We bought Grampians Getaway
IT ALL STARTED WITH A HOLIDAY
Long service leave was introduced in Australia in the 1860s. The idea was to allow civil servants the opportunity to sail home to England after 10 years ‘service in the colonies’.
Now, well at least in the state of Victoria, an employee is eligible to take long service leave after the completion of 7 years continuous employment with one employer.
A concept we didn’t have in The Netherlands…
I was going to call it Holland but I suddenly realised that since the 1st of January 2020, the Dutch government has banned the use of the word Holland and has indicated that it should solely be called The Netherlands…
I personally never heard of the rebranding of a country, but due to the fact that The Netherlands is so small and experience a severe amount of over-tourism, they are rebranding to try to disperse tourism to other parts of the country… How interesting, but we weren’t here to talk about H…oops, The Netherlands, we are here to talk about how we came about buying Grampians Getaway… I might write about me being a Daussie in another post!
For your reference: Why the Netherlands is ditching Holland as its nickname
BACK TO THE STORY
Anyway, we were talking about how we came about purchasing Grampians Getaway!
Well with over 7 years at Halls Gap Lakeside and prior to that The Lorne Country Club, we have been self employed for nearly 20 years. And although being self employed has its rewards (and for us far outweigh the negatives) it can be exhausting. Especially in the early days I felt like a jack of all trades or the way I used the describe it “an octopus with eight legs/arms being pulled at the same time”! Human resource manager, housekeeper, pool expert, cleaner, security, marketer, receptionist and not to forget janitor. What about project manager, graphic designer, internal communications officer, PR , landscape architect, landscaper, website developer, accountant, book keeper and database entry administrator. All that for somebody with a bachelor degree in Social work and HR. Luckily hubby was a golfcourse curator and brought a set of skills and insights I just never had and never will have!
As we evolved, so did Halls Gap Lakeside and at a steady pace turnover increased and we were able to start to offload some of these tasks. For 3 years now we have had Marika and Jason work with us with the big picture being that we would manage the place in their absence and on their days off and vice versa… A luxury position in the industry because many owner operated parks purely rely on relief managers.. The flexibility is enormous, with two couples running the show (and a team of awesome staff of course!)
Then as Rohan does, 7 years after commencing such an amazing rewarding journey, husband announces, “we are going around Australia, we bloody well deserve this”. With the kids in boarding school, he saw no issues… (as he never does, which is one of his qualities and most annoying traits ever!)
Until the morning of departure I didn’t 100% believe we were actually going! But there he went, at 4 in the morning, throwing on spare tyres, (he now needs an operation due to an injury which happened there and then!) grabbing clothes, filling water tanks, hooking up and yelling “have you packed? Lets go!!!” So off we went…
It was bizarre! When you work such intense hours, for such a long time, alongside each other but actually never really spending time together, there was something bizarre about it. The first 6 to 8 weeks, we just were. We chatted when we wanted, we explored some new habits, we didn’t have any expectations of seeing everything, we just were…it was super relaxing. It really felt like we landed back on earth…grounding again. No obligations, no pool fires to attend to, (as early as 4.30 every morning) no toilets to clean, no late phonecalls with guest calling us, no emails. You would think we would have got extremely productive, but no…we just were! As time went on, we became keen to see and do things! Exploring new regions.
Also Rohan had decided to run the Larapinta Run in the MacDonald ranges close to Alice Springs, which allowed me to accompany him on his long runs (whilst me riding the bike!) as I don’t like going out on my own in areas I am unfamiliar with. I had the fabulous opportunity, in great company, whilst exercising (or at least moving) seeing lovely back roads! I loved it! So at peace. Then the kids joined us for a month. We did the typical family holiday, although the Gibb River Rd was travelled in 3 days, maybe not so typical. We had a fabulous time with the 4 of us, travelling from Broome to Darwin. Camel rides, gorges, water holes, long chats, campfires, dinners, bike rides, runs, more gorges, friends, chats and the Darwin waterfront. As much as I love my kids, 4 weeks was enough.
THE START OF A NEW BEGINNING
Rohan, as a mad horseman, entirely enjoyed the Darwin Cup. But with all the heavy socialising we moved to Alice Springs a little earlier than planned to get back into our lovely little newly-discovered routines…
That is were he said the following, at a extremely random out of the blue moment.
“I think it’s time to do something for you”
Some of you may know that Rohan purchased a turf farm about two and a half years ago and has a real passion for race horses!!! Somehow a turf farm evolved into a horse training facility….I know!
So he was already doing something for him…
And what would that “something for you” look like Rohan?” I asked somewhat apprehensive.
To be honest I got quite agitated. I worked prior to our departure at least 60 hours a week and really didn’t see an opening to do something for me. Besides that, what does “something for you” mean?
I was really not all that open to it!
What does it mean when you get asked, if you had every opportunity in the world and you had no restrictions, no financial restrictions, no fear, no self doubt, the right skill set… what would you do with your life?
WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD?
Rohan has this ability to visualise, without fear or any restrictions. Then he can execute. Although it can be a bit of a bulldozer approach, he bloody well gets it done! Just look at Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park:
Just 8 years ago, and maybe that sounds like a long time now, but it really isnt, we turned an extremely run down park into one of the highest rated parks in Australia. Only a couple of days ago we scored a ripper 9.8 rating on Hotels Combined! I honestly don’t think too many other parks in Australia got a rating like that and if they do, I love to meet them, because we can surely learn something from each other to both reach a 9.9, or should we aim for 10?
So what was it that Rohan was suggesting…
You just have to wait till the next blog post.
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