A New South Wales family tradition of almost 30 years was forced to pivot to a getaway to Warrnambool.
Colac's Kent and Karen Tomlinson usually spend their summer holidays on the campgrounds of Pambula.
But this year, the coronavirus border restrictions meant the couple looked elsewhere for a two-week holiday with their children and five-month-old grandchild.
"We could've gone anywhere in Victoria but our friends who we only see at Pambula decided to come here," Mrs Tomlinson said.
Along with the Tomlinsons there are at least five other families who usually head to Pambula scattered around the caravan parks of Warrnambool.
The families all decided to head to the city after one group made a travel bucket list during the pandemic.
It's the second year in a row the Tomlinsons haven't been able to stay in Pambula after the bushfires cancelled their plans last year.
"We wanted to be by the beach as last year with the bushfires we weren't by the coast," Mrs Tomlinson said.
"We have friends in the other caravan parks who we can catch up with. But it's really just a chance for us to chill."
It's the first time Mr Tomlinson has brought his family to Warrnambool for an extended stay after his parents chose the city as their holiday destination when he was a child.
"We only really came to Warrnambool when the kids were young," he said. "But I actually proposed in Port Fairy and we visited there early last year."
The family has booked for two weeks at Surfside Caravan Park and are exploring their new surrounds.
"We can go swimming, relax, play golf and see what's around the town," Mr Tomlinson said. "Went to the vintage car show on Sunday. There's lots you can do if you want to or you can just relax at the campsite and swim."
Carly Tomlinson and her partner Aiden Mackie are based in Melbourne and took the holiday as an opportunity to explore Tower Hill and Port Fairy on Tuesday before heading to Deep Blue for a twilight session in the hot springs.
Daniel and Taryn Tomlinson also live in Melbourne and it's the first holiday they've had after welcoming daughter Ruby into the world in August.
"It's our first holiday since the lockdown restrictions ended and Ruby's first holiday," Mrs Tomlinson said.
"She's such a good baby. We went through a lot of face washes on Monday with the heat. But she's pretty easy-going and quiet.
"She has to like camping because she's got a lifetime of it ahead of her."
The family had their annual Pambula bookings postponed by 12 months and they hope to return to New South Wales for summer 2022.
"We're booked in for next year but Warrnambool could definitely be our back up plan," Mrs Tomlinson said. "It's a beautiful part of the world."
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