formed and old acquantances renewed'
Retreat caravans hit the
road for their record get-together
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QUEENSLAND'S Retreat Caravan Group is
setting a record for its longest Get-Together, which usually takes place
over one weekend and at a single location.
Administrators Barry and Sandy Neilsen said the event, which they
hailed as a "huge success", was now winding down and breaking into smaller
"There have been a few friendships formed and old acquaintances renewed,
with everyone willing to help each other out to ensure all had a great
time," they said.
Retreaters from Queensland, NSW and VIctoria started making their way
north on July 1.
Several small groups began meeting in towns which included Mitchell,
Emerald, Jericho Augathella, Blackall Lara Wetlands (south of Barcaldine),
Windorah, Birdsville (for the Big Red Bash), Bedourie, Ilfracombe,
Longreach, Winton and Middleton.
"At many places they held mini get-togethers with happy hours, pub dinners
and campfires," the Neilsens explained.
"The first groups arrived at Boulia on July 11 where they were welcomed
back to the Boulia Caravan Park by park owner Mary-Ellen.
"The next few days saw more Retreaters arrive to bring the total to 29
The Camel Races and
festivities kept them busy
The town's Camel Races and festivities kept them busy before many made
their own way back east, south or west.
"Fifteen members headed further north through Mt Isa to the abandoned
mining town of Mary Kathleen where a great night was had with a campfire
and a camp oven cook-up," the Neilsens said.
After one night in Cloncurry, where they joined by another Retreat
caravan, bringing the new total to 16 caravans, they pushed north to
Normanton and finally the Gulf town of Karumba to enjoy fresh Barramundi,
fresh Gulf prawns and magnificent sunsets whilst enjoying a beer or two at
the Karumba Tavern beer garden.
They were joined In Karumba by one more caravan, bringing the total to 31.
Many members took either the Croc & Crab morning cruise or the Sunset
cruise out to a sand island in the Gulf.
The get-together began to wind down on July 24, with a farewell dinner at
the Sunset Tavern.
Some Retreaters headed home but a few smaller groups began making their
way east across the Savannah Way with plans to enjoy a couple of train
excursions on the Gulflander and the Savannahlander. Stops on the way will
include Normanton, Croydon, Mt Surprise, Ravenshoe and finally Mareeba on
the Atherton Tablelands around the first week of August.
The Neilsens said the Get-Together had covered much of Western and Outback
Queensland, from the Queensland-NSW border right up to the Gulf and North
Queensland, for a total of five weeks or more and included a total of 31
caravans ... "a great record for the Queensland Retreat Caravan Group".
"Whilst our Queensland Retreaters have been fortunate to enjoy this great
trip in a COVID-free area and no real restrictions, it has allowed the
group to have a great time whilst having sincere empathy for those members
severely impacted by lockdowns and restrictions in other parts of the
"Hopefully when this pandemic is over we may all resume the great
"Our group continues to grow with more members joining everyday and with a
common interest in travelling our beautiful country.
"We started the group two-and-a-half-years ago and have travelled to
various parts of Queensland, supporting towns which are struggling in the
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