Nelligen's Big4 Holiday Park manager has been "blown away" by the number of visitors they have welcomed since staff reopened the facility on June 1.
Manager Tod Sutherland said nothing would make up for what was lost during the usual peak season between Christmas and Easter. But now, every booking helped.
Usually, by the middle of winter, about 10 people would stay at the park on a weekend. However, since the start of June, weekends have seen the park nearly full.
"We had people who come here every year this time of year, and say there's usually no one here," Mr Sutherland said.
"The people here have blown us away.
"I'm glad to have the people back and glad staff are back earning an income."
The last six months of fires, flood and the COVID-19 pandemic was a tough way to start Mr Sutherland's new job. After careers in hospitality and insurance, he made the move from Newcastle the weekend before the Currowan fire ignited. It was his second day as manager when holidaymakers at the caravan park first evacuated on November 26.
During the second evacuation, on New Year's Eve, there were nearly 400 people at the park.
"We went around the night before and let everyone know they might have to leave," Mr Sutherland said.
"We had people leaving at 2am in the morning because the fire was coming over the hill."
Most visitors took refuge in town, but Mr Sutherland, who lives on site, stayed, as did the previous managers of the park.
He said the fire was the scariest thing he had ever seen.
"We were on the riverside, and a wall of smoke came up the river," Mr Sutherland said.
"15 minutes later it was pitch black. We couldn't see our hands in front of us and there were embers shooting out of the sky all over the place.
"We were putting out embers in between the villas."
Mr Sutherland said it was lucky there were no tents on site, otherwise there would have been more than just burnt grass: "I don't know how we didn't get any damage."
After the park lost power that day, Mr Sutherland closed for about two weeks.
"We were totally shut down," he said.
"We (Nelligen) are not on town water. All the toilets and showers run off power so the amenities weren't open."
He recalled jumping into the swimming pool for a "bath".
Without telecommunications, and with the Kings Highway closed, he felt the town was isolated.
"We couldn't get into town (Batemans Bay) either, so the highway was shut and we had no communication at all," Mr Sutherland said.
"There was a long period where we didn't have a clue what was going on.
"(The park's) owners couldn't get in contact with us. They were obviously worried about us. The fires were still around."
He said heavy smoke just became normal.
"You'd wake up in the morning and there'd be smoke; there'd be smoke all day; you go to bed and there'd be smoke," he said.
When power came back, Mr Sutherland opened up the park's doors to anyone who needed their facilities.
"There were people showering, they were doing their washing," he said.
"We opened the doors to anyone who needed help."
Opening for Australia Day brought brief relief.
"It was a good crowd; people just wanted to get away," he said. "People were still eerie with the fires. It was cleared up by then but it was smokey for months."
Then by Monday, February 10, the rains arrived.
"On the Monday morning we knew there was a king tide coming," Mr Sutherland said.
"At 8 o'clock in the morning, the water started coming over the banks."
Visitors were again told to evacuate.
"By 11 o'clock, the majority of the place was under water," he said.
"We got flooded out so we had to close again."
The water came up over the road, oval and swimming pool.
"We had RFS in to help us clean up," he said. "It was just a mess. We had 150 loads of mud."
Mr Sutherland said three RFS crews pumped water out of the pool and hosed off the roads.
After 10 days, staff were ready to reopen.
"I thought, 'you beauty, we've got Easter'," he said.
"And COVID hit. The first four months of the year is the biggest period and it was basically non-existent.
"We were closed for about eight or nine weeks."
Mr Sutherland said out of 12 staff members, only four were eligible for Job Keeper payments.
"We went from 12 staff to four for that whole time," he said.
"It was hard, but I guaranteed all the guys would have their jobs back as soon as we reopen. And when we got the phone call we were reopening on June 1, I got them all straight back in."
The first six months of 2020 had been an emotional rollercoaster.
"I was never going to throw in the towel," he said. "The fires were really hard. Once the floods hit us, I was feeling a bit down.
"I felt bad for the staff because they couldn't work, and the business. There was nothing I could do.
"Once COVID hit, it was just, 'wow', what could happen next?
"I feel sorry for all the small businesses in town; for the roll-on effect.
We'll have 400 people in here at busy times, and they go into town and support the town, and that's just one caravan park.
"Imagine with all the caravan parks here just empty, the domino effect it has on the town.
"During Easter we would have approximately 400 people every day for two weeks, and we had 0."
Mr Sutherland said the future looked brighter.
"What we've lost, nothing's going to make it up. But everything helps," he said.
"Every person helps. We're just moving forward."
He said the June long weekend was "awesome".
Since then, the high number of visitors was encouraging, and Mr Sutherland hoped people would continue to visit the area.
He said the Nelligen residents had come together as a community during the disasters.
"When the fires were on, they opened the hall up, everyone banded together and helped each other out," he said.
"Everyone was really positive and in this together."