Bridgewater means a spot of relaxation

Updated November 7 2012 - 3:20am, first published January 6 2010 - 10:53am
SKI: Kaye Sheldon says the river is a big attraction. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
SKI: Kaye Sheldon says the river is a big attraction. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

WHAT a beautiful place to spend an afternoon c that’s how Rural and Regional Development Minister Jacinta Allan described the swimming hole at Bridgewater.Every summer people flock to the Loddon River to cool off during the holidays.Others sit watching water-ski boats go by as they sip on a cold can of beer - life is slow and very pleasant.The tourism business has been solid in Bridgewater this season.Business people say they are noticing more visitors making the trip from Bendigo every year.Kaye Sheldon, who runs the Bridgewater Tourist Park, said early bookings were down but last-minute bookings were well up.“We have been busy - a lot more people are leaving their bookings to the last minute.”With money being an issue, families were holidaying closer to home and could afford to stay longer.“The river is helping us, as there is no water elsewhere to ski on.”Ms Sheldon said most of her guests were from Geelong, Ballarat and Melbourne, but she had noticed an increase in visitors from Bendigo during the four years she has run the park.Public Caravan Park manager Doug Gilbert said trade had been down a little yet was still healthy and strong.He too had noticed an increase in guests from Bendigo.“It is a cheaper option for some in Bendigo.“Even though it is close, it still gives them a chance to get away and do some fishing, skiing or swimming.”Loddon Bridge Hotel proprietor John Stubbs said business was busier than at this time last year.“We’ve been busier especially with meals - we have a lot of families coming in.’’As well as patronage from the two caravan and camping grounds, plenty of people were calling in for meals on their way to and from holidays across the region.“Trade has improved over the two years I have been here.”

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