When a heartfelt letter reached our office from BIG4 Loyalty Club Gold Member, Ross Simshauser, we were very keen to learn more about this avid traveller.
Ross has spent plenty of time getting to know BIG4, so we thought it was time we got to know him! For someone who has seen so much of Australia and stayed at numerous BIG4 parks, he’s certainly qualified to talk about touring the country.
When was your first BIG4 experience?
Over many years, we have used motels and cabins whenever we went on short trips before we retired. One thing always annoyed me: I was there for a break, not to be a handyman fixing leaking taps, doors that had faulty locks, etc.
We made our first long trip of about 5000km with a couple of friends and stayed at Port Augusta BIG4 Holiday Park. The difference in standards concerning cabin quality was impressive and the service was first class. From then on, we always tried to use BIG4 cabins on our travels. No longer was I carrying out running repairs to our accommodation.
When we decided to do a really long tour to North Queensland, I joined BIG4 before we left. It was the best decision I could have made. I recouped my joining fee in accommodation discounts in a matter of nights.
What is your fondest memory at a BIG4 park?
We have many great memories from the BIG4 parks we have stayed at over the past couple of years, but the one that stands out is when we arrived at BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades Holiday Park at Redlynch, a northern suburb of Cairns. This park is set in a rainforest valley and the scenery is amazing. It is surrounded on three sides by densely covered mountains. The owners were wonderful with their help and the way they maintained the park. They even booked our tours on the Skyrail and Cairns to Kurranda scenic train ride. Nothing was a problem and when the time came, it was so hard to leave.
Do you embrace the community vibe when you travel?
We talk to so many people staying in BIG4 parks who have visited a number of times before, and they come from so many different areas far and wide. It is so interesting hearing and sharing experiences with them.
Our recent trip staying at BIG4 Bright Holiday Park was another highlight and is still fresh in our minds. We met a couple staying in the adjacent cabin who were from Germany. The lady was a practicing doctor and her partner owned a shoe factory back in Germany.
What’s your favourite spot in Australia?
Yes, there are many spots that come to mind, like the riverside cabins on the banks of the Murray River at Moama. You can watch the houseboats and other water craft go by as you sit on the front porch of your cabin.
Then there are the beautiful views over the water from your cabin on the water’s edge at Narooma on the NSW south coast.
So far we have covered the eastern area from Mossman in Queensland to Lakes Entrance in Victoria as a BIG4 member and there are so many excellent BIG4 parks all of the same level of service, friendliness, and top-class cabins.
Do you have any travel rituals or tips for travellers?
As we travel as two couples of one family, we have developed an understanding of who does which chore, and because we are older now and cover large distances on each trip, we two men share the driving. We take turns of using our cars on alternate trips.
If there is one thing we have learned, it is not to rush through your journey, because when you arrive home you are exhausted. We now stay extra nights in some parks to take a rest. I definitely recommend this to be part of your schedule when you are planning a trip.
Another tip for first-time travellers is to make use of the 1800 phone number to each park; make your booking for the first night and they will then book ahead for you from there on. How much easier can it be!
What is the best thing about being a BIG4 Loyalty Club Gold Member?
Now I am a BIG4 Loyalty Club Gold Member, I find the comments I receive when I show my card to be amazing. Of course, when I enter a BIG4 park reception office, I am wearing my BIG4 cap with the loyalty badge pinned to it. The forward booking service they offer is so easy and takes the worry out of finding accommodation.
What will be your next adventure?
We still have three states to visit and hope that we can achieve most, if not all, of our dreams before age catches up with us. Australia is one big beautiful country, which keeps me from going overseas. The saying ‘see Australia first!’ is certainly true.
We wish Ross and his companions the best of luck on their adventures, and look forward to welcoming them to any BIG4 Holiday Park.
Not a BIG4 Member? Find out more by visiting BIG4.com.au.