Category Archives: Accommodation

Staying overnight at Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport is Australia’s second busiest airport, transporting over 33 million passengers per year.  It is currently Victoria’s only international airport and is located at Tullamarine – 21 kilometres by road from Melbourne’s CBD.

A very convenient advantage of Melbourne Airport is that the international terminal (T2) and all of the domestic terminals (T1, T3 and T4) are located next to each other, so you can easily walk between them.

Do you depart on an early morning flight from Melbourne?  Do you fly into Melbourne late at night?  Or are you travelling a long distance to Melbourne Airport from regional Victoria or southern NSW and are after a good night sleep before your flight the next day?  Then staying overnight at Melbourne Airport may be just what you need.

Within the grounds of Melbourne Airport are 3 hotels which are within easy walking distance of the airport terminal buildings.  They are Parkroyal, Holiday Inn and Ibis Budget.  Staying at one of these hotels will ensure you are relaxed and make it to your flight on time, or provide a relaxing night’s sleep after disembarking from your flight.

Parkroyal Melbourne Airport – from $235

Parkroyal Melbourne Airport

Parkroyal is the perfect hotel to stay at if you want to be just a few steps from the airport terminal. It sits above the large multi-level short term car park and is directly linked to the terminal buildings via two pedestrian sky bridges.

  • 100 metres from the international terminal building
  • 276 guest rooms
  • Standard, superior, deluxe and family rooms
  • Restaurant – open daily for breakfast and dinner, weekdays for lunch
  • Cafe – open daily for coffee and light meals
  • Bar – open daily for drinks, bar meals and snacks
  • Room service food and refreshments
  • Fully equipped gymnasium
  • 12 metre indoor lap pool, heated spa, sauna and steam room
  • Business centre
  • Valet parking or self-parking at discount rates

Phone: (03) 8347 2000
Website: www.parkroyalhotels.com

BOOK NOW - Parkroyal

 

Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport – from $195Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport

This hotel was Melbourne Airport’s first on-site accommodation option, originally known as Travelodge Tullamarine when it first opened back in 1970.  Now called Holiday Inn, it is located just opposite the multi-level long term car park, and is between 300 to 500 metres walk from the airport buildings, depending on the specific terminal.

  • 4 star rated property
  • 207 guest rooms
  • Superior rooms, executive rooms and spacious luxury suites
  • Day use rooms (up to 6 hours) from $99 (book by phone only)
  • All rooms are soundproofed from airport noise
  • Restaurant – open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Bar – open daily for drinks and coffee
  • Room service food and refreshments
  • Kids stay and eat free (conditions apply)
  • Fitness centre with gymnasium
  • Outdoor pool
  • Business centre
  • Complimentary 24 hour shuttle service to the terminals
  • Park, Stay and Go packages available, providing free airport parking
  • Complimentary 24 hour shuttle service to the terminals

Phone: (03) 9933 5111
Website: www.holidayinnmelbourneairport.com.au

BOOK NOW - Holiday Inn

 

Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport – from $129Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport

Ibis Budget offers excellent value accommodation for those who simply want somewhere cosy to sleep at an affordable price.  It is located just across the road from a BP service station and McDonalds.  The airport buildings are between 300 and 700 metres walk away, depending on the specific terminal.

  • 73 guest rooms
  • Rooms have either a queen bed, or 2 single beds and an overhead bunk
  • Private ensuite (small)
  • All rooms are soundproofed
  • Complimentary all you can eat buffet breakfast served daily
  • 24 hour check-in either via front desk (limited hours) or self-serve kiosk
  • Private on-site outdoor parking

Phone: (03) 8336 1811
Website: www.accorhotels.com

BOOK NOW - Ibis Budget

 

Caravans and motorhomes in Victoria

CaravansSome travellers seek holidays where they can truly charter their own destiny and who want to take their accommodation with them as they travel around Victoria. Caravans, campervans and motorhomes are an ideal option for this purpose.

Caravans

A caravan is a mobile home on a trailer, towed behind a vehicle. It is equipped with bedding and cooking facilities and many also feature a shower and toilet.

When travelling in Victoria with a caravan, you can stay overnight at designated camping areas with basic facilities, or pull into one of the state’s hundreds of caravan or tourist parks. These parks vary widely in their facilities, but all provide, as a bare minimum, electric power connections, communal cooking and bathroom facilities. Some provide ensuite sites where your van is parked beside a private bathroom reserved for your use only.

Many caravan parks have developed into fully-appointed resorts set within landscaped grounds that also offer luxury cabin accommodation, a huge range of family-friendly recreational facilities and onsite activities for guests.

Locate caravan parks in Victoria by going to accommodation search and selecting caravan park in the preferred accommodation style box.

Campervans and motorhomes

Campervans and motorhomes are vehicles which provide transport and accommodation all in one.

A motorhome is typically built on a truck or bus chassis and provides fully self-contained and reasonably spacious accommodation including kitchen and bathroom facilities. A campervan is generally a smaller vehicle in the style of a van, a bit tighter on space, which is fitted out with basic living facilities.

Motorhome and campervan rentals range from budget to luxury and can sleep between 2 and 6 people. Motorhomes usually do not require anchor to a caravan park-type facility because they are fully self-contained, whereas some of the smaller campervans are more suited to the traveller who expects to end each day in a caravan or camping ground spot where they will find toilet and shower amenities that are not contained within their campervan sleeper.

Some campervan and motorhome hire companies which have depots in Victoria are:

If you’re thinking about planning a campervan holiday, have a read of 101 Campervan Tips.

Accommodation in Victoria for disabled or mobility impaired travellers

DisabledIf you or your family have mobility impairments, there are a number of accommodation options throughout Victoria that may suit your needs.

Hotels and motels are often able to cater for disabled and wheelchair-bound visitors thanks to their modern layout, lifts and the use of ramps instead of stairs.  A growing number of larger hotels, motels and apartments will have certain rooms designed to accommodate those who may need extra space or aids.

One of the biggest issues for those seeking suitable accommodation is the huge variability in what is classified as “disabled access”, “wheelchair accessible”, or other similar terms. As such, it is always advisable to contact these establishments prior to making a booking to ensure that the facilities are suitable for your level of mobility and requirements.

When enquiring about room suitability, you may want to ask about:

  • Doorway widths – both internal and external
  • How easy doors are to open
  • The height of door handles and light switches
  • The height of the bed – some may be too high
  • Whether there is enough space on the side of the bed to permit you to easily get into it
  • Easy to reach hanging space in closets
  • Hand rails in the bathroom
  • Shower chairs and raised toilet seats

As well as enquiring about the suitability of the room you plan to stay in, you may also need to ask further questions about the property as a whole.  For example:

  • Is there suitable parking close by or designated disabled parking spots in a convenient location?
  • Can you access the reception area easily?
  • Are there automatic opening doors at the entrance and throughout the property?  This may be an issue for those who are travelling alone and don’t have someone on hand to help them with heavy or large doors.
  • Is there elevator access to all public areas in multi-storey properties?  You may be able to easily get to your room, but you may not be able to easily get to some of the facilities if access is poor.

To find accommodation in Victoria which offers facilities for those with disabilities, go to accommodation search page on the Travel Victoria website and in the facilities section select disabled access along with other requirements you may have. This will list all establishments which can cater, to some extent, for guests with mobility impairments.  Don’t forget that when enquiring or booking your accommodation, it is important to make mention of your specific access requirements to ensure the establishment is able to meet your needs.

 

The background behind the major online accommodation websites

When searching on the internet for accommodation, it can be quite a daunting task with many options available, particularly in large towns and cities. So a quick way to get an overview of these many options is to use an online travel website. They can display availability and pricing for many hotels at once, so at a glance you may be able to find something suitable without individually going to each hotel’s website.

There are many online travel websites which feature listings for accommodation in Australia and throughout the world, but most belong to either one of two large groups.

Online hotel booking brandsThe Priceline Group runs a number of websites including:

Expedia Inc is the owner of these popular websites:

It is important to realise that searching for accommodation within a specific accommodation group will yield the same results. So, for example, search for somewhere to stay on wotif.com, and you will get exactly the same results as if you had searched on expedia.com. What may be different is the layout of the website, the search mechanism, loyalty reward schemes, and the ways guests can get customer support.

Between the two major groups listed above, there may be price differences between individual accommodation properties. However, in general, they are limited to special offers or campaign sales. For example, we did a search for a one night stay at a specific hotel in the popular Melbourne inner northern suburb of Brunswick on several websites within these two major groups. For most room types, the tariffs were identical. But within the Expedia group, they were promoting a sale at the hotel of our choice on deluxe queen rooms, which resulted in the nightly pricing dropping from the standard $145 down to $108 on all the websites within that group.

Based on that, one could conclude that best way to get the lowest pricing when using online travel websites is to pick one from each of the two major groups and search those.

Another option is to use what is known as a meta search engine website. These gather pricing for accommodation through a large number of booking websites and present the combined results.

Meta hotel searchSome major meta search engines for hotel bookings are:

A few years ago, using meta search engines was really the way to go. That was because many of today’s popular online travel booking sites were actually independantly owned and managed, with their own arrangements between suppliers of accommodation. This meant there were many instances of wide variability in pricing and the presence of some hotels across those sites. But in the last few years, many popular online travel booking sites have been bought out by big groups, including Australia’s Wotif which was acquired by Expedia in late 2014. What exists now is basically a duopoly between the websites that are part of Priceline Group and those that Expedia Inc runs.

Is this the end for hotel meta search engines? Yes and no.

While Priceline and Expedia control many of the world’s most popular accommodation booking sites, there are a few smaller ones out there which are still independant and do offer unique deals, so using a hotel meta search engines can easily sniff these out for you.

Australian-based HotelsCombined is an interesting meta search engine. Like Trivago and Kayak, it searches websites belonging to the major online travel groups and combines the results. However, it also has arrangements in place with some hotel chains, like Best Western for example, such that it can get pricing directly from the hotel, rather than through the major online travel websites that the hotel has listed itself on. While this sounds good in practice, it may not actually mean you get a room cheaper when booking direct.  There is usually a rate parity arrangement in place which prohibits a hotel from advertising a cheaper rate on its own website than through the major online travel groups that it distributes room availability through.

Careful with Victoria Tourism & www.victoriatourism.com.au listing renewals

A number of accommodation managers in Victoria have been receiving unsolicited emails requesting that they renew their listing on the Victoria Tourism website at www.victoriatourism.com.au.

Before going any further, it is very important to note that Victoria Tourism is in no way related to the official government tourism organisation of Tourism Victoria.  In fact, the company behind the confusingly named Victoria Tourism website is Accommodation Find Pty Ltd – one of several companies based in Queensland who have a history of false billing scams.

Instead of past practices of sending out what resembled bills in the mail for advertising on their websites, their tactic for the Victoria Tourism website is to send out emails requesting authorisation for continuing an apparently existing listing.

A copy of a typical email sent out by Victoria Tourism (Accommodation Find Pty Ltd) is shown below, with the personal details of the recipient removed.

Victoria Tourism bill

The email is rather strange, being a screenshot of a letter which isn’t very clear and is not easy to read.

Notable features of the email are:

  1. It is issued by Victoria Tourism (not Tourism Victoria), with a green and blue “V” logo
  2. The company behind the website is listed as Accommodation Find Pty Ltd
  3. The ABN on the email is 18 086 159 195
  4. The contact phone number is 1800 199 863 which also relates to the companies Special Days Pty Ltd and Internet Find Pty Ltd – all based in Queensland
  5. The cost to advertise is specified as $95 for a 12 month listing

Many accommodation providers who receive this email never signed up for a listing on the Victoria Tourism website and may be unaware that they even had a listing on there.

The email implies an existing business relationship by stating:

“It has come to my attention that your listing on our Victoria Tourism website is due to expire…”

Also:

“Please forward through your authorisation for its continuation for the next 12 months.”

This implies that the recipient of the email has already authorised and paid for at least one 12 month advertising period and is being asked to pay $95 to renew it for another 12 months.

However, these implications are false. The Victoria Tourism website has only been running in its current form since the end of 2015.  How can all these accommodation providers who are receiving this renewal email be at the end of their 12 month advertising period in March 2016?

The organisation behind the Victoria Tourism website also previously created the Vic Tourism website at www.victourism.com.au. Read about the history of the Vic Tourism website for further information.

While the Victoria Tourism email does not resemble a bill like other letters that Accommodation Find Pty Ltd has sent out in the past, all accommodation owners that receive it should not submit their authorisation to renew without careful consideration.  Keep in mind that:

  1. The email is an unsolicited offer to continue a service that was not ordered in the first place
  2. The email implies a past business relationship and existing advertising authorisation
  3. The website title of Victoria Tourism is an exact reversal of the two words which constitute Victoria’s official government tourism body of Tourism Victoria.  Such word tactics are a common method used to try and confuse people into thinking they are dealing with an official organisation or popular brand.

If you have inadvertently provided authorisation to Victoria Tourism to bill you for an accommodation listing that you thought was with Tourism Victoria, you can lodge a report with the ACCC by visiting their report a scam page.  Specify “false billing” as the scam type in your report.

Update for 2017

A number of accommodation providers have received unsolicited emails from the Victoria Tourism website requesting that they check their listing and review the details.  An example of such an email is below.

Victoria Tourism

It is unclear if there is a cost involved in updating such a listing when invited to do so via email, however when examining the advertising page, an annual cost of $99 is mentioned.

Curiously, the contact details for the Victoria Tourism website have changed since the original email that accommodation providers received last year.  In particular:

  • The phone number has changed from 1800 199 863 to 1300 656 789
  • The postal address is now listed as “Inter Find”, located at P.O. Box 309, Oxenford, QLD, 4210
  • The ABN on the original email (18 086 159 195) is not the ABN the website’s domain was registered with (37 086 159 211)

For those who may at first glance assume that Victoria Tourism is in fact Victoria’s official tourism body, then the Queensland postal address they provide should make it clear that is not the case.

The Wotif grid is back

Wotif was established during 2000 in Australia as an online hotel booking service. It was bought by United States travel giant Expedia during late 2014.

Up until recently, what set Wotif apart from other online booking and comparison service was its grid or matrix of hotel prices and availability.  Many other competing services required a traveller to provide their exact check-in date and duration of stay before they were presented with a matching list of hotel availability options.  In striking contrast, Wotif simply presented an availability and pricing grid across all hotels so travellers could see at a glance their options. This particularly suited people who were flexible with their travel arrangements or who were hunting for the best deal.  See the example below.

Wotif availability grid

At the time, Wotif’s executive general manager underlined the difference between Wotif and other online booking services by these quotes in regards to its availability and pricing grid / matrix:

  • “It’s one of those things we know has a big fan base…and continues to provide an easy way to compare rates for price sensitive travellers who have flexibility about when they want to travel.”
  • “The grid layout is now also somewhat unique. On most sites, customers would have a hard time knowing if the next or previous day or week offered a better deal.”

In early 2015, Wotif changed their availability display style to match the theme of Expedia which meant travellers needed to specify specific dates and stay durations before they could search for availability. This caused the following issues:

  • If someone was wanting to find availability or the best rates for a weekend stay, but had flexibility about which weekend, it would require them to conduct a separate search for each weekend and write each one down to compare. With the Wotif availability grid, a traveller could see instantly the availability across a range of hotels, and simply flick the calendar forward to get to the next weekend
  • Someone with flexibility in regards to the duration of their stay would now need to conduct separate searches with different durations to see the availability and tariffs.  Whereas with Wotif’s former matrix, travellers could see, at a glance, whether they could change the length of their stay and which hotels could accommodate them.

Many people have some degree of flexibility when it comes to their travel plans, particularly if it is for leisure purposes, so having to go through a time consuming process of trying various combinations of check-in dates and stay durations can seem very cumbersome with Wotif’s new Expedia interface than simply casting one’s eye over a availability grid which covers a range of accommodation properties, dates and prices.

Like many others, we here at Travel Victoria missed the Wotif availability grid.  So we did something about it!

As an official Wotif affiliate partner, we had the opportunity to request access to the Wotif API through Expedia, which would allow us to extract availability and pricing from their live database without having to go through the web interface.  This meant we could build a customised table of availability across a range of hotels. Thus we were able to recreate a simplified version of the much loved Wotif matrix, as shown below for our St Kilda accommodation list:

St Kilda accommodation

We do have a few limitations:

  1. It is not a real-time availability matrix as it actually takes a few hours to build up the matrix of availability for the several hundred hotels in Victoria we have chosen to feature in the grid.  At the moment, it is automatically updated once a day, with this process concluding in the late afternoon.
  2. It only covers 3 months. People looking for accommodation more than 3 months into the future will still need to do a traditional (and cumbersome) search by date.
  3. It only shows availability for stays which have a minimum duration of 3 nights or less, as testing for longer minimum stays would slow down the database update significantly.
  4. It only shows the base or minimum rate for the cheapest room.  To get the rates for all room types and numbers of guests, people will still need to go through the regular Expedia style interface.  Wotif actually had a second level grid which would open up if you restricted your search to a specific hotel, thus showing all room types and rates.

So the Wotif grid is back, alive and well, although in a much simpler form,  now on the Travel Victoria website!

Some accommodation owners in denial about the internet

Internet
The internet has changed the world

We received an interesting phone call a few weeks ago from a motel in Lakes Entrance, in Victoria’s beautiful Gippsland Lakes area.

This motel had been advertising  on our website for the last 5 years.  In fact, when their annual renewal was due last year, they paid their subscription and sent us an email thanking us, including this comment:

“Travel Victoria is excellent value”

It’s always nice to receive positive feedback from clients, particularly when they feel the return on their small investment with us is good. After all, how many times do you hear people instead complaining that fees are too high!

Anyway, the caller from that motel announced that he had recently taken over ownership of the property.  He said that he was unhappy with how the former owners were paying for all this advertising with multiple websites on the internet, and that he was going to change all that.  While he said our $70 annual fee was not large, he said all these small internet advertising expenses do add up.  Therefore we were told that our services, along with a number of others, were no longer required.

Today we did a search for that motel on Google, and found that the new owner had pulled it off virtually every single website that the motel used to have paid advertising on.  Some of the search results Google currently shows are to websites the motel has been removed from, but those those pages are now non-existent, so Google will eventually stop showing those listings.  So all that is really left is the motel’s own dedicated website, a range of free listings on low quality directory websites, and of course it can be found on TripAdvisor.

If potential guests wanted to do further investigation on the internet about that motel, they could be easily forgiven for thinking it had closed down.  The last review on TripAdvisor was 6 months ago, and so the only thing of any significance left for that motel on the internet is its own website, which people may assume hasn’t been updated for a long time.

One possible theory we have is that the new owner is someone that has little faith in the usefulness of the internet.  Perhaps one of those old school of motel owners who always placed advertising within magazines or in brochures that you see at a local visitor information centre, and still believes that’s the only useful way to promote accommodation.  The world has changed, and these days people of all ages, from all over the world, use the internet as their preferred method of planning travel and browsing accommodation to stay in.  Sure, there is a place for advertising in print media, but accommodation owners are living in the past if they think the internet can simply be ignored as a fad or purely an entertainment medium.

Another theory we have is that the new owner may have knowledge and appreciation of the internet, but not about internet marketing.  So they may simply assume is all they need for their motel is a website to cater for those people using the internet. The problem with this way of thinking is that unless someone does a specific search for this motel by its exact name, its website will not be found.  People will tend to do more general Google searches, like Lakes Entrance accommodation or motels in Lakes Entrance, and thus it is extremely unlikely the motel’s small website is going to feature anywhere near the top of the search results returned.  In fact, the Google results for those search terms will be dominated by some of websites which this motel has specifically withdrawn from advertising on!

Another point to consider is that more and more accommodation providers are offering potential guests the convenience of instant, real-time online booking facilities, either via their own website or through a third party agent.  A motel owner, such as our former client from Lakes Entrance, who is actively reducing their internet presence, is bucking the trend of consumer demand for online information and booking facilities.

When it comes to promoting an accommodation business, the internet should be embraced, not dismissed. We live in a changing world, and businesses need to keep up with the times.

 

 

Dog-friendly holiday accommodation

Did you know that in Australia, there are more pets than people?

Pets are very important to people in today’s society. Among other things, they provide companionship and positively influence the lives of their owners and families.

When it comes to dogs, Australians love their canine friends. In fact, 39% of households across the nation own a dog.

Dog on beachAbout 20% of dog owners take their pets with them on holidays, and this percentage is on the rise. If people take their dogs to parks, the beach, or on day trips, why not for overnight stays away from home? It also means there is no need to use pet-minding services or expensive boarding facilities when pet owners want to go away.

One of the issues when going on holidays with a pet is finding suitable dog-friendly accommodation. Properties that advertise themselves as being dog-friendly can actually be quite varied in the facilities provided and the rules that apply to pets staying with their owners.

It is important to keep in mind that accommodation that is specified as being dog-friendly doesn’t automatically permit dog to come inside and snuggle up in bed with their owners. Not everyone sleeps with their pets, and some don’t even let their pets inside the family home, so accommodation that has strict conditions may actually be perfectly suitable for some holidaymakers.

OUTSIDE ONLY DOGS

Outside dogAround 24% of pet dogs are exclusively kept outside the family home. Therefore accommodation which permits dogs, but only if they are kept outside, can offer a very suitable place to stay for a significant number of dog owners. These properties may provide pets with a kennel in a sheltered outdoor area and a securely fenced area for dogs to run around within.

INSIDE & OUTSIDE DOGS

65% of pet dogs spend time both inside and outside the family home. Some of those dogs may be permitted inside the home only under supervision and may actually still sleep outside. There are a significant number of holiday properties that welcome pets inside, but only in designated areas, such as within rooms that have hard floors. They may also have restrictions with regards to dogs sleeping on soft furnishings or on beds. For a dog that spends time both inside and outside, these restrictions may be quite suitable.

INSIDE ONLY DOGS

Inside dogAbout 11% of pet dogs are always kept indoors. In such cases, it is important to find dog-friendly accommodation that not only allows pets to come inside, but also to sleep inside. Such accommodation may either provide a designated area inside where the dog can sleep, a dog bed, or even allow dogs to sleep on human beds with their owners.

CARAVAN PARKS

Caravan ParksA number of caravan parks or holiday parks are dog-friendly. However, restrictions can vary significantly. Managers need to balance the needs and comfort of those guests with pets and those without, particularly due to the size of some of those parks and the large number of guests. Some parks may only permit dogs with site bookings, so guests would need to keep their pet on a leash within the area around their caravan or tent. A few parks have dedicated dog-friendly cabins which not only permit pets inside, but also provide a private fenced area around the cabin for dogs to run around in.

HOTELS & MOTELS

Hotels & motelsIt can be challenging to find a  hotel or motel that allows you to bring your dog inside with you, however some managers have set aside rooms which are dedicated for those with pets. If you are happy for your canine companion to stay outside, a number of motels can cater for pets, with sheltered and secure outdoor areas, although owners may need to bring their own pet bedding.

BED & BREAKFASTS

Bed & breakfastsBed & breakfasts can be quite welcoming of people travelling with dogs as often their managers have pets of their own living on the property with them. As most dogs are fairly social, it might be quite a treat for your pet to have a new companion to interact with during their stay. While you may develop a friendship with your B&B host, your pet may end up bonding closely with the resident canines.

HOLIDAY HOUSES, UNITS & COTTAGES

Holiday houses & cottagesSelf-contained accommodation, such as holiday homes and cottages, usually have plenty of room inside and outside, making them an ideal choice for those travelling with dogs. Many holiday homes are welcoming of those with pets, and usually they have a securely fenced yard so your pet can wander around the garden safely. Some properties also allow pets inside, however you should always confirm if there are any out of bounds areas or rules that need to be adhered to.

WHAT DOG-FRIENDLY MEANS

Keep in mind that dog-friendly doesn’t always mean dogs can come inside, sleep on furniture, or be provided with complimentary bedding and treats. There may be a number of conditions that a property owner puts in place for the comfort and benefit of current and future guests, as well as other people in the vicinity.

Different dogs and their owners have different needs, so not every property listed as being dog-friendly is suitable for you and your pet. That’s why it is important to contact accommodation managers prior to booking to discuss you and your pet’s specific requirements.

Statistics related to pets in this posting are relevant to Australia only, and have been taken from the Animal Health Alliance (Australia) report which uses a number of resources, including Galaxy Research and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Caravan parks close to Spirit of Tasmania

Caravan park
Caravan park

When travelling within Australia with your caravan, you need not let the waters of Bass Strait constrain your journey.

Spirit of Tasmania, a passenger and vehicular ferry which traverses Bass Strait and links mainland Victoria with Tasmania, welcomes aboard those travelling with caravans, campervans and motorhomes.

Between late December and Easter, Spirit of Tasmania operates a number of day sailing services which depart from both Melbourne (Station Pier at Port Melbourne) and Devonport at 9am. Check-in for those services is between 6:30am and 8:15am.  Due to the early morning check-in, those with caravans or motorhomes may find it convenient to stay in a caravan park close to the ferry terminal the night before, so that first thing in the morning they only have a short drive to board the boat.

Caravan Parks close to Port Melbourne

1. Discovery Parks BIG4 Melbourne

Ashley Gardens BIG4 Holiday Village
Discovery Park BIG4 Melbourne (formerly Ashley Gardens Holiday Village)
  • 13 kilometres by road north-west of ferry terminal entrance
  • The quickest driving route does not use any toll roads
  • Ensuite sites, powered sites (paved and grassed)
  • Recreation room, playground, pool, tennis court, indoor spa & sauna, camp kitchen
  • Van storage available
  • Woolworths supermarket is next door
  • Official website – www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/vic/greater-melbourne/discovery-parks-melbourne
  • Location – 129 Ashley Street, Braybrook
  • Phone – (03) 9318 6866

2. Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park

Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park
Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park
  • 16 kilometres by road north of ferry terminal entrance
  • Ensuite sites, powered sites, unpowered camp sites
  • Solar heated pool, adventure playground, games room, movie room, camp kitchen
  • Secure luggage storage available
  • Official website – www.melbournebig4.com.au
  • Location – 265 Elizabeth Street, Coburg
  • Phone – (03) 9353 8222

3. Honey Hush Caravan Park

Honey Hush Caravan Park
Honey Hush Caravan Park
  • 17 kilometres by road west of ferry terminal entrance
  • The quickest driving route does not use any toll roads
  • Powered sites, unpowered tent sites
  • Official website – www.honeyhush.com.au
  • Location – 6 Leakes Road, Laverton North
  • Phone – (03) 9369 2253

Caravan parks close to East Devonport

1. Abel Tasman Caravan Park

Abel Tasman Caravan Park
Abel Tasman Caravan Park
  • 900 metres by road from  ferry terminal entrance
  • Cabins, powered sites, unpowered sites
  • BBQ area, childrens playground, newly renovated amenities
  • Official website – www.abeltasmancaravanpark.com.au
  • Location – 6 Wright Street, East Devonport
  • Phone – (03) 6427 8794

2. Discovery Holiday Parks Devonport

Discovery Holiday Parks Devonport
Discovery Holiday Parks Devonport
  • 1.3 kilometres by road from ferry terminal entrance
  • Cottages, cabins, ensuite sites, powered sites
  • BBQs, kiosk, playground, movie room, waterfront location
  • Official website – www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au
  • Location – 13 Tarleton Street, East Devonport
  • Phone – (03) 6427 8418

 3. Devonport Holiday Village

Devonport Holiday Village
Devonport Holiday Village
  • 1.8 kilometres by road from ferry terminal entrance
  • Cabins, ensuite sites, powered sites, unpowered sites
  • BBQs, mini-supermarket, 3 hectares of gardens and trees
  • Official website – www.devonportholidayvillage.com.au
  • Location – 20 North Caroline Street, East Devonport
  • Phone – (03) 6427 8886

4. Bay View Holiday Village

Bay View Holiday Village
Bay View Holiday Village
  • 2.1 kilometres by road from ferry terminal entrance
  • Cabins, powered ensuite sites
  • BBQ area, waterfront location
  • Official website – bookings.goldenchain.com.au
  • Location – 2 North Caroline Street, East Devonport
  • Phone – (03) 6427 0499
Tasmania
Caravan parks close to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal in East Devonport

Caravan parks close to Melbourne

A common question we get asked is where are the nearest caravan parks to the Melbourne city centre?

While travellers towing a caravan, those with campervans, motorhomes or tents are well catered for in rural and regional Victoria, choices are limited close to the centre of Melbourne. This is mainly due to the amount of space caravan parks would occupy in areas where land is at a premium.

We have compiled a list of all the caravan parks that are within 25 kilometres drive of Melbourne’s CBD that permit short stays, which means they are suitable for holidaymakers, travellers or casual visitors looking for somewhere to stay with their caravan or campervan.

See the map at the end to see the location of all these caravan parks in relation to each other and Melbourne’s city centre.

 

1. Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park

Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park
Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park
  • 11 kilometres by road north of Melbourne CBD
  • 265 Elizabeth Street, Coburg
  • Ensuite sites, powered sites, unpowered camp sites
  • Solar heated pool, adventure playground, games room, movie room, camp kitchen
  • Secure luggage storage available
  • Official website – www.melbournebig4.com.au

2. Discovery Parks BIG4 Melbourne

Ashley Gardens BIG4 Holiday Village
Discovery Parks BIG4 Melbourne (formerly Ashley Gardens BIG4 Holiday Village)

3. Honey Hush Caravan Park

Honey Hush Caravan Park
Honey Hush Caravan Park
  • 18 kilometres by road west of Melbourne CBD
  • 6 Leakes Road, Laverton North
  • Powered sites, unpowered tent sites
  • Official website – www.honeyhush.com.au

4. Crystal Brook Tourist Park

Crystal Brook Tourist Park
Crystal Brook Tourist Park
  • 24 kilometres by road north-east of Melbourne CBD
  • 182 Warrandyte Road, Doncaster East
  • Ensuite sites, powered sites, unpowered sites, tent sites
  • Games room, heated pool, playground, go karts, volleyball, Wi-Fi, bike tracks
  • Daily bird feeding
  • Storage facilities for vans, boats and luggage
  • Pet friendly
  • Official website – www.cbtp.com.au

5. Sundowner Caravan Park

Sundowner Caravan Park
Sundowner Caravan Park
  • 25 kilometres by road south-east of Melbourne CBD
  • 870 Princes Highway, Springvale
  • Powered sites
  • Take away food shop at entrance
  • Official website – www.sundownercp.com

6. Wantirna Park Caravan Park

Wantirna Park Caravan Park
Wantirna Park Caravan Park
  • 25 kilometres by road east of Melbourne CBD
  • 203 Mountain Highway, Wantirna
  • Ensuite sites, powered sites
  • Pool, playground, tennis court, camp kitchen
  • Official website – www.wantirnapark.com.au