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November 2019

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

NOV 18:
Two people taken to hospital in Victoria this morning after caravan and its tow vehicle rolled following collision with ute on Geelong Ring Road's Colac Road off-ramp.

Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.


* Camping benefits mental health  ... 32,073 people reached.

* Caravan park offers free-camping for RVs ... 26,789 people reached.

* Free overnight parking for RVs in Geralton ... 21,977 people reached

* Motorway toll inequality upsets caravanners ... 14,771 people reached.

* Dometic releases new dust preventer ... 14,177 people reached.

* Certificates for participants in world record RV queue ... 9730 people reached.

* Caravanners upset over truckie's call for special licences... 8652 people reached.


Safety checks revelation raises a scary thought

REPORTS stated that at the recent Brisbane safety checks by Caravannng Queensland, 58 percent of vehicles tested were overweight (see story here).

Being overweight means the vehicle is unroadworthy.

One has to wonder what the percentage is when fully loaded with everything they take on a holiday.

It must mean that at least two out of every three rigs coming towards you on the highway would be unroadworthy due to weight.

A scary thought.

Education is the key.

Ken Wilson


JB Caravans dealership opening, Burpengary

'Fantastic to see them expanding'

JB Caravans launches new
retail centre at Burpengary

JB CARAVANS is celebrating the launch of its new Burpengary retail centre north of Brisbane. It was officially opened by Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont and offers potential buyers an opportunity to see a much bigger range and new products. "They have been a champion of Australian jobs and Australian-made products and are showcasing both JB caravans and Cub campers at their new centre," he said. "It is fantastic to see them expanding with this bigger range and new product offering ... it is a great indication of the popularity of caravanning and demonstrates that the industry really is going from strength to strength." Read More button

News saddens local operators


By Dennis Amor
Have your say

Australia Zoo dozerWORK on a new $8 million 108-site camping area at Australia Zoo in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is underway.

But the news has saddened local caravan parks who complain that Camp Croc Hunter, which will offer everything from tent accommodation to caravan and RV powered sites, will rob them of business.

"This is a slap in the face for us," the owner of one local park, who requested anonymity, told Caravanning News.

Some critics targeted Queensland State Government for pouring $3 million into the project at the world famous Beerwah tourist attraction.

"There is a well appointed caravan park just down the road at Landsborough," one wrote on our Facebook page.

"Shame on council for allowing a multi-million dollar venture to dominate the surrounding small caravan parks and accommodation," she said.

But Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government was partnering with the private sector to bring forward tourism projects that would create jobs on the Sunshine Coast.

She was on hand as earth moving equipment started groundworks for the footprint of the reception and restaurant areas for the planned camping ground on land adjoining the zoo.

"Australia Zoo is an icon. This project, funded in partnership with the zoo, will give tourists an entirely new way to experience Australian wildlife in one of the most beautiful tourism destinations in the world," the Minister said.

Planning work to provide electricity, water and public amenities at a new campground on site has already been completed. Read more button

Kui Parks advert

Willow Park rest area

Council says caravans are welcome

Willow Park rest area signage
creates confusion for travellers

Have no fear, caravanners can overnight at a council-operated 24-hour camping area in Griffith, NSW, after all. One confused traveller contacted Caravanning News for clarification after being confronted by a sign at the Willow Park rest area clearly indicating it was for self-contained motorhomes only. "I didn't overnight there because I didn't want to cop a fine for staying illegally," Barry Hewitson said. But the local council's director of economic and organisational Willow  Park rest area, Griffithdevelopment Shireen Donaldson was quick to put Barry's mind at ease in case he passes through the area again. "We are aware that other style campervans and caravans use the park as well," she told us. "We tend to be more stringent on length of stay as backpackers will tend to overstay their welcome." She said Willow Park was very popular because it was reasonably central and in "lovely parkland". "We do have another free park at our Lake Wyangan reserve area and caravanners can also stay at the Griffith Boat Club for a minimal fee," Ms Donaldson added. The area offers toilets, BBQs, bins, drinking water and a dump point. Meanwhile, after 16 years of informal use and complaints, there are reports that the Deloraine RV rest area in Tasmania is being made legal ... with up to 20 self-contained vehicles allowed to use the facility off Racecourse Drive for four nights. Have your say

Jayco Newcastle Dealer of the Year

Jayco Newcastle named top dealer of the year

JAYCO Newcastle took out the New South Wales Dealer of the Year gong at the 2019 Annual Awards of Excellence. The dealership is the largest reseller of Jayco products in the Hunter and Central Coast regions and has enjoyed an association with Australia’s RV market leader Jayco for more than 30 years. The business is also recognised as one of the region's best corporate citizens, working closely with Camp Quality Newcastle to raise money for local kids living with cancer. Read More button

Turtle Sands Tourist park sign

Forced to 'jump through hoops'

Turtle park accuses government
of blocking development plans

THE owners of a caravan park adjoining the newly-opened multi-million dollar Mon Repos Turtle Centre near Bundaberg in Queensland have accused the State Government of blocking their development plans. Turtle Sands Camping and Holiday Park has now re-lodged a development application to improve and extend the park with resort-style features. The upgraded park would include caravan sites, glamping facilities, resort-style pool, playground, larger cabins and dormitory-style accommodation. But David and Jenny Baker, who have owned the facility for more than 20 years, say they are being forced to "jump through hoops" to have their plans approved. Read More button

Firefighters at work

State of Emergency declared in Queensland

Travellers warned of total ban on outside fires as killer bushfires rage

GREY nomads and other campers across 42 local government areas in Queensland have been warned not to light outdoor fires as killer bushfires continue to rage. A State of Emergency has been declared in the Sunshne State ahead of predicted "significantly heightened" fire weather conditions continuing into next week. It prohibits the lighting of all types of outdoor fires and also bans certain activities that can cause fires to ignite. This included cooking and campfires, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services acting commissioner Mike Wassing said. The warning comes as fire crews battle multiple blazes in Queensland and NSW which have already claimed three lives, injured 30 people and destroyed more than 150 homes. "We're experiencing tinderbox-like conditions across much of the state and all it takes is one spark to start a fire that may burn for days," Mr Wassing added. For a full list of affected areas, click here ... More button

Honours for companies and individuals

NSW's caravan industry recognises service, innovation and best practice

CAPPING off a year in which NSW caravan and camping holidays recorded their strongest-ever performance, 11 companies and individuals took out top honours at the 2019 Annual Awards of Excellence. The awards are coordinated by the state’s peak industry body, the NSW Caravan and Camping Industry Association and recognise businesses and individuals that excel in terms of service, innovation and best practice. President Theo Whitmont said the awards were particularly significant in 2019, which for the first time saw the number of domestic caravan and camping holidays taken in NSW surpass 4.4 million trips. "In a year in which the NSW caravan and camping industry performed exceptionally, the Awards of Excellence have particular resonance. They not only acknowledge the outstanding performances of companies and individuals, but also reflect on the collective achievement of all areas of the industry in continuing to build and grow and innovate," he said. Read more button

Tenterfield Lodge caravan park camp kitchen

Still suffering after 'hell of a year'

'Come visit us' plea after Mother
Nature unleashes fury on NSW town

CARAVAN parks and other accommodation providers in NSW's New England region are still suffering after copping "a hell of a year" from Mother Nature. Tenterfield Lodge Caravan Park, a member of the Kui chain, reports that tourism remains slow on the back of severe drought, fires and water shortages. "The publicity has really hurt the whole town," the caravan park's Barry O'Connor told Caravanning News. His park has seen occupancy rates across cabins and sites plunge from 60 percent to just over 30 percent. "Tenterfield is not looking for a hand-out but rather a hand-up," he said. "And the best hand-up caravanners can give is to come and stay a few days in our wonderful town." More button

'Homes old and badly maintained'

Researcher paints bleak picture of caravan park living

CARAVAN Park residents face poor living conditions, arbitrary rules and no security of tenure because of outdated laws, according to new research. These are the findings of James Cook University researcher Geraldine Mallinson who quizzed residents and managers at caravan parks in north Queensland. She points out that more and more people are turning to caravans as access to traditional home ownership and rental tenancies becomes more difficult. But the researcher said rented caravans she saw were uniformly old and badly maintained. Read more button

Terrified woman fights back

Police hunt caravan raider who left
victim with bruises and scratches

QUEENSLAND police are searching for a man who burst into a woman's caravan and attacked her. The terrified victim fought back after the stranger grabbed her around the throat at a Ma Ma Creek property near Grantham in the Lockyer Valley. The raider fled on foot after the 46-year-old woman fought back, kicking and punching him. She received bruising and scratches to her neck. Police have issued a comfit picture of the attacker who is described as caucasian, about 170cm tall, of medium build, shoulder length blond hair, and stubble on his face. Anyone who noticed a man loitering or acting suspiciously in the area on Tuesday morning is urged to contact police. Have your say

Bush Oasis Caravan Park

'A new offering and further jobs"

Green light for park project which
includes wetland and resident 'croc'

A TOWNSVILLE caravan park ravaged by floods has been given the go-ahead to carry out an ambitious project to breathe new life into the business. It even  includes its very own artificial wetland. The Bush Oasis Caravan Park says it is overjoyed that the local council has approved a development application from the family-owned and operated park at Nome. "This is great news for our region after being devastated in the floods earlier this year," the park's Fiona Lidgett told Caravanning News. "It will provide a new offering and further jobs." The plan proposes to have 10 glamping tents with luxurious bathrooms, 13 powered sites and an event centre over the wetland. And it comes with a resident 'croc'. Read more button

Greenpatch RV camp

'Fantastic family-friendly place to visit'

Sugar town braces for influx after
$2.2m campground upgrade

THE small sugar town of Gordonvale in far north Queensland is bracing for an influx of grey nomads following the opening of a multi-million dollar upgraded camping ground. The $2.28 million Greenpatch RV-friendly redevelopment off the Bruce Highway received a $1.75 million contribution from the State Government's signature Works for Queensland program. It offers 42 campsites and a new amenities block with toilets and showers, dump point and picnic spots. Located on the banks of the Mulgrave River and Hemming Creek, the camping ground has been closed during the wet season while work progressed.

Ruth Ridley

Husband's body found 'in suspicious  circumstances'

Cops want help to find Ruth

Have your say

POLICE have appealed for help in tracing a grandmother missing in NSW's Riverina area. Ruth Ridley, aged 58, is thought to have travelled from her home in Port Macquarie to Tumbarumba on October 18. Her family reported her missing on October 30, the day after her husband's body was found in suspicious circumstances. Police believe Mrs Ridley may have been travelling in a dark blue Mitsubishi Pajero towing a white caravan. "We are interested to hear from anyone who may have seen the vehicle and caravan around camping or fishing spots along the Murray River, particularly near Jingellic on the New South Wales and Victoria border," a spokesperson said. They are seeking information from anyone camping at or near Neil's Reserve, 7km east of Walwa, on the weekend of Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 October, and from anyone who noticed the Pajero towing the caravan between Walwa and Tumbarumba on Sunday, 27 October.

National Caravan Rally, Albany

Traders happy after national rally

Caravanners pour almost $1m into Albany's economy

Have your say

JUBILANT traders and other businesses in the WA city of Albany are celebrating after caravanners poured almost a million dollars into the local economy. More than 800 RVers from all over Australia flooded into the city for the Coromal Windsor National Caravan Clubs Rally. And figures show they spent an estimated $950,000 during the 10-day event at Centennial Park. The port city, about 400km south-east of Perth, hosted the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia National Rally in 2015, with over 800 participants. "We're getting quite used to welcoming these events," one happy trader said. "They certainly put a smile on our faces." Free-spending caravanners completed special forms detailing their spending. The council said it had asked the local community to welcome the rally-goers so they could enjoy their stay and leave with fond memories and plans to return. Mayor Dennis Wellington praised the locals who worked hard to make the caravanners feel welcome. "They enjoyed it and the best thing about it is they will talk to other caravanners around the country and say how beautiful Albany was," he said. Have your say

EM Caravans

Mystery surrounds EM Caravans

Consumer watchdog warning
over caravan sales site

NORTHERN Territory Consumer Affairs is warning people about a website offering second-hand caravans and mobile homes at temptingly low prices. It claims the site is a scam being operated by a "family-owned" company calling itself EM Caravans. "Our investigation reveals the business is not registered and the website has so far used two different ABNs which are registered by legitimate businesses that have no association with the site," the consumer watchdog said. Meanwhile, a Caravanning News' call to its shipping agent yielded some interesting facts. A man with a strong foreign accent told us that all money must be paid upfront, there are no facilities to view caravans which must be delivered and cannot be towed away by the buyer. Read more button

map of Bruce Hwy

Making the Bruce safer and faster

New overtaking lanes will help traffic overtake slow caravans

Have your say

SLOW-MOVING caravanners will soon be less of a hindrance on the Bruce Highway between Proserpine and Bowen in North Queensland, according to the federal Transport Minister. Improvements costing $12 million will see two new overtaking lanes on the stretch of highway which carries about 3800 vehicles daily. Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said it would provide motorists with more opportunities to safely overtake. "It will reduce the likelihood of motorists taking risks, especially when following trucks, buses and caravans," he added. Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it was another example of the how the jointly funded $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program was making the near 2000km highway a safer road for all motorists. "From Cairns to Brisbane, making the Bruce Highway safer for all motorists is a high priority for the Queensland Government," he said. "Projects such as this also increase the Bruce Highway's capacity, creating a more efficient route for freight, tourist and commuter traffic, to help motorists get to their destinations safer and faster."

Caravanning Queensland RV safety checks

Peak body reports fully booked sessions

Caravanning Queensland safety checks more popular than ever

Photo: Caravanning News

CARAVANNING Queensland's free safety checks are more popular than ever. The state's peak caravanning body carried out another session of checks at Brisbane Showgrounds and reported that it was booked out. Inspections are carried out at venues all over the state, giving owners the opportunity to ensure their caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes comply with Australian road safety standards. But with more than 180,000 recreational vehicles registered in the Sunshine State, Caravanning Queensland says it often has to turn people away. Its latest session saw 75 RVs undergo the safety test. Held in conjunction with Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Police Service, the inspections allowed owners to have their recreational vehicles weighed, measured and checked, with qualified inspectors educating them on how to be compliant and safe when on the road. Caravanning Queensland general manager Jason Plant said owners are educated on correctly loading their vehicles for even weight distribution as well as best safety practice while on the roads. Have your say

Sheep Hill silos

No interest in 'glitz and glam'

Awards will recognise exemplary
services to grey nomads

AUSTRALIA'S best caravan parks, campsites, tours, attractions and events for grey nomads will be revealed early next month. Organisers of the 2019 Grey Nomad Awards on November 6 will crown the winners who have provided exemplary products, services or experiences for travellers. Awards director Liz Rivers said the awards fostered a "happier, healthier lifestyle" for the over 55s by providing verified information that would guide their decisions on where to travel and what to experience.She described the typical grey nomad as not being interested in staying in places with "glitz and glam". Read more button

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Web pages designed and produced by Dennis Amor

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Caravanning News.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved


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Letter man

Not enough
caravan parks
in the 'lovely'
Apple Isle

I WOULD like to comment on the new rest area planned for Tasmania's Deloraine Racecourse (see story here).

About time they are doing something to accommodate RVs since the overnight stop at the dump point was closed.

Tasmania is a lovely state and I've always recommended people take four months to explore the Apple Isle.

Grey nomads don't mind making a donation and spending money in the region.

But there's just not enough caravan parks, and not all travellers want a park anyway.

All states should do the same.

I know of several inner city parks in Melbourne forcing caravans out so they can turn them into cabin parks.

It's a multi-dollar industry and more and more people are adopting the grey nomad lifestyle.

Gary Allen.

Free camp
a winner

THERE'S now free camping at Wirib Tourist Park.

Well done!

Congratulations on such a great concept.

They're definitely onto a winner there.

Paul Turvey.