver’s licence, the only national register for organ and/or tissue donation for transplantation is the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Quentin and Ray
Quentin and Ray

Along with Ray I was touched by Quentin’s story and I want to highlight to Australian families how important it is to have a discussion about organ donation and to take the next step and record that decision. That’s why I want urge everyone to take the first step and visit the Australian Organ Donor Register.

At BIG4 Holiday Parks, we already know we have wonderful and very welcoming park owners, operators and their teams so we’re delighted we’ve had the opportunity through Undercover Boss Australia to show you our parks, our new CEO Ray and our fantastic people.

Ray has more than 24 years of experience in the global tourism and travel industry and as a result of his time under cover now has a uniquely objective perspective of BIG4 Holiday Parks. He is excited about BIG4’s service delivery innovations and the “little things that make the BIG difference”.

Giant Jumping Pillow action at BIG4 Bellarine Holiday Park
Action on the giant jumping pillow

Whether you’re an old friend or new to BIG4, we look forward to welcoming you to a BIG4 Holiday Park soon.

And as this is our first blog post, we’d love to know what topics you’d be interested in. So tell me, what would you like to see in the BIG4 Blog?

11 thoughts on “A BIG hello and welcome to our blog”

  1. We live on Sunshine Coast and of past few years have spent 2 weeks every year at The Maroochy Palms Big 4 which is all but 15 minutes from home! You may be thinking thats a little crazy though we have stayed in other parks in Nth Qld and cannot find better than Maroochy Palms. Once you are inside and the boom gate comes down you could be anywhere. Great facilities, great staff, great park and only a 15 minute drive home after our holiday ends!!!! Awesome. We are back there over xmas 2010 and Easter 2011!!!

  2. We were under the impression that Big4 parks had to meet specified minimum standards. Two moths ago we stayed at the “A Welcome Stranger” park at Ballarat on an ensuite site. We were not impressed. The site was obviously meant to be grassed but had very little and recent rain had turned a low lying area between the van and the ensuite into a mudhole which became hazardous when moving between the van and the ensuite. We discovered that the ensuite roof gutter did not have a downpipe and all water from the roof was draining to this low point. We mentioned these problems to mangement and they quickly fitted a downpipe which redirected water away and they laid old pieces of carpet across the mud patch to the ensuite both of which made things tolerable. However, why this site had not been properly levelled and the plumbing work done previously I do not understand and I was not impressed.

    1. Thank you for your comments regarding this matter. We have taken the opportunity to discuss your concerns with the owners of BIG4 Ballarat Welcome Stranger Holiday Park and am advised that this issue with the ensuite site has been addressed. Weather conditions this year – both drought and rains – have caused some disruptions to the maintenance program. However the owners have asked me to advise that they appreciate this feedback and assure you that they are being vigilant with regard to weather related issues such as drainage. Our Victorian State Manager will be visiting Ballarat in the near future and will check on this progress in person.

  3. Most Big 4 parks we have stayed at have been great and our membership has always paid off over the years.

    While we are prepared to pay a fair price for a site with good facilities in a good location it is a bit disappointing to see cabins (most of which are empty for a good part of the year) taking over the decent caravan sites.

    Will we see a day when Big 4 prescribe a minimum ratio of van and tent sites in their parks in order to preserve the true ambience of caravan park holidays?

    1. It is sad to see so many vacant cabins and recognise that mostly they are only used in school holidays when most senior travellers are smart enough to stay “indoors”and not travel.
      The prices asked for ensuite sites are becoming a joke, but are for me a necessity. I recognise that a cleaning fee is involved in the hire of these sites, but a discount for longer stays with no cleaning required would be nice. I’d also like to see many more ensuite sites. I find it amazing the number of people who tell me that they would prefer to pay a little bit extra for this convenience, but cant find a park with ensuite availability.

    2. I agree, its a real put off to see so many Parks with majority cabins, at over inflated prices. This leaves the traveling caravaner with little option but to move on due to limited space for same. 🙁
      They seem to get around this by calling them “Holiday Parks” not the normal “Caravan Park”

    3. Thanks for your feedback. There has been a change in the caravan and camping industry in recent years in response to changing consumer demand for convenience, safety, facilities and community.
      The type of accommodation and sites offered in BIG4 Holiday Parks is very much dependent on location and demand. Throughout Australia we offer a range of accommodation types and facilities. Cabins are in high demand in peak season and holiday periods, particularly by families and couples.
      As you probably already know, BIG4 parks are all individually owned and operated. Some park operators choose to cater for families with cabins while others place a larger focus on catering for caravanners. The diversity of parks is one of the great things that makes our industry so unique and special.
      I think there are improvements and changes that benefit everyone. What are the changes that you really like?

      1. Thanks Gabrielle. You haven’t answered my question. We want to know whether it is worth belonging to BIG4 as a caravanner. The cabin parks are resembling ghettos already in many places.
        What improvements are you talking about? A nice ratio of grassed sites to cabinbs would be a big start. as an association you should have some standards – what is the puprose of you exsitinbg otherwise?

        1. The type of facilities and services will vary from park to park, depending on location, but we aim to deliver the highest standards of presentation, personal service and facilities across our Member Park group.

          Our role as a marketing organisation is focused on the brand and maintaining quality of service and amenities throughout BIG4 Holiday Parks.

          It’s fair to say there has been an overall increase in the number of powered and ensuite sites from unpowered sites in response to changing consumer demands. All our Parks are individually owned and operated and each has their own business model which means they make their own decisions on what ratio is best for them. I’d be happy to pass on your recommendations to our Parks, but ultimately the decision is their own.

          As a caravanner and BIG4 Club Member the return on investment of just $50 for two years starts with the 10% discount up to $40 per stay and extends to savings on local, national and international services and attractions. There are also our money back guarantee and book-ahead service for BIG4 Club Members.

  4. Hi we had a great week at the Big 4 BoarderLand Wodonga vic. November 6 the staff,were friendly and helpful.even fixing the TV.(took 1/2 hr)
    so many things to do, went out to the weir, played all (3) golf courses,saw the musical strange bed fellows,& the movies,out for dinner,lots of walks.

  5. we are travelling around oz on our nomad adventure, bit annoyed caravan parks up there prices over the holiday period some by 200%.

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