to 32,000 monthly
For full list, click above
Customline Caravans, which hit the market three years ago and was operated by the former owners of failed Galaxy Caravans, went into liquidation today.
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.
Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
* Missing Queensland grey
nomad mystery ... 56,029
Billabong Custom Caravans in administration ...
38,256 people reached.
Park boss says free camping is killing his business ...
Bunbury council appeals for free-camping feedback ... 23,535 people reached.
Diamond Caravans in liquidation ...
22,730 people reached.
Soldier blasts 'ignorant' caravanners ...
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
policy to leave before
the ship sinks'
A QUEENSLAND caravan organisation
seems to want total control and has
recently spent thousands on squashing the Aussie battlers in court
over Kershaw Gardens.
But it's actions like this that make
many of us only more determined for a free Australia with national
parking laws where we can rest without big business demanding a
You underestimate the power of the consumer and our ability to
gang together to buy and lease our own camping destinations all
over this country.
We will win, and if we don't I will sell
my rig and holiday abroad.
Have you ever heard of an industry so hell bent on hurting and
alienating their potential customers?
I will not set foot in a Queensland
caravan park again after the way they treat their clients and
The boss needs to go to business school and learn that it's about
listening to customers.
His way is to demand a monopoly for caravan sardine tins. Best of
luck with that model!
They might win Kershaw Gardens but they will lose in the PR
aftermath on forums and social media.
It's a good policy to leave a ship before it sinks.
REGARDING last month's story about hackers
attacking a Gold Coast business (see story
I have contacted two different caravan parks this year where I
had stayed previously.
Both said they have my credit card details on file.
How rude! Is this allowed?
I bet this happens in motels etc, too.
a shame, Australian businesses going out
the door (see story here).
One of the problems could be too many makers for the size of our
population and no uniformity in the industry.
Caravanners threaten to boycott Beef capital
Court rules that overnight camping
at Kershaw Gardens is illegal
Caravan Parks Association of Queensland has won its legal battle to ban
free overnight camping at Rockhampton's Kershaw Gardens. The
Environment and Planning Court has decided that camping is illegal and
ruled that overnight stays must cease on February 15 next year and all
signs removed. Caravanners and other budget-conscious travellers are now
threatening to boycott the Beef capital of Queensland and take their
tourist dollars elsewhere. The parks association launched proceedings late last year against
Rockhampton Regional Council and the State Government arguing that its use
as a tourist park at the large camping ground on Moores Creek Rd should be
outlawed. Caravanning Queensland general manager of parks Michelle Weston said the association was "pleased" with the decision, which had
provided certainty to its members in the Rockhampton region. "The
association was always of the view that the accommodation use of Kershaw
Gardens went beyond the ordinary use of a park," she said. "The fact that
the accommodation offered was provided free of charge was detrimentally
impacting the business of our members. In light of the continuation of
this unlawful development and in the interest of our members, including
local caravan park operators, we were left with little alternative but to
take legal action." The 4600-member Australian Caravan Club fears the
decision could have repercussions in other regional and rural areas and
has called on the Queensland Government to organise a round table
Have your say
Story-Photos: Dennis Amor
Have your say
CARAVANNERS are being forced to rethink their travel
plans as the cost of fuel continues to soar.
Budget-conscious grey nomads say they cannot afford to dig any deeper into
their savings as petrol and diesel prices reach record levels.
"The oil companies have us over a barrel and the consequences may well be
catastrophic for many remote communities as travellers cut back on their
mileage," 67-year-old caravanner Alex Martin told Caravanning News.
Grey nomads report that travelling off-road to some remote destinations
often meant forking out more than $2 a litre for fuel.
The thorny issue has been brought about by volatile global oil prices and
a softening Australian dollar, which has pushed up prices to retailers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission blames OPEC for the
"The oil producing nations offshore run a cartel and just like every
cartel they raise prices to consumers," chairman Rod Sims
is reported to have said.
Meanwhile, grey nomads say they are being forced to spend more time off
the road and at free overnight camping sites to make ends meet.
that or give up our
"It's either that or give up our nomadic lifestyle and
fester at home," Dan Bradshaw explained.
Terry Park, who hauls a 29ft Jayco fifth-wheeler behind his Dodge Ram,
said he remembered "the happy days" in 1980 when fuel
was a mere 30c a litre.
"I'm hoping to attend a national rally in WA next year but it will cost a
small fortune," he said.
Another caravanner, from Brisbane
and who only wanted to be known as Ken, said
the cost of fuel had "gone through the roof" and
he was having to dig deeper into his pocket to stay on the road with his
Mitsubishi diesel and 19.6ft Essentials caravan.
Queensland caravanner Roger Beighton said he
found it difficult to understand how the oil companies could justify such
"There's no doubt we are being fleeced," he said. "Makes you think twice
about travelling long distances."
Sue Thorpe said the cost of towing her 20ft Jayco Starcraft with an Izuzu
had risen $40 a week and was "out of all reason".
"It's just a rip-off," she fumed. "We are
budgeting and considering not travelling great
distances in future."
Another grey nomad, who declined to
be named, thought it unfair that the government should reap in around 40c
in tax for every litre of fuel sold at the bowser.
Government cuts 'excessive'
New specialised licence will mean big
savings for RV dealers and repairers
THE NSW Government's
recently announced Better Business Reforms will mean big savings for the
State's recreational vehicle dealers and repairers. New specialised
licence categories will be introduced to allow LP gas and electrical
equipment to be installed in caravans and other RVs. "Dealers currently
need to employ workers who hold full gas and electrical
licences to simply repair or install gas and electrical equipment
in RVs. That's excessive red tape," Minister for Innovation and Better
Regulation Matt Kean said. "This new licence will save RV repairers an
estimated $16 million over 10 years." Under the specialised licence,
workers will be able to service and repair badged gas appliances and LP
gas cylinders on caravans and other RVs, but not LP gas tanks. Workers
granted specialised licences will have been
properly trained. The reforms will also mean RV
businesses in NSW will no longer need a tow truck driver's licence when
using their own trucks to transport RVs to and from showrooms and expo
venues. The Caravan & Camping Industry Association of NSW has
welcomed the initiatives.
Have your say
body speaks out after forum
THE caravanning industry's peak body has
acknowledged that all RV buyers should be entitled to "safe and compliant"
vehicles. The Caravan Industry Association of
Australia made the point after a joint communique issued by the Consumer
Affairs Forum which was attended by government ministers responsible for
consumer protection in their relevant jurisdictions. Association chief
executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) said the
Federal Government should ensure the Road
Vehicle Standards Act received its third and final reading without further
delay at the Senate sitting this month. He said his organisation
continued to take its stewardship of the industry seriously and also
referred to so-call 'Lemon Laws'.
pulled from under holidaymakers
HOLIDAYMAKERS will not be welcome at
the Palms Oasis Caravan Park at Blueys Beach in NSW after January 31.
Ingenia Communities has bought the park, used by generations of families
for their annual holidays, and plans to transform it into an over 55s
lifestyle village. It has submitted a development application to MidCoast
Council for additional permanent residences.
Have your say
ban set for Redmond Park
FREE overnight camping at Goondiwindi's
Redmond Park will be banned after November 30.
The local council made the decision after a recommendation from
Queensland's Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. Mayor
Graeme Scheu said signs would be erected at the park and a campaign
launched explaining that alternative riverside free-camping
areas had recently received a makeover. Some caravan parks in the border
town have also indicated their willingness to introduce low-lost camping
options and these will be promoted by the council.
Have your say
Park weighs in
on caravan safety
CARAVANNERS using a NSW caravan park have had
a great weight lifted off their minds. Gundagai Tourist Park, just off
the Hume Highway midway between Sydney and Melbourne, has installed a
caravan weighbridge to help them check their rigs are not overweight. "We
see a lot of large 'vans come through our park every day, and more often
than not they are kitted out with post delivery extras that all add to
their weight," the park's Duncan Grady told Caravanning News.
"People are retro fitting extra gas bottles, increased water storage, bike
racks, solar panels and awnings just to name a few." Mr Duncan said the
idea of installing a fully functional weighbridge was sparked by one of
the park's directors who noticed an increase in compliance and policing of
caravans on the road, including roadside weight checks.
the profile of safety with jacks
THERE are too many "nasty accidents" when
jacks are being used to change wheels on caravans and camper-trailers,
according to the Caravan Council of Australia.
"There have been reports of some jacks having their lifting mechanism
unexpectedly fail, causing the jack to instantly collapse," founder and
general manager Colin Young said. "It is essential that a caravan jack is
appropriately approved and has a sufficient load rating and lifting
range," Mr Young stressed. The CCA has now issued a guide on the safe use
(left) with CCQ president Adrian Skinner
'I really enjoy the camaraderie'
Avid caravanner Barrie
a rally junkie ... at 88!
Story-Photo: Dennis Amor
at the grand old age of 88, Sunshine State caravanner Barrie Thurecht
admits he's still a rally junkie. Barrie was among the 400 enthusiasts
who flocked to Bundaberg for the recent Caravan Clubs of Queensland's 41st
State Rally ... an event he has rarely missed. He was hooked after
attending the club's very first get-together at Esk Caravan Park in 1976. He has
even chalked up 300 rallies with the Suncoast Caravanning Club, of which
he is a member. "I just love being part of the club rallies and really
enjoy the camaraderie," the owner of a Jayco Starcraft told Caravanning
News. Barrie said he had no designs on giving up caravanning. "It's a
lifestyle and the way to go. You have the option to stop where you want to
stop," he explained. Caravan Clubs of Queensland secretary Barbara
Rutherford said the seven-day rally in the Rum City had been a resounding
success. "It's been a very friendly affair attended by caravanners from
all over Queensland," she added. Seminars and presentations by police and
the state's Transport Department had been well attended. Bundaberg Mayor
Jack Dempsey said the rally had provided a huge economic stimulus to the
region. "Council and our tourism group have
worked in tandem with caravanners and RV owners and their industry groups
to ensure we have a region that is welcoming to a sector that provides an
incredible stimulus to our economy through a boost in visitor numbers,"
Have your say
Linked story: Caravanners in brush with the cops
milestone for national caravan club
THE 4600-member Australian Caravan Club has chalked up another milestone.
It recently held its annual National Muster in Western Australia for the
first time in the club's 12-year history. The event from October 15 to 21
was staged at the Ocean Beach Holiday Park in Denmark. National chairman
Craig Humphrey described the annual get-together as the club's "showcase
supported in RV-friendly bid
WENTWORTH Shire Council in NSW has moved to attract more grey nomads to
the area. Councillors decided to support the
Pooncarie and District Development Association's bid for the tiny village
of Pooncarie to become an RV Friendly destination. The program is an
initiative of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia which
advertises stopovers that meet a certain criteria and welcome RV or
caravan tourists. Pooncarie is a tiny hamlet on the Darling River and was
once a vital staging place for river steamers. It still hosts the
Pooncarie Cup, a popular race carnival, every October.
Have your say
slams nomads over rest areas
BRISBANE-based truckie Bruce Skelton has slammed grey nomads for
commandeering truck parking spots at roadside rest areas.
He now wants the authorities to take action against caravanners and other
RVers who monopolise parking bays specially set aside for heavy vehicles.
"It's beyond a joke," the frustrated Mr Skelton told the transport
industry's nationally distributed Big Rigs newspaper. "Caravan
associations talk about it, but every few months we get a whole new breed
of caravanners who have no idea and have to learn from scratch."
Windsor deal was a 'compelling purchase'
APOLLO Tourism and Leisure acquired the loss-making Coromal and Windsor
caravan brands from Fleetwood Corp because it was a "compelling purchase".
That was the message delivered by the
Brisbane-based global company to investors at the Morgans Annual
Queensland Conference. Apollo, which claims to be one of the largest RV
operators in the world, said in its presentation that independent
forecasts had suggested that growth in the RV rental and sales markets
would continue in coming years. It predicted after-tax profits of between
$22 million and $24 million for the current financial year. Apollo said
the typical RV buyer was middle to retirement age with savings sufficient
to buy an RV. An ageing population with increasing savings was resulting
in a growing RV market, the company added.
Have your say
rules on 'transformation by stealth'
IT'S official ... the Secura Lifestyle property at Shepperton in Victoria
is a caravan and camping park. The Victorian Civil and Administrative
Tribunal has ruled that the construction of nine new high quality cabins
for permanent accommodation would not transform its use into anything
other than a caravan park. The local city council had feared that Trio
Parks Vic wanted to turn the site into a residential or retirement
village. But the tribunal was told that accommodation options include a
selection of self-contained cabins along with powered and unpowered
caravan and camping sites. Announcing its decision, Member Judith
Perlstein said the site had been used as a caravan park since the 1980s.
"It includes a myriad of short-term accommodation options as well as
long-term and has facilities that are consistent with those of a caravan
park," she said. "I appreciate that council is trying to be proactive and
avoid a situation where there is 'transformation by stealth' and where the
dominant use of the land becomes retirement or residential living," Ms
Have your say
Travellers soak their cares
Rave reviews for park's
unique artesian baths
artesian baths at a far north Queensland caravan park are getting rave
reviews on the world's largest travel site, TripAdvisor.
McKinlay Shire Council has installed four bath houses at its Julia Creek
Caravan Park, each with two huge claw-footed tubs ... and tourists are
flocking to 'take the waters''. Nearly 70 bathers a day have been soaking
their cares away, some even tucking into cheese platters catered for by a
local supplier. McKinlay Mayor Belinda Murphy said the concept had been a
success, with the number of park guests ‒ who
get to bathe for free ‒ increasing. The $300,000
baths were financed with a federal government Drought Communities
Program grant. Commenting on TripAdvisor, Brisbane guest
Carolyn said her recent stay at the park was "outback gold", describing
the baths as "the absolute cherry on top". Meanwhile, Denise and Geoff
wrote: "The outdoor artesian baths are a must ... cheese platter and glass
of red wine just tops it off." The 'Melbourneros' said bathing at twilight
was a big treat. "Loved it," they wrote. Others described the facility as
incredible, a rare treat, to die for and awesome.
Have your say
join line of lucky lotto winners
A GREY nomad couple has joined a line of lucky lotto winners to scoop
$200,000 in NSW's Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot.
Told of their windfall, the roving RVers ‒ who hail from New England and
did not want to be identified ‒ commented: "We won't be eating mince in
the caravan tonight. We'll be pigging out for sure!" They now plan to buy
a new 4WD, a diesel heater and satellite TV for their caravan. The
happy-go-lucky caravanners won the guaranteed first prize of $200,000 in
Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot.
continues to grow
THE Australian Caravan Club is enjoying strong growth in its membership.
During the past 12 months the club established seven new branches,
bringing its total to 53 branches Australia wide. It now has 19 in
Queensland, 13 in New South wales, nine in Victoria, six in Western
Australia, five in South Australia and one in Tasmania. The average number
of RVs in each branch is 27, with three of them having over 50. The club
said it expected the strong growth to remain steady as it continues to
"promote the use of recreational vehicles and the RVing lifestyle
throughout Australia". The 4600-member club was founded in 2006 by a
small group of caravanners at the Golden Beach Caravan Park on Queensland's Sunshine
Have your say
newest park opens for business
AUSTRALIA'S newest holiday park has welcomed its first guests.
Overlooking Georges Bay and just minutes from the Bay of Fires in
Tasmania, the $10m NRMA St Helens Waterfront Holiday Park offers 26 cabins
and 45 powered ensuite and camping sites, a camp kitchen, recreation room,
BBQ, laundry and playground. Managers Ryan and Sally Pendergast were
excited to officially open their doors to the public after years of hard
work and long days.
DOMETIC and Caravan Industry Association of Australia have agreed terms
for increasing funding for the peak national body as well as extending the
existing agreement out to five years. A core component will be
additional stimulus marketing activities designed to promote the benefits
of caravanning and camping and to grow the market for all industry
participants. Dometic Australia and NZ managing director Brad Slater said
it was important to ensure that caravanning and camping remained at the
forefront of the public's imagination. "This partnership is a logical
fit," he said.
settles Highway 1 acquisition
ASPEN has announced that its acquisition of Highway 1 Caravan & Tourist
Park at Bolivar in SA has now been settled.
"Integration of the business is underway in readiness for the Christmas
holiday trading period," it said in a statement. The mixed-use park fronts
Port Wakefield Road, a main thoroughfare in the northern suburbs of
Adelaide. It offers 320 sites comprising a blend of permanent and extended
resident accommodation, high-quality tourist cabins, studio-style motel
units and traditional campsites. Its attractions include recently
refurbished facilities, two outdoor pools, a pool-side camp kitchen and
Have your say
planned for Coral Coast
AN RV village featuring 487 home sites is to be built on Queensland's
Coral Coast. The development on vacant land at
Burnett Heads has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. RV
Lifestyle Village Oceanside says that relocatable homes will have attached
accommodation for caravans and other recreational vehicles. There will
also be a caretaker’s residence, communal gardens, fenced dog run,
maintenance area, bowling green, indoor pool and wash down bay.
Have your say
Read about 'brick-tastic'
GWR unveils official story
of our LEGO brick caravan
Have your say
GUINNESS World Records (GWR) has now posted the full story of how
Australia captured the new record for the largest LEGO brick caravan ever
built. The achievement appears on its official site of record-breaking
facts and accomplishments. It invites readers to "take a tour" to learn
how the "brick-tastic new record" was set for the biggest LEGO brick
caravan, which took a total of 288,630 individual bricks and five weeks to
complete. It was modelled on a 1973 Viscount Royale and was built to
scale. Caravanning Queensland and Top Parks were officially recognised as
new holders of the title after its LEGO caravan was inspected by GWR
adjudicator Brian Sobel at the Brisbane Holiday Village. It beat the
previous record held in the UK by 73,472 bricks. To read GWR's full
account of the achievement,
trials new overnight rest areas
THE City of Bunbury in WA plans to throw down
the welcome mat for grey nomads and other travellers by trialling three
new overnight rest areas. It wants to attract more self-contained RVs
to the region and has identified Wyalup Rocky Point pull-over bays, Ocean
Drive car park (adjacent to Scott Street) and Maiden’s Reserve car park as
potential sites. Only self-contained vehicles will be allowed to use the
rest areas – tents or vehicles not fully self-contained will not be
allowed. Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the two-year trial would begin in
summer. "This market segment – often referred to as grey nomads – spends
much of the year travelling Australia providing both economic and social
benefits to the cities and towns they visit,," he explained. "We are
missing out on this fantastic opportunity so over the trial period we will
carefully monitor impacts to the community and seek to measure the
benefits added to the city."
Have your say
overhaul a boost for local parks
A $49 million overhaul and maintenance program will bring a welcome boost
to caravan parks in Queensland's rural town of Biloela.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said
about 370 contractors would be on site for the major program of works at
the nearby Callide Power Station, which would run to early December. "The
contractors will work alongside the power station's permanent workforce
and are being accommodated at motels and caravan parks in Biloela,
bringing $4 million in flow-on economic benefits to the region," he said.
Have your say
an 'overwhelming success'
THIS year's Melbourne Leisurefest attracted over 32,000 visitors,
organisers have revealed. The Caravan Industry
Association of Victoria said sunshine across the whole four-day event
added to everyone's enjoyment while viewing the best the industry had to
offer. "Once again it was an overwhelming success and enticed some outdoor
adventurers to attend who would not normally do so," association chief
executive Rob Lucas commented. "The stable of exhibitors continues to
improve and become more diverse every event.
'Truly fortunate to have
them as members'
ACC trio honoured for
stalwarts of the nationwide Australian Caravan Club have been conferred
with Life Membership for "exemplary service". They are Cec and Di
Caterer and Derek Hale. Chairman Craig Humphrey said the club was "truly
fortunate" to have them as members and so involved over such long periods
of time. "As I consistently say, the strength of the club is in our
members and we acknowledge them in the most fitting way that we can," he
said. "On behalf of all members, I congratulate them and do hope they are
an inspiration to other members to become more involved in the club." In a
first for the club, members voted to award a husband and wife Life
Membership, with Di Caterer becoming the first female to receive the
accolade. "It is an honour to be recognised for the work we have
undertaken over the last 10 years within the ACC," the Caterers said. And
Mr Hale commented: "I have been fortunate to be able to assist and develop
the club both in my beloved Victoria and on a national level over the last
Have your say
guided walk a hit for campers
PLANS are underway for future guided walks and coastal experiences in
Victoria after a successful tour for campers at the Torquay Foreshore and
Anglesea Family caravan parks. The Great Ocean
Road Coast Committee and traditional owners the Wadawurrung partnered to
offer the unique experience. Twenty-one walkers on the three-day tour
gained cultural knowledge and were told stories of Wadawurrung Country and
the Aboriginal heritage along the Surf Coast. GORC chairman Ken Northwood
said the tour was the first of its kind and demonstrated the value that a
community-based organisation could add to a coastal experience. "The
weekend was a resounding success and a brilliant way to showcase all that
the coast has to offer," he said. "We look forward to welcoming and
educating many more visitors with future walks."
Have your say
delays decision on park plan
MURRAY Shire Council in WA has deferred a decision on whether to allow a
new caravan park to be built near the scene of an Aboriginal massacre.
It decided at its last meeting that the issue required further
investigation into the Aboriginal heritage of the land before a fully
informed decision could be made. This would include its impact on the
cultural heritage and the local community. The proposed park would adjoin
the southern boundary of the recognised Pinjarra Massacre heritage-listed
site, about 2km from the Pinjarra Town centre. Led by Governor James
Stirling, dozens of Noongar men, women, and children were slaughtered in
1834. If given the go-ahead, the park would offer about 116 camping and
caravan sites, chalets and park home sites. "The caravan park and camping
grounds will provide much needed tourist and short stay accommodation
within Pinjarra and will enhance the current accommodation options to
visitors to the Shire," a council report said. (Photo: monument at the
site of the massacre).
Have your say
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over free camping 'freeloaders' in residential areas
SO caravan parks are being thrown to the wolves,
according to a story in your last edition (see story
Well, I would hate to be a resident of either Tiaro or Bauple in
Queensland where there is free camping.
They are in residential areas and residents have to watch these
'freeloaders' wandering about in their undies and brushing their teeth
and spitting the contents of their mouths on the ground.
We, the residents, have to pay for our water and other services and it
irks me to see these freeloaders come into town, use all the
facilities that have been paid for by residents and then move on to
the next 'free' spot.
If they want to travel, then they should have to stay in caravan parks
and pay for that privilege.
ON the other side of the coin, many find that without free
camping options there is just not enough room in the caravan parks in the
Also, if there is no free camping option, many do not stop in such towns.
Catering for both
THERE are two types of RV owners – those who go to caravan
parks and those that don't.
If you want business in your town, you need to cater for both.
A free camp near a town does not take business away from a caravan park.
If you are not doing well as a CP owner, look at your business and work out
why. You may have to lift your game.
Comparing rates for a CP in the US is useless. Chalk and cheese.
I WOULD like to comment on the eviction notices at
Ingenia's park, which looks like being turned into
an over-55s village, at Bluey Beach (see story
So what is the best way to turn a $7.5 million investment into a rapid growth
You are not going to gain a lot by a Christmas campers' rush, that's for
sure. No, you turn it into a village and triple your money.
I mean the complainers losing their Christmas spot are invited to first
choice of the new dwellings ... if they wish.
The "It had become a family tradition to spend Christmas there. I don't know
what we'll do now" groups will have to do what we
all do, and that is book in elsewhere.
The year-in, year-out 12-year pre-booking system is great for the ones that
have had it, no doubt.
But the public that hasn't had a chance of getting in just might have an
I am betting the new home allotments will be sold off the plan.
It's all about making money, nothing personal.