Shelly Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park is proudly NZ owned and operated by the McFarlane family.
Stuart, Sue, Aaron & Brad originally fell in love with Shelly Beach back in 2017 when they were searching for a family bach in the Coromandel. However, the ‘bach’ they stumbled on came with a fully functional Holiday Park operating in the backyard. Since then, the Tractor selling family have had to learn the ins-and-outs of the Holiday Park game. They enjoy the people you meet and the rush you get when people also fall in love with Shelly Beach like they originally did. They have a strong commitment for creating “Memories for Life” with a strong family focus – and a goal is keep making Shelly Beach better and better for our guests.
The day to day park operations is managed by our wonderful Dutch and Kiwi duo of managers, Maaike and Mike, who bring a wide range of tourism experience to the park. Maaike is the friendly face that will usually greet you at check-in and Mike will be out on the lawnmower looking after our 7 acres of grounds. Dave and Sue, cover Mike and Maaike’s days off, and along with our support crew – we are always here to ensure you have an enjoyable stay.
You will still see the McFarlane’s hand on in the park with Aaron will be working hard in reception and behind the scenes, Stuart usually cruising the park in his RTV checking water supplies are OK, Sue will be the chatting to guests (and giving away the ice-creams to the kids!), and Brad usually comes in to help over the peak of summer. You might meet Aaron’s wife Jennifer and their two young kids, Lachlan and Annabel enjoying ‘their’ beach, pool or playground during your stay.
In 2020, the McFarlane’s purchased the iconic Anglers Lodge to operate alongside Shelly Beach as its sister park. Based in Amodeo Bay 12 kilometres north of Shelly Beach we now have extra campsites and motel units available, plus operate a 7.5 metre charter boat that we can take our guests out on a half or full day fishing charter. Our support staff are shared between the two properties.
We have some key focuses for our holiday park and business:
Ensure guests make Memories for Life.
Supporting Local and give back to our community where possible.
Encourage sustainability practises in all our operations.
Focus on becoming Predator Free NZ with trapping efforts in the park.
Be some of Coromandel’s leading holiday parks.
Kikowhakarere Bay & Shelly Beach Holiday Park
In the 1830s the economic potential of the Coromandel district’s native timber resource attracted Coromandel’s first European inhabitants including John Callaway who was a ship’s carpenter who arrived at Kikowhakarere bay in the late 1840s. He set up a Kauri tree milling operation at Kikowhakarere Bay.
He built the Callaway House where Callaway was given permission to take the kauri for the house on the basis that he also built a house, and flour mill for the local chief, Paora Te Putu. As well as house building, Callaway was known as a boat builder and he built several schooners and cutters in the 1850s and 1860s. Callaway House is still standing and is the oldest house on the Coromandel Peninsula. It is located next to Shelly Beach TOP 10 on the beachfront. The house is currently undergoing restoration by its current owners.
More attraction to Coromandel was the first gold rush when in October 1852 Charles Ring who had been on the California goldfields and his brother Frederick found some gold flakes on the banks of Driving Creek. The government leased land from the local Maori, but accessible alluvial gold ran out after a month. A great watercolour by Charles Heaphy, ‘Committee at Patapata’ shows Kikowhakarere Bay looking down from above onto a bustling scene with huts, tents and other temporary shelters, canoes drawn up on the beach and many Maori and Pakeha, with both canoes and European boat and ships out in the harbour at the opening of the Coromandel Gold Fields.
Over the years, Kauri populations dropped back due to deforestation and gold finds diminished. Remains of mines and batteries can still be seen along the associated walks. In the peak of the gold rush days, during 1880 through to the early 1900s, the population of Coromandel was well over 12,000 and had 19 hotels. Some of the old buildings are still standing today.
At the latest census in June 2020, the population was 1,760 people with the key industries for the area now are fishing, mussel farms, and tourism.
History on the campground is pretty limited, but it was first opened as a commercial campground in 1987, and over the years grew to what is now spread on 7 acres of park like grounds.