A day out with... Grant Wilckens

Last updated 25 Jan, 2023

Adventure does not just await at Discovery Holiday Parks and the G’Day Group’s 280 accommodation locations across the country for Grant Wilckens. 

It also calls from back home in Adelaide.The Discovery Holiday Parks and G’Day Group Chief Executive Officer says there are countless small businesses across Adelaide worth visiting. 

The G’Day Group and Discovery Holiday Parks Chief Executive Officer says there are countless small businesses across Adelaide worth visiting.

Among some of his favourites include Alec’s Hairdresser on Leigh Street, Bai Long Store on Hutt Street and Lime 2 Café near his Light Square office.

“Small businesses bring so much benefit to the city, particularly now,” Grant says.

“We’ve seen Adelaide open up with the laneways with everything from coffee shops to barbers to bars – they are such an important contributor to the economy in Adelaide.”

Grant has been visiting Alec Hairdresser for more than 30 years for a fresh cut and now brings his son to iconic Leigh Street barber.

Alec — sometimes nicknamed Figaro from the opera Barber of Seville — has been on the tools for almost 50 years, starting his business not long after moving to Adelaide from Italy.

Over the years he has clipped the hair of clients including Jay Weatherill, Barry Humphries, George Kapiniaris, Kevin Pietersen and Guy Sebastian.

“Where else can you spend $25 and get a fantastic coffee, haircut and amazing amount of banter — I just love all the chat with all the guys here,” Grant says.

“Alec is such a good man … everyone that walks out of here is laughing and has a great time.”

Bai Long Store is a modern Asian Fusion restaurant on Hutt Street with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.

Among dishes on the menu include Crispy Tofu with mapo vege, shitake and black fungus, king prawn with XO crumb, salmon roe, brown butter kohlrabi and burnt leek and lamb rib grilled with sweet chilli soy caramel, infused apple and mint salad.

“My kids love it as well because there are dumplings and then there are duck pancakes … we fell in love with it (the restaurant),” Grant says.

“The food is awesome and there is so much to choose from.”

Grant also enjoys Lime 2 Café on Light Square for a quick pick-me-up during the working day.

His 100 or so staff on the books, who work across two and a half floors of office space, also enjoy a quick stop at the café.

“It has good coffee, really great hospitality and friendly staff,” Grant says.

“It is a little small business that probably did it tough during COVID-19, but I guess in hospitality a friendly nature makes people come back.”

Discovery Holiday Parks and the G’Day Group, founded in Adelaide back in 2004, is the largest owner and operator of holiday parks across the country.

Its parks across the country come under two brands Discovery Holiday Parks, which are 100 per cent owners, and licensed network Top Parks.

Grant is also the chair of the Chair of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia and Board Director of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

Watch his ADLocal video here.