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FEBRUARY 2023
 


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Lake Kepari

Tourist hotspot

New campground now available for travellers

Have your say

A NEW campground and upgraded facilities are now available at Lake Kepwari in WA. The site of a former open-cut mine 15km south-east of Collie has been transformed into a tourist hotspot, popular with both the locals and travellers to the region. It completes a $5.8 million transformation to lure tourists to the town which last year recorded more than 51,000 visitors. Upgrades consist of the new David Ugle Campground, increasing the total number of campsites from 32 to 53. There is also a new picnic area, improved pathway access, barbecue shelter and toilet facilities. The existing campground located on the eastern edge of the lake has been renamed to Mick Murray Campground.


Proposal 'won't be a silver bullet'

Council approves RV-living in backyards

Cr Jade Wellings

Have your say

CARAVAN owners on Queensland's Fraser Coast will soon be allowed to officially use their RVs to accommodate friends or family in their backyards.

"This will allow people to provide free temporary accommodation to family and friends who cannot find rental accommodation," local councillor Jade Wellings, pictured, said.

"There is a critical shortage of rental accommodation across the country, and this is one way the council can help.

"While housing is primarily a State Government responsibility, our community is looking to us as local leaders to do something in this space.

"This proposal certainly won't be a silver bullet, but it may help take some pressure off and help people to take care of their loved ones in their time of need."

The caravans will not be allowed to be used for more than six months in a 12-month period.

Residents will have to complete a registration form to ensure they comply with the local law regulations and to alert the council that a caravan has been placed on their block.



Shares soar in value

Results reveal Camplify's stellar growth

camplify-caravan

By Dennis Amor

SHARES in NSW-based peer-to-peer caravan rental company Camplify are soaring in value. The company has told shareholders that this follows some "remarkable achievements", with stocks up an extraordinary 22.86 percent to $2.20 at the end of last week. Camplify, founded seven years ago, now helps over 10,000 caravan owners to share their RVs. It has declared gross transaction volumes of $24.7 million for the quarter, a rise of almost 110 percent over the previous corresponding quarter. Revenue came in at $6.6 million, which was 63.8 percent above the same quarter last year. The company recorded $31.2 million in future bookings over the quarter, a 270 percent increase on last year’s numbers. Quarter revenue rose by 63.7 percent compared with the second quarter in last year's financial year. The total revenue recorded was $6.59m (unaudited). "These results continue Camplifys stellar growth performance," shareholders were told. CHL’s Australian business saw "significant growth" on an already large base, with revenue growing by 52.3 percent as Aussies continue to show strong support for domestic holidays. Have your say


Colin Young

'More important for sales people'

Consultant engineer scorns idea of caravan towing tests

CONSULTANT automotive engineer Colin Young has scorned suggestions that all caravanners should undertake towing tests. "A proper test/exam of the vital legal and technical issues involving with towing a caravan would be much more practical, faster and cheaper ... and probably more effective than having all 'vanners obtain an endorsed licence," he said. He believes all caravan sales personnel should be required to pass the test, especially the critical ratings and masses questions. Mr Young said a question and answer test sheet could be obtained by emailing him at caravancouncil@optusnet.com.au Have your say


Crooks make off with caravan

Plea to be on the lookout for stolen Jayco

Thieves made off with this Jayco poptop caravan belonging to a NSW family. Griffith Police have now urged people to keep an eye out for it. Anyone with information should ring 02 6969 4299.


Jackeeroo fridgeFears of carbon monoxide poisoning

 WA Mines Dept slaps ban on portable fridges

WA's Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has slapped a ban on the sales of Jackeroo J3PR35L three-way portable refrigerators made in 2010. There are fears of dangerous carbon monoxide levels when the appliance is operated on gas in an enclosed area. They can only be sold to Building and Energy officers for testing, validation or disposal. Caravanners, campers and other owners of portable fridges are urged to check if their appliance is part of a gas safety sales ban in Western Australia due to carbon monoxide hazards. "When this fridge is operated with gas in an enclosed area, it can emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, a potentially lethal toxic gas," Building and Energy acting executive director Nabil Yazdani said. "Do not use it indoors or in an enclosed space, such as inside a tent, caravan, RV or boat, even if the doors or windows are open." Have your say


CooperSpotlight on cadets

Jayco training gives Cooper confidence

JAYCO is proud of having produced Australia's most popular brand of RVs for more than 45 years ... and decided to turn the spotlight on its cadets who have helped in the process. The Victorian-based manufacturer interviewed one of its trainees in its cadetship program to find out how he has benefited. Cooper, pictured above, joined the program in March, 2022, after graduating from high school. He was searching for jobs when he discovered it was construction oriented and would provide him with hands-on experience, which was exactly what he was after. Through Jayco’s cadetship program, Cooper discovered his passion for electrical work and has gained the skills and experience to pursue this field. Read more button


Locals fight decision

Anger as highway driver reviver site axed

Gin Gin driver reviver site

By Dennis Amor

LOCALS are fighting the decision to permanently close the popular driver reviver station adjoining the travellers' rest area north of Gin Gin on Queensland's busy Bruce Highway. The facility, which stood on government land north of the township, is reported to be the first victim of a government decision to axe more than half of the sites which allegedly do not meet health and safety regulations. Travellers, including caravanners, expressed disappointment when Caravanning News visited the driver reviver site this week, claiming it would do nothing to help road safety. "These sites do a valuable job in reducing driver fatigue," caravanner Derek Fitzgerald said. "Where's the wisdom in shutting them down?" Gin Gin's Country Women's Association has already launched a petition against the closure. Photo: Caravanning News.   Have your say


Scratching Lotto tickets is one theory

ANTS IN YOUR PANTS? MAYBE IN THIS 'VAN!

Caravan ants

A NEW Facebook posting has caravanners guessing. One owner was left completely baffled after discovering piles of black debris in his pride and joy. And he has taken to social media for an answer. "Any ideas what this is?” he asks in a Facebook posting. Readers were quick to offer answers, suggesting ants in the walls, spider eggs, insect poo, termites, a spider plague ... and even debris from scratching Lotto tickets! ABC Pest Control director Warren Bailey said the infestation was most likely "an infestation" of native Australian black ants, a common species which overruns homes. "It's actually quite common this time of the year," he added. Have your say


big spendersGrowth set to continue

Caravanners and campers pour billions into economy

Have your say

LATEST figures from the National Visitor Survey show that caravan and camping is a major contributor to the economy. The large-scale telephone assessment, which has been conducted by Tourism Research Australia annually since January 1998, is designed to measure domestic and outbound travel by Aussies. The number of caravan and camping trips grew by 67 percent in the decade before COVID-19. In the year ending 2019, Australians chalked up an all-time record with a whopping 13.9 million caravan and camping trips. Commercial caravan parks and camping grounds accounted for 52 percent of trips. Numbers have recovered well since COVID-related lockdowns ended. Trips were at 12.7 million by the year ending June, 2022. Spend was at an all-time high of $10.5 billion. With over 770,000 caravan and campervan registrations across the nation in 2021, this growth is set to continue.


 Improving visitor experience

More power to campers at Point Lowly

Point Lowly campground

Have your say

MORE power to the elbow of caravanners and campers at SA's Point Lowly Campground near Whyalla. Upgrades at the facility in Port Bonython Road include a brand-new shelter with solar panels, two barbeques and two picnic tables with phone charging capabilities. "This new addition should greatly improve the visitor experience to the area," a local said. The project was initiated by the Point Lowly Ratepayers Association with a request to the local council. Installation was completed by Specialised Solutions. In addition to the installation of the shelter, new post and chain fencing is being installed to provide clear access to areas that are accessible and appropriate spaces for camping.



Motorhome
Photo: Shire of Harvey

Shire approves 'friendly trial'

Overnight rest areas to be trialled in Harvey Shire

  Have your say

WA's Shire of Harvey has thrown down the welcome mat for caravanners and other RV travellers. Councillors have approved a 12-month 'Friendly Trial' offering free overnight short-stay rest areas to fully self-contained RV travellers. It will begin in March and offer a limited number of bays for up to 48 hours at Australind, Brunswick, Harvey and Yarloop. Shire President Paul Gillett said the trial would focus on attracting the RV travellers who head to other areas outside the shire which offer free RV short-stay options. "The trial will be closely monitored by shire officers with an initial review due back to the council after six months," he said. "The trial only allows for self-contained RVs defined as motorised camping vehicles with internal sleeping accommodation, internal kitchen and dining facilities that carry their own internal water supply and have internal shower and toilet facilities." He said the first step would be to assess each site and ensure they are user ready.


Primitive camping ground to reopen

Wilks park

PREPARATIONS are underway to re-open Wilks Park primitive camping ground in New South Wales. It was closed to dry out after flooding in October and November. The clean-up includes levelling areas within the park, removing rubbish and adjusting the temporary levee at the entrance so that caravans can still enter the park while maintaining the levee height. The opening date is yet to be determined. Due to the long-term risk of flooding, conditions of stay will again be in force, with rangers monitoring the area daily. Restrictions include a 72-hour limit and self-contained accommodation. A full list of the conditions of use are displayed on a sign at the entrance to the park. Have your say


Turtle Sands
Photo: Caravanning News

'Eco-tourism experience'

NRMA shells out to acquire park
adjoining famous turtle rookery

Story and pic by Dennis Amor

NRMA Parks and Resorts has bought the beachside caravan park bordering on the world famous Mon Repos turtle rookery in Queensland. With over 40 parks nationwide, the chain is Australia's second largest investor in holiday parks. Its latest acquisition Turtle Sands Camping and Holiday Park near Bundaberg has taken limited guests since pulling down the shutters in 2010, telling Caravanning News it wanted to protect the adjoining turtle activity. The park first threw open its gates in 1974. NRMA Parks and Resorts said it planned to create an "eco-tourism experience" next to Mon Repos, which attracts visitors from far and wide during the turtle laying season from December to March. Have your say


Esperance caravan park

Redevelopment begins in May

RAC plans $7.5m upgrade for Esperance caravan park

A BEACHSIDE caravan park in the West Australian town of Esperance is to undergo a $7.5 million redevelopment. RAC Parks and Resorts plan to extend their current park, with internal roads to another 20 self-contained chalets, long vehicle sites suitable for larger caravans and buses, parking and a play area. The reserve was formerly run as a youth hostel but stood vacant for some time after the Shire of Esperance took on the lease in late 2020 to help the local community with worker accommodation during the Covid pandemic. Shire president Ian Mickel said it was time to hand the prime tourism site over to an organisation which had already demonstrated the "fantastic results" they can achieve. Shire chief executive Shane Burge said redevelopment of the site would offer ongoing assistance to the regional community. "RAC prefers to use local contractors in construction which were competitive and available, and hopes the site works and in-ground services will be sourced locally," he said. "The finished extension to the holiday park will increase the amenity of the site and diversify our accommodation options, and of course RAC will continue marketing to its member base and wider population. This gives significant exposure to our town, and once travellers are here RAC works with local tourism operators, encouraging guests to enjoy the amenities of our region." RAC plans to start redevelopment next May. Have your say


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