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Growth set to continue
Caravanners and campers pour billions into economy
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
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.
'Ultimate fun caravan trailer'
New toy hauler for adventurous 'vanners
AUSTRALIAN tiny house manufacturing company Häuslein has launched its new toy hauler model – a sleek-look recreational caravan for the adventurous. Designed and manufactured entirely in Port Macquarie NSW, The $95,000 Häuslein Hauler is an 8m-long, 3.5-tonne recreational caravan trailer offering travellers living and sleeping space at one end and a large toy storage at the other. It is described as the "ultimate fun escape caravan trailer, comfortable to stay in and secure for all your valuable sporting equipment". Häuslein co-founder and designer Scott Rohdich said the Hauler was born out of passion for dirt bike and mountain biking. "We want people to be able to take the Häuslein Hauler to the bush, beach or mountains and comfortably stay fully off-grid with all their valuable bikes or boards secure inside the trailer," he said. "And when it’s time to go home, people will spend next to no time unloading their equipment ... ready for the next adventure." Have your say
Warm welcome promised
Limestone Coast braces for flood of visitors to RV Park
SA's Kingston District Council has issued a warm welcome to flood-impacted visitors and others looking for coastal accommodation during the school holidays through an extension of its low-cost RV Park. The park will offer up to six nights for just $60 until at least mid-February next year. It will use land adjacent the existing area and adjoining Maria Creek to make way for anticipated visitors who may have otherwise holidayed along the flooding Murray River. It is believed up to 50,000 additional visitors seeking holiday and camping options could flock to the Limestone Coast over coming weeks. Chief executive Nat Traeger said RV-goers would provide "an economic injection straight into the arms of our local traders". Have your say
Shire approves 'friendly trial'
Overnight rest areas to be trialled in Harvey Shire
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 next 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.
Caravan rig comes
CARAVANNERS had a lucky escape when their rig came to grief on a Queensland highway. Their pet greyhound was even more fortunate, surviving after being trapped in the tow vehicle as it balanced precariously on top of the road's safety barrier. The drama happened on the Bruce Hwy near Tiaro south of Maryborough. Luckily there were no injuries, including none to the greyhound which had to stay in the back of the 4WD until it was lifted back onto the road.
Primitive camping ground to reopen
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
Just in time for holidays
CamperMate unveils its revamped website
CAMPERMATE, launched 11 years ago out of a love for independent travel and the outdoors, has unveiled a revamped website and marketing campaign just in time for the first summer holidays since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. It will help tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders taking a road-trip these holidays by connecting them with tourism operators such as holiday parks, accommodation and attractions and providing them with handy tips, guides, deals and recommendations. "Based on the trends we're seeing, we would expect this to be the best summer domestically in three years," chief operating officer Matthew Johnson said. "That's good news for tourism operators and good news for holidaymakers."
Excelling in service, innovation and best practice
Jayco Newcastle wins gong for fifth time
JAYCO Newcastle has scooped the prestigious NSW Dealer of the Year Award for the fifth time. The gong was awarded as the caravan industry begins to bounce back after the crippling Covid pandemic. The awards were coordinated by the NSW Caravan and Camping Industry Association and the Land Lease Living Industry Association. They recognise businesses and individuals excelling in service, innovation and best practice. Jayco Newcastle managing director Damian Charleson said the win was a reflection of the dealership's entire team. "Our focus is to really push for ongoing change, while adding value for our customers," he said. "I am so proud of our team and how they are each continuing to grow within our business." Jayco Newcastle took out the award In 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as being subsequently inducted into the Hall of Fame for this run before winning the award again in 2019. The dealership is well known for its Customer Appreciation Weekends around the Hunter for caravan enthusiasts and staff members. Have your say
NRMA shells out to acquire park
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 a world famous marine turtle nesting beach, which attracts visitors from far and wide during the turtle laying season from December to March. Have your say
'One of the kindest people'
Appeal after woman's
By Dennis Amor
AN appeal launched to help a 72-year-old woman whose caravan home was crushed by a massive tree during a storm in the Adelaide Hills has raised $1350. Chris Marshall was away visiting a friend when her caravan, packed with all her personal treasures, was smashed to pieces. Catherine Jones (pictured), who launched the $10,000 gofundme appeal, described Ms Marshall as "one of the kindest people" she knew. "She pioneered home birthing in South Australia with the help of her friend Doctor Ramsey," she said. "She is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal people and adopted Aboriginal baby boy Peter George 32 years ago. He lives in Port Augusta with his family." Ms Jones said her friend had brought Peter up with her other three children ‒ Sita, Rani and Leo ‒ and travelled all over Australia with them, working as a nurse and midwife in Aboriginal health organisations and hospitals. She said she wanted her friend to have a place to live ... a new caravan which she could decorate and make a home for herself again. "It doesn't have to be a brand new caravan, just one that is solid and livable," she added. Have your say
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