BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park has quite a history and before it became the thriving resort that it is today, it was a dairy farm and home to Thomas and Elizabeth East. The couple arrived in Australia in 1841 and Thomas was the first in the area to purchase his own property. With a family of six boys and six girls, the Easts milked the cows and sold handmade butter.
In 1901, their son George East married Nellie Rogers and the couple had one daughter and two sons. Their youngest son, Bruce, helped his father to manage the estate. By the time Bruce took ownership of the property, visitors were coming to gaze upon the natural beauty of what is now known as Easts Beach. When these visitors arrived with their tents, Bruce was more than happy to let them set up camp. Further travellers made their way to the secluded lagoon and whilst the dairy remained fully operational, both cows and campers shared the land in harmony. In the early days campers were charged 5/- a week or 1/- a night to stay at Easts Beach. The park was maintained to a high standard with pit toilets and cold showers provided for the guests. Campers were also treated to fresh milk and butter, courtesy of the East family and their dairy herd.
In 1935, Bruce met Bessie Fuller when her family’s vehicle broke down just outside Easts Beach. The family pitched their tent for the night and ended up staying for the whole of their vacation. A courtship began between Bruce and Bessie and in 1940 they were married. They had three sons – Robert, Alan and Phillip.
When Bruce retired, Robert and Alan oversaw the management of the park. Robert married Judith Blow in 1966 and after ten years at “Valley View” in Jamberoo they moved back to Easts Beach in 1974. When they first arrived they lived in a caravan for four years with their children Leanne and Darren. The family then moved into the house on the hill just before the arrival of their third child, Jennifer.
Sadly, Robert passed away in January 2006 after a battle with cancer. The park is now run by his children, Leanne, Darren and Jennifer. Judith still keeps a watchful eye over proceedings but is taking things easier these days. Having worked hard for many years she certainly deserves the rest, though with seven grandchildren she can still have her hands full.
Easts Beach is one of the largest and oldest parks in the country, boasting over 550 sites and a wide range of accommodation. From a dairy farm back in the 19th century, Easts Beach has grown into a glorious tourist destination that see’s loyal guests coming back again and again.
The full history of Easts Beach is available as a download here