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JAN 31:
Traveller managed to unhitch his caravan before it was engulfed by flames on South Gippsland Highway at Monomeith in Victoria this afternoon. No injuries reported.

JAN 31:
Tasmania's Coastal Caravans scooped Best Large Business gong in the Business NorthWest Excellence Awards.

JAN 31:
Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia loses long and drawn out battle to open RV Park at Mossman in north Queensland.

JAN 31:
BHP will temporarily close Leinster Caravan Park in the northern goldfields area of WA from February 5 to restrict the number of visitors passing through the town.

JAN 31:
Shares in caravan and lifestyle parks operator Aspen Group were trading at three-month low of $1.49 on Australian stock market today.


* Victorian council warns on illegal camping on rural properties ... 48,893 people reached.

* Jurgens Caravans and other breaking news stories  ... 22.456 people reached.

* Caravan rolls on NSW's Pacific Motorway ... 9866 people reached.

* Walwa Riverside Caravan Park lashed by high winds ... 8809 people reached.

* Holiday Road family rolls into Kununurra ... 8551 people reached.

* Safety messages on newly-delivered RVs ... 6920 people reached.

* Cops visit Coolum caravan park to deliver security warnings ...  5847 people reached.



Justin Hales  'Strong platform for continued success'

Camplify shakes off COVID
blues to show 'stellar' growth

Have your say

NSW-based peer-to-peer RV rental company Camplify reports continuing growth, with gross transaction volumes of $11.7 million for the December quarter. This comes despite a period of widespread travel restrictions and the spread of COVID's Omicron variant. In a message to shareholders just released, Camplify said results showed "stellar" growth performance, adding: "As a business focused on strong growth results, this provides a strong platform for continued success in FY (financial year) 22." During the quarter, Camplify's marketplace grew by an additional 20,113 customers and its fleet of recreational vehicles reached 7338. The Newcastle-based innovative business was founded by Justin Hales (pictured) in 2015 and is now the biggest RV rental company and digital platform in Australia. Camplify also expanded internationally and now operates in three additional countries.

Campers cop 45 fines for pitching in national park


Have your say

A GROUP of travellers has copped 45 fines for camping illegally in WA's Margaret River region.

Other campers planning to free camp are now being warned to reconsider amidst concerns over environmental damage to bushland and increased bushfire risk in the Wooditjup National Park just outside of Margaret River township.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River rangers, Parks and Wildlife rangers and police are working closely to deal with a spike in illegal camping.

Shire Ranger Coordinator Narelle Graue said the region was renowned for its pristine natural environment and the high volume of campers setting up in the bush with no toilets, or rubbish disposal facilities was putting significant pressure on bushland areas.

"Whilst we welcome visitors to our region, there are no free camping spots in our shire," she said.

Shire Emergency Services manager Adam Jasper said illegal camping presented a major safety concern over bushfires, particularly with current dryer than usual conditions.

"We've recently had two major bushfire incidents in our shire, with official campsites evacuated in the nick of time and several people's belongings burned to the ground.

"Firefighters won't know where you are if you're free camping in the bush, and I've seen fires move so quickly they can create incredibly dangerous situations in a short period of time." Read more button

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Camper bus fire  Owners escape inferno

Double-decker camper in blaze drama outside caravan park

A DOUBLE-DECKER camper bus erupted in flames outside a Victorian caravan park on the banks of the Murray River. The owners escaped the inferno and watched helplessly outside the Echuca Holiday Park as firefighters in full breathing gear struggled to prevent the flames from spreading. They hosed water high into surrounding trees to cool them down in case of embers. A crowd of holidaymakers from the caravan park lined the levee bank to watch Echuca CFA members tackle fire. No one was injured and the cause of the blaze was being investigated. Have your say

Mayor Rod Marti   'Already meeting needs of market'

Operators 'kept in dark' over
plans for mini caravan parks

PLANS to reduce red tape for landowners wanting to set up camps for up to 20 self-contained recreational vehicles in Queensland's far north have local caravan park operators fuming. Tablelands Regional Council has invited the community to comment on the proposed amendment to its Planning Scheme. Mayor Rod Marti told media there had been an "enormous influx" of RVs and people wanting to stay on properties. "We are trying to see if we can make some minor amendments to make that easier," he explained. "The RV market is huge and there are RV owners who do not use traditional caravan parks ... and we want to be part of that." Caravan park operators claimed they had been kept in the dark about the controversial proposal. They were already meeting the needs of the market and were never full and would suffer financially if the "mini parks" went ahead. Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park owner Lachlan Farquharsan told media that existing park owners were furious over the council's "underhand tactics". Have your say

Andrew Woodmansey

Andrew Woodmansey

  New light on RVs

Explorer Andrew pens history of caravans and motorhomes

Have your say

A SYDNEY-based RV historian has penned what is being described as the first ever international history of caravans and motorhomes. Andrew Woodmansey's Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872-1939 is a richly illustrated account of the early history of the RV using many previously unpublished period photos of the vehicles, their builders and their owners. The 240-page book, published by Pen & Sword Books, explores the evolution of the RV from its horse-drawn roots through the steam era to the golden age of 1930s caravans and motorhomes. Many rare photos of early RVs were uncovered during the research and are being published for the first time. They shed new light on the history of the RV in six countries with a strong RV heritage, including Australia and New Zealand. In 2014 Mr Woodmansey wrote The Caravan Buyers Guide but now writes about RV history and explores Australia in his camper trailer.

  Former owners 'pleased' with outcome

Much of iconic park's land to
be preserved for public use

MUCH of the six-acre site of one of Queensland's most iconic and oldest tourist parks, which was sold for $13.6 million several months ago, is likely to be preserved for a public park. Former owners Derek and Robyn Wright sold Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park just a stone's throw from Brisbane's city centre to SKF Developments in December. The popular park had offered more than 100 tourist sites for over 60 years and its grounds were used by operators of Brisbane's yearly Ekka Show, who supported the holiday destination right from its beginnings. SKF Developments now plan to plant 1700 new trees on four acres of the site backing onto Enoggera Creek. Under an approved development application, this will be handed to Brisbane City Council for public use. Ms Wright is reported to have said she is pleased with the outcome and plans for the site. Have your say

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Man dies in NSW Central Coast caravan inferno

A CARAVAN inferno claimed the life of a man on NSW's Central Coast. Emergency services were called to the park on Colmer Road, Marlow, following reports that a caravan was well alight. Crews from Fire & Rescue NSW attended and extinguished the blaze a short time later. They found the man's body inside. Detectives from Brisbane Water Police District established a crime scene and have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Burning caravan    'Now is the time to shine'

NSW firefighters issue safety warning as borders reopen

AS borders reopen, NSW's Fire and Rescue has issued a fire warning to caravanners. "There’s no secret that we love an Aussie adventure, and with borders opening, the time to shine is now," it says in a Facebook posting. "Make sure your caravan has a working smoke alarm as well as a fire extinguisher (dry chemical powder) and a fire blanket located near the exit." It urges caravanners to ensure that LPG cylinders are secured correctly to recreational vehicles and that all fittings and hose lines are in good working order. And, it adds, avoid smoking and using candles or open flames inside a caravan. Have your say

Bonnie Vale A great swimming spot

Popular family-friendly Bonnie Vale campground reopens

NSW's popular Bonnie Vale family-friendly campground has reopened as part of the largest ever visitor infrastructure program rollout in the state's national parks. Environment Minister James Griffin said the $2.5 million project at Royal National Park said to be the world’s second oldest national park will ensure it remains one of Sydney’s favourite parks for generations to come. Located between Bundeena and Maianbar, the riverside campground is known for its large sand spit which makes it a great swimming spot. It caters for RVs and tents, offering a mix of powered and unpowered sites.

Central Caravan Park  Youth service needs volunteers

New owner of NSW caravan park hopes to help young homeless

SPECIALIST youth homelessness service YP Space Mid North Coast has bought a New South Wales caravan park to help the local homeless. The Central Caravan Park at Kempsey will provide 25 cabins and caravans for affordable medium-term housing options for people aged between16-25 years to combat the rising number of homeless youth in the Kempsey-Port Macquarie area. The organisation has now appealed for help from volunteers to help prepare the park in Belgrave Street for its first occupants. "We have the cabins ready, but we need help to get the property ready and remove rubbish," it said. "We are seeking assistance with machinery, plant and people power to help make this happen." Outreach manager Deb Tougher told Caravanning News that everyone was very excited over the project. "The first 10 cabins are arriving on Saturday," she said. "They will need to be renovated as they are flood affected." A grand opening was planned for February 9, she added. Have your say

Ian Beadel  'Businessman, mentor and stalwart'

Caravan industry mourns death of highly respected visionary, developer

THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia is mourning the passing of "industry forerunner and legend" Ian Beadel. "Ian was a highly respected and well-known businessman, mentor, stalwart of the caravan and camping industry and friend to many across Australia and around the world," the industry's peak body said. Mr Beadel and wife Diana have been at the helm of NSW's popular and multi award-winning North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point since December, 1980. "Ian's vision, drive and passion to provide his guests with an unparalleled standard of service and facilities at North Star set new benchmarks for the industry," the association said. Read more button

Burekup sign  'Keep tents out of there'

Council considers residents' ideas for future of RV stopover site

Have your say

WESTERN Australia's Shire of Dardanup is considering the future of the free 72-hr Burekup RV stopover area on the South Western Highway in state's south-west. This follows suggestions from the local community. One resident wants a $10 nightly fee imposed at the five-site facility and a pine log barrier to outline pitches that can be used by only caravans. The fee would help to "keep the tents out of there," he told the council. Envelopes could be provided so that travellers could register and pay their fees, he suggested. A count of caravans etc would be made and any unruly behaviour be phoned through to the local ranger. It was estimated that the new fees would generate $14,580 in the first year. The council decided defer action on the caravan stopover until its next meeting on January 25.

Man charged after $600,000 blaze in WA

POLICE have charged man after a blaze in Serpentine, WA, destroyed house, two caravans and a shed containing two cars. It happened during a total fire ban order, leaving a $600,000 damages bill. It is alleged the man set alight the contents of a drum and failed to sufficiently extinguish the flames when they began spreading. The 48-year-old from Serpentine was charged with Breach of Duty ... an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years jail.

Turtle Sands  Development application lodged

Turtle Sands park adjoining Mon Repos in line for new lease of life

By Dennis Amor

THE once popular Turtle Sands Tourist Park adjoining the world-famous Mon Repos turtle rookery in Queensland could be destined for a new lease of life. Owners David and Jenny Baker plan to turn it into a 127-site park with an accommodation mix to meet the current tourism market and have lodged a development application with Bundaberg Regional Council. They pulled down the shutters at the million dollar-view beachside eco park in 2010 saying they wanted to help protect threatened survivors from the dinosaur age. Read more button

Bunbury Foreshore park  Opening delayed until March

Epidemic sinks plan to open
new splash park in time for

COVID shattered Discovery Parks' plan to open a new splash park in time for the festive season at one of its Bunbury holiday parks in WA. It is now anticipated to open the foreshore park next March following delays brought about by the epidemic. Chief Operations Officer Matt Lang said that factors beyond the company's control meant the facility would not be opening in time for Christmas as hoped. "We know the local community and tourists have really been looking forward to the splash park opening," he said.

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Letter man

Warning to landowners self-interest from
a farmstay?

I WOULD like to comment on the story in last month's edition about the Victorian council warning landowners of illegal camps.

Looks like a lot of self-interest to me from a farmstay operation.

Name supplied.


Where are they
going wrong?

PERHAPS the council should ask the legitimate providers where they are going wrong for people avoiding their business .

Kind Regards
Ray Spindler


What does the mayor own?

HERE'S my comment on the council warning landowners of illegal camps.

And what does the mayor of that council own, as in camping facilities?

Colin and Gloria Hilton.