We recently spent an enjoyable four days camping at Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park at Lennox Head in Northern New South Wales. The park featured a new amenities block, friendly staff and a great location next to Lake Ainsworth and Seven Mile Beach.
The Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park is a Big 4 Holiday Park, as well as being a North Coast Holiday Park. The holiday park is large and features unpowered tent sites, powered tent sites, powered caravan sites and cabins. There were a number of permanent caravans on site, but I understand that tenancies are gradually being phased out.
Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park camping sites
The clearly marked camp sites were a generous size, with unpowered tent sites ranging from 4.5 m x 14 m up to 7.3 m x 23 m, with most on the lake front around 8 m x 12 m.
While the sites facing Lake Ainsworth appear to be the more desirable sites on the map, locations around the back of Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park provide more shelter from the weather and less passing traffic. Some of the sites on the southern side of the holiday park also border Ross Street and houses along Barrett Street, with a high wooden paling fence separating campers from the homes.
This was the first time I have been camping where wind has come from nearly every point of the compass during our stay. Normally there is one predominant wind direction. I usually set up my camp site to suit the wind, and then do not need to change things for the rest of the stay. I suspect that it was just a seasonal weather pattern, but I had to reset my kitchen several times over our four-day stay to suit the wind direction.
Our camp site was far enough from the ocean beach to take the edge off the wind, but the camp sites at the back of Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park were much more sheltered. The camp sites at the back of the holiday park were also shadier.
On Friday evening and Saturday morning, there were many cars driving along Old Mining Road. The 50 km/h speed limit really should be lowered given how close it is to families camping in tents. We had to be careful that the kids did not stray out on to the road. In retrospect, one of the camp sites over the back of Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park would probably have suited our family better.
Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park facilities
The new amenities block in the middle of Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park was excellent — in fact, the best I have seen in a camp ground. The block also featured a family bathroom — a shower and toilet that dads can take young daughters, or mums can take young sons into. This is a feature that I would like to see at all family camping grounds. Unfortunately, we did not realise the family bathroom was available until the end of our stay. I think that you will need to ask for a key or a code to access the room.
Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park seemed to have limited provision for water and no provision for grey water disposal for tent sites. The only water tap seemed to be on the side of the new amenities block. There was also nowhere to dispose of water from washing up. Some other camp grounds have drains for the purpose, but most just have a convenient tree that can be watered. The unpowered camping area near Lake Ainsworth had few trees, so we ended up emptying our washing up water on the grass. I am sure that the birds cleaned up any food sediment left in the washing up water.
There were electric barbecues in the camp kitchen in the middle of the Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park camp ground, but again there was no provision to wash up dishes. The electric barbecues were cleaned every morning.
I was surprised that there was no kids’ playground in Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park or nearby. The closest playground we found was in the centre of Lennox Heads, about a kilometre away. Our kids had enough fun at the beach, without looking for playground equipment though.
The Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park reception service was friendly and efficient. When we had to cancel our first booking due to poor weather, they were accommodating in rebooking a new date. Thanks.
The Lennox Head Markets are held on the second Sunday of every month and fifth Sunday (when there it occurs). They are held on Pacific Parade beside Lake Ainsworth, north of Old Mining Road . The markets were busy, but that also meant lots of visitors parking on Old Mining Road beside our tent and walking by. Our quiet, camp site became a sideshow for several hours while the market was on.
Lake Ainsworth is tea tree stained and was cold when we were camping in early September. The couple of small sandy beaches were crowded, so we ventured down to the beach on most occasions. The beach was quite windy while we were there and the water cold. Our kids had great fun building sandcastles and ventured into the water a couple of times.
There was plenty of bird life around Lake Ainsworth. At any sign of food, seagulls flocked around the camp site. There was a solitary bush turkey who stole a loaf of wrapped bread and tore at it through the plastic before we realised what had happened. The few ducks in the area were my kids’ favourite and we occasionally threw them a scrap of bread when the seagulls were not around.
To see more photos of Lennox Head’s attractions, click here.