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AUG 31:
Caravan Industry Victoria announces cancellation of Melbourne Leisurefest planned for October due to COVID restrictions.

AUG 31:
Pelican Rest Caravan Park at St George in Queensland has told how caravanners and travellers packed up and fled the park after a truckie returned a false positive COVID test.

AUG 31:
Shares in peer-to-peer RV rental company Camplify continue to soar, opening on the ASX at an all-time high of $1.80 today.

AUG 31:
Cobb & Co Caravan Park at Charleville in Queensland is on the market for a million dollars.

AUG 31:
Molesworth Recreation Reserve and Caravan Park in Victoria is looking for a new caretaker couple.


* Help for broken down caravanners ... 83,101 people reached.

* No more 'self-certifying' by RV builders ... 20,507 people reached.

* Hunt for missing caravanners ... 14,143 people reached.

* Overtaking caravan collides with another caravan ... 10,640 people reached.

* New dump point for McLaren Vale ... 7943 people reached.

* Retiring caravan park owners hit the road themselves ... 7234 people reached.

* Border Expo cancelled due to COVID ... 6456 people reached.



Police advise grey nomads road safety

A presentation at the Sunset Caravan Park.

Advice for seniors

Cops dish out safety
info to grey nomads

POLICE targeted grey nomads during Queensland's Road Safety Week. Officers from the Mount Isa District Road Policing Unit were out and about delivering information aimed at senior road users. They visited local caravan parks in the outback city and handed out Understanding The Call Of The Outback brochures. The brochure contains tips for people travelling on Queensland outback roads with caravans and provides advice on road-trains, UHF radios, call points, animals and country driving tips. Meanwhile, presentations included a road rules refresher quiz, information on how ageing can affect driving ability and options for when they are no longer able to drive. Have your say

Justin Hales  Shares soar to highest ever price

Camplify reports continuing strong growth with revenue of $8.4m

CAMPLIFY's gross transaction value (GTV) soared by 170 percent to $32.9 million during the last financial year, its annual report reveals. And the news saw shares in the peer-to-peer caravan and campervan sharing platform jump 15 percent to trade at $1.55, its highest price ever. The company reported continuing strong growth, with revenue of $8.4 million for the year. Chief executive and founder Justin Hales (pictured) said COVID had been "a challenge" but the business had accelerated and its board of directors was "extremely pleased" with the results. Camplify, which also operates in New Zealand, Britain and Spain, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and became a public company in June this year. It marked the beginning of the next chapter for the thriving five-year-old company. Have your say


CCA warning as more caravans hit road

'Too many frightening incidents involving RVs'

Overtaking goes wrong

Have your say

THERE are too many serious accidents and frightening incidents involving caravans attempting to overtake, according to the Caravan Council of Australia.

The warning comes after a dramatic increase in the number of Australians being forced to holiday at home because of COVID restrictions.

More RVs than ever have taken to our highways and byways and caravan parks are reportedly full to overflowing.

The council's founder and general manager, Colin Young, pointed out that it is now more important than ever for caravanners to take extra care when travelling.

When at speed, it was vital they were able to stop or decelerate at a reasonable rate … safely and in a straight line.

"With so many significant variables involved, it is not possible to provide a definitive procedure to determine the overall distance required for safe overtaking for every tow-vehicle and caravan combination," he said.

"The most important requirement is simply that the driver must have good eyesight … especially for the perception of distance on the road.

"If you are not 100 percent confident that you can overtake a vehicle safely in the prevailing atmospheric and road conditions, do not attempt to overtake."

Mr Young said drivers must have a good appreciation of the acceleration performance of their tow-vehicle.

When lane-change manoeuvres were undertaken, they must have a good appreciation of the handling/stability performance of their tow-vehicle and caravan combination

He said caravanners should be extremely careful and double-check the road ahead to ensure there is sufficient clear road to safely overtake another vehicle.

Be aware of dips, intersecting roads, the road is wide enough and without rough edges and that the vehicle you are about to overtake is not preparing to pass another vehicle or make a right turn.

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Border'Van dislodges from tow vehicle

Caravanner faces raft of charges
after border drama

A CARAVANNER who failed to stop at the SA and WA border on the Eyre Hwy is facing a raft of charges, including reckless driving. The 47-year-old woman, of no fixed address, has appeared in Kalgoorlie magistrates court claiming she wants to leave Australia but 'no-one is here to arrange it". She was remanded in custody and will reappear in court on September 6. She is alleged to have accelerated away from the border checkpoint, driven erratically and caused her caravan to sway from side to side. When sandwiched by police vehicles it is claimed she reversed at speed, hitting an unmarked police vehicle and causing an officer to take evasive action to avoid being struck. Her caravan eventually dislodged from its Volvo tow vehicle and careered into bushland. It is further alleged the woman smashed a glass jar at a police officer's feet and attempted to set the spilled liquid on fire. She was eventually arrested at the Madura Roadhouse. Have your say

Suburban water heater  Fears as inspection rate slows

Deadly gas RV water heaters could still be in use, warns supplier

COAST to Coast Caravan and Leisure has renewed its warning to caravanners that they could be using deadly water heaters in their RVs. It has so far inspected over 4000 Suburban heaters since a recall began several years ago. "However, as inspection rates have started to slow we would like to once again remind you to immediately check to see if your appliance is affected," it said. The heaters can operate on electricity or gas but can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide when on gas. Models SW6PA, SW6DA, SW6DEA, SW4DEA, SW4DECA and SW6DECA with serial numbers 181315552 to 193002648, 183114087D to191302511D, 8183311827 and 8190201139 sold between April 4, 2018, and September 25, 2019, could be affected. "Do not use the affected water heaters in gas mode under any circumstances unless a passed inspection result has been received," the company said. Have your say

Aspen holiday park  Restrictions help domestic scene

COVID clouds near-term outlook
for Aspen holiday parks

ASPEN says the near-term outlook for its holiday parks continues to be clouded by the COVID pandemic. A statement to shareholders predicts that international travel is likely to remain highly restricted for the next 12 months and this could increase domestic holiday stays at its chain of holiday parks ... but "only if government-imposed restrictions reduce". Aspen said its Tween Waters Holiday Park near the NSW-Victoria border and Adelaide Caravan Park near the CBD had been "materially impacted" and are expected to improve their net income when lockdowns end. Have your say

Tatura car park  Pleased to host travellers

Shepparton to continue free
48-hour rest stop for RVs

VICTORIA'S Greater Shepparton City Council will continue its free RV rest stop in Tatura after a successful 12 month trial. The area at the Douglas Street car park offers three spaces for fully self-contained caravans, motorhomes or campervans for up to 48 hours. The council had estimated that the experiment would cost more than $9000, including $3500 to hire CCTV to monitor the sites. Mayor Kim O'Keeffe said given the significant growth experienced in the RV market, there was an increased demand for local towns to accommodate the travellers. "Council is extremely pleased to be able to continue hosting RVs for free in Tatura for at least the next three years," she said. Read more button

Ingenia  Outlook for holiday parks 'incredibly positive'

Ingenia shakes off COVID blues to reveal 30pc rise in underlying profit

INGENIA, which operates a chain of holiday and lifestyle parks, has emerged from 12 months of COVID hurdles and announced a whopping 30 percent increase in underlying profit for the financial year ending in June. The group's revenue increased 21 percent to $295.6 million while earnings before income tax was up 31 percent to $94.4 million. Its statutory profit hit $72.8 million, a 131 percent rise on the previous year. Chief executive Simon Owen described the group's performance as "strong" despite the challenging environment, demonstrating the overall resilience of the business. "We believe the five-year outlook for our holiday parks is incredibly positive ... with considerable tailwinds in place," he said. The company declared a 5.5 cent final dividend, taking its full payout to 10.5c, a five percent increase on the previous year's 10c. Read more button

Flames  Police establish crime scene

Woman dies in caravan inferno
at New South Wales park

A WOMAN died and a man escaped with burns after a horrifying caravan blaze on NSW's Central Coast last night. Six fire trucks and 30 firefighters fought the inferno just after 8pm at the Homeland Park caravan park in Wadalba, near Wyong. Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Adam Dewberry said despite a quick response by firefighters, the caravan was completely engulfed, with flames threatening nearby structures and two large gas cylinders. Park manager Alex Orr said the caravan was completely destroyed and a second caravan was also damaged. A man in his 50s managed to escape, while the body of a woman, believed to be aged in her 50s, was located inside. The man suffered minor burns to his hands and was treated for shock and smoke inhalation. A crime scene has been established as inquiries into the fire continue. Have your say

Lotto ticket  Overwhelming feeling comes up trumps

Would-be caravanner scoops
a near million-dollars on lotto

A QUEENSLAND mother is planning to hit the road in a brand new caravan ... thanks to a near one-million-dollar windfall. The Sarina woman's overwhelming feeling that she had just scored a big lottery win prompted her to check her Saturday Gold Lotto ticket and discover she had done just that ... scooping a cool $797,532.27. Asked how she thought she might enjoy her division one win, the mum thought of her children first. "I am going to help out my kids. It will be lovely," she said. But she quickly added: "Then I want to buy a caravan and travel around the country. I'll start with Queensland. It will be amazing!" The jubilant mum said she had been playing special numbers reflecting birthdays and anniversaries for many years. "It's amazing that they've been drawn," she added. The woman joins a growing list of caravanners and would-be caravanners who have come up trumps with a weekly lotto flutter. Have your say

Crossing bridge Preserving facilites for generations to come

Comments invited on $3 million upgrades at Cockle Creek camps

THE Tasmanian government has invited public feedback on proposed upgrades at Cockle Creek camping grounds in the Southwest National Park. Work at the Catamaran and Ramsgate facilities is part of a $3 million project from the government's Parks Powering Regional Economies election commitment. "We know that visitors love camping at Cockle Creek due to its tranquil coves, sandy beaches and distant mountain peaks," Minister for Parks Jacquie Petrusma said. "These plans will ensure the campgrounds are maintained and preserved for generations to come." Read More button

Reversing  Need to brush up on skills

Caravanners lack confidence and reversing abilities: survey

WA's major motor organisation is urging caravanners to brush-up on their skills before hitting the road, with a new study revealing a lack of confidence when towing and reverse-parking. Nearly 600 people took part in RAC's Caravan and Camping Survey, with nearly a third admitting they were not confident reverse-parking their caravan or camper trailer, and 16 percent feeling the same about towing their caravan or camper trailer. RAC Insurance claims manager Glen Walker said the survey confirmed there were novice caravanners on the roads. Read more button

Litchfield Park swimming  'Another tourism gem for Top End'

First of three new Litchfield
Park campgrounds set to open

THE first of three new campgrounds and swimming areas in the NT's Litchfield National Park will open at the weekend. The 10-site facility will include drop toilets and an information shelter, but will be accessible to four-wheel-drive vehicles only. The completed works make up the third of the $17.5 million Turbo Charging Tourism project, which will add 32 new campsites across three separate campgrounds in the park. Minister for Parks and Rangers Selena Uibo said the new campsites would be another drawcard for visitors. "Central Valley will be yet another tourism gem for the Top End, and this is why we are continuing to invest to ensure we maximise everything it has to offer," he added.  Have your say

Caravan on rest area  Improving road safety for all travellers

Caravanners welcome rest area upgrades in the Sunshine State

CARAVANNERS have welcomed news that driver rest areas on major road corridors across south-east Queensland are being upgraded. Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the government had allocated $12.66 million towards the jointly-funded Rest Area Upgrade Program. It is hoped the work will help improve road safety for all travellers, encouraging them to take regular breaks. Caravanners spoken to by Caravanning News said that with the number of grey nomads booming and holiday park fees soaring to "astronomical" levels, it was more important than ever to provide decent rest areas. Read More button

Riverside  Delivering on a promise

Victorian Govt plans to approve hundreds of riverside campsites

HUNDREDS of new camping areas could be opening on the banks of Victoria's rivers, says the state's government. Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said the government was delivering on its promise to open up more riverside sites for camping. Up to 27 areas along the Goulburn, Broken, Ovens, Campaspe, Loddon and Murray rivers are already being assessed. The Victorian Government has consulted extensively with communities and is finalising new regulations governing recreational use of Crown land river frontages, which would become effective from September 1 this year. Read more button

Lake Dyer caravanning and camping ground 'Excited to attract more tourism'

Campground's manager wants to provide a 'lifetime of memories'

THE new manager of Lake Dyer Caravan and Camping Grounds in Queensland's Lockyer Valley is determined to offer guests "memories that last a lifetime". Donna Smith has been awarded the official management agreement of the facility, between the villages of Laidley and Forest Hill and just a short detour off the Warrego Highway. She will operate the caravan and camping grounds with husband Herb and said they were excited to hit the ground running. "The appointment will allow us to elevate our services and expand our footprint and we are excited to attract more tourism opportunities for our region," she said. Read more button

Kings Point Retreat  'Opportunity to grow revenue'

Ingenia snaps up award-
winning park for $15 million

By Dennis Amor

INGENIA has snapped up an award-winning holiday and lifestyle park on NSW's south coast. The $15.8 million takeover of Kings Point Retreat awarded a Best Holiday Park gong by the caravanning and camping industry in 2019 is expected to be finalised later this month. The park, which this year received a Travellers' Choice award, is located in the popular seaside tourist town of Ulladulla and offers 53 permanent homes, 27 cabins and 67 powered and ensuite sites. Facilities include a playground, two swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, gym, camp kitchen, waterpark, spas and sauna. Ingenia chief executive Simon Owen commented: "We see opportunities to grow revenue as we integrate the tourism operations into our platform." Have your say

Rainbow Caravan Park  'They have provided invaluable input'

Residents offer local perspective
on Rainbow park redevelopment

PLANNING for the redevelopment of Rainbow Caravan Park in Victoria is progressing, reports Hindmarsh Shire Council. Mayor Ron Ismay said interested local residents were approached to provide a local perspective and to help consultants with the park's redevelopment plan. "They have subsequently provided invaluable input that has led to a range of key aspects being included," he added. The council and electricity supplier Powercor are working through the design stage of a power supply upgrade which will increase capacity at the park. "Council has allocated funding to upgrade the power supply into the Rainbow Recreation Reserve and Caravan Park," Cr Ismay said. "It will provide sufficient power for future developments, including the new joint use change rooms that will be located within the grounds of the caravan park but used by participants utilising the adjacent netball and tennis courts." Read more button

Dump point   'This is a great thing for tourism'

Mayor welcomes SA city's
new attraction for travellers

ERIN Thompson, Mayor of the City of Onkaparinga on the southern fringe of Adelaide, has announced a new attraction ... a dump point. While admitting in a Facebook posting that it may not be particularly exciting for people without a caravan or other RV, he stresses: "This is a great thing for tourism and will hopefully attract more travellers to the region to support our fantastic local businesses." The City of Onkaparinga population around 173.000 is the largest metropolitan council in South Australia. The dump point is located at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre. Have your say

River Drive Caravan Park  'Just time time for busier months'

Park brightens town's approach following $215,000 facelift

UPGRADES to a caravan park have brightened the approach to the rural town of Innisfail in Queensland, according to the local council. Planning and Regional Development portfolio holder Nick Pervan said the River Drive Caravan Park was the first area people noticed when driving into town from the south. "The council has invested time and money into ensuring this facility is well above standards and has the necessary appeal to attract travellers to stop and spend time in the local area," Councillor Pervan explained. Completion of the work came just in time for Far North Queensland's busier tourist months. Read more button

Smart meter  'Difficult to pick up leaks'

'Smart meters' save $50,000 in
water leaks at caravan parks

CARAVAN parks in NSW's MidCoast region have helped prove the value digital water meters as water conservation tools. Council-installed 'smart meters' have detected leaks at 10 MidCoast caravan parks this year, leading to an estimated saving of 26 million litres of water. The council's director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott, said the saving was significant and showed the technology was proving a valuable way for major customers to reduce water use and ensure their systems were as efficient as possible. "Unfortunately, many of our caravan parks have old pipes and are located on sandy soil, which makes it really difficult to pick up on leaks because the water doesn’t show up on the surface," he said. Read more button

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Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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Letter man

COVID brings benefits to some industry sectors

SOME areas of the caravanning industry seem to be benefiting greatly from the epidemic which has crippled many sections of our great land.

Take RV manufacturers, for instance.

They have bulging order books and, we are told, cannot keep pace with demand now that overseas holidays have become out of the question.

Meanwhile, some disappointed would-be travellers are having to wait up to 18 months for delivery.

And we read that caravan parks are welcoming record numbers of travellers. With many parks bursting at the seams, they are having to turn away disappointed caravanners in their droves.

Some are searching out rest areas as an alternative but even these facilities are often already overcrowded.

Oh well, so be it. Carry on dreaming ... things will eventually get back to normal. Just a matter of being patient, I suppose.

Barry Gleason.

Donation site?

I WOULD like to comment on Robe's new RV site (see story here)

They should also make it a donation site to cover ongoing support costs.

Maybe $5 per site?

Roger Lowry.