New park about to open

Published on 19 September 2014

Anticipation is building in Bridgewater as the day for the official opening of the all-new Bridgewater Caravan Park and restored river foreshore reserve nears.

Council is looking to Thursday 30 October as the target date, with only a small number of minor tasks remaining to be done.

The most recent changes at the caravan park have been the arrival and installation of the camp office and disabled cabin, both built off-site.

The new camp kitchen is nearing completion, a park manager will soon be appointed, some landscaping work is still to be done and a park booking system established.

On the Loddon River foreshore, the new public toilet is finished (but won’t be in use until the park opens) and funding applications have been submitted for refurbishment works on the boat ramp at the southern end.

Council’s Director Economy and Community, Bryan McEwan, said the formal opening of the park and foreshore reserve would be a genuine celebration both for the Shire and the Bridgewater community.

“It’s been a lot of work over the past three years, but the result is something in which we can all take great pride,” Mr McEwan said.

“The park and reserve will showcase the great beauty of the natural environment we have at Bridgewater, with all the opportunities for family water sports the Loddon River provides.

“Water play activities such as swimming, fishing and canoeing are all extremely accessible and within easy walking distance of each other, while the surrounding trails give visitors the chance to explore the riverside and nearby bushland.

“Otherwise, it’s only a short drive to the antiques stores of Inglewood, the rugged beauty of Kooyoora State Park and local wineries.

“The work at Bridgewater would not have been possible without the generous support of the state government’s Flood Recovery for Community Infrastructure Fund (in the case of the caravan park) and the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal, Percy Baxter Charitable Trust and the Victorian government’s Local Government Infrastructure Program (for the foreshore reserve).

“We thank them most sincerely for their contributions.”

Bridgewater on Loddon Development Committee president Graham Morse said he believed the opening of the park and foreshore reserve would prove a great boost to the town.

”It will be fantastic – a great opportunity to develop Bridgewater even further,” Mr Morse said.

“The floods of 2011 acted, in effect, like a new broom and now everything is new – it’s all positive and a wonderful opportunity for us.

“We’ll have a state-of-the-art park with great facilities – all credit to Council for the job it’s done.

“Local businesses are sure to get a boost – the bakery and hotel will benefit, as will the service station, the take-away food shop about to re-open and a planned new craft outlet.

“We just hope that, with the park done so well, people who used to come here will return. The river is such a magnet and facilities are so good, we trust that will be enough to bring them back.

“We can’t wait for it to happen.”