Gathering with friends and family around the enticing aromas of a barbecue is one of the most cherished Australian traditions. Cooking outdoors, surrounded by loved ones while meeting new friends in the splendour of nature, has woven itself into our cultural fabric. It is also an essential ingredient in the holiday park experience that guests expect and regard highly.
Let’s transport ourselves to the heart of this experience at Reflections Holiday Park in Evans Head. Nestled in the picturesque Richmond Valley, this haven is renowned for its kayaking, paddling and fishing opportunities along the crystal-clear waters of the Evans River. The experience has been elevated with the installation of various communal barbecue facilities supplied by the Australian manufacturer Christie Barbecues.
Reflections Holiday Park Manager Shane Ironside revealed how these Christie barbecues have transformed the park, adding a new dimension and multiple benefits to the business and the holiday experience.
He said that in the past, domestic barbecues posed challenges with cleaning, safety, accessibility, and energy consumption. These concerns have been addressed because Christie barbecues are well designed and tailor-made for communal and public use.
“We installed more than 20 barbecues and cooktops, which really enhance our holiday park facility,” he told us. Some barbecues are in outdoor areas, some on our cabins’ decks, and some in public places. Then we have others in our camp kitchens.”
He explained that the barbecues are much easier to clean, economical to operate, and have several built-in safety features, including switching off automatically after 20 minutes. The simple functions mean they are easy for visitors from all backgrounds to use. They also offer fantastic versatility, capable of cooking many different foods. Some cooktops even have hoods to be used as an oven.
He said: “Christie offers a range of cabinets, including stainless steel accessible options that are corrosion resistant and very popular with older visitors who like to sit while cooking. More importantly, their cooktops are self-contained appliances and easy to install, so we could easily integrate them into our camp kitchen and custom cabinets.
‘We love the Christie barbecues, they’re fabulous. They really enhance the experience for our guests and the members of the public who use the park. People enjoy using them, and they provide a more premium cooking experience for everyone. Buying Australian made products from a local manufacturer means we also get incredible after sales support from the Christie team.”
Christie Barbecues has been the market leader since 1965. Their expertise is in engineering self-contained cooking appliances that withstand heavy use and harsh outdoor environments that defeat most domestic and commercial barbecues. Their barbecue cooktops are made from 90 per cent recycled stainless steel. They are safer, more functional, versatile, and environmentally friendly than open fires.
Importantly, they are well suited to the Evans Head environment. Heavily engineered and manufactured from 90 percent recycled stainless steel unique to Christie, they offer complete corrosion resistance and ease of cleaning and maintenance.
Joe McKinnon, Account Manager at Christie Barbecues, explained how Reflections installed various Christie barbecue products throughout the holiday park to fit perfectly into the overall aesthetics and to take full advantage of the park’s unique environment.
“The aim was to create functional, inclusive, and accessible spaces that exceed all guests’ outdoor cooking expectations”, he said: “We installed barbecues on the balconies of the cabins that overlook the beautiful Evans River, looking out towards the beachfront.
“The cabin barbecues were a custom installation. Architects designed the cabinetry, and we supplied the cooktops and sinks. They were built specifically to fit that space, blend in with the cabin’s architecture, and maximise the free space for guests. The barbecues look great and function well, and we worked with Reflections to deliver a top product they are delighted with.”
“They are in a picturesque setting and provide a wonderful place for guests to sit around and eat while enjoying the views. The cabins are all very modern and have a large open space on the balcony, where the barbecues really add another dimension.”
“We also installed our A Series accessible barbecues in the holiday park’s new play space to provide universal access for all BBQ users”, he said.
The A Series won design awards in Australia and the USA and is included in the Permanent Design Collection of The Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design. It is wheelchair-accessible and adheres to strict accessibility standards, providing a safe and inclusive communal cooking space. The barbecues’ design allows seated users to cook but prevents children from reaching hot surfaces. The cabinet is made entirely from 90 percent recycled stainless steel, and the contemporary design and seamless finish display no visible fixings.
“The A Series barbecue cabinets integrate well into the space at Reflections. They encourage people to stay longer and develop that sense of community around cooking food,” Mr McKinnon said.
Reflections also installed Christie’s robust Modular barbecue cabinets in their camp kitchen. Mr Ironside said: “Installing these barbecues has transformed the environment, encouraging longer stays and nurturing a sense of community through shared meals. Whether on the balcony of cabins with river views, watching the children in the play space, or within the camp kitchen, the barbecues have seamlessly become an integral part of the Reflections experience.”
The Christie Barbecues at Reflections has produced a tale of enhanced camaraderie, embracing nature, and forging memories through the simple joy of cooking and dining together.
*Words and case study article cited from Accommodation News Spring 2023 Edition