Caravanning News mastheadmastheadleftmastheadcentremastheadright










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

November 2015

Twitter logo

Facebook logo

Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

NOVEMBER 30: Police hunt thieves who raided a couple's caravan at Berowra Heights in northern Sydney and escaped with solar panel, satellite dish, TV, DVD player, BBQ and other property.

NOVEMBER 30: Australian Caravan Club's free-camping farm stays in WA under threat from state's proposed new rules governing caravan and camping grounds.

NOVEMBER 30: Couple in 70s robbed at gunpoint at they sat in their Toyota LandCruiser at Coonamble rest area on Castlereagh Highway in NSW.

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



"We have started our new journey to rebuild caravans"

Family behind failed Galaxy company back in business

Mark Burns, Customline CaravansBy Dennis Amor

THE family behind Galaxy Caravans, which went into liquidation last year, is back in production under a new brand name. In an exclusive interview, Mark Burns (pictured) told Caravanning News: "I can confirm we are producing caravans at our new factory in Somerton, Victoria, under the name Customline Caravans. We have 10 on the floor at the moment and they will start rolling out this week." Mr Burns said he was looking at producing high quality caravans with new features. The new company employs about 10 staff. Mr Burns said Galaxy was put into receivership after debtors failed to pay what was owed to the company. "Due to that we lost our beloved Galaxy brand name," he said. "But we as family have moved onwards and upwards. We have started our new journey again to rebuild caravans, with fresh new exciting ideas." He said the industry and suppliers had been "very good" to the new company.  Have your say

Aftermath of caravan smash

Aftermath of the caravan smash

Bird blamed for caravan smash

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

A WAYWARD bird is being blamed for a spectacular crash in which a caravanner almost lost his life.

Victorian grey nomad Rob Farrington was returning from a Queensland caravan rally when he thought the bird was going to hit the windscreen of his Nissan Navara.

The 70-year-old ducked and his 4WD towing a dual-axle Jayco Sterling caravan clipped the kerb, puncturing a front tyre and causing the rig to career down an embankment and roll into trees at the side of the New England Highway near Dalveen.

Mr Farrington was trapped in the mangled wreckage and had to be cut free by emergency workers before being airlifted to hospital by the RACQ CareFlight helicopter.

"It was a miracle he survived," fellow caravanner Rob Tudor, who was travelling ahead of his friend, told Caravanning News.

Mr Farrington and his friend had attended the Australian Caravan Club muster at Beaudesert.

Other caravanners returning home from the gathering spent the night pitched near the crash site recovering many of the injured man's belongings, including his wife's ashes.  More button

Richard Davis obituaryGiant's enthusiasm for tourism shone through'

Industry mourns death of stalwart

By Dennis Amor

THE caravanning industry is mourning the death of one of its most prominent figures. Seventy-year-old Richard Davis had worked tirelessly in the industry, particularly in South Australia, for more than 40 years. He suffered a heart attack at Mt Buller on November 6 while taking part in a car rally, one of his passions. Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont said he was saddened to hear the news. "Richard was a giant of support and one who thought firstly of others before himself," he said. "He was a gentle man who was incredibly generous in his time and service and willingly shared his knowledge and experience without hesitation. His enthusiasm for tourism shone through as he passionately spoke and championed for an industry he loved. There are many who are much the better for having known or crossed paths with Richard." And in a Facebook tribute, Top Tourist Parks wrote: "Richard loved tourism and used his knowledge and experience to support the industry throughout his life. He was affectionately described by his peers as a giant of the tourism industry and was respected for his down-to-earth attitude and tenacity." Mr Davis and his widow, Margaret, owned six caravan parks in SA before finally selling Adelaide Caravan Park to the Aspen Group last month. He was president of the Caravan Parks Association in South Australia from 1975 to 2015 and former chairman of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia for five years until retiring in June this year after 25 years continuous service to the peak organisation. Mr Davis was a board member of Top Tourist Parks and its Charitable Foundation. He received an Order of Australia Medal in 1999 for his services to the caravan park industry and promoting tourism within South Australia. Have your say

Doggy daycare centre

Canines well cared for at Alice Springs park

Govt grant pays for doggy daycare centre

By Dennis Amor

ALICE Springs' Heritage Caravan Park has scooped a $9500 government grant ... to build a "doggy daycare centre" so canine-owning guests can go sightseeing. Work is well underway on the novel $20-a-day facility which should be open at the Heritage Caravan Park in mid-November. The park was one of several tourism businesses which successfully applied for funding from the $4.75 million Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund. "We are one of the most pet-friendly parks around," co-owner and manager Mark Newman told Caravanning News. "But with all the national parks around here, there are many places you can't take pets. Some of our guests do not want to leave them tied up all day so we decided to build this doggy daycare centre to make things easier for them," he explained. More button

The scene of the Airlie Beach car park accident Caravan involved in Airlie Beach car park accident

Witnesses took these photographs after the accident

Note removed from windscreen

Police hunt grey nomads

POLICE are hunting hit-and-run grey nomads! The errant travellers' caravan clipped a car as it was leaving the Airlie Beach Lagoon car park in the Whitsundays, Queensland. Witnesses said the driver left a note on the damaged car's windscreen but this was removed by his female passenger before they drove off. A spokeswoman at the local police station told Caravanning News they were still trying to trace the caravan. It was described as a 17ft Jayco Westport poptop with NSW registration plates. Have your say

COMFIT of Alice Springs caravan park raider

Knife dropped in rush to escape

Security stepped up as armed raiders
strike at Alice Springs caravan parks

SECURITY was being stepped up at Alice Springs caravan parks after reports of knife-wielding raiders searching vehicles. Police are investigating after at least two men were allegedly disturbed while looking for valuables. "A number of tourists reported that two males were seen in the area using small torches to search vehicles," a spokesperson said. "When they were startled, they fled, one dropping a knife as he ran away." Police have released a COMFIT picture of one the raiders. He was described as skinny, about 165cm tall, aged between 20-25 years with short dark hair and a small amount of facial hair. He wore a yellow and purple singlet and knee-length shorts. A similar report was also received in the early hours where a male with a similar description was confronted while rifling through vehicles at another caravan park. Police said the reports were "concerning" and they have appealed for anyone with information to contact them. Have your say

Lino Farrugia

'Our of character" says daughter

Appeal for help to find missing dad

NEWSFLASH: Mr Faruggia reportedly found safe and well.

THE daughter of a missing caravanner has appealed for help in tracing her dad. Michelle Shepherd said Lino Farrugia was last heard of on October 22. He is traveling around Queensland in a 2014 White Toyota Hilux (rego 187TUS) with an older style caravan and his little white Shitzu Bobo," she said. Mr Farrugia has a tattoo in the inside of his left arm which reads "Matilda, Tyler, Jayce, Ella". His last known location was at Boulder Creek, south-west of Rockhampton. "He told us he was heading north to St Lawrence," Michelle said. "This is highly out of character for him not to contact his family. If anyone has any information, please contact us or missing persons." Have your say

Rum City mayor makes no promises
CARAVANNERS pressing for low cost or freedom camping near Bundaberg city centre in Queensland have held face-to-face talks with local mayor Mal Forman.
"We had a very fruitful two-way conversation and look forward to further discussions to see where things lead," Councillor Forman told Caravanning News after Friday's lunchtime meeting. "I didn't make any promises ... it has to be the majority of council who support this." He said the caravanners were not complaining, just asking why they could not have space nearer the city. The 'Rum City' has been criticised for allegedly not supporting grey nomads and other travellers. But the council argues it already provides four reasonably-priced caravan parks together with several free overnight camping facilities within driving distance of the CBD. And Dale Kelly, manager of the family-owned 95-site riverside Riverdale Caravan Park in the city, commented: "There are already cheap sites available here. Unpowered ones at our pet-friendly park cost just $15."   Have your say

ACC musterACC muster puts smiles on traders' faces
TRADERS were grinning from ear to ear when hundreds of caravanners descended on Beaudesert in Queensland for their annual rally.
More than 400 members of the Australian Caravan Club flocked to the town's showgrounds ... and reportedly spent around a quarter of a million dollars at local businesses during the eight-day event. The muster and annual general meeting was the highlight of the club’s main social calendar, with about 200 caravans from all over the country pitching in the Scenic Rim town. More button

Jayco owners treated to free anniversary festivities
JAYCO threw a 40th anniversary celebration for about 250 members of the Jayco Owners Club.
One hundred and fifty RVs packed into Victoria's Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park near Melbourne for the three-day event. Owners were bused to the Jayco factory where they were met by Jayco founder and boss Gerry Ryan. After a VIP tour of the workshops and assembly lines, they were treated to a barbeque lunch. Saturday night saw a slap-up dinner at the caravan park, complete with wine, beer and soft drinks. Club members were also given tours of the local Mitchelton Winery and a chocolate factory. All festivities were free, with members only having to pay their caravan site fees. Have your say

Minister Stuart Ayres with Avida's Ben BinnsMinister helps mark Avida's anniversary
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres recently took a first-hand look at RV production.
It happened when the minister visited the Avida Motorhomes and Caravans factory at Emu Plains. The manufacturer, which is celebrating 50 years in the business, is a local success story employing around 200 staff who produce more than 600 vehicles a year for the Australian market. More button

Water tanks can put caravanners at risk
CARAVAN manufacturers are putting caravanners at risk with improperly located water tanks, it has been claimed.
The Caravan Council of Australia cites one "shocking example" of a design which, it said, could seriously affect the handling and stability of the RV. "It makes you wonder how many caravans like this are on the road and in the hands of unwary owners," CCA founder and qualified automotive engineer Colin Young told Caravanning News. More button

NSW caravan industry's bestNSW industry showcases the best
NSW's caravan and camping industry has celebrated the best of what the industry has to offer.
Its recent announcement of winners of the 2015 Awards of Excellence showcased holiday parks, dealerships, service providers and the state's manufacturing excellence. "NSW is the most popular caravan and camping destination in Australia and we are celebrating our success," Caravan & Camping Industry Association of NSW president Theo Whitmont said. More button

Cops snare grey nomad druggies
TWENTY-five percent of drivers tested for drugs on Queensland's Fraser Coast returned positive results.
And, according to the latest figures from the state's police service, grey nomads were among those caught in the random roadside checks. "We are finding that some of our grey nomads are testing positive for drugs," Maryborough District Acting Superintendent Stephen Donnelly told media. Have your say

Compass Caravans logoCompass a new direction for Roadstar boss
ROADSTAR boss Ken Nizam has resurrected the old Compass brand name to launch two new entry-level caravans into the market.
The cheaper Compact and Navigator models from the Compass range complement Mr Nizan's current offering of luxury Roadstar caravans built at his factory in Victoria. "Both models are contemporary modern designs that are in no comparison to the Roadstar brand," Mr Nizan told Caravanning News. He claimed they were "much superior" than any other in their price bracket. More button

Rod Hannifey

'Astonishing episode' with caravanner

Award-winning truckie left shaking his head

AWARD-winning road transport and safety advocate Rod Hannifey has travelled well over five million kilometres at the wheel of B-doubles. He has written for several high-profile magazines and contributed to road safety inquiries. He is a regular guest on ABC and commercial radio stations and is passionate about making our roads safer. The holder of an Australian Trucking Association National Professional Driver of the Year award, Rod is astonished at the antics of some drivers, including caravanners. He has now spoken about an astonishing episode with a caravanner which left him shaking his head. More button

Buried treasure sparks fake money alert
A 72-year-old man was arrested after thousands of dollars worth of suspected counterfeit money was found at an Evans Head caravan park in NSW.
It happened when $1700 in $100 notes was passed at the local hotel and the ink ran while they were later being counted. Police were alerted and they found another $7000 at the man's home at Silver Sands Caravan Park. But  they have now cleared him of any wrongdoing after experts examined the suspect notes ... and declared them genuine. They explained that ink can often run when notes are buried! Have your say

GOR park scores hat-trick in Turu awards
PETERBOROUGH'S Great Ocean Road Tourist Park, a member of Top Tourist chain, has been named Victoria’s best park for third year running by online accommodation booking site
Thousands of holidaymakers voted for the park, which now attracts hordes of Chinese visitors. In fact, they are now second only to Australians. Leasehold owners Dean and Sarah Hellessey credited the success to their park's location, professional staff and loyal following. Have your say

FisherGrey nomad fishers line up for $1m prize tag
GREY nomads who head north every year to enjoy the NT's renowned barramundi season are hoping to net a fortune.
Fishing fever has gripped the territory thanks to the government's Million Dollar Fish competition in which 76 barramundi have been tagged and released ... with one carrying a $1 million prize. The others have $10,000 prize tags. More than 30,000 people, including grey nomads, have already registered for the competition, sponsored by CrownBet. At least two $10,000 prizes has already been claimed. Fishers who strike it lucky have to photograph a winning tag and call a special hotline. The competition runs until the end of next February and more information can be obtained by clicking here. Have your say

New caravan park proposed for Sunshine Coast
QUEENSLAND's popular caravanning destination, the Sunshine Coast, may get a new caravan park.
Brisbane-based Turtle Sands Marcoola Pty Ltd wants to include a tourist park in a development plan for a 5.5ha parcel of land in David Low Way. The development would also include a residential care facility, housing and a motel. The 57-site caravan park would have a two-storey administration building and manager's quarters as well as amenities blocks. Turtle Sands is understood to have signed a contract on the land which is conditional on gaining development approval for mixed use. Have your say

Parkmyvan co-foundersFledgling RV company seeking partnerships
A FLEDGLING internet company claims it has the largest verified listing of accommodation for caravanners and other RV travellers.
Now the founding duo of Jethro Batts and Kate Reynolds is looking for industry partnerships. PMV is a tourism start-up business that helps traveller’s compare, hire and book all their caravanning, motorhoming and RV needs. More button

Grey nomads health needsVolunteers needed for health study
ACADEMICS at the University of Wollongong are looking for volunteers for a new study into the health needs of nomads ... grey and otherwise.
The university's School of Nursing wants to hear from travellers who have been on the road for more than three months during the past year. Researcher Moira Stephens said grey nomads, young families and "everyone in between" were invited to take part in the online study. More button

Girl Guide logoCaravan industry saves the day for robbed girl guides
A GROUP of Victorian girl guides will be going to camp this month after all, thanks to the generosity of the caravanning industry.
Broken-hearted members of Oakleigh South Girl Guides in Melbourne were ready to call off their planned camp after thieves ransacked their shed and made off with about $3000 worth of tents and equipment. But the Caravan Industry Association of Australia saved the day by helping to replace everything. Chief executive Stuart Lamont told Caravanning News his association was happy to help. And Guide leader Gillian Malin said she could not thank the caravanning industry enough for its kindness. More button

Inverloch caravan park splash zone

New dimension for family fun

Park's splash zone a first for Australia

BIG4's Inverloch Holiday Park has opened Australia's first indoor heated splash park located in a caravan park. The newly launched surfing-themed Surfari Splash Zone provides an exciting new dimension to family fun and entertainment. BIG4 said it complemented Inverloch's surf beaches and the safe secure calm waters of Anderson Inlet. The Surfari Splash Zone has heated water with water slides, fountains, water cannons and tipping buckets all inside a temperature controlled building. It stands beside the holiday park's indoor heated swimming pool. "So no matter what season winter or summer the family and kids can enjoy the water and be entertained throughout their stay," a spokesperson said. Have your say

Planned merger lauded in Aspen's annual report
THE planned merger of the Aspen Group with Aspen Park Property Fund has been described as a "very positive strategic opportunity" for shareholders.
Writing in the group's annual report, chairman Frank Zipfinger said: "The merger will create an improved platform to drive the business and create further value." The group recorded a statutory loss of $30.8 million in the last financial year, blamed largely on falls in asset values within the resources sector. Mr Zipfinger said key aims in the future included driving operational returns from existing assets by introducing initiatives around both revenue and costs. It would also grow its high quality annuity residential streams and finally exit from remaining non-core assets. Have your say

Jo PalmerNews anchor to host industry's national conference
FORMER Miss Tasmania and Miss Australia Jo Palmer will host next year's Caravan Industry Association of Australia national conference on the Gold Coast.
The Apple Isle's Southern Cross TV news anchor is well suited to the role, having compered the association's national conference in Hobart last year, and again this year in Melbourne. The three-day 2016 conference will be held at Jupiters Hotel and Casino from May 11. Have your say

Over 30,000 flock to Melbourne Leisurefest
AUSTRALIA'S largest camping, RV and 4WD show held in Victoria has been hailed a great success.
More than 30,000 enthusiasts flocked to Sandown racecourse for the four-day Melbourne Leisurefest. The event was organised by the Caravan Industry Association Victoria and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce. Have your say

Greg Williams, Wedderburn caravan park caretakerFormer bus driver steers park into future
FORMER bus driver Greg Williams is now steering Victoria's Wedderburn Pioneer Caravan Park into the future.
Mr Williams has been appointed caretaker of Loddon Shire Council's 85-site park, located in the former botanical gardens. "My family and I visited the caravan park a number of times over the past few years while we were looking for property," Mr Williams said. Although it was early days, he could see some improvements that could be made to the running of the park and he would be addressing them. More button

Rotarians at a recent gathering

Rotarians at a recent gathering

Combined dinner planned

Rotarians set for festive meet

ROTARIANS will be hitching up their caravans and heading for Queenscliff Tourist Park in Victoria for their Christmas party. About 80 members of the Zone A group will spend five days at the park from November 11, with a combined 'muster' and club dinner being held at the Lonsdale Golf Club on November 12. Zone president John Artz told Caravanning News his group was formed more than 20 years ago. "We now have approximately 60 couples which meet at various locations throughout Victoria, occasionally going interstate," he said. A national seven-day muster was held once a year to allow all groups to get together, the previous one being at Bathurst last month, Mr Artz added. Have your say

Planned skywalks for Kalbarri National Park, WACaravan parking included in skywalks plan
THE West Australian Government will spend $20 million on building two spectacular skywalks at Kalbarri National Park, complete with parking facilities for "large caravans".
The skywalks, to be funded by Royalties for Regions, will extend 12 and 20 metres beyond the rim of the Murchison River Gorge. The government said they would become a major tourism drawcard for the region and would be accessible to "people of all ages and abilities". Have your say

Award-winning CaraBoatPlain sailing for CaraBoat in Hunter awards
THE CaraBoat caravan-boat crossover vessel scooped the Excellence in Product Design gong at the 2015 Hunter Manufacturing Awards.
Designed and built by NSW boat builders Composite Cats, the CaraBoat doubles as a caravan or houseboat. It took three years to design and hand-build the prototype. Composite Cats' Rob Shenn said it was ideal for grey nomads because they could combine caravanning with boating and thereby economise on site fees. "Some caravan sites can be up $50 a night, but when they're on the water the moorings are free," he said. Have your say

To view previous editions of Caravanning News, click on the appropriate month:


   Search Caravanning News:





Web pages designed and produced by Dennis Amor

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Caravanning News.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved









Advertising with Caravanning News

Caravan Council of Australia

Kui Parks advert

Don't forget to refresh this page to ensure you have the latest version

KEEPING up-to-date with what's happening in the world of Australian caravanning is easy, thanks to Caravanning News. Published online since 2005, each monthly edition is updated as major stories break. We attract up to 18,000 visitors monthly, with our Facebook and Twitter pages being updated almost daily. Figures show that the number of people reached on our FB page can reach over 10,500 weekly. To receive the latest Caravanning News updates on your FB news feed, just 'LIKE' our Facebook page ... nearly 4000 followers have already done this.