Seachangers Take Over Northern Tasmanian Tourism Business

16 Nov 2023
Words Hamish Geale The Examiner

Seachangers Take Over Northern Tasmanian Tourism Business

The small town charm of a Northern Tasmanian tourism business has won over new mainland owners.

Sydney couple Craig Chobdzynski and Tracey Davenport-Catlin, both in their early 50s, have left long-term jobs to take over the Low Head Tourist Park.

An engineer and primary school teacher respectively, the duo are keen to get to grips with the increasingly popular accommodation business.

“I suppose I just got tired of banging my head against the corporate wall,” Mr Chobdzynski said.

“We’ve always enjoyed staying in caravan parks as a family and one day we said, ‘We could do this. This could be our own thing’.

 “We don’t come from the hospitality industry but were willing to jump in and have a really good crack at it.”

Mr Chobdzynski said the location felt “a million miles” away from the hustle and bustle of inner city living.

“Within a few hours of being in Low Head, the stress of being in a big city just evaporates,” he said.

“Some of my corporate friends have said, ‘You’re doing what I’d love to do’. Not that there isn’t work to be done, but they’ve said, ‘you’re basically stepping into an early retirement’.”

Previous owners Paul and Sarah Hickling had run the business for the past nine years.

Mrs Hickling grew up in Melbourne, but spent about four years in the Derwent Valley as a young teenager which inspired the return to Tasmania.

Reflecting on nearly a decade at the helm, Mrs Hickling said she was grateful for the chance to be a stay-at home parent while bringing in an income.

The family plans to stay in the George Town area despite selling the business.

“People fall in love with Tassie,” she said. 

“Over the years, it’s been really rewarding to see many of our guests who’ve come to stay with us on holiday return. Some have even bought houses here, like we have.

“Tasmania has that effect on people.”

The tourist park has 18 cabins, 46 powered sites, several permanent residences, and is located just a short drive from beaches and the Low Head lighthouse.

ResortBrokers’ Marissa von Stieglitz said she believed the area was “about to boom”. 

“George Town is just three minutes' drive away and is emerging as one of Tasmania's most exciting mountain biking destinations,” she said.

“The nearby Bell Bay industrial area also has a substantial amount of infrastructure planned which will require workers' accommodation over the next few years.”

Back to Blog