Tanyalla Recreation and Conference Centre caretaker David Wilson loves sitting in his secret spot and listening to mother nature. Pictured behind is the 1919- built hall with old school window frames common in those days.
Tanyalla Recreation and Conference Centre caretaker David Wilson loves sitting in his secret spot and listening to mother nature. Pictured behind is the 1919- built hall with old school window frames common in those days. Laura Mckee

Camp site an 'oasis in the middle of industrial chaos'

IT might just be Tannum Sands' best kept secret. It's described by manager David Wilson as an "oasis in the middle of industrial chaos".

Tanyalla Recreation and Conference Centre has been used by hundreds of people over the past 37 years for camps and getaways.

It sits on five acres of land owned which is owned by the Anglican Diocese of Rockhampton.

There are 33 rooms and 100 beds at the centre, a commercial kitchen, bush chapel, campfire site, a beach shower and a lot of extra space for activities.

Tanyalla was officially opened in October, 1978 but Mr Wilson and his wife Jenny believe it was used well before then too.

The couple has been voluntarily running the camp for eight years, transforming it from a run-down site to a well-maintained centre.

They've recycled a number of bed frames, railings, wood and panels from all around the region to make it a rustic, quirky place to stay.

It's the couple's piece of paradise.

"There are roos grazing everywhere and the kookaburras let you pat them. It's just lovely," Mr Wilson said.

"Jenny and I like to keep it natural. We are currently doing up all the rooms with 10 to go."

Mrs Wilson's father Ray Hall, a well-known figure in Gladstone and carpenter, helped the couple build frames and their residential kitchen.

The six dormitory buildings were originally built where Yaralla Sports Club is now.

They were used as men's accommodation and occupied by temporary QAL workers.

In the 1970s, the dorms were trucked to Tanyalla along with an old St Saviour's Anglican parish hall.

The parish hall was built in 1919 by William Golding Jr. It was used in the church until the 1970s and then installed at Tanyalla.

It is nearly 100 years old and now used as an activity hall, spilling with character.

Mr Wilson, a former human resource officer for Gladstone Regional Council, said the camp was an evolving work in progress.

"We would like to paint a mural on the old hall front with a scene from World War One," he said.

"We are tyring to get some funding to put some TLC into the outside, too."

HALL PATRONS:

  • School groups
  • Family reunions
  • Brooke-Daniels family
  • Embroidery groups
  • Boxers in a title fight
  • Youth Making a Difference group
  • Johnathan Thurston and an Indigenous football camp


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