For full list,
Grey nomads in hunt for missing motorcyclist ... 153,242 people reached.
* Moyne Council seeks assistant
caretaker for caravan park ... 52,773 people reached.
* Caravanners scoop $10m on Lotto ...
33,743 people reached.
* Woman seriously injured as caravan
flips in NSW ... 25,859 people reached.
* Illegal campers at Byron Bay cop fines ...
* Video shows caravan recovery after
Bruce Hwy crash ... 22.669 people reached.
* SA police target unsafe caravans ...
18,839 people reached.
to the editor
Banning Tassie freecampers is 'wrong'
REGARDING last month's story on 'freeloaders' not being
welcome in Tasmania (see story here).
This attitude is totally wrong!
deliberately go to Queenstown specifically because we can camp for
free in our self-contained caravans.
don't cost the local ratepayers anything.
However, we go on the tourist train, we eat pies and drink coffees
at the cafe, we buy groceries at the IGA, we pay to go to the
museum and we buy alcohol from the hotel.
for the local caravan park, it does not suit us to stay there.
banning free camping, Queenstown is missing out on the tourist
This is a terrible decision for the struggling economy of this
very interesting town.
Tasmania is a very expensive place to get to in a caravan ($2500)
and the free camps help us recoup some of that cost.
saw this starting a few years back.
local shop owners at Latrobe asked us what we thought of their
council's levy of $10 a night as they saw it as a tourist
deterrent. They didn't want it.
With most caravanners using Wikicamps, it doesn't take long for a
town to be bypassed with the tourist dollars going to the next
Think about it!
RVs not banks on wheels
another bunch of fools who think all caravanners are banks on
wheels ... funnel them into caravan parks and milk a living from
Itís hideously expensive to take your RV to Tasmania to tour your
all RV owners can afford to pay night after night of expensive
caravan park rates.
Some of us have to sell the house because we retire and owe, so it
is sell or have the bank take it anyway.
you donít want us there, Tasmania, then stop sending the ship to
Melbourne expecting us to come.
Those who save hard to come to Tasmania and then find no free
camping will decide they are more welcome elsewhere.
Then all you will get is a heck of a lot of reduced tourist income
dollars ... but your caravan parks will be happy won't they?
THOSE complaining should be careful what they wish for.
Take away one of the main reasons tourists stop in a particular
place and they will just move on to the next more welcoming place.
Quite frankly, Tasmania needs all the help it can get financially
so why knock-back tourist dollars spread around the whole of
businesses in the area because one or two caravan parks are greedy
and want it all for themselves.
GUESS what will happen to the thousands of Tasmanian-bound RVers
visiting the Apple Isle ... they will go elsewhere.
cost of a travelling holiday to Tasmania in an RV is not
insignificant (ferry etc) nor is the money spent on fuel, food
for one won't be going there. I'll be traveling to places that
welcome me and are happy with me supporting their community.
to help other families
Intrepid travellers Cam and Jaiden back on road again
By Dennis Amor
FORMER childcare worker-turned caravanner Cam Dubin has hit the
road for the second time with his young Asperger's son Jaiden.
The sole dad, who is in his early 30s, has already completed an 18-month
adventure which began when Jaiden was just three years old and
successfully helped him overcome many of the problems associated with his
mild form of austism. Cam quit his job in 2012, sold all his possessions
and turned an ageing 14ft poptop caravan into their $13,000 comfortable
home on the road. For their second trip Cam and Jaiden, now aged nine, are
travelling in a 1989 Coromal Lowline, dual-axle caravan boasting
independent suspension, alloy frame, electric brakes, triple bunks and a
double bed. "We purposely bought a family caravan that would allow us to
loan it out to other families with children on the autism spectrum," Cam
told Caravanning News. "The idea being we can give families a
free holiday in our caravan and give them a chance to use nature as a form
of therapy just as I did in the past with Jaiden."
Park prices a hurdle to ordinary travellers
Have your say
CARAVAN parks on the Gold Coast have
been accused of ripping off visitors by jacking up their prices for the
upcoming Commonweath Games.
One park on the
world-famous glitter strip is asking an incredible $10,252 for a
three-bedroom cabin during the 11-day prestigious sporting event, twice
the normal rate.
"They are certainly not playing the game ...
just making themselves more wealthy by seizing the chance to swindle us
out of our hard-earned cash," disgrunted grey nomad Maurice Cowdell
complained to Caravanning News.
"There's no way the
ordinary caravanner can afford those grossly inflated prices."
predict the April 4-15 games will attract more than 100,000 visitors to
the Gold Coast, injecting more than $2 billion into the local economy.
Gold Coast Tourism
chairman Paul Donovan has already warned that unscrupulous operators would
give the tourist mecca's accommodation industry a bad name.
A quick check by
Caravanning News revealed that a two-bedroom deluxe villa at
Tallebudgera Tourist Park will set visitors back a whopping $5214 for the
11-day sporting event compared to $2846 a month later.
A premium powered site
will cost $913 for the duration ... but only $42 a night after the games
Couples staying 11-nights in an 'eco tent' at
Paradise Country Farmstay will have to cough up $3000 whereas staying in a
three-bedroom cabin at the BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park will fetch
The price drops to $4972 a month later.
sites for a 24ft caravan at the park come in at around $2000.
The 4500-member Australian Caravan Club has
expressed disappointment at the price gouging, claiming it was "holding
RVers to ransom".
'We cannot endorse such behaviour
the parks involved'
Acting chairman Maria Minchin commented: "Many
are retirees and pensioners on limited incomes and such higher prices may
restrict many from attending the games.
"It may also prevent
some RVers from travelling through the Gold Coast region at that time. We
cannot endorse such behaviour by the parks involved."
caravanning body Caravanning Queensland did not consider the prices "as
necessarily excessive" for a peak period and when location, facilities and
occupancy etc were considered.
"The better positioned,
better equipped parks will always attract higher rates at peak times. This
is no different to any other accommodation type," chief executive Ron
Chapman told Caravanning News.
pointing to any individual case you have quoted you must take into
consideration how many people can be accommodated in various cabin types.
And we are not talking about bunkhouse types," he said.
"I know of cabins in
parks which can accommodate up to 12 people so if you work out the cost
per night per person it is certainly a competitive price, regardless of
whether it is Christmas/New Year, Commonwealth Games or whenever.
"If any accommodation
establishment is not competitive then they simply won't get business.
"I know of several parks which actually
contacted everyone who stayed with them at the corresponding time last
year offering them a discount as a loyal customer.
"Regrettably it is not
realistic to expect off-peak rates at a time of high demand. This never
was the case nor is it likely ever to happen."
Attempts to obtain a comment from Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate were
unsuccessful but Gold Coast Tourist Parks spokesperson Adam Spencer said
bookings were strong across all tourist parks for the period.
offer a range of pricing depending on the style of accommodation and the
pricing is the same as our peak holiday charges we normally have at
Christmas and Easter," he said.
"We still have camp sites available
over the Commonwealth Games period from $52 a night and two-bedroom
self-contained villas from $201 a night.
"This is some of the most
affordable accommodation on the Gold Coast so we expect it will get
snapped up pretty quickly."
stalwart steps down
FORMER Australian Caravan Club chairman and director Tom Smith has retired
from the club's board after nine years of dedicated service.
But he will continue being responsible for the club's policy, advocacy and
town support portfolio, the RVSTAY scheme and the annual national muster. ACC
chairman Craig Humphrey said the club owed a debt of gratitude to Mr Smith
(pictured) for his extraordinary and untiring service. "On behalf of the board and
all members of the ACC, I wish to formally thank Tom and his wife Sandra
for their commitment to our club," he said.
volunteers help storm victims
GREY nomads are rolling up their sleeves to help storm victims in
Queensland. Members of the
volunteer-based BlazeAid organisation have set up camp at the Murgon
Showgrounds to work alongside rural families left struggling after wild
Boxing Day storms battered the area, leaving a trail of destruction. Over
70 properties in the South Burnett region reported widespread damage in
the wake of the 'mini-tornado'. The volunteers have received more than 30
calls for help. Murgon camp co-ordinator Brian Carr said they had so far
completed work on about six properties, mainly repairing fences. Anyone
interested in volunteering can contact Mr Carr on 0455 190 151.
Have your say
Mingo set for $2.5m upgrade
Photo: Caravanning News
WORK is scheduled to begin this month on a $2.5 million upgrade at Mingo
Crossing Caravan Park in Queensland's North Burnett.
The project has been equally funded by the local regional council and the
Queensland Government's Royalties for Resource Producing Communities Fund.
It includes building nine powered and six glamping sites, a second
amenities block, camp kitchen, parking area near the existing boat ramp, a
playground and developing open space along the north-east edge of the
river for an additional 40 camping sites. The new facilities at the park
west of Mount Perry will improve day use access and hopefully increase the
number of caravan park guests, ensuring Mingo Crossing can meet its
current and future tourism demands. Work should be completed by November.
Have your say
of life planned for Lancelin park
THE new owners of South End Caravan Park at Lancelin in WA have submitted
a redevelopment plan in a bid to give it a new lease of life.
Work on the much needed improvements could start within months if approved
by the GinGin Shire Council. The 27-site park will boast an indoor
swimming pool, new ablutions, econolodges, accommodation for the disabled
and a jumping pillow. The entrance will be moved further towards the beach
on Hopkins Street. Comments on the plan may be submitted to the councils'
chief executive officer in writing before 4pm on February 14.
Have your say
tune into caravanning lifestyle
THE joys of caravanning have been beamed into millions of homes around
Australia. Channels 7 and
10 recently featured live national broadcasts from caravan holiday parks.
Seven's popular Sunrise weatherman Sam Mac reported from the
Discovery Parks' Adelaide Beachfront Caravan Holiday Park while Ten went
live on Australia Day between 8:30am and midday from the NRMA Sydney
Lakeside Holiday Park, featuring the complete cast and studio of its
Studio 10 programme (pictured). Caravan Industry Association of
executive Stuart Lamont commented: "The national coverage highlighting the
camping lifestyle saw millions of viewers reminded of why caravan and
camping is as much a part of Australian culture as sports, and is a number
one lifestyle activity. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia
believes there is no other lifestyle or holiday type that is more
Australian than caravan and camping. Linking the camping lifestyle and
celebrating being Australian is an important connection.
Have your say
detention for rogue RV converter
ROGUE businessman who converted vehicles into RVs but failed to deliver
finished products has been sentenced to home detention.
Brett Maxwell Smith, 53, director of now defunct NSW-based
Stargazer Motorhome Conversions received the 15-month punishment after
taking more than $165,000 to build motorhomes that were never handed over
to customers. Parramatta Local Court found Mr Smith had breached a good
behaviour bond he was on for an unrelated larceny offence and, to make
matters worse, he was declared bankrupt in July 2015.
canines in the headlines
question of whether pooches should be allowed in caravan parks has been
highlighted by a NSW scribe.
Writing in the Newscastle Herald, journalist Jeff Corbett says
canines have continued their climb towards equality as members of the
human family. And nowhere is this more apparent, he suggests, than in
caravan parks. "An active campaign is well entrenched in the caravan park
industry now," Jeff howls.
THE Caravan Council of Australia website has had a revamp.
Founder Colin Young said all caravan and camper-trailer documents had been
updated, including independent informative sheets freely available under
Technical Articles on the home-page. There is also a new pre-delivery
checklist for RV buyers. "While it may not be practical to check and
confirm every item, being able to tick as many boxes as possible will
certainly go a long way to best-ensuring there are no major shortcomings
or issues that would inevitably lead to serious problems, dissatisfaction
and complaints," Mr Young said. The site can be accessed
Have your say
camping with the animals
GREY nomads are being invited to experience a different kind of low-cost
camping. It involves spending a
few days enjoying a unique animal encounter. Six bays have been created
for caravans or motorhomes at the RSPCA's Wacol centre in Brisbane.
Volunteers can stay for up to a fortnight helping out at the centre. RSPCA
Brisbane spokesperson Michael Beatty said the new initiative was designed
to give grey nomads an insight to life-changing work undertaken every day
by the charity. "Campers simply volunteer in one of many areas at the
shelter for two to four hours a day," he said. "We ask for a donation to
cover their facilities expenses during their stay." Volunteers have access
to water, power, waste disposal, BBQ and an undercover picnic area. For
Have your say
boss to reappear in court
THE boss of Gidget Retro Teardrop Campers will reappear in court
month after allegedly taking money for RVs he then failed to deliver.
Glenn Wills will face 11 charges brought by the Queensland Office of Fair
Trading accusing him of accepting payment and failure to supply. The
founder of the Brisbane-based company, launched in 2014 but which is now
in voluntary administration, will appear before Brisbane Magistrates
Court on March 16.
Have your say
over RV stopover's running costs
NOOSA Council in Queensland is investigating ways of running its Cooroy RV
Stopover at no cost to the local community. This follows concerns
by councillors about the cost of operating the facility in Mary River
Road. Figures reveal that the pet-friendly overnight stopover achieved
"modest patronage" during the last financial year, averaging only five RVs
a day. Its operating loss was about $19,000 and the council says it would
require a significant increase in visitor nights to break even.
welcomes freedom seekers
A LOVE of freedom camping
and the great outdoors has inspired a group of RVers to form a new branch
of the Australian Caravan Club that will cater specifically for their
passion. The recently formed ACC Sydney Freedom Seekers - the club's 49th
branch - will be the first of its kind for the club in New South Wales.
The ACC Bushrangers and ACC Drovers, both located in Victoria, already
choose only freedom and budget camps for their musters.
warning after crooks strike
QUEENSLAND police have urged caravanners to invest in wheel clamps, chains
or hitch clamps. The plea comes
after caravan thieves took off with a caravan parked at a Sunshine Coast
retirement village. But their efforts were foiled when the RV came
adriftwhile attempting a U-turn ... a padlock had prevented the tow ball
from locking properly.
predicted for caravanners
CARAVANNERS will be hitting the road earlier this year, according to one
chain of tourist parks. The Kui
group says there will be more RVs on our highways and byways from next
month rather than later in the season. The claim is based on a survey of
1800 people. "The results were really interesting," Kui founder and
managing director Bert van Spronsen said. "From our experiences in
Queensland last year it was really quiet until early July. But from the
results of our survey, it looks like we will see a larger number of
travellers on the road earlier."
Have your say
Direct ramps up production
Brisbane manufacturing arm of Market Direct Group, which claims to be
Australia's biggest distributor of camper trailers and offroad caravans,
is ramping up production. It
hopes to produce 300 units a year at its Coopers Plains factory, which
opened 10 years ago. The company sells direct to the public and has
national offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Newcastle,
Townsville and Perth. Market Direct is currently advertising vacancies for
cabinet makers and fitters at its Brisbane assembly line.
Have your say
Award-winning park denies fouling river
THE award-winning Adelaide Caravan Park has denied fouling a local
waterway. The accusation came
from a recent tourist who claimed on the TripAdvisor website: "Shamefully,
the caravan park is discharging sudsy water directly into the natural
waterway, and has obviously been doing so for some time." The solo female
traveller from Reykjavik, Iceland, claimed two ducks had been found dead
in the river. The popular holiday destination is a member of the Aspen
Holiday Parks group and stands on the banks of the Torrens River (Karra
wirra-parri). The park's office manager, who signed herself only as
Rachael P, said no "sudsy water" had ever been discharged into the
waterway. "Adelaide Caravan Park is located in one of the most beautiful
parts of Adelaide, disrespecting its beauty by damaging the waterway is
something we simply do not do," she wrote. Other parks, houses and
business were located along the river, she added. The park is the holder
of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award.
Have your say
approve rescue plan
in fight for survival
DETERMINED efforts are being made to save
cash-strapped Kimberley Kampers, which went into voluntary administration
in December. The NSW-based award-winning caravan company has been
given until the end of next month to pay its creditors and workers their
full entitlements. The rescue package forms part of a Deed of Company
Arrangement approved by creditors at a meeting in Ballina. Another meeting
will be arranged if the troubled company fails to meet the deadline.
Administrator Steven Nicols, of Nicols and Brien Business Recovery, said
wages and superannuation payments would be paid in full to staff, while
unsecured creditors would receive six cents of every dollar owed by March
31. Kimberley Kampers was named Ballina Chamber of Commerce's Business of
the Year and is the holder of two Telstra Business Awards. Bruce Loxton
(pictured inset), has been the boss of Kimberley Kampers since 2003 and
last year put his $4.55 million Potts Point penthouse in inner-Sydney on
the market. He resigned as company director soon after the company went
Have your say
would give park new lease of life
popular Tallangatta Holiday Park in Victoria could be in line for a new
lease of life. Visitor numbers have plumetted in the last 10
years but Towong Regional Council hopes to reverse the trend with an
application for around a million dollars from the federal government's
Building Better Regions Fund. If successful, the council would chip in
another $968,000. The park, which almost pulled down the shutters five
years ago because of updated fire regulations, could be leased out to
private operators or operated by the council. It enjoys a prime location
on the foreshore of Lake Hume and offers 45 annual, five permanent, 75
powered sites and 25 camp sites."Towong Shire Council is interested in the
park's future and is considering available options that could reinvent the
park as a vibrant business," it is on record as saying.
Have your say
truckie faces court
THE driver of a road train
will appear in court next month accused of causing the deaths of two
caravanners. Kimberly Thomas De Pledge's truck loaded with cattle
is alleged to have smashed into the back of the couple's caravan at road
works on WA's Great Northern Highway near Coonarrie Creek last June. The
truckie faces two charges of dangerous driving causing death and three of
dangerous driving causing bodily harm. He is on bail and will reappear at
South Hedland Magistrateís Court on March 15. Meanwhile, a crash
reconstruction expert is preparing a report on the horror Friday afternoon
crash, which orphaned the victims' teenaged children who were also
travelling in the family's 4WD.
Have your say
look at safe overtaking
A NEW social media video showing how
caravanners should overtake trucks has gone viral.
Jess Edwards (pictured) posted the light-hearted four-minute footage
after being impressed when one caravanner used a UHF radio to safely
pass a four-truck convoy in which she was travelling in South
Australia. "He comes up behind us and called us on the radio, said
'Hey mate, I'm just coming around you' and he gets around us quickly
and safely and then continues on his merry way," Jess (aka Jillaroo
Jess) says. "Not many people know how to overtake trucks. It was
amazing." She thought it would be a good idea to share a few hints on
overtaking for other less experienced caravanners. Her video stresses
the importance of having a UHF radio, Jess saying that even a small
handheld would be useful to talk to truckies encountered on the road.
Over 91,000 people have viewed the online footage, which also has more
than 1600 reactions and has been shared 340-plus times. To see the
Have your say
Proposed ban on roadside
with caravans are being urged to take notice of Greater Bendigo City
Council's shake-up of local community laws.
A review of the rules include camping in tents or caravans at a private
residence for more than 21 days in a year without a permit. Offenders
could cop a $500 fine, but the Victorian council assures residents it will
not "patrol looking for offenders". The changes will also ban roadside
sale of caravans. Mayor Cr Margaret OíRourke explained that the review was
designed to "further enhance good governance" across the municipality.
"Council is asking the community to consider if the new draft law
adequately addresses issues or concerns regarding public spaces,
environment, amenity, community safety, and fair use of public space and
roads," she said. "All feedback is welcome". People have until February 26
to submit comments to the council.
Have your say
lease of life in a shake
A GRAND old
lady from yesteryear has a new lease of life ... as a mobile cocktail
bar! The 1960s caravan was originally intended as a coffee bar but
Ballarat owner and fully qualified bartender Aprille Kaye has
transformed it into the La Poire Bar where around 120 different
cocktails, including old time classics and some new seasonal flavours,
can be produced in a shake. Aprille told of how she had to struggle
through mountains of paperwork, permits and licensing requirements
before the fully kitted out single-axle caravan could take up its new
role attending events such as weddings and other gatherings. She even
flew to Spain to undertake an internationally recognised cocktail
course and was named as Ballaratís best bartender while working at
JD's Sports Bar.
Have your say
previous editions of
Caravanning News, click on the appropriate month:
Web pages designed and produced by Dennis Amor
part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
prior written permission of Caravanning News.
All Rights Reserved
Don't forget to refresh
this page to ensure you have the latest version
KEEPING up-to-date with what's
happening in the world of Australian caravanning is easy, thanks to
Caravanning News. Published online since 2005, each monthly
edition is updated as major stories break. We attract up to 32,000
visitors monthly, with our
News pages being updated
almost daily. Figures show the number of people reached on our FB
page can top 61,000 weekly. To receive the latest
Caravanning News updates on your FB news feed, just 'LIKE' our
Facebook page ... more than 15,000 followers have already done this.
Pat on back for understanding Sunshine State council
SO there might be a new caravan park coming to
Hervey Bay in Queensland (see story here)'
This is great news.
There should be more
Far too many parks are
reducing the number of caravan sites to make way for cabins as well.
Well done Hervey Bay Council.
WE, like many other
caravaners, use both caravan parks and freedom camps.
But if we are not given the
freedom of choice we will bypass or drive straight through and not
spend a cent.
If Tasmania were to ban all
free camps, would it not be unreasonable to ban all
Tasmania-registered vehicles from free camps in all other states?
Remember Tasmania, you need us
to come over ... on the other hand, we don't need the extra expence to
The value of
I WOULD like to point out to Tasmania that there are other
businesses in a community as well as just caravan parks.
an income out of free campers whether in a park or not.
do not get much if people are driving by.
Quite a lot of towns
that asked for receipts at the end of stays have been able to prove
that the value of free camping far outweighs increasing restrictions.
I think if councils looked at how businesses relied on the
increased trade to survive the full year they would realise that
reduced services to the whole community will be the outcome of
pandering to one business.