Campers agree, Kiama's the place to be

Young holidaymakers enjoy the bouncing pillow at Easts Beach Holiday Park. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
Young holidaymakers enjoy the bouncing pillow at Easts Beach Holiday Park. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
Wendy Whittles and daughter Stephanie.

Wendy Whittles and daughter Stephanie.

Betty, Irwin, Isaac and Angel Amir.

Betty, Irwin, Isaac and Angel Amir.

Sleepy Kiama is in the throes of a pumping tourism trade, with caravan sites bursting to capacity.

Some holiday-makers have already laid down a deposit for next year's stay, to secure the same caravan site.

Would-be first-timers to the sites are having a hard time finding a vacancy in 2013.

All 200 of the sites at Easts Beach Holiday Park are occupied, including the patch where Wendy Whittles and her 18-year-old daughter Stephanie have pitched their tent for the past 17 summers.

"Originally we came down with friends but now we've just made friends down here," Mrs Whittles said, motioning to her neighbours, "Barry and Ros".

"We used to come for a week. Now we stay for two."

The park's front office manager, Trish Field, said word of the village's charms was well and truly out.

"Kiama does constantly get busier and busier," she said.

"Being a little coastal town, as people cotton on to it they tell their friends and families, and it continues to grow."

Isaac and Angel Amir, of Mount Druitt, started vacationing at Surf Beach Holiday Park 30 years ago, when the eldest of their four children, Irwin, was 14 years old.

Today about 40 members of the family visit, including Irwin, his wife Betty and their own children.

The families occupy two caravan sites. Isaac and Angel stay for six weeks but their children and grandchildren come and go, spilling into the common areas or staying in a nearby hotel when there is overflow.

Irwin Amir said the laid-back pace of the village had made it an enduring holiday tradition.

"We eat, we sleep. We eat, we go to the beach, we eat ... " he said.

"It's close to home so if you need to go home, you can."

Angel Amir believes the village has grown busier and better serviced since the family's first holidays there.

"Every year it's getting more popular - there was only one or two coffee shops, if that, when we [began visiting]," she said.

Surf Beach Holiday Park manager Leonie Loiterton said about 75 per cent of the park's guests were return visitors.

They are offered the chance to rebook their site before it is made available to newcomers, who have already started trying to book for next year.

"I'm having to tell [newcomers] to ring me back," Mrs Loiterton said.