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“Great location and site, rude staff/owner.”

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BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park
Ranked #152 of 469 Specialty Lodging in Tasmania
Devonport, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great location and site, rude staff/owner.”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We stayed at this site recently and while we loved the camping site and the general upkeep of the park, we were very disappointed with the treatment we received from the woman (who I think is the owner) working there. As the group I was with was in our early 20's, we were told that we were let in as an 'exception' due to our age. We could not understand why it was an exception as we are all adults? We did not break any rules at all during our stay, which may be hard to do seems there were rules almost everywhere we looked at Kelso Sands Holiday Park. One evening my husband noticed that a family were exchanging coins so that they could get $1 coins (as the showers, BBQ etc. take $1 coins), so he came back to our site and suggested we go over together with our coins so that we could pay for the BBQ that night and showers the following morning. We got there as the father and daughter (I suppose they were) were leaving, and we were greeted with 'what do you want', with no smile and a definite tone. Anyway, we began exchanging coins, and received unnecessary remarks such as 'you're lucky I'm still here'. My husband suggested a coin exchange machine or similar, to which the woman began speaking of money, which I assumed was outgoings of the park as it was a large amount. My husband then commented jokingly that he 'better start saving', to which this woman remarked about his attitude. We have never been spoken to so abruptly and rudely, we are unsure why but my guess is she was behaving this way due to our age. This was not the only rude encounter we experienced. Anyway as I said, great park but will never be returning.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Erin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Warrnambool
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

Our family stayed at Kelso Sands big four as our first Tasmanian caravan park on our three week caravan holiday in Tassie. We were more than impressed with the park facilities large sites than were very easy to back in with a large van. The park owners were some of the most accommodating hosts we have encountered across the 5 states we have toured.
The wildlife was an added bonus with wombats wandering through the camp as well as possums. The location was perfect to explore the Tamar region while keeping out of the major towns.
We'll done Margret and Bob on making our first stop on ourTasmanian tour such a great memory.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Stephen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barbara R, Owner at BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
So glad that you enjoyed our park and its location for exploring the Tamar Valley area. Hope that you continue to enjoy your travels around this wonderful state. It really is an amazing thing to see guests sitting in their tent or caravan annexe and then to have a wombat just walk by. Thanks again. Travel safe.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turners Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014

This is a great spot with good facilities and extensive wildlife. But all of which is completely overwhelmed by the terrible manner of one particular women, who greeted us, not with the 'friendly welcome' that was boasted on their website , but with extreme age-based prejudice, arrogance and a condescending explanation of their mile long list of common sense rules and she was very eager at any given moment to remind us of how 'fortunate we were' to be accepted into the park.

And, if you suspect that your initial fee will be the end of your costs, you would be wrong, all of the facilities also take coin deposits. On one occasion when our group tried to exchange our coins to use these facilities we were once again met with that famous 'friendly welcome - 'What do you want I'm busy" followed by a lecture about the expenses of the campsite and then an assault on our supposed 'attitude'

A prior arrangment was also made with the afformentioned women for another friend to join us with fee pre-paid, who she immediately attempted to turn away at the gate despite his best efforts at explaining the very simple situation to her

Not a single squared inch of their facilities are littered with lists and lists of rules which are constantly bombarding you from every angle, ruining any chance of relaxation and turning a relaxing camping trip away into a nightmare with picky parents.

If any figurehead of the BIg 4 chain reads this I hope they take this seriously and do something about this individual if you ever expect my, or my friends business again,

Regards.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Sam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Launceston, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

I'm not normally the type to make a review but on this time I am making an effort..... When we arrived to visit our friends who were travelilng and staying at the kelso caravan park.... The first thing I see is this pool... I immediately thought we should have bought the bathers...but had no intention of using the facilities ... I thought this was a great sign that the place was a hive of activity.. I parked on the grass as the cars were all over the place at the visitor car park and rang our friends to come and meet us.. My wife and two small children walked over and with them at their camp site and had a drink.. The kids played cricket and my 3 yr old was drawn to the jumping pillow.... We stayed 2hrs and on leaving.... Met the rude female owner.. Who abruptly informed me that we had not signed in and payed the park fee.... Sorry didn't see a sign outling the fee.. Do admit that there is a small sign saying to go to the office.. As we saw our friends, didn't think we'd needed to ask where they were.. She informed me that she had watched us use the jumping pillow... Not sure why she didn't approach us then and ask for the fee that I didn't know that I had to pay... Our kind and non confrontational friends said that they would fix it.. No doubt they feel that their stay would be compromised if they did not..

Her comment that it is private property..... Yes it is privately owned that I can find... Maybe even for sale...!!! Maybe It is in need of new blood..... But legislation does provide that it is a public place as it is accessed by the public by way of a fee or otherwise.... The people we visited are paying guests and have entered into an agreement by paying a fee or rent... Not sure how many other tenants of property get told by their landlord that they cannot have visitors... and if they do they have to pay extra...!!!!!

A number of things have since become evident by doing research on this place ;

- the staff like to to intimidate guests by having policy after policy to blame when they may review negatively.
- the kelso caravan park big 4 website has no reference to a park fes for visitors...
- blame the fee for public liability .. But take no action to minimize the liability by not approaching visitors not paying the fee..
- Blame ongoing costs and replacing the jumping pillow but have no supervision to minimise damage.. Or again approach unpaying visitors to pay up ..
- the fact the pool is on privately owned property accessed by the public for a fee whether a lifeguard should be provided to ensure the safety of all using the equipment..
- need an area which can be used by visitors to meet and used by them to talk ... without fee...

- judging why people come to the park.. Or friends were discussing us bringing our caravan to the park next Christmas for 2 weeks and getting a double site with them.... Well u may get $24 from our friends for us visiting them today.... but u won't get my $1000 for our next holiday....

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank I_travelalot1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barbara R, Owner at BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
“Professional Visitors”
It never ceases to amaze us how people can drive down our park road & not see the first sign “requiring visitors to register at the office on arrival” & then park their car in our car park where there are 2 signs saying that “visitors are required to register at office on arrival” (a basic courtesy & common sense if nothing else) walk into our park which has facilities there for our paying guests. The friends you came to visit could not be seen from the car park so you had either been in touch by phone or just did a big walk around the park to locate them. You then had access to use the park facilities & then complain because the owners have the audacity to ask you if you “have registered at the office and paid the day fee”. That is something that you made a deliberate decision not to do, so please take some ownership of your decision & the consequences of that rather than trying to run down & damage what is a fantastic family destination holiday park with some great family facilities. If your friends knew you were coming, & I suggest they didn’t, they would have told you there was a fee for visitors as they had told other visitors who had been to see them during their stay, or if you had come to the office to register, then you would have been told about the day fee & its reason explained. You say that I am rude, well what about you. You have just admitted to anyone reading your words how rude you were to just walk onto a private property without coming to the office to register. A management requirement & common sense, but then common sense isn’t so common anymore.
A visitor’s fee has been operating in the park now for over 25 years so it is well known far and wide. This park is not here for visitors, it is here for people who like to come and have a holiday in one of Tasmania’s best 4 star holiday parks, so please don’t try to degrade our business because you got caught and just want to have a winge. We welcome visitors of our guest, but the reality is, THE USER PAYS.
Have a nice day.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

We camped 2 nights in a tent in a powered site at Kelso Sands and really enjoyed the nature, facilities, and location of the place. We used it as a base to explore the upper Tamar Valley attractions. After reading the marketing material and the reviews I was expecting more wildlife, but was happy with the few wombats and mammoth sized possums we saw. One possum was a bit cheeky and left his droppings on our car parked under a tree. The bathroom was spotlessly clean, and we're among the best holiday park facilities we have seen in Tassie. There was even catchy music playing in the bathrooms which created a nice atmosphere. There were a lot of 'rules' as others have mentioned, but they didn't bother us and we're mostly common sense. Overall we enjoyed staying here and would recommend it for couples or families.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MandAMel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barbara R, Owner at BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park, responded to this review, December 30, 2013
Glad that you found our holiday park to be a good destination for touring around the upper Tamar Valley which is such a beautiful area and so diverse in things to see and do. Wildlife numbers can change from day to do depending on the time of the year and I have for some time thought that when summer comes suddenly it seems to take a while for much of our wildlife to adapt to the heat. The wombats can roam all day through the cooler months and as soon as it heats up they stay burrowed through the heat of the day and this year they have had the added problem that we have received so much rain that they are finding it hard to find a dry spot to burrow and call home. Nature is wonder and it adapts to wet and dry conditions.
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Brisbane
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

We only stayed here for 1 night in our motorhome but would have extended it had we had enough time. The wombats were the drawcard for us as our daughter is obsessed with them and they didn't disappoint. The park was very clean as was the laundry and shower block. Didn't mind paying for the showers as at least the office had plenty of change and were happy to change notes. Would definately go back if were were travelling through Tasmania again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ngaree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barbara R, Owner at BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park, responded to this review, April 27, 2013
Ngaree we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay. Not a day goes past that we as park owners don't get excited at the experience of seeing wombats wonder around the park. Sometimes in the cooler months I am sitting in the office and a wombat will just walk by on the tiles outside. We have few with their babies at the moment as well as potatoo's with their young which look amasing as the young are so small.
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Aldinga Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

We stayed at Kelso Big 4 for 2 nights initially, however extended to 3 as it was a wonderful park. The park is spotless and yes we judge a park by the laundry which was very clean and easy to use, the clothesline was a bonus for drying our towels and sheets. Barbara was so helpful in every way including encouraging us to ride our bikes on the beach to Greens Beach which was fabulous. The pool was protected and sparkling and not too cold for a quick dip. Our highlight however, was sitting watching the animals come to life at dusk, first the Wombats then the Potaroos and Wallabies.

The jumping castles and swings were fun from big kids too!

Thank you for making our stay so memorable Barbara

ps we have stayed at other parks where there is a cost for showers, water is precious in Australia.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rondivue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barbara R, Manager at BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
So pleased to know that you both really did enjoy your time at our park. We feel that it is a very special place and love to see guests really enjoy the experience that BIG4 Kelso Sands can deliver. Hope you got to do your walk around Dove Lake.
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Additional Information about BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park

Property: BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday & Native Wildlife Park
Address: 86 Paranaple Road | Kelso, Tasmania 7270, Australia
Location: Australia > Tasmania
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #152 of 469 Specialty Lodging in Tasmania
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
2 Bedroom Cabins sleep a maximum of 6 persons and the 3 bedroom premier cottage sleeps a maximum of 9 persons. Free wi-fi in the park. Wildlife freely walk around the park in the evenings for guests to see. ... more   less 

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