Ilfracombe - Come and share our wonderful town. You're most welcome!
Thanks for the wonderful comments during your visit to our town. Thanks also to those that have helped get this site online! If you have been out to this wonderful town and enjoyed your stay, please fill in the 'contact us' form, supplying your names, year and month if you can, and we'll put your comments on this page.

We received this story from the daughter (Kim Burns), of a lady known as Thunderous Thora and thought we'd share it with the public.

My mother, Thora is a grandchild of Harry & Mary-Anne. My mother is 93 yrs and still alive. Within her immediate family, my mother’s nick name is “Thunderous Thora” – she loved attention as a small child and has not changed as she has aged!
She walks into a room and simply takes over!

Mum has stories of her life growing up in Blackall- she was the baby of 4 children. Her mother, Ivy , was very busy as she raised the children, was a seamstress for the local community and also took in washing and mending when times were tough. So the family, mainly my Aunty Vesper, trained a German Shepherd dog called Duke, to carry mum’s school bag to school in his mouth and make sure that Thora got to school in one piece! Duke was at the school gate to meet mum every afternoon when school got out and would carry the school bag home in his mouth and he would make sure that Thora didn’t get distracted and get up to mischief on her way home! She had quite a reputation!

She has many stories about staying and visiting Langenbaker House. My parents visited Uncle Bernie in the late 1980's and we have photos of them all. My mother tells a story about Christmas Day - they had come across from Blackhall and there were so many people and especially children. My mother, Thora was trying to get attention from her grandparents, but there were too many children for them to notice her. So at 4 yrs of age, she went out to the peppercorn tree, climbed it and proceeded to place peppercorns up her nose. She pushed them in so hard that they actually went into her sinuses. So mum got lots of the Dr in another town, who was not impressed at having to sort out my precocious mother on Christmas Day! Thora missed all the food and festivities!! Thora now lives in a suburb of Sydney, supported by myself.

I really enjoyed my stay at Ilfracombe Caravan Park. I travelled with a group of relatives, and Cathy made us feel welcome from the moment we arrived. She was a great help assisting me into a tight van parking spot and later that night was a great entertainer at Happy "Hour". I plan to return and will definitely recommend this place to other travellers! I think it has been the friendliest park that I have stayed in. Ian. July 2017.
Ian - Pinkenba

My husband and I heard that things were tough at Ilfracombe so we made sure we filled up our water tanks in the caravan, took a big bucket for the grey water to go into and each day we used the water to help keep plants alive. We had an added bonus when we opened our power box lid to find 4 big green frogs all huddled in to keep cool. It was the best stay in March we've had so far. We've been staying at Ilfracombe Caravan Park with Cath and Jesse for many years but this time we gave back and boy, did it feel great!
Norma & Bert - Tasmania

Great place to stay booked two nights , checked out Longreach caravan parks , all so large , so we decided to stay longer . The open spaces were perfect for our small dogs to have a bit of freedom. Now the happy hour , haven't laughed so much for a long time . Regards to all.
Jo & Dick
Third visit to the area but only first time at Ilfracombe CP, should have stayed here every time. From the time we arrived for our four nights its been a fabulous experience, great reception, friendly staff, good facilities and wonderful Happy Hour (all much longer then an hour). Thanks Cathy and gang.
Janet & Michael Kuilboer June.
Caravan Park hosts are great people. Loved the poetry & Cathy tells a great yarn. Wish I could remember her jokes. Town is well presented & the meal at the Wellstead was excellent.
Margaret & Terry Vines - Lalor - June. 

Only stayed overnight at Ilfracombe, but the memories of the good time and the great hosts we had at this van park will last a long time!!
David & Gail McKeown

The best outback park that makes one feel at ease, plenty of space, clean, tidy, friendly people. Great Happy Hour, laugh till tears come, added touch with nibbles.
Rhoda & Dennis Grant

What a great town in the outback, the caravan park in Ilfracombe is one of the best in Australia, happy hour is fantastic, owners and all the family are friendly, you couldn't meet nicer people. The van olympics are a laugh a minute, Jesse & Cathy's poems and jokes are great, wouldn't stay anywhere else in the area but here. This is our 5th time here in the town and we will definitley be back again in 2014.  All people in town are friendly. 
Fay & Kevin Turnbull

We would just like to say what a wonderful time we have had at the Ilfracombe caravan park. We have never laughed so much for ages when we went to two nights 'happy hours', Cath and Jesse were fabulous, we will pass on to as many fellow caravaners to make sure they stop at Ilfracombe caravan park. Thank you all for a wonderful stay!
Kerry & Brian O'Hara - May

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Judy - China tour guide - May

"Just got home to Melbourne after a rushed 7 week trip up North. Stayed at your park for a couple of nights rather than go into Longreach. Had a wonderful stay. Would have lingered if time permitted. Recommened Park to everyone we spoke to. Thanks for Happy Hour with Cath. Most enjoyable hour or so ever spent. Will be back!"
Bill Cowan - Watsonia - VIC

"This is one of the friendliest van parks we have stayed at, both in the bush or on the coastal strip, good country courtesty and friendliness. Also this country 'sheila' is one of the funniest entertainers we have seen for a long while. Great poems, jokes that are right on with the iconic deadpan that goes with great story telling. Recommended stay even if it makes for a short day or a long day to get there"
Kelly & Kate Logan - Toowoomba
"This has to be the best caravan park we have ever stayed at. The entertainment alone will bring us back. We intend to spread the word about this park to as many people as we can. Please keep up the good work. It was really worth the money. Everything was a plus".
Alan & Sue Reilly - Swansea, NSW

"Our second visit here staying at the Caravan Park. Wouldn't miss happy hour with Cathy, family (and guests) for quids, fantastic fun... what great performers!
Clair & Den Greenwell.
"Ilfracombe caravan park is the best place to relax put up your feet and enjoy happy hour. The entertainment from Jesse & Cathy is to been seen to be believed. A dvd should be made and available for purchase at the park. Never laughed so much in all my life."
F Turnbull

“The level of service from everyone I came into contact with at Ilfracombe was fantastic. Having been a visitor for many years, I am consistently impressed by the friendliness and warmth of every person I have come in contact with. Thank you!”
Sarah Evans

"Once you have discovered the Ilfracombe Van Park, you'll be so glad you stayed...we have travelled west in winter since '04, and have chosen this friendly little park.

Each year we notice improvements...Owner/operators Cathy & Jesse Hitson, both born and bred in the west, ensure their guests enjoy genuine bush hospitality...Cathy personally registers every visitor, sometimes with the help of an on-site care-taker..., she will stroll with you around the park to choose just the right site for your needs..and if necessary, assist you into the site...The staff will then familiarise you with the many attractions of the town, telling you a brief history of Ilfracombe, and include a well marked walking map giving you an easy stroll to see, all Ilfracombe has to offer, and all completely FREE of charge...the unique machinery mile including all things mechanical from the eighteen hundreds thru to present day... historic homesteads and cottages.
The park has gravel sites for vans - several drive thru - and grassed areas for tents and campers..realistically, if you want grassy van sites, the drought stricken west is not the place to be travelling... The amenities are clean with adequate hot water...and this year a new amenities block was being added..the laundry is large and airy with ample clothes lines.

The park has security lighting, and concrete paths around the 'wet areas' "The Shed" with it's huge open fireplace is the heart of the park, and each night it pulses to the laughter of park guests who are encouraged to bring along their beverage of choice, and join in the 'best happy hour in the west'..their hosts providing nibblies free of charge... Any travelling minstrel, bush poet or even Australia's Gum Leaf Whistling Champion has been known to hold the floor...and several nights a week, Jesse (Cathy's other half) recites bush poetry in his own unique fashion, and tells tall tales and true, keeping everybody laughing til their jaws aches... Let the caretaker know you'd like to bbq dinner, or use your camp oven and he will stoke up the fire ready for the many guests who choose to cook in the shed after 'happy hour' and eat at the provided tables and chairs sharing travelling tips and experiences.

Ilfracombe is only a short 20 min drive to Longreach..your park receipt will afford you discount fuel at Shell Longreach, and with a smile, Cathy will tell you how to get an exra discount on your groceries...this more than makes up for the travelling to and from the added attractions Longreach has to offer... base yourself at Ilfracombe, and you can have the best of all worlds... before you leave, dont forget to wet a line in the Thomson River, and catch a yellowbelly (golden perch) to toss on the barbie that night...'you gotta love it' :)"
Kev and Jan

“In this day and age, it’s hard to find a reliable referral for holiday information you can trust. Ilfracombe was recommended to me by a great information centre in Atherton who seemed to know all there was to know about this great town and now I know why – the quality of service I received was outstanding. Keep up the good work!”
James & June Sullivan

“Ilfracombe is situated 27kms east of Longreach. You feel you belong as soon as you pull in. With a get together and entertainment and nibbles every evening during the tourist season. A very friendly park. Booked for one night stayed for three! Only wished we had stayed there while we did the Longreach attractions as it would have been far more pleasant and cheaper too. Don’t drive past this one.”
Wendy Kleeman