Held at the beautiful NRMA Parks and Resorts Forster Tuncurry Holiday Park on NSW’s Mid North Coast, Silver Schoolies is an annual week-long themed event where a range of activities are planned out and guests are invited to embrace in the ‘silver schoolies’ theme. And how did this year’s action-packed week pan out? It was a Silverbration!
Setting the scene
Before we dive into the fun and games, we’d be amiss to not sing the praises of where this hallmark event took place. The NRMA Forster Tuncurry Holiday Park was our gracious host and organiser of this event, and it was easy to see why, with the fantastic facilities of the Park greeting you as soon as you hit the boom gate.
There’s a large reception area, a massive heated pool (complete with plenty of water activities for the kids), a large, spotlessly clean undercover camp kitchen, an on-site cafe serving wonderful coffee, not to mention a large dining area that features a lap pool alongside it, ensuring the whole family can unwind.
The Park’s beautifully manicured gardens offer a serene backdrop, and if pedal power is your mode of transport once you’ve unhitched, you can explore these gardens and the surrounding area by hiring one of the Park’s many electric push bikes.
The Park and all its facilities are immaculately maintained, and the entire Park team goes above and beyond to create a warm, inviting atmosphere and is always willing to help you enjoy your stay.
And of course, you can’t miss the stunning natural surroundings. The Park borders Wallis Lake, which is great for those wanting to catch their own dinner, explore the water via a kayak or simply sit and enjoy the tranquillity and watch the sun set over the lake.
Let the games begin
Caravan World was there to check out Silver Schoolies, a week where the Park opens its gates to the young at heart who want to have some fun, and the Park team — led by Alice MacGregor — puts on a bunch of events that keep everyone’s day chock-a-block. Our timing meant we sadly missed the first couple of days of activities, which included a tie-dying socks session, a complimentary sausage sizzle, a magic show, live music, craft beer tasting and games in the afternoon on the waterfront.
Once we settled in, the first event was a craft session where pretty amazing pop-up birthday cards were made. There was lots of fun and banter and the final results will see many grandkids amazed by their grandparents' ability.
Next on the packed agenda was a rock quiz hosted by Pure Acoustics, a fabulously talented husband and wife duo. They mixed up the songs, questions and activities and had every group scratching their heads for answers during the three-hour fun-filled event.
The next day kicked off with a long morning tea. About 200 people showed up for the event which was held under greying skies, none of which would dampen the enthusiasm and frivolity that the guests undertook. Delicious scones, jam and cream were served up by the Park’s amazing team, with the line up long but the wait very well worth it.
Once morning tea had settled, it was time for a line dance spectacular. Led by experienced line dancers, their tuition soon had the gang dancing, spinning and twirling in time with the music.
You’d think we’d get the afternoon off for a siesta, but no way. The Park’s team was truly dedicated to providing an action-packed agenda and there was no rest for the wicked!
Guests' furry friends were catered for as well during the event, with an onsite doggy grooming service pampering man’s best friend. For the health-conscious (and those wanting to work off a few calories) there was an aqua aerobics session held in the lap pool beside the on-site cafe. Apart from the great coffee, the cafe serves fabulous hot chips and takeaway fare, as well as a supply of necessities.
A sterling occasion
The afternoon saw a massive party kick off at 3pm with the Pure Acoustics duo keeping the party pumping with a sensational mix of songs and banter. But before everyone could let loose, there was an important competition to take place: the ‘best-dressed van’ and ‘best-dressed couple’ — all decked to the nines in silver decorations.
How the best ‘silvered’ caravan was decided by the judges, we’ll never know, as there was a wonderful selection to choose from, all with their own special silver ‘bling’. We particularly enjoyed the recycled wine cask bladders used on one van!
The winners of the best-dressed category were a bit easier to decide upon, with a couple dressed as a silver Tina Turner look-alike and Hugh Hefner, resplendent in his silver lounge pyjamas taking out the gold, umm err, silver award!
The party lasted well into the after-dusk with the food trucks on site providing pizzas and chips-on-a-stick to sustain the partygoers.
The mood was very upbeat at the recovery breakfast the next morning. Once again, the team from the Park worked to make sure everyone had a scrumptious bacon and egg roll to go with their morning tea or coffee. Much of the banter that morning was around how next year’s event could be even bigger and better, and many of the guests had already booked their sites for 2024. The park was at capacity during this year’s week-long event, so next year will definitely be a sellout, if not already.
Adventure awaits at Forster Tuncurry
The NRMA Parks and Resort at Forster Tuncurry is a playground for the adventurous or those looking to unwind, and we certainly enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere during our stay. The sunsets over Lake Wallis were spectacular, and the anglers trying their hand weren’t too disappointed if they didn’t catch dinner as the option of a pizza from the food truck was a very nice alternative. The Park's amenities were very well maintained. From the numerous camp kitchens to the gardens and amenities blocks, everything was spotless, and the team was always on hand to help with any requests, including positioning caravans with the Park's tractor.
The Park itself is only a five-minute drive to Tuncurry town centre where you can find a supermarket, chemist, service station for fuel top-ups and other local businesses to enjoy.
The success of events such as this across the NRMA Parks and Resorts will see more and more of these themed event-filled weeks emerge. The enjoyment of the event was clear to see with the amount of laughter, dressing up, fun-filled banter and activities. Everyone really embraced the spirit of ‘Silver Schoolies’, and the sense of community and fun throughout the week surely created some lifelong memories. Special mention must go to the team from NRMA Parks and Resorts Forster Tuncurry. The team worked tirelessly in putting this week together and it showed every step of the way. The events were well run, boatloads of fun and it showed with the smiles on the faces of the guests. Alice MacGregor, activities coordinator at the Park, went above and beyond during the week and must have done so in the weeks leading up to the event. Great work for putting on such an incredible event and showing so much care in what you did for your guests, Alice!
Would I go next year? 100 per cent — book me in now!
NRMA Parks and Resorts Forster Tuncurry Holiday Park
1 Baird Street
Tuncurry NSW 2428
P: 02 6554 6827
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