In late February 2021, just before the fourth (of six) Victorian COVID lockdowns, the major renovation and expansion of the Araluen Lutheran Camp’s hall and new kitchen (at Anglesea) was completed at a then cost of $2.6m. it would now be $3.64m given material and labour cost increases!
We managed to host just 2 camps during 18 months from mid-March 2020 through to early October 2021. We had a brilliant new camp, and effectively no customers for 18 months. Despite some job-keeper assistance in quarter one of 2021, we lost $250k in 2021. We did manage to honour our commitment and kept all key personnel on staff during the harrowing 18 months – fortunately much of the work was done on the grounds preparation both pre and post the build.
In 2022, we welcomed over 10,000 guests! Camping came back with a bumper year, thanks in part to the Victorian Government’s Positive Start Program for schools that hadn’t had a camp in the last 3 years to be able to do so. This has meant we had a strong performance in 2022 – at Araluen, we made a surplus equivalent to the previous year’s loss ($260k), and repaid some short-term loans.
Amazingly, Tandara Lutheran Camp at Halls Gap mange to break-even in both 2020 and 2021, thanks to regional folks being able to camp for much of the time (and willing to do so, unlike our city cousins), also with thanks to Job-Keeper assistance. In 2022, thanks to camping being back in full swing and the Positive Start program, we achieved a surplus of $207k. This has helped Tandara now become debt free.
At both camps we have been able to survive and grow. We give thanks for our dedicated and hardworking camp teams, led by Darren Linke at Araluen (formerly the Tandara manager) and Justin Cozens at Tandara.
As a result of the unusually strong year in 2022 due to the Positive Start program, we have been able to self-fund the cost of installing reverse-cycle air-conditioning in all of the dormitories at both camps! The work at Tandara has just been completed, with the works at Araluen expected to be completed in August – ahead of summer.
Our lord has truly blessed us.
Please click on either of these two links to have a “fly-through” of each camp; you can pause by clicking your mouse.
Araluen [scroll down to 360 Virtual Tour]
Tandara [scroll down to 360 Virtual Tour]
We still have some available dates in 2023 and 2024, so we would welcome new and returning campers to our improved facilities – both sites provide full catering. The minimum group size is 40 persons off-peak, and 60 persons during peak season (Oct-Nov and late Jan to Easter).
There are special prices for Lutheran schools and Lutheran congregation and social groups receive a 20% discount. Spiritual (Lutheran) camps receive a 30% discount.
There is also a luxury self-contained “shack” available at Araluen for 12-21 people, although over 12 in the living room at once would be squeezy – for this reason the rates are around 50% of a holiday home with four bedrooms with ensuites and air-conditioning. For more details or bookings, contact the camp team on the website link above.