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Caravanning News is registered with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive

November 2017

Monthly readership: 19,525 to 27,629
(previous six-months)

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

Person trapped in wreckage after smash involving ute and car towing caravan on SA's Copper Coast Hwy near Thrington on Yorke Peninsula early today. SA Country Fire Service crews on scene. No further detsils available.

Police hunting armed robber who made off with cash from a WA's Belvedere Caravan Park at Mandurah. Spokeswoman at park told Caravanning News nobody was hurt in raid.

***  Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of previous stories.

* Pie-maker Patties closes tourist park ... 19,245 people reached.

* CMCA says 'no' to full membership for caravanners ... 17,430 people reached.

* Jayco Freedom camper recall ... 15,074 people reached.

* Caravan rollover on rainswept Bruce Highway ... 12,985 people reached.

* Caravanners escape as rig erupts in flames ... 8959 people reached.

* Police appeal on caravanners missing for seven years ... 8509 people reached.


Support for council's ban on camping

TWEED Shire Council has outlawed overnight camping in the Chinderah Bay Drive area near the M1 (see story here).

Offenders now risk $1000 fines.

Good on your community, I say.

It's those people that make it bad for everyone else doing the right thing


How many Ingenia 'van parks?

I AM commenting on your story about Ingenia in the last edition (see story here).

How much of the Ingenia empire consists of caravan parks?

Around my neck of the woods their properties are mainly manufactured homes villages.

Their $23.5 million is much smaller then Gateway Lifestyle's $59.7 million (which also has some tourist accommodation).


All quiet on the Adria front . . .

WHAT is happening with Adria?

After a good start with RV Asia Pacific, all seems to have gone quiet since Apollo's involvement.

What are the sales figures for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 YTD?

Ian Campbell.

Impressive news on warranties

I READ that Sunland Caravans has just increased its warranties to five years.

That is impressive.

We just need the oven, microwave and air conditioning units to follow suit.




Jayco factory'Unconscionable action towards buyers'


THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched Federal Court action against Australiaís largest caravan and recreational vehicle manufacturer Jayco. It alleges the manufacturer, which has captured around 50 percent of RV sales in Australia, breached Australian Consumer Law by its conduct towards four customers who bought defective Jayco caravans. The ACCC alleges that, between 2013 and 2015, Jayco acted unconscionably towards four customers by obstructing them from obtaining redress, such as a refund or replacement for their defective caravan. It claims that despite requests from the buyers for a refund or replacement, Jayco repeatedly told them their only remedy was yet another repair. "This understandably caused a lot of distress for the customers," chairman Rod Sims claimed. "Caravans are an expensive item, typically costing tens of thousands of dollars. People are entitled to expect that the caravan they purchase will be of acceptable quality and that they will be afforded an appropriate remedy under the ACL consumer guarantees if their caravan fails to meet this standard." comment bubble Have your say

Rowen Carter with one of the Tasmanian Devils

'Our main aim is to educate people'


By Dennis Amor

TASMANIA'S Premier Will Hodgman was greeted by two residents having a devil of a time when he called at one of the Apple Isle's award-winning caravan parks. Huon Valley Caravan Park owner Rowen Carter (pictured with one of the culprits) has been caring for a pair of Tasmanian Devils under a special programme designed to save the endangered species ravaged by a facial tumour disease. The Premier was there to officially open a new free range enclosure for the marsupials. Over 700 people attended the open day, which raised $1025 for the devil vaccination program. Mr Carter gives daily afternoon talks educating guests about the plight of the marsupials. He told Caravanning News that the devils were a popular drawcard at his park. "With our peak tourist season just about to start we hope to raise a reasonable amount of money for the vaccination program," he said. "Our main aim is to educate people about the Tasmanian Devil." Have your say

'We all have a jolly good time, but it's just look and don't touch!'

Questa Cara tours for grey nomadsBy Dennis Amor
Have your say

GREY nomads are being offered sex tours in WA's former gold-mining city of Kalgoorlie.

The still working historic 115-year-old Questa Casa brothel in Hay Street is laying on the daily one-hour attraction for nomadic retirees arriving in the remote desert destination in their caravans and motorhomes.

And the seniors are queuing to take advantage of the special concession price of $20 which allows them to take a candid behind-the-scenes look inside Australia's oldest brothel, which opened its doors at the height of Australia's gold rush in 1904.

Owner of the business Carmel Galvin said the grey nomads on the tours at her once thriving sex palace, also known as The Pink House, were helping to offset a fall in patronage.

The 80-year-old former Queenslander told Caravanning News that many of the tourists on her special afternoon walkabouts were grey nomads, but she thought the title was somewhat of a misnomer.

"Grey is no longer the description ... 70 is the new 50," she explained.

"We are all vital, alive and interested in what is going on around us."

Madam Carmel admitted "titillating" her ageing audiences with stories of what went on before as the curious nomads make their way past dildos, bondage outfits and other curiosities on display inside the galvanised iron shed.

"We all have a jolly good time, but it's just look and don't touch for the grey nomads on the tour," she added.

Meanwhile, it's not clear just how many grey nomads taking the somewhat unusual tour have bought one of Carmel's newly printed stickers proclaiming "I spent an hour in a brothel for 20 bucks" for their caravans and motorhomes.

Breaking the tedium of outback driving


Story-Photos: Dennis Amor
Have your say

Lesley Delaney

Lesley Delaney

Jeff Jellie

Jeff Jellie

Noel Perpett

Noel Perpett

CARAVANNERS have dismissed claims that the bush salute is a dying tradition on outback roads. Journalist Nick Ryan is fretting because he believes drivers, including grey nomads in their caravans and motorhomes, are waving goodbye to a simple gesture practiced for decades on the open road. Nick made the claim in Adelaide's Advertiser, lamenting: "We are all witnesses to the slow and sad demise of something that once seemed so vital and alive. Iím talking about the driving wave. There was a time, not all that long ago, when a hand raised casually off the steering wheel in acknowledgment of a fellow traveller was as common a sight on country roads and highways as a fly-blown kangaroo carcass or shot-dimpled road sign." But caravanners approached by Caravanning News dismissed his claims, saying hand gestures which help break the tedium of long outback journeys are still alive and well. "The man is talking rubbish," grey nomad Tony Althorpe told us. "I have travelled thousands of kilometres through the outback and I can assure him that nearly everyone acknowledges me with a wave." And traveller Lesley Delaney said many people still waved, though caravanners from the southern states were not so keen to give the bush salute. Victorians Jeff Jellie and wife Sue, who are touring Australia in their comfortable Jayco pop-top, agreed that most grey nomads in Queensland and NSW outback areas were free and easy with their waves. "I'd say that 90 percent do it," Jeff said. "But it really depends where you are. For instance, they are not so keen on the Bruce Highway."  Full-time grey nomad Noel Perpett's home is an 18ft Nova Treasure caravan, hauled by his trusty LandCruiser.  "I always wave because I travel alone," he said. "People do wave back and it's an acknowledgment that I'm not out there by myself. It helps break the boredom, too." He has found that younger caravanners do not bother to wave. "But the older nomads generally do," he said.

Bob Lacey and Jeanette Kelly with the travelling companions

Bob Lacey and Jeanette Kelly with their travelling companions

Agreement conditions 'far too restrictive'


Story-Photo: Dennis Amor

DOG owners have blamed the raft of rules controlling a pet-friendly trial for its failure at a Queensland council-owned caravan park. Grey nomads angrily complained they were not allowed to turn up on spec but had to sign a comprehensive two-page agreement a month before their arrival at Moreton Bay Regional Council's Bongaree Caravan Park on Bribie Island north of Brisbane. They also had to provide proof of their animal's up-to-date vaccinations, ensure their pets were "well mannered", not build dog runs outside their RVs and walk or exercise their dogs in open spaces outside the caravan park. "The requirements were stupid and far too restrictive, particularly having to sign an agreement a month ahead of arrival," Queensland caravanners Bob Lacey and Jeanette Kelly, who were travelling with their four toy poodles, told Caravanning News. Read More button

Nick GriffinInvestors urged to check out caravan market
THE once lowly caravan could turn into a financial bonanza for investors, it has been claimed.
Financial expert Nick Griffin (pictured) is urging speculators to think outside the box and turn their attention to the caravan market to snare some healthy returns. Mr Griffin, who is chief investment officer and founding partner of Melbourne-based independent global investment managers Munro Partners, points to the "strong structural growth" in the caravan market, which is booming thanks to people's desire for the outdoors and to be more active and healthy. Read More button

NSW's top caravanning and camping businesses honoured
THE best performers in the NSW caravan and camping industry were recognised at the peak industry body's awards night.
They were honoured at the Caravan & Camping Industry Association Awards of Excellence at Sydney's Luna Park after being named 'best in field' for their respective categories. "This year we had an unprecedented number of nominations, making an outstanding list of businesses across NSW which are striving to deliver excellence in quality and service in our sector," association president Theo Whitmont said. Read More button

SA tourist route signNew signs for SA's key self-drive tourist routes
EXPLORING South Australia's six key touring routes is being made easier for caravanners and other self-drive travellers.
New signs are being erected at the start and finish of each one, with 700 smaller signs every 10 to 20km. All are expected to have been installed within the next few weeks. The six touring routes are Mighty Murray Way, Explorers Way, Coastal Way, Seafood Frontier, Epicurean Way and Southern Ocean Drive. Have your say

Ron ChapmanMilestone for pioneering safety checks scheme
QUEENSLAND'S pioneering scheme in which caravans and other RVs undergo voluntary safety checks has reached a new milestone.
More than 110 caravans recently rolled through the Brisbane Showgrounds, with Caravanning Queensland and the Transport and Main Roads Department weighing in their 1000th caravan since the initiative's inception in 2015. Caravanning Queensland chief executive Ron Chapman (pictured) said the scheme had now handled 1049 vehicles in Queensland. Read More button

Parks increase support for caravanning industry's peak body
A SIGNIFICANT increase in support for the activities of the caravanning and camping industry's peak body underpins a new agreement between Discovery Holiday Parks and the Caravan Industry Association of Australia.
The agreement concentrates on expanding marketing activities, including support for an international strategy on behalf of the industry as well as driving research and increased compliance efforts. Discovery Holiday Parks chief executive Grant Wilckens commented: "As the largest owner-operator within the caravan holiday park sector, it is vital that the national body is focused and strong and that they are appropriately resourced to grow and protect the caravan holiday park industry." Read More button

Adelaide Shores beach houses signPark plans to become biggest in Oz
MILLIONS of dollars will be spent on SA's Adelaide Shores Resort to turn it into the biggest caravan park in Australia.
Chief executive Kate Williams told media the $4.2 million development would help meet the current trend away from caravanning to cabins. More than 20 luxury cabins will be added to the 100 already at the BIG4 park, which offers six eco-tents and 300 caravan and camping sites. They will be located at the southern end of the park and are expected to be ready for the Christmas holidays. The development will also include a covered barbecue area, laundry, access road and landscaping. Holidaymakers will have to cough up between $300 and $400 a night to stay in the new "beach houses" which will boast lounge areas, kitchens and outdoor areas. Adelaide Shores said they would be "perfect for family holidays". Have your say

Craig Humphrey, caravan clubACC in code of conduct talks with truckies
THE Australian Caravan Club is working with the National Road Transport Association to develop a Sharing the Road code of conduct.
NatRoad is the only Australia-wide association representing the $40 billion road freight transport industry. Its chief executive Warren Clark and director Maggie Welsh were key guest speakers at the caravan club's recent 11th Annual National Muster in NSW. "Truckies and RVers have a lot in common," caravan club chief executive Craig Humphrey (pictured) said afterwards. "We all want to travel safely on the road." Read More button

Wineglass Bay track upgrade
ONE of Tasmaniaís most iconic tourism experiences which attracts thousands of grey nomads every year has reopened after a $500,000 upgrade.
The Wineglass Bay track from the lookout to the beach now has greatly improved step levels to make the walk easier and safer. The welcome upgrade was initiated through the government's Tourism Infrastructure in Parks Fund. Have your say

Dogs at caravan showCaravan show finally goes to the dogs
ORGANISERS of a major caravan show in Victoria have admitted the event has finally gone to the dogs.
But the people behind the Melbourne Leisurefest, where more than 200 exhibitors showcased a whole range of products from the world of RVs, couldn't be happier. For the first time ever, the state's Caravan Industry Association allowed delighted visitors to take their pet dogs into the popular exhibition, which attracted a record crowd of 32,306. Read More button

Queensland Outback Awards logoParks set to do battle in outback awards
ABOUT 250 tourism industry reps are expected to attend when prestigious ouback awards are handed out next month.
The 2017 Outback Queensland Tourism Symposium and Awards will take centre stage from November 2 to 4 in Cloncurry. "With a total of 15 categories, the awards are sure to be a cracker of a celebration," association general manager Peter Homan said. The local shire council has spent the past six months preparing for the event, during which caravan and holiday parks will be battling for the top honours in their category. Read More button

Fines will finance clampdown on freedom camping
CLARENCE Valley Council in the Northern Rivers region of NSW is clamping down on freedom camping.
And fines collected from illegal campers will help enforce the move, councillors have been told. The council plans to implement a trial enforcement program in Yamba to rid the area of illegal overnight campers during the Christmas and January period and Easter. A report to the recent council meeting said the phenomena of freedom camping in North Coast beach locations was not new nor unique to Yamba. "The intent of the enforcement program is to send a message to this group of travellers that Yamba is not the place to come for a free camping beachside experience before the trend continues to grow to unsustainable levels," the report said. The trial enforcement program would be enforced through "regular and targeted" policing by council rangers, with offenders being issued with infringement notices as required, it added. The fines will go towards financing the clampdown, the report added. Have your say

Busselton caravan parkPre-payment scheme for WA parks
MORE caravan and tourist parks are now offering guests the opportunity to pay for their holidays in instalments.
RAC Parks and Resorts is the latest organisation to launch a pre-payment scheme, making it easier to budget for a family holiday. Executive general manager (Brand & Tourism) Tony Pickworth said the scheme was a first for Western Australia and was now available at its parks in Exmouth, Monkey Mia, Busselton, Coral Bay and Cervantes.  Read More button

Retreat Caravan Owners' family get-together

Businesses also benefit

Retreat owners raise $11,000 for cancer charity

MEMBERS of the Retreat Caravan owners' club raised $11,000 for NSW Cancer Council during their national get-together at Mudgee. And local businesses also benefited to the tune of $65,000 after 90 Retreat caravans rolled into the town. "We believe everyone had a great time but without them attending the event these figures would not have been possible," organisers Phil and Lyn Deaves told Caravanning News. "And without the on-site help of the unnamed helpers, this event would not have been a success it was." Retreat owners from all over Australia clocked up a total of 56,000km just to reach the five-day event. Phil and Lyn said plans were already underway for next year's National Retreat Caravans Family event, which would be held in south-east Queensland. Have your say

Hinterland Caravans Gold CoastCrusader names dealer of the year
HINTERLAND Caravans Gold Coast, a member of the Hinterland Toyota group, has been named the 2017 Crusader Caravans dealer of the year.
The dealership was also recognised for its aftersales and sales achievements throughout the last 12 months when the awards were announced during a gala dinner attended by key staff from each dealership in the Crusader Caravans national network. Hinterland Caravans Gold Coast joined the Crusader dealer network in 2015.

Information CentreGrey nomads help boost VIC figures
GREY nomads have made a major contribution to the success of outback Queensland visitor information centres.
New research shows that nearly 40 percent of all visitors, many of them grey nomads, use the centres for holiday information and advice. According to the 2016/17 Queensland Information Centres Association data, 306,650 travellers called into an outback centre during the year. Their coastal counterparts in the Whitsunday and Fraser Coast regions received 45,034 and 41,597 visitors respectively. Read More button

Stuart Lamont, Caravanning Industry Association of AustraliaPeak body forges new partnership
AUSTRALIA'S peak caravanning industry body, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, has joined forces with RV suppler Dometic Australia.
At the core of the extended three-year partnership is the development of two new promotions aimed at boosting business in the caravan and camping sectors. Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) said driving innovative promotions was an essential function in getting the message about caravanning and camping to the Australian public. Read More button

Merv King receives Life Membership

'True pioneer of our industry'

Merv honoured with life membership

NSW's Caravan & Camping Industry Association former president and long-serving board member Merv King has been honoured with a Lifetime Membership. Mr King's three decades of commitment to the industry was recognised at the annual Awards of Excellence held at Sydney's Luna Park. CCIA president Theo Whitmont said Mr King (seen right in the photograph)  had successfully owned and operated several holiday parks throughout NSW and had been a "true pioneer of our industry". He had helped to build the industry's profile, improve member services and increase the association's advocacy. "We would like to thank Merv for his contribution, and this lifetime membership will commit his name to the annals of the caravan and camping industry in NSW," Mr Whitmont added. Have your say

Victorian caravan safety inspectionsSafety inspections may be rolled out across Victoria
FREE caravan safety inspections at the Melbourne Leisurefest have been applauded as a resounding success.
Two motorhomes, 13 caravans, four pop-tops and one camper trailer went under the microscope to educate owners and advise them of potential safety issues. And the initiative was such a hit that the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria, in partnership with Everything Caravan & Camping, is looking at rolling out the program at strategic locations across the state in 2018. Association chief executive Rob Lucas commented: "We were extremely pleased with how our inaugural free safety inspection days progressed and the valuable partnerships we have established for this program." He said that within 24 hours of jointly launching the call for registrations, there was a waiting list of over 30 RV owners. "This demonstrates the need for professional education for consumers regarding their recreational vehicles," Mr Lucas added. Have your say

Caravanning Industry Association of Australia 'welcome' signWelcome signs given go-ahead at Glen Innes
GLEN Innes Severn councillors have given the approval for Caravan Industry Association of Australia 'welcome' signs to be placed at the four entrances to the NSW town.
 But a report to the council suggested it should delay any application to the CMCA for RV status until the views of "stakeholders" had been sought and considered. The report said tourism in Glen Innes Highlands was the area's second largest contributor to its economy, valued at $50 million annually. Ten percent of this came from the caravan and camping sector. "Council should be supporting every opportunity to attract and retain visitors to our LGA (local government area)," the report added. Have your say

Peterborough RV ParkStrategy raises idea of more free camping
THE possibility of more free overnight camping facilities based on Peterborough RV Park in SA is mentioned in a new blueprint for tourism in the area.
The idea is included in the Southern Flinders Ranges Tourism & Events Strategy and Action Plan. Port Pirie Regional Council is planning a public meeting to discuss the idea. Meanwhile, details of the strategy will be available for viewing online until December 8 at or at local centres including the council's Administration cCentre in Ellen Street, Port Pirie. Have your say

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