The sights and sounds of Surfside Holiday Park evoke fond memories for Jill McGillivray who has been returning to camp annually for 70 years.
Mrs McGillivray, from Camperdown, has been visiting since 1952 when she was just four months old. Her parents brought her and her brother to the city where they had honeymooned a few years earlier.
"My parents started a business selling Franklin Caravans and then they used to bring their Franklin Caravans down and hire them out and stay here as well," Mrs McGillivray said.
She has fond childhood memories at the park and later with husband Neville, spending summer holidays in Warrnambool with their four children.
"I remember the caretakers," she said. There was Clem and of course Alby. He used to come up and have a few drinks with Nev. He was part of our family."
Sadly, Neville died five years ago but their children Ricky, Tania, Mark and Daryl, 10 grandchildren, aged from 11 years to 28, and three great grandchildren have kept up the tradition. They have only missed one year and that was because of the pandemic.
"He passed in December and the kids said 'you've got to come' and they set me up and I was here," she said.
"I just love it," she said. "It's like my second home.
"We're all together. It's family time. I love the sound of the sea and to hear the train and to see the little ones all run out to see the train. It's beautiful. It's very special."
Warrnambool City Council's tourism and visitor economy manager Paul Thompson said both Surfside and Shipwreck Bay Holiday Parks were fully booked with about 1000 sites occupied and more than 3100 people staying.
IN OTHER NEWS
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.