For full list, click above
Caravanner reportedly cops hefty $415 fine in NSW after police stopped him for having his rear number plate more than 1.3m above the ground.
MAY 24: Pioneer Tourist Park at Deniliquin and Griffiths Caravan Village at Griffith, both in NSW, join Kui Parks chain.
*** Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Caravan park tariffs: No 'one size fits all' model
WE came across your article
about FreeSpirit in March's Caravanning News (and your
followers' feedback in the April edition).
For us as a business operator who wholly and solely supports the
caravanning industry ‒ and has done for
many many years ‒ it is disappointing to
see the negative comments which have been posted.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but not when the entire
story/article is not told ... not unusual for the media.
Our full article actually talks about days gone by where caravan
parks printed a particular price in a brochure or on a sheet of
paper that is handed to guests.
We live in a very technologically savvy world now where people
demand real time information at the touch of their fingertips.
In actual fact you have contradicted yourself in your article
because if you take the time to look at websites of all the
holiday parks we operate you will find all the tariffs are clearly
There is no hidden agenda or price gouging as stated. We are as
open and honest as they come ... we wouldn’t have been so
successful if we weren't.
However, from a business perspective, you might like to share with
your readers/followers that our tariffs are set and based on the
operational and seasonal demands of our parks, which these days
includes dynamic pricing.
We try to thank and reward our guests who book early by offering
them lower rates if they book in advance (so how is that being
dishonest?) instead of waiting until the last minute.
Have you ever tried to book a flight at the last minute ... it's
always dearer than if you had given some forethought and booked
We are no different.
We write our website blogs (obviously where you got the snippet of
the article from) to share operational information and experience
to other caravan park operators who may not be aware of different
ways to set their tariffs.
There is no one size fits all model for every holiday park ...
there are too many variations to take into consideration.
to die for
I THOUGHT readers might be interested in
this idea for repairing pop-up boot locks on European caravans.
I bought a local black plastic lock (not a pop-up style) with a 5/16
inch square shaft.
Because this shaft is a little smaller than the old one, I made up a 6mm
deep steel bush from some scrap .55mm thick galvanised sheet.
I just folded it around three corners of the lock shaft with the ends
meeting at the fourth corner.
The shaft and locking bars press together snuggly and the lock turns
them like new.
Finally, to retain the locking rods and centre lever I tapped the lock's
shaft with a 3/8 inch die and used a nut either side.
An easier option would be to drill two small holes and use a washer and
split pin either side.
Threading square rod is NOT easy by hand but it can be done if you have
dies and grind the corners off the rod until it fits the hole of a drill
of the size you want (3/8 inch in my case).
And take care as the die slips after each thread is cut and it needs to
be carefully repositioned to cut the next
Tedious at 24 TPI! But I only needed about an inch of thread.
Hopefully this will inspire others to share their ideas about replacing
items that are not readily available.
GRIPE OVER SLEEPLESS
Story/photos: Dennis Amor
CARAVANNERS have blasted truckies and
train drivers for allegedly keeping them awake at night. Members of a
major online chat room accuse them of deliberately activating their air
horns as they pass rest areas alongside train lines and highways after
dark. "Seems they have nothing to do but to wake us poor old tired buggers
in the middle of the night," one weary traveller wrote. "I mean, it's hard
enough to get to sleep without them blowing their horns. Damned
inconsiderate, I say." But caravanners approached by Caravanning News
at rest areas alongside Queensland's busy Bruce Highway dismissed the
complaints as just "whinging". Former train driver Max Weir, a caravanner
for over 40 years, regularly uses rest areas and has never had a problem.
"It's a load of garbage," he said. Ex truckie John Embleton, from Bribie
Island, also didn't think there was a problem and Queenslander Bruce Clark
commented: "Sounds like someone's been whinging unnecessarily." Meanwhile,
fellow Queenslander Darryl Dahler believed the problem was on the
increase. "They do it all the time," he said. "I think some truckies have
a dislike of caravanners."
park 'a living hell'
IT'S called a holiday village, but for some residents it's a living hell.
Mudgeeraba Holiday Park, just a stone's throw from the Gold Coast's bright
lights of Surfers Paradise, has been dubbed Australia's worst caravan
park. About a hundred tenants survive dangerous and squalid conditions
which even in some Third World countries would be regarded as slums. One
told of how he has to flush his toilet with buckets of water. And a
round-Australia caravanner described to Caravanning News how he did
an immediate U-turn when he turned up to stay there with his dog. "The
place looked horrendous and some of the characters appeared very suss," he
has 'reinvented' itself, say analysts
CARAVAN parks and camping grounds have "reinvented" themselves over the
past decade to meet a changing market, according to industry analysts.
IBISWorld claimed they had moved away from their original core services
and now offered more facilities and better accommodation. "The industry
has become a more significant component of total tourist accommodation in
Australia, competing fiercely with other forms of budget accommodation
such as motels and backpacker hostels," it said. The analysts pointed out
that newcomers to the industry faced low barriers but there had been no
new parks or camping grounds built Australia-wide during the last five
'delighted' after site fees axed
CARAVANNERS and campers have welcomed news that fees to use basic
campsites in Victoria's regional national parks have been scrapped.
More than 500 basic camping sites at 70 campgrounds in 19 national parks
throughout Victoria will be affected. "We want Victorian families to have
an affordable holiday and get a chance to experience our great national
parks," Environment Minister Lisa Neville said. "You can't put a price on
the beauty of our national parks." Members of an online caravanners' forum
said they were "delighted" at the news.
Southern Cross to
spend $1.1m on Horsham park
SOUTHERN Cross Parks has been awarded a 21-year lease for the
council-owned caravan park on the banks of the Wimmera River at Horsham in
Victoria. Council economic and business
development manager Colin Kemp said it would ensure Wimmera River Caravan
Park was maintained at a three-and-a-half star standard. Southern Cross
Parks has agreed to spend $1.12 million on upgrades during the next three
Have your say
links renters with rarely-used RVs
A FLEDGLING business in New South Wales is connecting campers with the
owners of rarely used caravans and other RVs.
Camplify ‒ a finalist in the Best Regional Startup category of the 2015
StartupSmart Awards ‒ allows owners of caravans, camper trailers and
motorhomes to list their RVs for hire for a set booking fee. Chief
executive of the Newcastle-based company Justin Hales (pictured) told
Caravanning News that owners could chat and choose potential renters
they felt comfortable with. "Owners get to set their own prices and rules
and we match them with holidaymakers who want to hire from them," he said.
"Control is all with the caravan owners and we make sure we provide them
with the right people."
New Age pops up
with its first Wallaby
VICTORIAN-based New Age Caravans has released its first pop-top, the
Wallaby. The 15ft and 16ft models feature a full
shower, toilet and vanity ensuite across the rear of the caravan. The
Wallaby is said to be perfect for people who have limited garage height
restrictions or prefer not towing a large caravan.
Have your say
Child porn charges
after 'suspicious' caravan park behaviour
A MAN will appear in court on child pornography charges next month after
being seen behaving "suspiciously" at a SA caravan park.
The 43-year-old, of no fixed address, has been accused of possessing and
producing child pornography and will front Adelaide Magistrates Court on
June 16. He was arrested after being interviewed by police in the Hills
Fleurieu Local Service Area. They have declined the identify the caravan
Have your say
pleads with nomads to help struggling outback
MP Bruce Scott has used the floor of Parliament to entice southern grey
nomads to Queensland's struggling outback. Small
towns are on their knees as the worsening drought in vast areas
dramatically impact on small businesses. Some traders have reported a 50
percent plunge in turnover during the past two years. The Maranoa MP and
Deputy Speaker told fellow MPs in his 90-second statement that he wanted
to issue an invitation to southerners to escape the "cold and dreary days"
of southern Australia and head north to the Sunshine State's outback this
winter. "People will welcome you ... and you would do a great deal for our
economy which we would welcome as well," he said.
Elite set to feature on Discovery
VICTORIAN-based Elite Caravans will feature in Discovery Channel's How
Do They Do It? series this year. Viewers
will be able to see exactly how its caravans are built, from start to
finish. The company said it was the only caravan manufacturer in Australia
to be approached by the world renowned TV channel. "Presented with
the chance to show Elite to the world is beyond comprehension, and we're
thrilled to present a manufacturing process in which we're extremely
proud," co-owner Adrian Cappola said.
The injured caravanners
receive medical care the accident site before being airlifted to
Drama on remote
Grey nomads airlifted to hospital
after 'van rolls
A QUEENSLAND couple in their
70s was lucky to escape serious injuries when a caravan rolled on a remote dirt
road in the NT. The Gold Coast travellers suffered only cuts and
bruises in the accident on Shady Camp Road at Point Stuart east of Darwin.
St John Ambulance called the CareFlight rescue helicopter which airlifted
them to Royal Darwin Hospital. A motorist who found the injured
caravanners drove to the Stuart Point Wilderness Lodge to raise the alarm because
there was no mobile phone coverage at the accident scene.
Have your say
Easier parking for
PICTURESQUE Naracoorte in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia is
making it easier for caravanners to park. Work
is underway on turning the town's Market Square into a premium recreation
area. This includes providing special stopping places for caravans and
other RVs. Mayor Erika Vickery said the area would provide an ideal rest
stop for visitors.
Have your say
camper slams parks industry
AUSTRALIA'S caravan parks have been accused of "fraudulently
misrepresenting" travellers who prefer to free camp.
Freedom Camping Australia's Phil Jones told a gathering of grey nomads at
Wagga Wagga in NSW that the caravan parks industry had been very vocal on
the issue. "However, in doing that they are fraudulently misrepresenting
those travellers who are not their customers ... the 'freedom-of-choice'
campers," he said at the annual Stone the Crows Festival. This had
resulted in what he called emotive and often inaccurate media headlines.
upsets caravan park operators
CARAVAN park operators in Western Australia's coastal town of Denmark have
blasted their local council over plans for a 68-site overflow area at the
local oval. Manager of the Ocean Beach Caravan
Park Michael Barton expressed disappointment over the lack of
consultation. The council recently approved a motion to use $248,000 of
Tourism WA funding to establish an overflow camping area at McLean Oval.
But Mr Barton pointed out that his park was already planning to expand its
capacity. He has told the council he believes it should be the role of
park operators to provide for overflow and not the council. Noel Phillips
from the Rivermouth Caravan Park, who also complained about the lack of
consultation, said he was concerned a new overflow camping area would
disadvantage existing businesses. Denmark Tourism chief executive Justine
Nagorski said she supported the proposal to ensure no caravanners and
campers were turned away from Denmark during peak periods if existing
caravan parks were full.
Have your say
park crowned the nation's top resort
CAIRNS Coconut Holiday Resort has been officially crowned Australia’s top
tourist and caravan park for the seventh time.
The park, a member of the BIG4 chain, took home the Gold award for the
second year running at the Australian Tourism Awards in Adelaide. BIG4
chief executive Steven Wright said the holiday destination was highly
deserving of the accolade and should be proud of its efforts in delivering
a unique and memorable holiday experience. The resort's team had "shone
the brightest in providing the ultimate Australian break".
Rally will offer
feast of entertainment
THE Goulburn Valley in Victoria will lay on a feast of entertainment at
its inaugural rally for caravanners and other RV travellers.
September's GV RV Rally at Shepparton Showgrounds will offer an
opportunity for RV enthusiasts to meet and interact, share their stories
and experiences and enjoy local highlights, say organisers. It will
feature a Safe Swaying Seminar on driving skills, road safety and legal
requirements and the Shepparton Heritage Motor Rally. Visitors will have
the opportunity to explore the region on guided tours including culture
and history walks, shopping tours and visits to local farm and milk
factories as well as wineries and orchards. Other activities will include
golf and bowls, fishing and sailing, table tennis and woodworking as well
as events like the GV Big Breakfast, comedy night, moonlight movie and a
Saturday night social. For more information,
Have your say
times for ACC
THE Australian Caravan Club's branch activities have never been busier,
say officials. "The club is in a very healthy state, with membership
of over 4100," chairman Tom Smith told Caravanning News. "Our club
has been growing at about 20 percent a year." Club publicity officer
Lionel Mussell said plans were well advanced for its ninth national muster
at Beaudesert in October, with plans for tag-alongs to the event.
predicts bumper year
RV PRODUCTION in January and February soared 16
percent over last year's corresponding period, new figures show.
The result come on the back of figures for 2014 which revealed the
second-highest annual production in two decades. And the Caravan Industry
Association of Australia predicts that more RVs will roll off production
line this year than ever before. "Our research shows that more and more
families are turning to caravanning and camping for leisure in Australia,"
chief executive Stuart Lamont said.
keen to take over struggling park
A COUNCIL is attempting to save a struggling caravan park on the banks of
Lake Hume in north-eastern Victoria. Visitor
numbers at the 147-site Tallangatta Holiday Park have taken a dramatic
nosedive during the last decade, despite caravan registrations soaring.
Towong Shire Council is now keen to take over the struggling park ‒
currently operated by Goulburn-Murray Water ‒ which was historically a
popular holiday destination for young families and older people. A
planning report, prepared for the council by Southern Cross Parks,
suggested that given the importance of the park to the town and region as
a whole, the authority should consider its future management and
Campground host training
THE South Australian government will hold a training weekend for people
interested in becoming volunteer campground hosts.
Organised by the
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources,
the campground host and induction training will be held at Mambray Creek
Campground in Mount Remarkable National Park from June 19 to 21.
"Campground hosts have a sense of adventure and enjoy sharing their love
of the outdoors with like minded people," volunteer programs coordinator
Lynn Newman said. Campsites will be available for people taking part, but
places are limited and bookings are essential. For more information,
urge caution over HomeCamp scheme
HUNDREDS of home and land owners have been warned they could be breaking
the law by opening up their properties to caravanners and campers.
The advice comes after newly-formed Sydney-based company HomeCamp urged
them to allow travellers to pitch a tent or park their caravan on their
driveway, land or garden in exchange for cash. Similar schemes already
operate successfully in seven countries. But local authorities have told
Caravanning News that property owners should exercise caution when
considering joining the scheme.
Couple and dog escape
THIS is all that remained
of a caravan which came to grief on a NSW highway. A couple and their
pet dog escaped virtually unscathed when their rig overturned at Yellow Creek
Bridge between Tenterfield and Tabulam on the Bruxner Highway. The stretch
of road is notorious for sudden wind gusts. A rescue helicopter was
despatched to the scene but was recalled after original reports of the
couple being trapped were proved to be false.
Have your say
Storms leave $1m
repair bill at showground
FLOODS at the Stroud Showground in NSW's Hunter Valley have left a $1
million-plus repair bill. Several campers were
rescued by boat as raging storms left up to 7ft of floodwaters at the
council-owned facility. Some buildings at the showground were destroyed
and the heritage-listed grandstand damaged. Stroud Show Society president
James Harris said it was "absolutely amazing" no-one died in the storms.
Have your say
WA industry scheme
to attract RVers
WESTERN Australia's caravan industry has launched a new initiative to help
local authorities attract more travellers. CIAWA
said it understood that governments were trying to attract as many
caravanners and other RVers to their towns and communities as possible.
With this in mind, it had developed a Community Welcomes Recreational
Vehicles scheme. Areas adopting it would "make the community eligible
for inclusion in all CIAWA marketing activities and promotion of the
community on the CIAWA consumer webpage, with over 100,000 unique visitors
Have your say
New identity for
LITTLE Joey's Caravan Centre at Epping in Victoria has been renamed
Caravans on Cooper. The business decided it
needed to differentiate its caravan centre from the hugely successful
Little Joey’s caravan brand launched in 2009. "This will not affect the
high level of service and products that we offer our customers, if
anything it has reinvigorated our team to only get better and keep winning
awards and praise," the company said. New Age Caravans recently presented
the dealership and service centre with an award for achieving the highest
sales at a major show. Meanwhile, New Age Caravans director Gabby
Montagnese has been nominated for the Telstra Business Women of the Year
Have your say
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Beachlands barking up
the right tree
SO Beachlands Holiday Park is now allowing pooches into their cabins
(see story here).
Congratulations ... I need to say no more.
I may never get to your park but you will make many a traveller very
I hope you will have enough cabins and are very busy.
WITH more and more people wanting to take their pets with
them when they hit the road, Beachlands Holiday Park is to be applauded.
Far too many parks close their gates to animals, even those
travelling in their owners' own caravans and motorhomes.
This makes it very difficult for travellers who cannot
leave their pets at home.
One of the worst places I have found in this regard is the
Sunshine Coast in Queensland, where precious few parks take pets,
particularly on those near the beaches.
Beachlands has moved with the times.
the growth of the caravan industry, is there no mention of jobs in
I'm thinking that maybe they're not advertised is because they are
being obtained through referrals or other means.
This means they can't be measured in employment statistics.
Name and shame war medal thief
I WOULD like to comment on your story on war medals being
stolen from a WA caravan park (see story here).
I am a Vietnam vet and to say I am extremely mad at the theft would be an
If the person is caught he needs to be named and shamed.