Our 35 Year History

Marion HP History

Marion Holiday Park was established in 1981 by Alan and Gloria Rowett, with the support of Alan’s father, and has seen three generations of Rowetts work in the business. It was originally built as a Tennis Court Complex and Caravan Park, but today Marion Holiday Park offers its guests world-class facilities.

Over the past 35 years, the Park has grown significantly, offering a range of accommodation from Ensuite Cabins to the recently built Poolside Apartments, with state-of-the-art amenities for the ultimate in family comfort. The Park is now run by Gloria and Alan’s sons, Nick and Tim Rowett and visited regularly by Nick’s three children, the fourth generation of the Rowett family.

For a full history of the Park, from its beginnings as a commercial Rose garden, to the park it is today, click here.

The property was originally owned and managed by Ross Roses, Australia’s oldest rose specialist, established around 1902. The land was earmarked to be acquired by the State Government for the MATS plan (Metropolitan Adelaide Transport System) which never progressed, but Ross Roses were mobilised and moved to Willunga nonetheless.

This provided the Rowett family with an opportunity to procure the site. Initially, the majority of the land was set up as a Tennis Complex, aptly named “Roselands”, comprising of four indoor and five outdoor courts. This development was a dream of the Rowett family’s sons Bill, Barry and Alan, who were supported by two financial partners.

There was some five acres remaining on the property, upon which the family agreed to build a Caravan Park. But who was going to build it, who was going to run it and who had the expertise?

The Rowett family who were fencing manufacturers and contractors had a “small building” license so they were happy to build and subcontract out the site. The other partner was an earthmoving company, so their skills were put to good use and the third were the previous owners of the land. It was a good, solid and compatible group. The only question that remained was determining who was going to manage the Park once built?

As it happened, Alan and his wife Gloria were moving back to Adelaide with their first child on the way, and jumped at the opportunity presented to them. Building and hands-on experience in this new industry appealed to them both and the Park presented them with the opportunity to establish the business and a livelihood for

themselves. They were also looking to establish a home for their family, though Alan and Gloria disagreed on this point.

Alan was a long time sailor. He met Gloria sailing in and around the United States and Alan thought they could live in the Park and buy a really nice boat with their hard earned money! However, Gloria put her foot down, saying, “No”, we’re going to spend that money on a house and live in a neighbourhood and commute to work.” And that’s what they did, working alongside Alan’s father, Clem, who loved the Park and worked in it until his death eleven years later, in 1992.

This proved to be a very good decision in retrospect as they have happily lived, worked and breathed life into the Park for 35 years. Over the years they have erected permanent accommodation, added pools, a water park and continued to update the park and its facilities.

Now their two sons Nick and Tim have taken over the business, growing and nurturing it into its future.

 The family - 1980s

The Family

Lagoon Pool

35 reasons to stay with the Rowett’s at Marion Holiday Park

Looking for a reason to stay at Marion Holiday Park? Well we can give you 35 of them!

  1. Family owned and run for 35 years
  2. Amazing, boutique accommodation, to suit all budgets, tastes and needs
  3. Only minutes away to the SA Aquatic Centre, where State, National and International events are held 
  4. 12km’s from Adelaide city and easy access to funky new bars , restaurants, art galleries and theatres 
  5. Close proximity to Flinders Uni and the world class Flinders Medical Centre
  6. Huge jumping pillow 
  7. Westfield Marion Shopping Centre is just a stones throw away with fashion stores, Cinemas, restaurants and more!
  8. Relaxing Lagoon Pool great for kids and adults
  9. Waterpark with slides for the kids (and the adults if your game)
  10. Indoor Heated pool for those cooler days
  11. Brand new architecturally designed apartments
  12. Close to the stunning white sand beach of Brighton
  13. Friendly staff to help make your stay relaxing and enjoyable
  14. Exotic garden surroundings. Why not have a chat with bushie off roader Geoff, our garden guru?
  15. Public transport conveniently located at the end of our driveway
  16. Private pool access right from your deck (Lagoon units and Poolside apartments only)
  17. Tranquil creek setting running alongside the Park, accessible to all guests
  18. A safe environment for kids to ride and scoot around the grounds
  19. Enchanting oasis with local wildlife within the grounds
  20. Only 10 minutes from the historic Glenelg precinct – Tram, Shops, Café’s, Bars, The Beach House, Jetty, Beach
  21. A range of food packages available at the reception including BBQ packs, Cheese and wine platters, breakfast baskets, kid’s packs and a mini bar)
  22. Easy access to the Expressway, so McLaren Vale wineries are only a short drive away
  23. An indoor games room for extra entertainment
  24. A full size, indoor tennis court for when you fancy a hit
  25. A central location where the Sightseeing options are endless – explore Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills, or Victor Harbor, just to name a few
  26. An indoor gym to keep you in shape, regardless of the weather!
  27. Courtesy bus to and from the Warradale hotel (well known for serving great cuisine)
  28. Intimate two person spa in our Bungalows and Retreats
  29. Barista style coffee available at reception
  30. A short walk to the Sturt River Linear Park for riding and walking paths
  31. Close to Adelaide Oval so you can catch all the major Adelaide sporting events
  32. Explore the Hallett Cove and Marino Conservation Park and take a coastal walk through geological sites dating back 280 million years
  33. Take the coastal road to historic Port Adelaide, on 30minutes away, with cobble stone streets, colonial buildings around the river and wharf
  34. Easy access to City-based events, including the Fringe Festival, Womad, Clipsal 500, Tour Down Under and the annual International Horse Event
  35. Access to all facilities offered by Marion Holliday Park, regardless of accommodation type booked, so the whole family can be eneteratined

Key things that happened 35 years ago

1981. It was a year of big hair, blue eye shadow and spandex. The glamour and excitement of the 80’s had kicked into gear, with some of histories most memorable moments taking place that year.

Of course 35 years ago, 1981 was also the year that Marion Holiday Park established and first opened its gates.

Click below to see a snap shot of some key moments from the year that was 1981.

Key Moments from 1981

  1. Marion Holiday Park was built by the Rowett Family
  2. Lady Diana Spencer married Charles, Prince of Wales
  3. MTV was launched in America
  4. Australia’s Prime Minister was Malcolm Fraser
  5. Olivia Newton-John sang her hit "Physical"
  6. ‘Wheel of Fortune’ premieres on the Seven Network, ‘Good Morning Australia’ premiered on Channel Ten and Channel Nine aired ‘A Country Practice’ for the first time
  7. IBM released the original 5150 IBM PC
  8. The world’s first combined heart-lung transplant was performed at Stanford’s Medical Center
  9. Rupert Murdoch bought The Times and The Sunday Times for £12 million.
  10. Trevor Chappell infamously bowled underarm in the final delivery of the game against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The delivery led to the banning of underarm deliveries in cricket.
  11. The History Trust of South Australia Act (1981) was established to encourage the research and public presentation of South Australian history and to safeguard South Australia’s material heritage
  12. Muhammad Ali finally retired with a career record of 55 wins and 5 defeats
  13. The first female Supreme Court Justice was appointed in the US
  14. Researchers found the wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic
  15. Future Australian cricket captain, Michael Clarke was born
  16. Revolutionary, Indira Gandhi was the first female Prime Minister of India
  17. Bob Marley passed away
  18. United States President Jimmy Carter was replaced by President Ronald Reagan on January 20
  19. The Hon. Sir Thomas Playford, the longest serving Premier of South Australia, died
  20. Raiders of the Lost Ark" and Chariots of Fire debuted in theaters across the world
  21. John McEnroe defeated Björn Borg to win Men’s Singles & Chris Evert Lloyd defeated Hana Mandlikova to win Lady’s Singles at Wimbledon
  22. England beat Australia in the Ashes
  23. Hits on our radios included Betty Davis Eyes (Kim Carnes), 9 to 5 (Dolly Parton), Endless Love (Diana Ross / Lionel Richie) and Jessie’s Girl (Rick Springfield)
  24. The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, was the Prime Minister of the UK
  25. Australia began the world's first community environmental movement, Landcare
  26. Port Adelaide defeated Glenelg at Football Park to win their 27th South Australian National Football League (SANFL) premiership
  27. The population of the Marion council area was 66,580. The 2011 Census recorded 82,991 people living in the area.
  28. The standard variable home loan intertest rate was between 11.5%-12.5% 
  29. The Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act 1981 was passed. This was a significant and historical act that gave land rights to Indigenous people
  30. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats opened in the West End. It has been running ever since!
  31. Britain was hit by a record number of tornados in one night; 105 tornados belted England, Ireland and Wales
  32. The first DeLorean DMC-12, later immortalised in the film Back to the Future, was produced in Northern Ireland
  33. Culottes came back into fashion
  34. The average house price was $66, 400
  35. Microsoft released MS-DOS

Share your #MarionHolidayMoments 

Have you stayed at Marion Holiday Park over the past 35 years? We would love to see some memories of your visit. Simply share photos on our Facebook page and tag the post #MarionHolidayMoments. 

Why not tag other guests that you stayed with, and let us know what was your special memory of your stay.


Our 35th Birthday celebrations

We will be holding our 35th Birthday party at the Park on Saturday 10th December. The event will be hosted by Cosi from Channel Nine’s South Aussie with Cosi.

All of our guests staying at the Park over the weekend, will be invited to our pool party complete with games, prizes, live music and food and drinks available. 

To join us, simply book to stay at Marion Holiday Park on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th December 2016. Click here to check out the different types of accommodation available.


Marion Holiday Park is 35 this year and we want you to celebrate with us.

Book in to stay during our Birthday Celebration in December or enter for the chance to stay during the birthday for free and meet Cosi from South Aussie with Cosi!

Create magical moments with loved ones and celebrate 35 years of fun with Marion Holiday Park!  


Win a chance to stay 'with' Cosi for MHP birthday event weekend 

Win accommodation for two adults and two kids for two nights in our spacious two bedroom bungalows on Friday 9th and Saturday 1oth December 2016. PLUS receive VIP entrance to our exclusive 35th Birthday celebration. You will receive food and drink at the event on Saturday 10th, and be in the draw for a chance to win loads of prizes on the day, not to mention a personalized meet and greet with Cosi from Channel Nine’s South Aussie with Cosi.

The competition opens 1 July 2016 and the winner will be drawn on 24 October 2016 and notified directly via email.


Great giveaways at our Birthday Party!

We will have some great prizes at our Birthday event, on Saturday 10th December.

If you join us for our birthday party and share your #MarionHolidayMoments picture from the event, you could win accommodation for two adults and two kids for two nights in our spacious two bedroom bungalows. The accommodation can be used between February 2017 – March 2017.

But you have to be in it to win it, so join us for the celebration on Saturday 10th December and book now!

Adelade Accommodation - Marion Holiday Park

Contact Marion Holiday Park

Accommodation in Adelaide

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any of your queries because, after all, we are here to make your stay the best it can possibly be and the most memorable holiday so far!

Call one of our friendly staff

(08) 8276 6695

Or e-mail us at info@marionhp.com.au

Call 8276 6695

Or even write to us at 323 Sturt Road, Bedford Park, SA, 5042

@ 2013 Marion Holiday Park - Adelaide Accommodation | Download Park Map | Terms and Conditions | Site by JABA

Adelade Accommodation - Marion Holiday Park