Around-Oz: Living the Dream!


Victoria Lake Holiday Park - Shepparton Superb Lakeside Camping

Scenically this park is up there with the best of them - a truly wonderful introduction to motorhoming for "newbies". It is right on the shores of beautiful Lake Victoria and it is greener than Ireland folks! Lots of lovely well established shade trees and acres of lovingly tended luscious thick lawn - the park has been going over 70 years. Check-in was very pleasant. We wanted a waterfront site to "veg" out on and just watch the birds, but sadly you can't have one of these if you have a pooch. Fair enough. Otherwise very dog friendly, as are so many members of the Top Tourist Parks chain - one of our favourites. As a suggestion though on doggies, it would be a good move for the council to perhaps provide doggy poo bag dispensers, as the public path passes right through the park, and we observed that the offenders weren't guests! There are no drive through sites as such, and sites only just fit an 8 metre motorhome. We liked the concrete pad and track idea as it encouraged guests not to park on the grass. Rear entry RVs though are not catered for at present.


 
 

This park has three top quality amenity blocks, complete with shower hooks and bench, and soap dispenser and dryer. These are all sensibly spaced, so you never have to walk far. Now before we get more flack from the RV forums that we overlook things, yes they do need refurbishment in places, but our criteria is always CLEANLINESS and management do an excellent job in this area. Sadly in this enlightened day and age, there is no dump point at present and you do feel kind of guilty emptying your cassette into such spotless premises. Rinsing is also a problem as there is no suitable tap in the loo itself. You have to walk outside onto the grass and this of course tramps litter into the toilets. The laundries are really excellent, with one having a huge drying area on concrete - great in rainy weather if you forget your gum boots. Washing costs $3.00 a load and dryers work in $1.30 increments - gas fired. Only two sinks, but hot water is available. The general public aren't allowed to use the laundries which means you wont get caught with a machine just used for horse blankets - a very good policy in our humble opinion. There are a few nicely shaded ensuite sites, but none of these offer scenic lake views which is a shame as you are paying more. Security is right up there with the best of them in this park, with a keypad type boom gate and combination locks on all amenities and laundries. We would query though why the numbers need to be so complicated for us "oldies". Who in the heck could remember in a"loo emergency" that the dunny was C60XZ!!!!!! Pretty easy to get caught out! Surely 3 digits would be enough? Another really silly problem is you can't even see the lock clearly at night in the far gents block! This problem should have been addressed long ago. Some parks are opting for the "card swipe" method. This is a far more acceptable system for all concerned and it also "tracks" who uses what, in case of vandalism. On that dreaded subject we could see no vandalism in this park at all which is a credit to the management, HOWEVER two of the roads have extensive heavy "hoon" marks - we have never in over 50 years of RVing come across this actually inside a park before!. Obviously more speed bumps are needed. In our view, staff vehicles are noisy, in poor repair and travel toooooo fast inside the grounds around children. A very nice thought is the inclusion of an all hours mobile emergency contact number direct to the managers.


 
 
 

All roads within the park are good bitumen with kerb and guttering. We would imagine that this would never be a dusty park even in high winds. If you are into walking or bike riding, then this spot is pure bliss, as the main track passes right in front of the park. The extensive paths are all top quality bitumen, very well sign posted and they go on and on for miles, mostly following the Goulburn River. Wonderful forward thinking vision by the Council. Most tracks are well shaded, so you can walk/ride virtually any time of the day. The people of Shepparton are just wonderful and everyone says good morning when you exercise. Even the teenagers are extremely friendly towards us "geriatrics"! Lovely to see, and very much like Tasmania. Perhaps management could think about providing a map of all the trails on check in as we could find no signs anywhere.


 
 
 

One of our pet hates is misleading advertising. The beautifully presented 2005 Top Tourist Park Guide states "Stay and relax at Sheppartons only non-permanent park ........". This simply isn't true at present, as the permanents look like they have been here forever! Another bit of poetic licence is "Adjacent to an indoor heated pool and gym complex". Well it is, sort of - it's right across the other side of the lake, but quite a long walk unless of course you are related to Moses! "Only five minutes walk to the CBD" is also stretching it a little, unless you are perhaps related to Roger Landy of 4 minute mile fame. We found that 10 - 15 minutes was a good average for people our age. Many of us plan holidays using brochures and one can get quite disillusioned on arrival to find something entirely different. E.P.A. wise we did photograph some near waterfront sites without sullage, however these were not in use during our stay. Victoria at present is lagging the other states in this vital waterway protection area. The difference enforcing these laws in NSW, has had a fantastic effect on cleaning up the rivers and lakes. The park had no dedicated vehicle washing bay.


 
 
 

GSM and CDMA work at full strength, TV is good on most channels despite a mix of vertical and horizontal polarisation, digital TV and radio very good indeed at 85%, water is plentiful and good, just about all sites have sullage, usually with barbed fittings - equates to zero smells and a very sensible idea that other parks should possibly look at! Lidded garbage bins are plentiful, BUT we would liked to have seen these emptied more often as some were overfull during our stay. Few flies and at this time of the year no biting insects.

Shopping in the town itself is just fantastic! They even have dedicated caravan/motorhome parking close to everything. A lovely pedestrian mall tops it all off. Parking in the shopping centre itself can be hairy - best very early in the morning as Coles are open 8 AM till 9 PM. You can walk to the pictures, bowls, clubs etc. About 10 -15 minutes and under some shade. Lots of seats if you get tired! Noise wise you do have a train line right behind the park and yes a freight train does come through about 4 AM! Traffic wise noise is almost nonexistent. However, the birdsong is just pure bliss and so relaxing. It is a bird lovers paradise and you will be "visited" at Happy Hour! There is a charming "Cafe on the Lake" only 500 metres away at the park entrance - not open at night.


 
 
 

Night is very romantic for all you love birds! It truly is fairyland. The council have even set some lights in the pathway shining upwards. These are particularly effective on poplars. The fountain in the middle of the lake is most impressive. Victoria Lake Holiday Park is in Wyndham Street, Shepparton Vic, 3630, phone (03) 5821 5431 email info@viclakeholidaypark.com.au and there is a Website at this address www.viclakeholidaypark.com.au - sorry folks but at present it's just not worth looking at due to zero info other than the address. Just head south from Shepparton on the Goulburn Valley Highway and look for the Shell Service Station with "4 cents off". The entry can get extremely busy as it services three businesses, but you can turn into the park coming from either direction. The check in area can be VERY hazardous for motorhomers/caravanners, as the red tree on the left needs trimming, and to avoid it you need to half block the road. Just on trees, this park isn't real motorhome savvy at all, as there are a few trees even hanging over the roadway. Management are looking at this. We suggest you ask about trees when booking in as we had to do a quick back and sides job on our allocated site despite advising the size of our RV as we always do out of courtesy. A powered site cost a very reasonable $21.00 in April 2005. If you want absolute waterfront it is $23.00 and an ensuite is $30.00. We are not devotees of the AAA star system, but they gave this park 3 1/2 stars. It does not have an Accreditation Tick as yet. Overall despite a few minor niggles, this is an excellent, well managed park - particularly the spotless amenities. We will definitely be back!

Absolutely recommended

Hema 42 D 3

GPS S 36 23 610 E 145 23 561

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