The BIG4 NRMA Warrnambool Riverside Holiday Park is an affordable and fantastic facility offering residents a variety of unique benefits.

Being set in the farming zone at the Hopkins River end of Jubilee Park Road (see map below article) between Warrnambool and Allansford, the park itself is all on one title, however the lifestyle village sites have 250-year leases registered to the title that are able to be sold (along with their modular homes), to purchasers, and have proved to be a great option for several categories of buyers.  They are enjoyed by live-in buyers, investors, and those using them as perfect holiday homes.  It is a great option for retirees, being a friendly community and secure environment.

All purchasers/renters have access to all of the pet-friendly park’s facilities – including BBQ’s, camp kitchen and games room, mini-golf, jumping pillow, playground, pools (outdoor lagoon and indoor heated pool and spa), tennis court, and shop. Along with enjoying the magnificent riverside location with jetties, boat ramp and fish-cleaning facilities. Residents can go away for long periods of time knowing that things will be looked after in the secure, gated premises.

The park is happy to maintain accessible front lawns, while residents take care of garden maintenance and lawns in fenced/gated areas of their property.

There are no council rates paid by site leasehold owners (as these are paid as a whole by the park owners), just their own utility and water usage, and residents can use the bins provided which are emptied twice per week (or as necessary).  In recent years, site rent payable was $1009.00 including GST per quarter, which is really quite reasonable given the benefits available. Rent payable amounts depend on the type of property (there are two different arrangements) and rent is also subject to increase.

Most banks will not lend on the leasehold purchases as they are outside the guidelines of a regular residential property purchase, however at the time of writing Bank Australia will do a standard home loan, subject to their terms and conditions, provided approved applicants have a 20% deposit.

Live-in buyers have no stamp duty payable which is another benefit/saving.

Prior to 2008, there were but a handful of occupants of the lifestyle village, and most of these were occupied with Jayco cabins, and there were a couple of Henley Park Homes as well.  At this point Wilsons became involved, and to give clarity, consistency, and an assurance of quality throughout the park, local builder Rod Stephens Modular Homes was teamed with, tailoring suitable designs to block shapes and sizes while still enabling plenty of individuality in each build.  The sales, and success, of the lifestyle village followed immediately.

Residents and leasehold owners are required to follow a set of park rules and guidelines – all designed to protect the environment for the betterment of the park for all residents – giving confidence to new purchasers or tenants that they can enjoy a pleasant, quiet, secure and safe lifestyle.

This being the case, in the ensuing years since 2008 (and prior) there are many original purchasers still there today, and additionally, others have been able to successfully re-“sell” theirs.  Upon a transfer of a site lease, under the lease conditions, a new period of 250 years begins – essentially meaning a purchaser can rest assured that they are for all intents and purposes taking possession of a property for perpetuity, provided all lease terms and conditions are met.

Having personally owned and occupied one of the Rod Stephens modular homes in the park, and confidently recommended them (along with the other home styles) to friends and family, I have no hesitation endorsing to buyers the Hopkins River Holiday Park and Lifestyle Village – as a fantastic and affordable live-in or holiday home option. 

With this personal experience, combined with Wilsons’ record of handling the sales/transfers of dozens of these sites, you can rest assured that when it comes time to sell, you’ll be in good hands with Wilsons Warrnambool & District Real Estate.  When there are many and varied intricacies involved compared with a standard residential sale, nothing beats knowledge and experience in being able to firstly ‘sell the sizzle’ to a prospective purchaser, and secondly, competently answer any questions they may have and/or know where to steer to find the answers (there are a couple of legal firms specialising in handling these transactions and we can point anyone in the right direction here).

Providing further testament to the strength of the Hopkins River Holiday Park and Lifestyle Village, is that the park itself has in recent years been purchashed by NRMA Parks and Resorts (a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRMA).

Article by Lucas Wilson.

*NOTE: While all care has been taken to be accurate with details contained in this article, this is merely a brief overview and opinion piece, some of the terms may not be as they appear on legal documentation (for example a leasehold ‘purchaser’ is technically referred to as a “lessee” and the sale of one of these leases is technically called a “transfer” of the lease) – and I encourage interested parties to contact us for full copies of relevant documentation, and to seek their own independent legal advice.  I have done my best to write this in layman’s terms.