History of Amooran


When Frank Nichelsen was appointed head teacher of Narooma Public School in 1934 his wife Eleanor saw the potential of the vacant acre of land across the road. She knew the flood rains the previous January had disrupted camper’s holidays on the flat and saw the attraction of such a scenic position on the hill for holiday cabins.

Nell Nichelsen purchased the land for £500, called it the Ideal Auto Cabin Park and built the first cabin for Christmas 1936. Then with the help of her uncle Alf Richardson she built several more self-contained cabins around the perimeter for the block, each with its own lock up garage. Toilets, showers and laundry were in a block in the centre with the boiler room which had a stack of wood to burn for hot showers. By 1940 she had 16 simple fibro cabins all painted different colours with timber floors, a fuel stove, running water from a tap in the wall with a bucket and a single electric light that lit the two bedrooms and living space as walls did not go to ceiling height.

In 1962 Nell’s grandson John Burbidge came back to Narooma to help and in the 1970’s John and brother Henry together with Nell formed a company and between 1975 and 1980 developed the site, demolishing the old cabins and building the complex known as Amooran Court. The building, originally a complex of 27 one-bedroom self –contained holiday units underwent a major refurbishment during the years 1996 to 2006 resulting in Amooran Oceanside as it is today. John still plays an active role in the family business now running for over 80 years.

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