During a recent visit to Western Australia I was able to spend some time with Graeme Watson (known to all as ‘Watto’) at his property – Forest Edge Recreation Camp.
The original camp was destroyed by wildfire in Jan 2016 and somewhat incredibly it has been rebuilt and is back to full operations within 12 months of that devastating event. This has required a phenomenal amount of work from Graeme and Sonia, but as a result they have been able to retain their client base and keep the disruption to their business down to a minimum. While the site and surrounding forest has been obviously damaged by the fire, the site has been cleaned up with new access roads and parking areas and is looking very presentable.
The camp is quite unusual in that it is comprised of a single building housing guest accommodation, kitchen, dining and even an indoor basketball court. Schools love it because it allows for easy student supervision, everything is in one place and the design really encourages a sense of community. The building is divided by the colour scheme based on the uniforms of the West Coast Eagles and the Freemantle Dockers – sure to arouse controversy!
There are a range of excellent ropes elements scattered throughout the property, each carefully placed to ensure that they are not visible from each other and each taking advantage of the dramatic views across to the coast – as does the outdoor eating area. Overall, a lovely site and a testament to some seriously hard work following a natural disaster, Graeme, Sonia and their team are to be commended on their physical and emotional stamina, as well as their commitment to camping in WA.