How would you like
to live in beautiful Cairns on a seven acre block of rainforest with
a crystal clear, year-round creek where you could feed turtles, eels
and many varieties of fish? Wait, I haven't finished yet. You'd have
a team of groundsmen keeping everything in tip-top condition. You wouldn't
have to worry about power or water, it would be supplied to your residence.
The garbage would be removed and your shower and toilet cleaned for
you daily. You would, of course, have a pool and a spa and somebody
to clean and maintain them for you. The number of birds in the trees
and their beautiful songs would be an added bonus, as would the sunshine.
Best of all, you wouldn't be tied down, you could come and go as you
pleased and it would all be looked after in your absence.
A pipe dream? Prohibitively expensive? Not at all! It's reality at Cool
Waters - that's why Pam and I come back year after year.
Cool Waters Holiday Park has been carved out of virgin rainforest and
has retained as much of the greenery as possible, predominantly mature
palms and ancient fig trees. This makes it a delightfully picturesque
and shady environment in which to relax. It also ensures a very wide
variety of bird life and the dawn chorus is captivating. Spotting the
birds is a challenge as the trees are tall and the canopy dense.
When did you ever stay in a holiday park
like this? Cool Waters is camping in the rainforest.
To enhance this idyllic
environment, the Freshwater Creek meanders around two sides of the park,
its water rich in fish, turtles, and other aquatic life (though not
The clear waters of the Freshwater Creek.
Steps have been provided
so that visitors have access to the water’s edge to feed the turtles;
on one occasion I counted twenty without moving from the spot. Turtles
that is, not steps.
A piece of bread thrown
into the middle of the creek produces a swirl and a splash as fish race
each other to reach it first.
When visitors arrive at a park, first impressions count! The personality
of the representative behind the reception desk is all-important. The
new arrival may well have been driving in stressful conditions for some
hours and will be tired and stiff. A warm smile and a friendly, helpful
manner mean so much and the team at Cool Waters has got it right.
and Sue, the proprietors of Cool Waters. Always happy
and always helpful, despite hard work and long hours.
The walls of the reception
area at Cool Waters are not covered in notices telling you
all the things that you can't do. Instead there are plenty
of brochures advising you of the many things that you can do
- and see - in the area, including the wonderful Skyrail cable-car ride
over the rainforest to Kuranda, and the Scenic Railway which runs to
the same destination. Since neither are to be missed, why not travel
up on the Scenic Railway and return on the Skyrail? Or vice versa, as
Cool Waters is owned and run by a dynamic young couple, Dwayne and Susan
Crowe, assisted by a team of cleaners, groundsmen, handymen etc. They
all work incredibly hard.
Cairns city centre is about eight minutes easy drive from Cool Waters
though there are several shopping centres even closer, and there is
a petrol station and a bottle shop almost next door. Basic commodities
like bread and milk are available from the park office.
One aspect of Cool Waters that both Pam and I really appreciated was
the quality of the ablution facilities. These points are important to
caravanners, especially the ladies. They are frequently what a park
is judged on. Cool Waters scored a clear ten here; the blocks are bright,
clean and modern. They provide good quality toilet paper, a toilet brush
in each cubicle, a soft soap dispenser, paper towels, a sponge to wipe
around the sinks, a squeegee-type mop and a bucket containing some diluted
disinfectant to dry the shower recess after use. But the team doesn’t
stop there; in addition to the usual daily clean, they check each block
at around dawn each morning to ensure it’s clean and ready for
use, sweeping out any bugs that were attracted by the light overnight.
Further, the blocks are divided into four so that when one ‘ladies’
or ‘gents’ is closed for cleaning, the one next door is
open. And guess what? No irritating keys or entry codes are required!
The outside walls of the ablution blocks
are painted to blend into the background. Just look at that foliage!
How is this for an indication
of the lengths to which the management team will go? In the quiet season
they spend a night in each guest chalet (no, not all together!) because
that way they are able to see things from the guest’s viewpoint
and pick up problems that might otherwise slip by. A squeaky bed, a
lumpy mattress, a dripping tap perhaps. What better way to ensure everything
is right for the guests?
Another thing we really liked is that the staff took the trouble to
remember our names, and greeted us by them each time we met. In the
park, each caravan site has a concrete pad alongside the ’van
so that there’s no dust or mud being trodden inside. All the driveways
are paved. Water quality and pressure is good – straight from
the sparkling reservoir at the Copperlode Dam, high in the forest-covered
mountains which form a backdrop to the park. A sullage disposal drain
is provided for each ’van and there is a central ‘dump point’
for caravan toilets. We had no power problems at all, even when Pam
used her hair dryer.
The Camp Kitchen is equipped with a fridge/freezer and several free
gas barbecues. Regularly there’s a free concert there in the evening
accompanied by a sausage sizzle or pizza evening which is by ‘gold
coin donation’, all proceeds going to charity. Similarly, there
are morning teas with scones, jam and lashings of cream. What a great
way to make new friends and help a charity.
The Camp Kitchen where Devonshire teas
are provided during the season,
and food and entertainment are provided some evenings.
What about fees, so
important to most campers? We found the Cool Waters fees very competitive
Like a morning walk? Follow the path along the creek for 200 metres
and you are in the local park which teems with tropical bird life.
Like to swim? Cool Waters' swimming pool is just beautiful.
Need Internet access? The Cool Waters reception area provides Internet
facilities for your use. And - better still - if you travel with a laptop
with a wireless modem, this park has a wireless connection for you to
go on line from your own caravan. At last! A caravan park that knows
we’re in the 21st Century!
Below are some 'tree' pictures from Cool Waters. On our first visit
Pam and I booked in for a week and stayed for two months. Even then
it was with much sadness that we left to continue exploring Australia.
A year later we were back, and loving it. And again the following year.
If you are intending
to visit Cairns and the surrounding area you might like to look at
Page 12 to 16 of this site where
we describe our time there. We even went to the tip of Cape York on
a cargo ship; it was fabulous and it's all there with pictures. Our
friends at Cool Waters arranged it all for us and looked after our car
and caravan for nothing while we were away.
I'll list the park's contact details, but before I do let me stress
that I don't own shares in Cool Waters, I don't have a relative who
does and I'm not being paid to write nice things about the park. Pam
and I have had wonderful times there and I'm sure you'd enjoy it just
as much. It's simply the best!