Before we set off for our South Coast jaunt, we asked a friend who bought a house at Sussex Inlet if he could recommend a park. (We were stunned to see that there were about a dozen caravan parks in the area!)
He suggested Sussex Palms because he thought the owner had been doing a bit of work on the place. It wasn’t one of the ones right in the town centre, but that didn’t really worry us. I won’t write too much about it here, because it’ll be on our Reviews page – but we’ve found it to be a nice little park with a friendly owner. You won’t get a lot of interaction with other caravanners, though: there are only 5 powered sites in the whole park.
(I did read on Badger’s park reviews site that someone got the impression that Sussex Inlet was ‘where old caravans go to die’ – we can see why: we walked past or drove past quite a few of the parks, and there are lots and lots and lots… and lots… of very old vans!)
Back to Sussex Inlet. It’s a nice, sleepy little town (well, sleepy at the time of year we’re here, anyway). The population swells considerably in summer and the school holidays, and it’s all boats, boats and more boats. Well, what else would you expect, with the waterways here leading straight into St. George’s basin?
You can sit on the shore and watch small fishing boats, big fishing boats, old wooden boats, kayaks, tiny dinghies and even the local dragon boat crew, if you pick the right day. Right across the water is the iconic Christian’s Minde retreat/holiday accommodation, currently undergoing refurbishment by keen new owners.
At Sussex Inlet you’ll see kangaroos grazing at the side of the streets, and the fishing is good. (Let’s say the fishing is good for most people. He Who Cannot Catch a Fish Even When in the Company of an Expert isn’t most people. Say no more.)
If you like t-shirts and clothes from surf shops (or you know a relative or two who’d like a present) you’ll be happy to learn that the Ocean & Earth factory and outlet is right here in Sussex Inlet. Pay a visit and browse. We bought a nice t-shirt and trakky daks for our grandson.
The food here is worth a word or two. You can get good, inexpensive meals at the local RSL, right at the waterfront (we’ve eaten there a couple of times, on this and previous visits) but you really must try breakfast at the Jopen cafe in the middle of town. According to the local grapevine, the bloke who prepares the meals used to be the chef at the RSL, and that might account for why you get a wider choice than usual when it comes to breakfast: not just the usual Big Breakfast or bacon and eggs, but things like traditional lambs’ fry and hermit crab omelette. I couldn’t resist trying the Tanga toast: french toast drizzled in maple syrup, topped with sliced bananas, strawberries and walnuts, with an accompaniment of either sausage or bacon. Yum. I plan to cook that for breakfast myself sometime soon… stay tuned!
The food at the local bowling club and the pub is supposed to be okay as well. We probably won’t get to try them all this time, but next time… we’ll give it a go.
Our caravan park was right next to the Riverside Park, and just across the road was the SeaCrest Park. (The Riverside and the SeaCrest are both waterfront). We’re beginning to see how come there are so many caravan parks here – some of them are very small. All the ones we’ve seen (in the centre of town and down where we are) seem to have a lot of permanents. And a lot of cabins. I guess that’s the way things are going now: most parks seem to call themselves ‘holiday parks’ or ‘resorts’, not ‘caravan parks’.
All in all, Sussex Inlet is a pleasant seaside town with a good shopping centre and plenty of caravan parks to choose from. For caravanners:
- Indoor heated lap pool
- Movie theatre
- Boutique shops, newsagent, banks, clubs, pub, IGA, hardware store, Op Shop, craft shop
- Close to Jervis Bay, Hukisson, St Georges Basin and Booderee National Park.