Riding through the West Coast Wilderness Trail on the Tour of Aotearoa, Ross was an obvious stop, and to get a cabin virtually on the sea front was very special. Andy & Sue hosted us brilliantly, and the meal at the nearby historic Empire Hotel was a stand-out experience. In a rugged environment like the West Coast, containers seem to be an obvious and ideal choice of accommodation, and it was a delight to stay, complete with beautiful weather and a walk on the next door beach. The history of the Park is much younger than Ross, but almost as interesting.
How long has the Ross Top 10 Holiday park been around, and how long have you been involved?
We are no strangers to making major life changing moves having left the UK in 2000 to set up home in Aus. Whilst that was a fabulous experience we always wanted to settle in New Zealand. After 18 years of operating holiday parks in Australia we up-sticks and made the jump across the ditch to NZ.
Over the years we have travelled the length & breadth of NZ, and having spent an adult gap year travelling & working around the country all it took was one look and Sue was smitten with this West Coast location. We secured the 30yr lease on the unopened, brand new campground in July 2017, and then bought into the Top 10 Holiday Park franchise that December. Being part of this well respected brand has enabled us to welcome & share our park with many guests from all walks of life… it’s been a blast.
Since opening we have been slowly tweaking and developing, we have many more ideas and plans for the park, it really is still in its infancy. We both absolutely adore living on the edge of this small Community right at the water’s edge, the location is stunning, if not a little wild at times, but that’s all part of the charm.
Using containers in this way is pretty unusual, what comments do people make about them?
Generally it’s “WOW, they are so different!” “We love the quirky nature of the park, the sounds of the ocean”, “drifting off to sleep listening to the surf almost at the door”, “Spacious, Private and oh my the Flax!!!”
It really is amazing how much comfort you can get in an upcycled Shipping Container. We tried to keep the container look, but they are so much more luxurious than just a steel box!
If I don’t want to do my own cooking, where do I go to eat?
There’s the wonderful historic Empire Hotel in Ross, great kiwi pub grub and at a great price, the 3 course buffet for $25! There’s also the Ross General Store for takeaway pizza and fish & Chip’s, Seasonally open is the Roddy Nugget Café for morning tea or a recovery cuppa at the end of the trail. On site here we offer fresh takeaway coffee, just bring your own cup as were going single use free.
We can also provide breakfast supplies for you to have in your accommodation for $15per person, (pre-book this please or we may not have everything ready for your arrival).
Is this the beginning of the trail for your customers or the end? Which way are they riding?
At present the riders that stay with us are generally about to start the ride, heading North with the prevailing breeze, or should I say “wind”, on their backs. Cycling to Hokitika means you ride towards the most scenic views most of the way… nice, but we might be biased. Whilst the first section from Ross is pretty straight as it follows the old railway line, it gets you warmed up for the most fabulous sections of trail.
What is the history of Ross ( just 3 kms away ) that makes it so special to the coast?
Ross started life as a Gold town being Settled 1865 with a population peaking in 1909 at 2500 people! That year the 3.1kg “Roddy Nugget” was unearthed. Now days Ross is a sleepy town with just 300 living here, many are still working in the successful local gold mines. Nearby are public fossicking areas in town, or you might even find some on the beach at low tide with a pan! Tempting?