to 32,000 monthly
For full list, click above
Queensland Government launches $3m tourism campaign in bid to fill outback camping grounds and hotels with travellers.
Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
* Gundagai caravan park
opens weighbridge ... 89,865
Caravanners still squeezing trucks out of rest areas ...
59,028 people reached.
Queensland hunt for missing 74yo caravanner ... 45,639 people
Colorado Caravans in voluntary administration ... 31,771 people reached.
Pain at fuel pumps for caravanners ...
27,796 people reached.
Parks association wins battle to ban free overnights at
Rockhampton's Kershaw Gardens ...
Grey nomad scoops cool $1 million in Lotto draw ... 17,147
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Nothing too much trouble for
COLORADO Caravans are having problems and I
hope they are able to work through them and continue trading.
They are by far the best quality caravan we have owned.
Nothing has ever been too much trouble for Colorado.
An excellent caravan and we wish them all the best.
I AM at Surf Beach Holiday Park
Kiama in NSW and heard it will be closing early next year for
A plan of development on this Crown Land site shows the trend for
cabin accommodation, being increased
from 24 to 35.
But caravan/tent sites will decrease from 39 to 19.
Currently the caravan sites are sloping and some
are small, but really why is there not a better balance?
Slowly but surely, caravan/tents/camper trailers are being pushed
Parks association had 'no alternative' but to take action
council ordered to pay legal costs for Kershaw Gardens case
Council has been ordered to pay
the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland's
legal costs following the Kershaw Gardens
ruling. The Environment and Planning Court had
upheld the association's argument that overnight camping offered by
the council at the gardens was illegal and ruled it must cease on February
15 next year. Judge Williamson has now decided the council should foot the
association's legal costs, which still have to be assessed.
He rejected the council's submission they should be limited to 50 percent.
In his ruling just published, he said the association had
"no alternative" but
to take proceedings against the council. "The
council's conduct leading up to, and during the proceeding, was not
consistent with its position as a local government who would be expected
to comply with the planning law it is charged to uphold," he said. "This
has come at a cost that would not have been incurred had the council acted
in accordance with the planning law it has a duty to uphold in its local
government area." The Judge said he had "some
misgivings" about the council's conduct leading
up to and during the proceedings.
"However, it is unnecessary for me to make any
specific findings about this,"
Have your say
put on notice
NEW LEGISLATION WILL
Have your say
AUSTRALIA'S peak caravanning body has welcomed new
laws which it claims will transform the industry.
The new Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA)
‒ which will come into force next year
navigated its final hurdle through the Senate after five years of lobbying
by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia.
Chairman Grant Wilckens said it would
put local RV manufacturers and importers
on "a level playing field".
And chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured)
will result in safer caravanning products and provide better conditions
for industry businesses burdened with having to compete with cheap
imported products flouting tough Australian standards and design rules.
"Australians will be better protected through the strengthening of the
laws governing all vehicles, including trailers," he said.
He also welcomed increased powers for the government to slap penalties on
businesses doing the wrong thing.
provide much safer and compliant caravans'
"The RVSA will provide much safer and compliant caravans
and campers ‒ as well
as other light trailers ‒
while maintaining consumer choice of both products manufactured locally as
well as those sourced overseas," he added.
Mr Lucas said there were over 57 million nights spent caravanning and
camping last year.
"When the RVSA takes effect those purchasing caravanning products
can have even greater confidence in terms of safety, environmental and
anti-theft performance of all vehicles (including trailers) entering the
Australian market for the first time ... whether
new or used." Mr Lamont said.
The new legislation will also see better identification of caravanning
products and a consistent approach to those made locally or imported.
"The increasing demand for the caravanning and camping lifestyle in
Australia, which has an estimated annual value of $20.4 billion to the
Australian economy, is built around consumer confidence in the product and
having the highest safety standards," Mr Lamont said.
"One caravan accident is one caravan accident too many, and the more steps
we can put in place to provide better outcomes for Australian caravanners
"Industry businesses who consistently ignore their obligations under
Australian Design Rules should not be supplying product to the market, and
they are put on notice of increased scrutiny against any such practices,"
What new RVSA will mean to caravan industry
Companies suffer downturn in
Manufacturers hit troubled
Have your say
industry is reeling, with manufacturers falling on troubled times in
recent weeks. The days when hordes of cashed-up baby boomers were
hitting the road in their brand new luxury touring
caravans seem to be over as
companies report a downturn in orders. Customline Caravans, which
entered the market three years ago and was
founded by the former owners of failed Galaxy Caravans, is
being wound up, with liquidators appointed. The
company's Mark Burns told Caravanning News after its launch in 2015
that he was looking at producing high quality caravans with new features.
Galaxy went into receivership after debtors failed to pay debts to the
company. "Due to that we lost our beloved Galaxy brand name," Mr Burns
said. "But we as family have moved onwards and upwards. We have started
our new journey again to rebuild caravans, with fresh new exciting ideas."
Creditors of family-owned and operated Colorado Caravans, which is in
voluntary administration, will hold a second meeting on December 4 to
discuss the company's future. Owner and managing director Jim Moutsia told
Caravanning News it was hoped to save the business. "We are doing
all we can to continue into the future," he said. Founded 12 years ago,
Billabong Custom Caravans is now in external administration. The shock
news came as the Victorian-based company was advertising for experienced
caravan workers to join its team. The company manufactures quality,
handmade custom caravans at its Campbellfield factory and more recently
appeared to be concentrating on the family market. Family-owned Diamond
Caravans, which had been trading for around 10 years, has
closed and is in liquidation. A meeting of
creditors decided the Victorian company should be wound up. Meanwhile, the
Deputy Commissioner of Taxation has made an application to the Federal
Court for Coach Built Caravans to be wound up and liquidators have been
appointed for Blackburn Caravans following an order by the NSW
Keep close eye on rear-view
Cops urge caravanners to show
courtesy to other road users
QUEENSLAND police have urged caravanners to
drive carefully and show courtesy to other road
users during the festive holiday season.
This follows an accident on the New England Highway at Glenaven when a
caravan and its towing vehicle overturned after hitting a depression in
the road. Six people were taken to hospital with various non-life
threatening injuries. Crows Nest Police Sergeant Greg Dawes said both
vehicles were destroyed in the accident. "This year we have had a number
of traffic accidents occurring in the division where vehicles were towing
caravans," he said. "There is no suggestion that the drivers were driving
recklessly, but because of extra weight being towed it is alleged the cars
and caravans overturned due to the caravan swaying. In most cases the
driver has been unable to regain control, then gravity takes over." Sgt
Dawes warned that the festive season would see "a far greater number of
vehicles" on the road towing caravans and camper
trailers. "So please make sure you are driving carefully," he said. "If
you are taking safety precautions and travelling 20-30km/h below the speed
limit ‒ and this goes
for everyone, not just people towing
‒ please constantly keep a close eye on
your rear vision mirrors. If you start seeing cars banking up behind you
be courteous, pull over and let them pass." For information on the legal
and safety requirements visit the Queensland Government's website on
Towing a caravan or camper.
Have your say
off-roader wins major award
QUEENSLAND-based Sunland Caravans is
celebrating after one of its high-end off-road
caravans scooped a major award.
The elegant and eye-catching Phoenix MY19 was officially declared winner of Caravan
World's 2018 AL-KO Best Aussie Vans $100,000-plus category. Judges
considered value for money, self-sufficiency, towability, suitability for
intended touring, layout, quality of finish, build quality, creature
comforts, innovation and the 'X-Factor'. "This
is a fantastic reward for the hard work, attention to detail, innovative
thinking and customer-oriented manufacturing ethic that owner Roy Wyss and
his staff have stuck by," Sunland's marketing manager Andy Fox-Hulme told
Have your say
warning after Gidget case
THE Office of Fair Trading has issued a stern
warning to manufacturers "not to play fast and loose with consumers’
money". This follows court proceedings in which Gidget Retro Teardrop
Camper manufacturer Glenn Stuart Wills was ordered to pay more than $1
million in fines, compensation and court costs. Fair Trading executive
director Brian Bauer said the collapse of the
Brisbane-based company and the penalties handed down by the courts were a
stark reminder to businesses. "Taking large sums from consumers based on
empty promises is not only unethical, it is illegal,"
"Businesses that cause detriment to consumers this way will be punished."
camping site planned for Proserpine
WHITSUNDAY Regional Council in Queensland plans to provide an RV camping
site in Proserpine. It recently confirmed St
Catherine’s Catholic School oval in Marathon St as the preferred location.
Other options explored included the old Shell Service Station and the
Proserpine Showgrounds. "After talking with relevant stakeholders and
doing our due diligence it was clear that the best site was the St
Catherine’s School oval which the school will be vacating at the end of
this year," Mayor Andrew Willcox (pictured) said. Deputy mayor John
Collins said the preferred site "ticked all the boxes". "It's central, it
has easy access off the highway and the area is in a safe precinct," he
added. The council will now seek the necessary approvals.
Have your say
grant for Tingha's 'hidden gem'
TINGHA Gems Caravan Park in NSW,
a member of the Kui chain of caravan parks, has been awarded a $47,250
government grant to help finance a facelift.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall visited
Tingha’s hidden gem to announce the news. The
money will come from the NSW State Government's Crown Reserve Improvement
Fund. Mr Marshall was welcomed to the park by
live-in caretakers and managers Craig and Rebel Bright, who
said they were keen to get the work underway and
ready in time for the end-of-year break.
blast state of NSW coastal paths
TRAVELLERS have fat chance of using coastal paths to stay fit on NSW's Mid North Coast, according to WA caravanner Erica Minarik. She
claims that while the rest of Australia is tackling obesity by installing
walking/cycle paths, Kempsey Shire is letting theirs "go to ruin". Erica
says she and her partner have enjoyed numerous East Coast cycling and
walking paths during their caravanning adventures. But they were
"disappointed" when they reached her old stomping ground to find all the
paths and cycleways "in a very sorry state".
snaps up Rivershore for $23m
INGENIA Communities, which operates a chain of lifestyle and holiday
parks, has bought the Sunshine Coast's Rivershore Resort for $23 million.
The four-acre award-winning park at Maroochydore will add 95 high-yielding glamping, caravan and camping sites to Ingenia's offerings ... with future
expansion potential. Chief executive Simon Owen said it represented "a
rare opportunity" to acquire a well-constructed and capitalised tourist
resort in Queensland's third largest visitor market. Ingenia's Sunshine
State holiday park portfolio now includes Maroochydore, Noosa, Hervey Bay
Have your say
over 'tail wagging the dog'
THE Caravan Council of Australia has stressed the importance of correct
tow ball loading when hauling caravans.
"It is one of the critical factors that determine its handling and
stability characteristics," founder and qualified automotive engineer
Colin Young warned. "Serious safety issues arise if the ball loading is
either too light or too heavy." He said the seriousness would increase
"significantly" if the mass of the tow vehicle was not sufficiently high
to be able to control any instability of the caravan. "There are far too
many instances ‒ sadly, too often with damaging or even tragic outcomes ‒
where the 'tail wags the dog'," he added.
members for CIAA board
AUSTRALIA'S peak national body for the caravan and camping industry has
two new board members. They are
Donna Cocking (pictured), who has over 22 years owner and operator
experience in the caravan holiday park industry, and Sunliner RV's
managing director Nick Hunter (pictured). Jayco founder Gerry Ryan and
co-founder of Discovery Parks Grant Wilckens both retain their positions.
Current board members James Kelly, Matt Slee, Martin Cotterell, Dennis
Austin and Chris Goddard were not subject to re-election and will continue
to serve for another year. Meanwhile, the association's chief executive,
Stuart Lamont, has thanked vacating members Gabby Montagnese and Mark
New car and cruise on horizon for lucky couple
Road trippers scoop cool $1m
and now plan to buy caravan
A SOUTH Australian couple
on a driving holiday scooped a cool $1m Lotto win ... and now plan to buy
a caravan to make their travels more comfortable. The roving wife and
husband, who wanted to remain anonymous, couldn't contain their
jubilation. “We were in Parkes (NSW) and thought we'd buy a Lotto ticket,"
the woman explained. "We've been driving around seeing all these nice
little caravans on the road and saying 'if we win Lotto, we’ll buy one of
those', and look what happened!" Their ticket was the only division one
winning entry across Australia in Monday & Wednesday Lotto draw 3817.
"Yahoo!", the woman screamed when their prize was confirmed. "We're
on holidays driving around New South Wales. We're on a road trip and were
sitting at the table checking our ticket. My husband said 'we’ve got four
numbers, oh we've got five numbers. No love, we've got six. It was
amazing." Apart from shopping for a caravan for future travels, the couple
said they might also use their prize to buy a new car and enjoy a cruise.
See also: Nomads
join lucky line of Lotto winners.
Have your say
mining town wants more RV travellers
GYMPIE Regional Council in Queensland is seeking feedback on how it can
attract more caravanners and other RVers to the gold mining town and
region. Comments are now being sought to help
shape the council’s Recreational Vehicle Strategy which aims to
increase the number of visitors from this growing tide of travellers. The
council said the caravan, motorhome and camping industry was the fastest
growing domestic tourism sector. "It is important that this strategy aims
to plan to support RV tourism by recognising existing and potential
opportunities within the region for attracting and accommodating RV
tourists," it said in a statement. Submissions close on December 7.
Have your say
Roadstar owners head to Maryborough
MEMBERS of the 655-strong Roadstar Caravan
Owners Group flooded into Maryborough Showgrounds in Queensland for their
latest gathering. Company owner Ken Nizam put on
a special barbecue for caravanners who reportedly made many new
friendships during the week-long event. Owners of Roadstar caravans have a
go-ahead website, formed about two years ago. It is described as a "group
for friendly chat" about Roadstar 'vans old and new.
Have your say
joins ACC board
RETIRED financial services worker John Snell has joined the board of the
Australian Caravan Club. Mr Snell, from NSW,
took up caravanning in 2011 after working for 44 years in the industry,
the last three decades in a legal support role for retail and business
bankers. He will serve as a director of the 4600-member nationwide club
until the next annual general meeting in 2019. "I am pleased that John has
accepted the invitation to join the board as he brings a wealth of
professional experience and RV knowledge to the table," club chairman
Craig Humphrey said. Mr Snell said he was "delighted" to join the board.
members-only park at Penola
AN area of the McCorquindale Park sports facility at Penola in SA may be
turned into a camping ground for recreational vehicles.
Locals have been asked to comment on the proposal put forward by the
Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia. The club wants to develop an area
for self-contained RVs which would be available to its members only. Under
a formal 10-year lease ‒ with a further right of
renewal of 10 years ‒ it would be responsible
for running the site and meeting all operating costs and general
maintenance. Wattle Range Council has invited the local community to
submit written comments on the plan before January 5 next year.
Have your say
to meet trend for larger RVs
IN a $3.5 million makeover, a caravan park on Queensland's thriving
Sunshine Coast will have the number of sites reduced to make room for
bigger caravans. Sunshine Coast Council says the
time has come for the industry to meet a trend for larger caravans,
motorhomes and camping trailers. Councillor John Connolly described the
Mooloolaba Beach Holiday Park as a key economic hub for the area but
needed to be upgraded from the ground up to ensure it remained
contemporary and provided the modern park facilities expected by guests.
BIG4 parks pull
off tourism awards trifecta
BIG4 holiday parks pulled off a trifecta in the Caravan & Holiday Parks
category at the South Australian Tourism Awards.
The chain's Hahndorf Resort, West Beach Parks and Renmark Riverfront
claimed gold, silver, and bronze respectively. The family owned and
operated Renmark Riverfront park on the banks of the Murray River also
collected two additional gongs from other categories including Excellence
in Accessible Tourism and the RAA People’s Choice Tourism Award for
Have your say
up for Kimba's free camping site
CARAVANNERS and other travellers have given a big thumbs up to Kimba
District Council's free camping site in SA. A
visitors' survey of more than 130 grey nomads by local tourism student
Hayley Jericho showed great appreciation for the pet-friendly Kimba
Recreation Reserve which offers free overnight stays, toilets, coin-operated shower, water, playground, oval and courts. Survey forms
indicated that travellers usually stayed for one night and spent between
$50 and $100 in the area. Ms Jericho said responses had been positive,
with interstate travellers impressed with the free camping concept and
quality of facilities.
Have your say
funding for new outback parks
MORE camping grounds will be built in Queensland's outback and existing
caravan parks will also benefit thanks to the State Government's $10
million Outback Tourism Infrastructure fund.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government was investing in
projects it knew would lure more tourists to the Queensland outback.
"Tourism is vital to the outback's future and this funding will help
ensure we deliver the infrastructure needed to create more tourism jobs
for the future," she added. Barcaldine Regional Council will receive a
grant to build "economical camping parks" in Aramac, Jerricho and
Muttaburra where no commercial camping grounds exist. Adels Grove Camping
Park's grant will finance a conference room and camp kitchen while
McKinlay Shire Council will build additional infrastructure to provide "an
upmarket experience" at the artesian bath facility at Julia Creek Caravan
Have your say
change and new logo for Melrose park
MOUNT Remarkable Council's Melrose Caravan Park in South Australia has had
a change of name. Councillors have approved a
new marketing campaign for the park, including altering its name to
Melrose Caravan and Tourist Park. It will also undergo short term
improvements listed in an expansion study and introduce a new logo. "The
improvements combined with the positive marketing campaign is expected to
increase tourism and the visitor experience at the park," the council
Have your say
on the tourist trail
MILLIONS of I'm A Celebrity viewers are tuning into the Australian "jungle" for the UK's latest series.
But what they don't know is that the awe inspiring location is in fact a
popular public camping ground in the Gold Coast hinterland. Tourists in
tents, camper trailers and campervans have been rolling into the area for
decades. Climb one of the lookouts and you can even feast your eyes on the
Pacific Ocean's coastal Glitter Strip. Hardened security guards in full
camouflage and bodyguards prevented people from getting anywhere near the
I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here set. They also kept a keen
lookout for deadly snakes and spiders. Caravanning News understands
local bug breeders were kept busy supplying creepy crawlies for the show's
infamous bush tucker trials. The Australian version of the popular
programme is scheduled to return to our screens in 2019. Photo:
Australian show hosts Dr Chris Brown and Julia Morris.
Have your say
pours $247,000 into Denmark
FREE-SPENDING caravanners injected a whopping quarter of a million dollars
into a small Western Australian coastal community's economy.
Over 380 members of the nationwide Australian Caravan Club descended on
the township of Denmark for the club's annual national muster. And during
the seven-day event, local businesses benefited to the tune of $247,000.
"In fact, some of our members explored the region for a couple of weeks
and this expenditure is not included in the tally," club chairman Craig
body welcomes new 'lemon laws'
QUEENSLAND'S peak motoring body, the RACQ, has welcomed new "lemon laws"
which will help protect carvanners and other RV buyers from shoddy RV
manufacturers and dealers. "This is a great step
forward," spokesman Paul Turner said, but adding that in the long run the
RACQ would prefer a simpler and formalised mediation process. "We've seen
the boom in grey nomads and the boom in caravanning and camping for
families so these changes will also give coverage for what's often a very
significant investment," he said. The new laws will see the vehicle value
which owners can take to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
increase from $25,000 to $100,000.
Have your say
for Hummock Hill Island tourism plan
QUEENSLAND'S independent Coordinator-General has approved a $1.2 billion
tourism project for Hummock Hill Island near Gladstone.
The ambitious development will include tourist accommodation, holiday
units and camping grounds for about 2700 people. It is the only
substantial undeveloped island in the southern area of the Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park south of Shoalwater Bay. Gladstone is a popular stopping
off place for thousands of southern grey nomads who head north for the
winter sunshine. It is regarded as the gateway to the southern Great
passing of stalwarts
VICTORIA'S peak caravanning body is mourning the passing of well known
contributors to the industry, David Hams and Gerald Anderson.
"Both were passionate and engaging contributors to the caravan industry
and well respected by those who knew them," the Caravan Industry
Association Victoria said. Mr Hams was part of the Hams family who, after
seeing a caravan complex in the United States housing multiple dealers,
established Caravan City in Croydon. The business grew to include up to12
dealers with between 1200 to 1500 caravans on site at any given time. In
the early 1970s he joined the family in the Millard dealership and then in
the late 1980s began working at Premier Caravans in Campbellfield before
starting his own caravan hire business, including building caravans for
hire in the early 1990s. His whole family was involved in the caravan
industry and his career alone covered three decades. Mr Anderson started
out as a motor mechanic trade instructor until becoming involved in the
caravan industry about 25 years ago. Since that time he has been a great
role model for caravanners, a creative and forward thinking educator who
was extremely well liked, the association said.
Have your say
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Many more rest
area options for RVers looking for free overnights
I READ your story on the
truckie calling for action on RVs taking over truck spaces at rest
areas (see story here).
Definitely agree with Bruce Skelton that there are many
inconsiderate caravanners and motorhome travellers who have
self-entitled attitudes when using rest areas
needed by truckies.
Noticed many that pull up right in the middle of a rest area when
common sense would be to leave long areas for trucks.
If signs say truck-only parking, leave it for trucks.
Truck drivers should be able to send a photo to police showing rego of
the RV offenders, who should be fined.
More travellers want to free camp but should be banned,
with heavy fines, from truck parking areas.
RVs have many more options.
to the 'pedal to the metal' caravanner heading south through Gympie recently:
It seems the driver of the powerful blue
4WD towing a large Majestic caravan thought he was on the starting grid of F1
when pulling away from traffic lights.
And as for giving way when the road
narrowed ... well, forget that!
Oh, and let's not forget a short spell
of tailgating either.
Luckily, this bully turned off the Bruce
Highway and onto the road heading to Rainbow Beach.
Well done idiot! You were certainly not
helping the already tarnished image of us caravanners.