The NSW South Coast holds a special place in the hearts of many travellers.
From Sydney it’s just a few hours drive, but this seaside playground just attracts visitors from all directions.
Some return year after year with memories of weekends spent camping with friends, building sand castles, fishing from the tinny and yarning around a camp fire till the wee hours.
Burrill Lake Tourist Park, conveniently located just off the Princes Highway only five minutes south of Ulladulla, is all of those holiday memories rolled into one.
The absolute lake front park, which enjoys direct beach access and views to majestic Pigeon House Mountain, is the perfect antidote to those weary of flashy tourist resorts.
You’ll find no jumping pillows or water parks here. Instead it’s the peaceful, lakeside location that serves as the principle attraction.
Home to just 45 sites, it’s a small holiday park with big appeal.
Kirra and Noel Storey have been managing Burrill Lake Tourist Park for five years now and say it’s the personal service and laidback ambiance that sets it apart.
“Noel and I try to spend time with guests and make ourselves accessible,” Kirra says.
“They can join us for our morning coffee down by the lake each day, or they can chat with us when we’re walking around the park. While people come and go, it always feels like a community here.”
It’s beauty saw it first become a tourist centre way back in the early 1920s even before the caravan era.
In the early days of the town, when there were just four permanent houses, the town’s population would swell and become a makeshift canvas city during the holidays.
Though things have changed since then, Burrill Lake’s enduring popularity lives on.
For retired couple Terry and Helen Klinberg, who travel from Albury twice a year for up to six weeks at a time, Burrill Lake Tourist Park is their home away from home.
Known affectionately by Kirra as “the February crowd”, the Klinbergs and their extended family are just one of many repeat group visitors.
Terry says it’s hard to describe exactly what it is that keep drawing them back each year apart from the fact it feels like home.
“We’ve been travelling to the park for going on eight years now,” Terry says. “We just love it. It’s peaceful, relaxing, and the park management is always friendly.”
“We stumbled across the park by accident one day, pulling off the highway expecting to stay just a day or two. We ended up parking there for three weeks.”
“In a way, you could say we’ve never really left Burrill Lake. We’ve made good friends with other guests who return at the same time every year.”
Though small, Kirra says even when the park is busy it doesn’t feel like it.
“There’s always room at the park,” she says. “We intentionally schedule our booking sheet in a way that people can easily extend their visit, as so many often do”.
“Lakefront powered sites are our most popular option, each with views of the lake and Pigeon House Mountain, but you can’t go wrong with any site you choose.”
Guest facilities include a camp kitchen and barbeques, a boat ramp and fishing cleaning area, plus a children’s playground and swimming pool.
The park also features a jumping castle and outdoor cinema on weekends, plus a free activities program during the school holidays. Great specials are available in winter and off-peak travel periods, as well as pensioner discounts.
Burrill Lake Tourist Park is conveniently located in walking distance to the local fish and chip shop, with the newsagent, cafe and general store just over the bridge.
The town’s long awaited bridge upgrade will bring better boating access and improve traffic flow on the Princes Highway during peak times.
Ulladulla is only five minutes away, allowing easy access to major shops, restaurants and wineries. For those looking to explore further afield, Meroo National Park and Warden Head Lighthouse are just two of the great attractions within easy driving distance.
Summer, autumn, winter or spring, it’s always a good time to visit Burrill Lake.
Visit burrilllake.holidayhaven.com.au for more info.
By Chris Ashton