Region’s hot new holiday spot to open with a mini festival
FOR the past few months one Gympie region family has been hard at work, transforming their old farm into the region’s newest tourism hotspot, opening just in time for the Christmas school holidays.
Located 40km north of Gympie, Nikki Dossett and her partner Todd Mackenzie have unveiled Gootchie Creek Escape, a 242ha cattle property turned campground.
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Ms Dossett said her father had owned the land near Glenwood for several years and always wanted to welcome campers in to explore and share it.
He sadly passed away in October 2018, and Ms Dossett and her partner decided to make his dream a reality, by turning the property into a camping ground.
“He always wanted to share this place with campers, and get people from the city to come and see how beautiful this is.
“It’s extremely special to us because of that.”
Ms Dossett said campers could spread out, and had a choice of several creeks and billabongs to set up camp, and watch the wildlife.
“There’s heaps of wildlife. There’s platypus in the creeks, black cockatoos, lots of kangaroos, a couple of snakes, echidnas and goannas, and of course cattle.”
She said the camping ground was pet friendly, and campers could even bring their horses, as long as they had portable yards.
Ms Dossett said they originally planned to open to the public in late November, but before the Queen’s Birthday long weekend they were “inundated” with calls from people wanting to stay.
“People were begging and pleading; saying they had nowhere to go for the long weekend, so we decided to let a few self sufficient campers stay,” she said.
“We were so happy, they all gave amazing reviews.
“We didn’t want to overpopulate the land, we’re taking small groups of campers at a time who want to enjoy peace and quiet.”
The long weekend was a hit with campers, and the Gootchie Creek Escape Facebook page has already reached 5000 followers and been overwhelmed with people wanting to book in.
While they are open to small groups now, Ms Dossett said they would throw a grand opening party on November 20-21.
“It will be like a mini festival. There will be live music, an stone wood pizza truck, ice cream and coffee vans, and BBQ sausage sizzles, with all proceeds going back to the vendors,” she said.
Local artists Graeme and Alison Jensen and Brisbane band Bassline will perform, and there will be activities for the kids, including trailer rides to feed the cattle.
“We’ve also had some local schools get involved. The students from Glenwood, Theebine and Gunalda primary schools will be doing sausage sizzle breaky, lunch and dinners, with proceeds going back to their schools” she said.
“We’re allowed 500 people within COVID restrictions.”
Amenities blocks have been installed at the campground this month, and powered sites will go in after Christmas.
Quotes have also been commissioned for a high ropes course through the trees.