The Lorneville Holiday Park has earned a sparkling reputation for offering a few extra touches that set it apart from what one may traditionally expect in a holiday park.
Owner Ken Field’s attention to detail is reflected everywhere in the grounds, where the gardens are manicured and not a blade of grass is out of place. The holiday park is immaculately clean. It has earned praise in guidebooks for its pristine presentation.
Holiday parks have traditionally been the domain of the budget conscious traveler. Seeing our gorgeous countryside by campervan is a wonderful way to appreciate the sights, but it’s still lovely to have somewhere to stop and wash, restock and unwind.
One of the stand-out features is the brilliant recreation room, a former woolshed decorated with murals of Southland scenes. Doubling as the television lounge, it is presided over by magnificent trophy heads, antlers and mounted birds, interesting examples of the diverse Southland wildlife.
Ken is a genial host, keen to see visitors enjoying themselves as he and wife Barbara did when they stayed in the holiday park on one of their own caravanning forays south.
When the holiday park came up for sale, they remembered it so favourably that it seemed to offer an excellent opportunity on Ken’s “retirement”.
Keen boaties always, he and Barbara had never really toured their own home country, so when their daughters left on their OE, the parents also took off in their newly acquired 4.1m Trail-Lite caravan.
Over three South Island trips each lasting three months, they explored most camps and parks, then found Lorneville and loved it.
Purchasing a holiday park was the last thought on their minds. But when it came on the market, it was not only affordable, it also looked like a great change of lifestyle.
Small, on 6.8ha with just 22 power and tent sites, it is situated on SH 98, the Lorneville-Dacre Road just off the Southern Scenic Route. Only 10 minutes from the centre of Invercargill, the campground itself is a very manageable unit for one couple, and because it used to be part of a much larger farm, it has substantial outbuildings including stables, calf-rearing stalls and a large barn.
The rural, parklike surroundings are a winning attribute for people who wish to relax in a country environment. A Southland Tourism Award in the budget accommodation category recognises that, as does a Lonely Planet “excellent” rating.
There are internet facilities on site, complimentary all weather gas barbeques, but guests may prefer to use the attractive, well-equipped communal log cabin kitchen.
There are a number of well-maintained buildings on the site, with tourist flats and cabins providing options for holidaying families who want to take advantage of the farm park atmosphere. In the playgrounds, a furnished walk-in Wendy house also features a “watching seat” for parents.
As one of the extra Lorneville services, Ken and Barbara are also able to arrange bookings for Stewart Island and Fiordland. Because travel to those points is so weather dependent, Ken makes a point of keeping his guests informed of the latest forecast.
The Southern Scenic Route is the holiday park’s major source of guests, whether they are heading to or from the Catlins or Te Anau.
Travellers who prefer a quiet stay and a roomy, attractive, and relatively private site will find it well worth their while to detour very slightly off the main road to find this holiday park, which offers Qualmark four-star accommodation in units from on-site caravans to fully self contained tourist flats.