I don’t want to lose my small town spirit to holidaymakers! 107



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It might sound silly but I am feeling a bit of resentment for the holidaymakers and holiday home owners in my small town. I live in a small beachside town which is a popular tourist destination in summer and over Easter. I love that, don’t get me wrong. But over the years my little town has turned crazy.

I first moved to my town in the 80s and purchased a small three-bedroom home with my husband and son. We have lived there ever since but times have changed since we were the only house on our sandy little street! I used to really enjoy the tourist season from September-May. The main drag was a hive of activity with rodeos, festivals and markets. It made our town so lively and everyone looked happy.

That was before we were featured on a popular tourism TV program and swamps of people congregated. That was about a year ago and business has been booming for the small businesses but the mess the crowds leave is extraordinary. The small business owners say to me they wish that sometimes there weren’t as many people because when they do prepare for the boom, the tourists get boisterous and almost every year a window and/or car of theirs gets broken into. They’ve had cash and goods stolen year on year and say sometimes it isn’t worth it for the extra money they get.

It’s a lot of stress on the older generation that live here too. Our once serene beachfront gets blocked out by the huge crowds and by sunset it’s covered in rubbish which we feel we need to clean up as the council only visits once a week.

I know there’s probably a lot of people out there who have lived in a small town at least once in their lives, so I can’t understand when people tell me I should just move! This is my home and I want that small town spirit to live on in me and make it my mission to keep our little town thriving and preserved for generations to enjoy. It’s hard though when there’s a minority who taint my memories of summers gone by.


I wonder if other people have been in my situation where their little town changed but not for the better? Are you nostalgic for the past like me? 

Guest Contributor

  1. I’m sure there are a core of people like you who can meet together and keep the spirit alive. I have seen plenty of small towns die, and facilities and services move away. That is sad too. You still have the sunset to enjoy, and the sand and sea all year round. Feel sorry for the people who only have it for a short while.

  2. I understand how you feel as a resident. However, businesses in those small coastal towns thrive on summer holidays and long weekends. They make a killing. That helps them get through the winter months. It also provides extra employment for the town during those busy times.

    I think your biggest problem is, surprise, surprise, your council.

    5 REPLY
    • I think the biggest problem is NO RESPECT by a percentage of the holiday-makers visiting that area – and many other areas.

    • People’s disrespect is the issue. They leave rubbish behind and cause damage to property. A lack of behavioural standards.

    • That’s true Ros And Sandra, but the council are well aware of what people do and should not allow the residents to sit in the mess for a week. People pay high rates to live in coastal areas. They deserve better services.

    • My partner works in a small town that is inundated by holiday visitors through the peak times and there are way too many that believe we are country hicks & treat you with disdain & rudeness. They talk down to you and are basically rude (not all but the ones that do make it a VERY unpleasant time of year)
      Does not help integration if they leave their rubbish that is disgusting and unacceptable.

  3. This happens & will continue to happen until tourists learn to clean up their own messes

  4. Have the same problem.Don’t mind the holidaymakers but hate their lack of respect for others,noise ,rubbish etc.I love our little town but hate to see it trashed.

  5. Many small country towns are begging for the nomads to come through and spend some time and money there. This keeps the township going. Obviously, your town is doing quite well without the influx of visitors. If it is only for part of the year, think of the positives. I am sure the local businesses benefit and the benefits spread out to all in the long run.

    2 REPLY
  6. I look at the Central Coast of NSW which was a joy to visit, and was once mostly bushland. Now it’s wall to wall suburbia as Sydney has expanded.So be thankful your little town is only invaded seasonally and pray they don’t decide to move in. Also, make a big noise about lack of council services.

    1 REPLY
    • after decades of holidaying on the Central Coast we made the seachange although still travelling to Sydney for work for 10 years. We have seen the demolition of the homes that gave character to our area, be replaced by 2 storey monsters and those responsible saying how the whole atmosphere has changed. fibro and weatherboard cottages gave this laid back appeal and were affordable.Apartment blocks now fill the sky line..maybe too late for us but fight to preserve what you have.

  7. One of the reasons that we moved from Byron Bay was the influx of tourists, but in hindsight I wish that we had stayed, beneath the madness is still the beauty. Hang in there if you love your town.

    3 REPLY
    • Live just outside Byron. Agree completely. If only they wouldn’t illegally street camp, get drunk, get noisy and leave their trash, including human waste in our streets!

    • Ha ha yep any coastal holiday place exactly the same , its a sespool they come play up wreak havoc and go

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