David and Lynne Stretton are looking forward to their next chapter when a successful stint managing Keppel Sands Caravan Park comes to an end in February.
David and Lynne Stretton are looking forward to their next chapter when a successful stint managing Keppel Sands Caravan Park comes to an end in February.

New adventure looms for Keppel Sands duo

AFTER two years in charge of Keppel Sands Caravan Park, the time has almost come for David and Lynne Stretton to move on.

The couple has poured their heart and soul into the management of the Livingstone Shire-owned facility and their stellar efforts were recently acknowledged by councillors.

While the council searches for a replacement to fill the role, David and Lynne are looking forward to some well-deserved “me” time come February, and that involves a trip around Australia.

It’s an adventure they’ve tried to embark on previously with little joy.

“We headed off from Cairns a couple of years ago after selling our house and semi-retiring to go around Australia in our camper trailer,” David said.

“We got as far as Airlie Beach and I had a heart attack which required a triple bypass in Townsville.

“After my surgery we had to buy a caravan because I couldn’t put the canvas up on the camper trailer.

“So we did that and about three weeks later we headed out again to go around Australia and we got as far as Mackay when I had to be flown back up to Townsville to get the golden staff out of my wound.

“So I had to be opened up again and that was another 11 days in hospital which was pretty tough and I was pretty sore.”

David spent some time trying to recover before the couple had a short stint volunteering at a drought-stricken property in western Queensland.

“Then we came to Keppel Sands so I could paint my mum’s house and we were staying here and we heard they were looking for managers to take over the caravan park.”

The rest is history and the couple signed a two-year management contract.

David said both he and Lynne were proud of what they’d been able to achieve during their time at the popular tourist spot.

“We’ve improved dollar income, visitor numbers and the general outlook of the park as much as we can through the council’s budget,” David said.

Lynne said during Winter they were always kept “flat strap” with grey nomads travelling through the region.

“We have 27 powered sites and 31 camping sites so that’s kept us busy, but we’ve met so many people along the way.

“We’ve made some fantastic friends and we’ve got a book of names which I’ve eventually got to sort into states so that we can stop in and visit all of them when we go around Australia.

“So it’s round three for the trip - see how we go this time.”

Livingstone Shire Council’s invitation to tender for the management of Keppel Sands Caravan Park closes on Wednesday.