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February 2020

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

FEB 26:
Earthquake of magnitude 6 AND lasting for up to 10 seconds shook northern parts of the NT tonight, with one caravanner reporting her RV shaking "four or five times" at Katherine. Epicentre in Indonesia.

FEB 26:
Andrew McEvoy will give up his directorship of holiday and lifestyle parks operator Ingenia on June 30 to take up a full-time executive role overseas.

FEB 26:
WA's motoring organisation will spend several million dollars on increasing the size of its Exmouth caravanning park, one of nine run by the RAC.

FEB 26:
State government to inject $55,000 into improving caravan and camping sites on northern shore of Rocklands Reservoir in Victoria's Grampions.

FEB 26:
Man, 44, appearing in court today after two men received gunshot wounds at caravan park in Kanwal on NSW Central Coast.

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


* My Road to Adventure  ... 60,416 people reached.

* Caravanners who flout rest area rules now face fines ... 53,354 people reached.

* Jayco stolen from Tingalpa in Queensland ... 31,172 people reached.

* Gold Coast caravan park flooded ... 30,000 people reached.

* Heartless crooks steal caravan from bushfire victim ... 20,567 people reached.

* Hunt for missing caravanning couple ... 12.724 people reached.


Anger over Rocks Ferry campers

Rocks Ferry Reserve

HOW long has long-term camping been allowed at the car park at Rocks Ferry Reserve in Wauchope NSW?

I have noticed during my visits to this lovely area that there are people using the car park and boat trailer parking areas to spend several nights (and even longer) camped in caravans and campervans.

Lately there have even been people living out of an old boat on the back of a boat trailer!

The daytime recreational visitors' garbage bins are full of these illegal campers' domestic rubbish, the public toilet block is being used as their own toilet/washing facilities and who knows where their caravan or campervan sewage tanks are being emptied.

Surely the council can put a stop to this.

Other campers can do the right thing and pay the small overnight camping rate at our showground or other designated camping facilities, so why can't these bludgers?

Stephen Snow.


Bonny Hills cabin

New logo  'Supporting regional and rural NSW'

Bonny Hills park entices tourists
with new $3 million cabin precinct

Reflections Holiday Parks has invested $3 million in a new eight-cabin precinct at its Bonny Hills park south of Port Macquarie in NSW. Other work included a new landscaped community amphitheatre area, upgraded fire hydrant and hose reel system for the whole park, BBQ shelter, relocation of the existing caravan dump point and bin bays. Reflections Holiday Parks chief executive Steve Edmonds said the group was committed to supporting regional and rural NSW by bringing tourists to local communities like Bonny Hills. "We know that for every dollar spent on overnight stays at a park like Bonny Hills, that is $1.38 directly into the local community," he added. Have your say

Aspen logo

Insurances  may cover losses

$500,000 bushfires claim
for Aspen's holiday parks

By Dennis Amor

HOLIDAY parks and accommodation provider Aspen does not expect any major affects from recent bushfires. In its latest report to shareholders it says first-half underlying earnings were ahead of budget. Fires along NSW's South Coast had "negatively impacted" profits at its Barlings Beach and Tween Waters holiday parks by at least $500,000 in late December and January. But, Aspen said, it was seeking to recover the losses through its insurances. The report said new entertainment facilities were under construction at its Darwin Freespirit Resort. Aspen's after tax operating profit in the first half of the financial year compared with the same period last year had increased 55 percent to $3.66 million while statutory after tax net profit soared 319 percent to $2.29 million. "The short-stay markets (tourism and worker) have benefitted from good demand growth," its report said. Overnight stays by domestic travellers rose by an "impressive" 12 percent. Have your say

Stolen Viscount caravan

Crook favours rundown RV

Caravan thief makes off
with vintage Viscount

Have your say

NEWFLASH Feb 23: Caravan recovered at Hyland Park property.

WHILE caravan thieves usually target modern luxury models, a crook in NSW concentrated on a rundown caravan from yesteryear. The unregistered late 1970s Viscount disappeared in broad daylight from Rachel and Will Pregnell's home at Brierfield last Wednesday between 8am and 4pm. The couple was planning to renovate the orange and while caravan, which they bought two years ago, with the intention of hitting the road for their holidays. Police have been told that a neighbour saw man standing by an orange-coloured off-road vehicle parked outside the couple's home on the day it was stolen.

Tranquil Waters caravan park

Events to run side by side

Park offers free camping as
workshops explore the sexes

A VICTORIAN caravan park will be offering free camping when Aussie men and women are put under the microscope. The Tranquil Waters Caravan Park in Cullulleraine will host two special events on March 3 aimed at exploring the sexes of today and tomorrow. The workshops, hosted respectively by the Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman groups, will run side by side from 6pm, followed by dinner at 8pm. Read more button

Keep on camping, urges CIAA

Peak caravanning body moves to help struggling bushfire communities

Have your say

THE caravanning industry's peak body has launched a new initiative to help bushfire-ravaged areas get back on their feet.

Hundreds of caravan and holiday parks in NSW and Victoria are doing it tough in the aftermath of Australia's worst bushfire crisis in living memory.

"Many of the affected areas should be in absolute peak season brimming with tourists," Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont explained.

"And yet whole regions remain closed with some caravan parks suggesting they may be weeks before reopening."

His association's new Keep on Camping push is urging travellers to consider visiting an affected area on their next caravan and camping trip.

Mr Lamont said tourists would be vital in helping the communities and businesses during the long process of recovery.

Caravan and camping has a unique role in the sustainability of Australia’s tourism industry, with 30 percent of all trips in regional areas involving caravan or camping.

According to Tourism Research Australia, caravan parks in the South Coast of NSW and Gippsland regions account for the largest market share of all commercial accommodation nights in the region, at 38 percent and 42 percent respectively.

Keep on Camping helps travellers to make informed travel decisions so that when it is safe to travel again, they can get back in there to spend their money and help those communities reliant on tourism. Read more button

Kui Parks advert

Traffic chaos on NSW's Hume Highway


Overturned caravan on Hume Highway

Photos: NSW Police

TWO caravanners in their 70s escaped serious injuries when their rig flipped in NSW. The accident involving a twin-axle 23ft Vacationer Roadtracker caravan and Nissan Navara happened on the Hume Hwy north of Goulburn. Police said the couple received "minimal" injuries. The highway was blocked for some time and traffic banked up for several kilometres, they added. Have your say

Craig Humphrey'Overwhelmed with response'

National caravan club to support drought and bushfire communities

THE 4600-member Australian Caravan Club will be directly supporting drought and bushfire-affected communities during the next few months. More than 120 RVs carrying 200 members will descend on Charters Towers in north Queensland for a week-long rally beginning May 14. "I had envisaged about 70 RVs attending but I am really overwhelmed with the response from members to visit the region," ACC chairman Craig Humphrey (pictured) said. Another initiative being considered by the club involves arranging a collective event for all members of RV clubs in Australia. These include National Association of Caravan Clubs, Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Limited and the Australian RV & Touring Club. Read more button

Advertising panel

Sabre caravan management system

'It's like nothing you've ever seen'

Caravan management system
and security all in one package

A NEW caravan management system has hit the market, and the Tasmanian-based manufacturer claim it's like nothing you've ever seen before. The Sabre Living system is an advanced monitor, control and automation system for caravans and motorhomes. It turns things on and off from a tablet or phone, but that’s where the similarities to other devices end. Like most caravan management systems, the Sabre system monitors batteries and power usage, water tanks, the temperature and air quality, geographical location, caravan movement as well as its own built-in security camera. It also controls lights, fans, slide-outs, heaters, water heaters and water pumps. And if your 'van is stolen, Sabre will track its location in real-time and turn on strobes, sirens and cameras which can be tracked via a phone or through a website if the app is not installed. Read more button

Apache camper

National recall over safety fears

Campers trailers could become death traps

Have your say

A NATIONAL recall has been launched after fears some camper trailers could become death traps. It appears gas appliances have not been installed in accordance with safety standards in some 2019 Apache RTC1 Campers sold in Queensland, resulting in no gas escape hole for the cooker and refrigerator. An LPG gas leak could allow unburnt gas to build up in the refrigerator's rear cavity. This could result in a fire which could cause "serious illness, injury or death", warns the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recall notice. "Consumers should stop using all gas appliances immediately and contact the manufacturer and arrange for inspection/rectification of the gas installation," it said. Up to 16 camper trailers could be affected. Owners are advised to contact Jaha Holdings Pty Ltd on 07 3888 0360 or email

vintage caravan under tow

 Serious safety concern


Have your say

POLICE in South Australia have issued an urgent message for anyone who tows a boat or caravan. It comes after reports of vandals removing hitch pins from vehicles used to tow RVs or boats. "The owners were not aware the split pins had been removed until they attempted to tow their caravans and boats and the coupling has failed," a police statement said. "Removal of split pins is a serious safety concern, especially if a towing vehicle is travelling at speed. All caravan and boat owners are asked to be vigilant and check their tow couplings as part of their normal safety check prior to towing." They advised that specifically designed locks are available to prevent this happening.

bushfire peition

Homeless being impacted by law

Petition calls for bushfire victims
to be allowed to live in caravans

Have your say

NEWSFLASH. FEB 11: NSW government has given approval for residents who have been bushfire affected to live in a caravan for up to two years, the previous law only allowing occupation for two days.

PETITIONERS are calling for a change in NSW law so that homeless bushfire victims can use caravans for as long as they need. Over 1200 people signed an online petition demanding the homeless be allowed to use their caravans as their home during rebuilding work. Organiser Brett Wilson said victims were being impacted by a law restricting use to two days at a time and no more than 60 days in total a year. "The rebuilding of homes may take longer than temporary accommodation will be available, and in some more remote it could take much longer," his petition to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Robert Stokes says. "Where are those bushfire victims expected to live if this law is enacted and how are they expected to earn a living if farmers can't live on their property?"

SOS from vehicle rooftop

Caravanners trapped in swirling floodwaters

TWO caravanners were left red-faced after finding themselves marooned in swirling floodwaters on a NSW road. The drama happened at the Abercrombie River on Abercrombie Road, south of Oberon. The embarrassed couple scrambled onto the roof of their tow vehicle as the swift-moving waters brought their rig to a standstill and trapped against a safety barrier. They used their mobile phone to send out a call for help, eventually being rescued by members of the Chifley/Lithgow Rural Fire Brigade. Have your say

Kershaw Gardens sign

'Yep, that's correct'

Kershaw Gardens in the Beef
City again welcomes travellers

By Dennis Amor

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has confirmed that the controversial Kershaw Gardens camping area in the Beef City is again open for travellers. A spokesperson told Caravanning News: "Yep, that's correct. Fully self-contained vehicles can stay for up to 48 hours." But the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland told us it was "disappointed" the council had changed the planning scheme to suit its own purpose and needs. It had disregarded the decision handed down by the Planning and Environment Court claiming that overnight camping at the gardens was illegal, it claimed. Read more button

First Sun Hoiday Park

'In-depth understanding of local area'

BelgraviaPRO adds two more
holiday parks to its stable

TOURISM and holiday parks management company BelgraviaPRO has been awarded the tender to manage the First Sun and Suffolk Beachfront holiday parks in NSW's Byron Shire. The subsidiary of Belgravia Health and Leisure Group also manages 25 tourist parks nationwide and over 200 aquatic, fitness, golf and wellness facilities on behalf of over 70 local and state governments and private businesses. "We have taken the time to develop an in-depth understanding of the local area and we are thrilled to be given the opportunity to improve the guest experience at both First Sun (pictured) and Suffolk Beachfront holiday parks," general manager of business development Damian Gorman said. Read more button

'Building on previous managers' work'

A new phase in SA's Bordertown
caravan park as council takes control

TATIARA District Council in South Australia has decided to take over the running of Bordertown Caravan Park. The local council says it is exploring opportunities which include external funding for revitalising the park just off the Dukes Highway at the gateway to SA and the Limestone Coast. Mayor Graham Excell commented: "In this new phase in the caravan park's life we will build on previous managers' work to ensure we have something for everyone to enjoy, where visitors can relax in comfort and explore all the Tatiara has to offer." The council is seeking applications from individuals interested in customer service, caretaker or cleaning roles. "We are also exploring an alternative option where the park management may be fully contracted out," Cr Excell said. Read more button

Aldi caravan cover

Covers caused chaos, claim

Aldi stores brace for scramble as
caravanning gear goes on sale

BARGAIN-hunting caravanners headed to their local Aldi stores to grab a swag of bargains. They snapped up bargain-priced caravan gear, including aluminium steps, side and front walls, floor mats, awning tensioners and even collapsible kettles. But the sale of $99.99 caravan covers, which normally fetch up to $400 at some camping stores, has been known to create chaos at some Aldi supermarkets, even leading to fisticuffs. One contributor to the online Aldi Lovers Australia forum complained of being surrounded by "absolute vultures" during the 2018 sale as camping gear was rapidly snared. And another bargain hunter reported a "mass stampede and fights of grumpy old men". Have your say

Video of tyre chase

Smoke pouring from 'van

Police capture dramatic footage of
chase involving caravan with flat tyre

WA Police have posted video footage of their attempts to stop a caravanner happily cruising along a WA highway with a flat tyre. Despite their sirens, air-horn and flashing lights, the elderly traveller appeared completely unaware of the unfolding drama, even though the twin-axle New Age caravan was leaving a smoke trail in its wake. In a social media posting, Mt Barker Police told how they were conducting a breath and drug tests when they noticed the passing RV had a flat tyre. They attempted to intercept and stop the elderly driver who claimed he did not hear the police sirens and air-horn through his hearing aid or see the police vehicle, which was showered with debris as the tyre disintegrated. "Fortunately police were able to stop the vehicle and avoid any injury or damage to property," the Facebook posting said. "Whenever you are driving you must constantly be aware of your surroundings including what is happening behind you. Make sure your mirrors are correctly adjusted and check them frequently during your trip," it added. After lecturing the caravanner, the officers were kind enough to change the tyre! To see footage of the drama, click here Have your say

ACC Chairman's Muster

'It will be fantastic for our community'

Record attendance all
set for ACC muster

Have your say

A RECORD number of Australian Caravan Club members will be descending on Charters Towers in Queensland for the annual Chairman's Muster. More than 53 branches of the nationwide club will be represented at the event in May. Chairman Craig Humphrey described the response as fantastic. "Over 115 RVs and 200 members will visit the region for nearly a week from May 14," he said. "I had envisaged about 70 RVs but I am really overwhelmed with the response." Organising the event are locals Judy de Loryn and Linda Brierley. Mr Humprey said that as a group of senior RV travellers covering the four corners of Australia, club members had seen the devastation caused by drought and other severe weather events. "Our members have been very strong in wanting to provide more support in drought-affected areas," he said. "When we stay in rural areas, research indicates our members spend up to $100 a day which supports local business." Charters Towers Deputy Mayor Sonia Bennetto said the community was "excited" to have so many ACC members register for the muster. "It will be fantastic for our community and a real boost to our local economy," she said. Photo: Previous Chairman's Muster.

Zone RV

Plans for expand internationally

Zone RV to welcome public
to its new $8m factory

ZONE RV on the Sunshine Coast will throw open its new $8 million purpose-built factory to the public this month. The off-road caravan manufacturer began as start-up business in 2015 and after phenomenal growth now employs more than 90 staff and pours nearly $40 million into the local economy. The go-ahead company manufactures some of the world's most expensive and multi award-winning off-road caravans. Zone RV director Matt Johns said his company was planning to expand internationally, diversify products and continue to innovate. The factory at the Coolum Business Park in Quanda Road will be open for inspection on February 8 between 9am and 1pm. Read More button

Scott Earley's vintage line-up

'Huge amount of interest'

Scott gives old ladies from yesteryear a new lease of life

By Dennis Amor

SCOTT Earley is never happier than when he is hard at work giving a new lease of life to caravans from yesteryear. Scott, owner of WA's family business RV Solutions at Rockingham, has been restoring vintage caravans for the past two years, turning them into things like a mobile music studio, primary school library, mobile bar and coffee caravan ... and others for a more conventional life on the road. He told Caravanning News there was a "huge amount of interest" in his business and he had seen his social media following grow by 700 percent. His current focus is on the steel-famed Baravan caravans which began production in the early 1950s. Read more button

'It was a great return on our investment'

Caravan park shines in tinsel competition

Tinsel my Town awardsTHE owners of the Acacia Caravan Park at Ararat in Victoria have has taken out the 2019 Tinsel my Town title. Matt and Kaylene Linsley won the popular vote for their efforts in marketing and promoting their business during December. They said they were overjoyed to win the competition, which handed them a $4000 advertising package with competition sponsor ACE Radio. "It was a great return on our investment – we had decorated the park anyway and Tinsel my Town was another chance to promote what we do to our customer base," Mr Linsley said. "And we are really excited at the opportunity to further promote our business through the prize." Read more button

Fuel delivery hose torn from pump

Clumsy caravanner creates chaos at bowser

Bowser chaosA CLUMSY caravanner created a major drama after colliding with a fuel pump at a NSW service station. The errant traveller's RV clipped a bowser as the rig was leaving a Caltex servo at Gunnedah, tearing a fuel delivery hose from the pump and causing diesel to swamp the forecourt. Amazingly, the caravanner then drove off apparently unaware of the mayhem left behind. Fire, HAZMAT and council crews were called to the scene. Gunnedah Fire and Rescue captain Dave Welch said the accident occurred "unbeknownst" to the driver. Have your say

bushfire peition

Homeless being impacted by law

Petition calls for bushfire victims
to be allowed to live in caravans

Have your say

NEWSFLASH. FRB 11: NSW government has given approval for residents who have been bushfire affected can now live in a caravan for up to two years, the previous law only allowing occupation for two days.

PETITIONERS are calling for a change in NSW law so that homeless bushfire victims can use caravans for as long as they need. Over 500 have signed an online petition demanding the homeless be allowed to use their caravans as their home during rebuilding work. Organiser Brett Wilson, who is aiming for 1000 signatures, said victims were being impacted by a law restricting use to two days at a time and no more than 60 days in total a year. "The rebuilding of homes may take longer than temporary accommodation will be available, and in some more remote it could take much longer," his petition to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Robert Stokes says. "Where are those bushfire victims expected to live if this law is enacted and how are they expected to earn a living if farmers can't live on their property?"

'Privileged to be part of this great industry'

Australia Day honour for Discovery
Holiday Parks board member

By Dennis Amor

QUEENSLANDER Grant Hunt, a non-executive director of Discovery Holiday Parks since 2014, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours for his "significant services to the tourism and hospitality sectors". Mr Hunt told Caravanning News he was "very honoured and a bit overwhelmed" by the award. "I feel very privileged to be a part of this great industry of ours," he said. "While it's wonderful to be recognised in the Australian Honours list, I'm very cognisant of the many people that have been part of my journey. Without great people around you, none of the accolades are possible." From its humble beginnings of just one park in 2004, Discovery Parks is now Australia's largest owner and operator of parks, with over 2500 powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites and 1500 cabins. Mr Hunt, who lives on the Gold Coast, is also a board member of Tourism Australia and has been connected with numerous tourist concerns. He was the former owner of Hunt Tourism Services which offered specialist advice on nature-based tourism planning, development, management and marketing.  Have your say

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Letter man

Park manager's sacking brought into question

REGARDING last month's story about a caravan park manager winning his fight for compensation over his sacking (see story here).

I can’t see how the caravan park was "brought into disrepute" if nothing untoward happened in the seven years of his employment.

Maybe there was another reason he was sacked which the park didn't want to disclose.

Good that he had a win.

C Blank.

Bushfire aid

AS a
BlazeAider of seven seasons  and13 camps, I have a suggestion for helping those poor victims of the bushfires (see original story here).

Fill up the closed regions with BlazeAid grey nomads

Name supplied.

Copycat issues

LAST month's story in Caravanning News about copycat manufacturers raises an important issue. (see story here)

If this is happening, then shouldn't the CCA's audit process pick up the question of manufacturers' certification.

It seems to be again put back onto the consumer to weed out the "lemons" when this organisation should be doing it.

The manufacturer's certification should be removed until such time the manufacturer fixes the problem/s.

Again, this only proves that self-certication is not working.

Any certification of a manufacturer should be carried out by a third party with no conflict of interest

Neil Benson.