Skip to main content
The life cycle of caravan parks in Australia: the case of Northern New South Wales
Australian Geographer
  • Rodney W Caldicott, Southern Cross University
  • Pascal Scherrer, Southern Cross University
Document Type
Publication Date
Peer Reviewed
The caravan park sub-sector of the Australian tourism accommodation industry provides at least half of the national tourism bed capacity, and in 2009 generated over A$1.1 billion in annual takings. However, the number of parks and park capacity is in decline nationally while both international and domestic demand for the drive-tourism experience is growing. This sets a trend towards an accommodation facilities shortage for the caravanning sector and exposes its vulnerability. This paper uses a case study of caravan parks in the Tweed Shire, New South Wales, Australia, to examine the life-cycle pattern of these parks as a discrete unit of tourist area development and to consider the sector's future. The sector's history is framed within Butler's (Canadian Geographer 24(1): 5–12 (1980)) concept of the tourist area life cycle (TALC). The historical data demonstrate the urban and market change that has occurred around and within caravan parks of this coastal region over almost two centuries. The pattern of caravan park development and evolution conformed to the involvement, exploration, development, consolidation and stagnation stages of the TALC. In 2011, caravan parks in the Tweed region were at a critical tipping point with potential for either decline or rejuvenation.
Citation Information

Caldicott, RW & Scherrer, P 2013, 'The life cycle of caravan parks in Australia: the case of Northern New South Wales', Australian Geographer, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 63-80.

Published version available from: