For full list, click above
Brisbane Holiday Park at Eight Mile Plains joins TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame after winning Certificate of Excellence for 5 consecutive years.
JULY 3: McLean Beach Holiday Park's Tegan Fisher awarded Trainee of the Year 2015 in NSW's Deniliquin Business Awards.
JULY 3: NSW's Lake Talbot Tourist Park will join forces with country singer SAMI to hold fundraising bonfire concert on Aug 1 in aid of anti-bullying program for kids in rural areas.
JULY 2: Bundaberg councillors in Qld give green light for major caravan sales and repair centre in Takalvan St opposite cemetery for local caravan dealer Takalvans.
JULY 2: Advert by tenant at Hobsons Bay Caravan Park in Victoria offering $60-a-night tent taken down on park owner's instructions.
*** Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
plates - the height of frustration
AFTER reading your article on number plates being too high (see
story here), I
happened to look at a photo of the rear of my caravan.
This prompted me to go outside with a torch to check it, and sure enough
my number plate is 1.4 metres off the ground.
We had the caravan custom built by Millard in 2011, the rules have been
in place since 1989.
If they cannot get the number plate right it has to make you wonder what
else in the caravan does not meet the regulations.
Now to add to the frustration, this caravan was serviced twice in our
first year of ownership and every year afterwards by reputable caravan
These people reputedly checked the tail lights and number plate lights
but never mentioned the number plate height.
But the tale doesn’t end here.
I live in Victoria so my dealer went online and registered my caravan,
they did not have to present it to VicRoads.
Normally VicRoads would inspect the caravan to ensure it complied with
the relevant rules and regulations, but they didn't.
I would imagine VicRoads expected that the dealer would ensure the
caravan met all the relevant rules and regulations, but they didn’t.
I assumed the dealer was doing the right thing, and at the end of the
day the onus is on me the owner.
I guess I will have to go read through all the rules and regulations.
Maybe I will just ring my solicitor.
The Taylor Family.
Best be sure
WE have a Windsor Genesis caravan and the number plate is 1300mm to the
bottom of it, which makes it too high.
I will move it myself, although I am unsure whether it needs to be
because the 'van was built in 2008.
The law appears to have been introduced in 2009, but better to be sure
than have less in the bank.
I am wondering if dirt road suspension and 4WD tyres makes the
difference, but as they were part of the original order the manufacturer
should have made allowances anyway.
What to do?
WE own an 18-month-old Van Cruiser Graceland fully off-road caravan and
have measured the plate.
It is 1.5m off the ground.
What should Van Cruiser do and what should we be doing? Consulting a
The industry should be making these thing right for the customer.
Ted & Michele Fleming.
Time for review
PERHAPS we should all move with the times.
With the advent of off-road caravans, which are generally higher, I see
few that would meet 1.3 metres.
Maybe the regulators, caravan manufacturers and police should sit down
Move with the times ... the days of walking in front of a car with a
light are long gone.
So is the 1.3 metre rule.
Try 1.6 metres for a start, or is it all about revenue?
MAYBE you should have been more specific
in your drawbar warning story (see story here).
All the major brand imports such as Bailey, Swift and Adria comply with
all Australian standards, with Bailey top of the list.
This is why I bought one recently.
It has ESC built in ... not an expensive option as with most Australian
The problem are grey imports imported by individuals and importers,
which do not meet Australian standards.
Often they do not have Australian-based equipment brands.
They sometimes do not meet gas, electrical, suspension and braking
But, you should not generalise so that all imported or lower-weight
'vans are tarred with the same brush.
It's too hard to make
a dollar, say boss
SOUTHERN CROSS TO PULL DOWN SHUTTERS
family-owned Southern Cross Caravans will cease trading at the end of this
month. "It's all too hard to make a dollar," the 70-year-old owner, Barry
Beattie, told Caravanning News. "It's time to put my feet up." The
company manufactures a range of prestigious fifth wheelers and caravans at
its factory south of Brisbane. But Mr Beattie said times were now tough in
a market where cheaper imports and mass produced caravans dominated. "The
business has been on the market for two-and-a-half years but people don't
want to buy something that's not making a profit," Mr Beattie explained.
He agreed many people would be sad to see Southern Cross close. "But our
product is so good it costs more to build and unfortunately people look at
the dollar value," he said. "Things are getting dearer and dearer. And
with the change in the dollar, the global finance crisis and people
pulling all their money out of investments to put in safe banks, they are
getting no money back and can't afford to buy an expensive RV." Mr Beattie
now plans to have an overseas holiday before hitching up one of his fifth
wheelers and travelling around Australia with wife Lorraine, 69.
Have your say
Vandalism 'just not
Mayor apologises after
Have your say
Diggers Headland Reserve
VILLAGERS have waged a graffiti war
on caravanners and other travellers camping with their dogs at a
beachfront hideaway in northern NSW.
Now the local Clarence Valley Council is offering a reward of up to $2000
in a bid to catch the vandals who have been spray painting visitors'
caravans and cars at Brooms Head.
And it has warned that if the culprits are caught they will face the full
force of the law.
"Vandalism of any description is just not acceptable," local mayor Richie
Williamson, himself a dog owner, told Caravanning News.
"This outbreak is not widespread but the council will take every
opportunity it has to catch the perpetrators and prosecute them. I am sure
the community would want that."
He apologised to travellers, adding:
"All RVs and caravanners are welcome here."
One tourist travelling with his pet had to have a new windscreen fitted
after it dissolved when a protester used an acid-based adhesive to attach
a note reading 'no dogs' on his vehicle.
The vandalism came after the local council wrote to villagers informing
them it would allow travellers with dogs to use Diggers Headland Reserve
Camping Ground, situated on Crown land.
Council works and civil director Troy
Anderson said tourist caravans and vehicles had been defaced by people who
might be under the wrong assumption that dogs were still banned from the
"If they disagree with the trial they
can write to us with their reasons and we will consider them, but they
can't take matters into their own hands.
"People come to Brooms Head for a relaxing holiday. They should not expect
to be harangued if
they are doing nothing wrong."
Emergency services urge extra care
Two grey nomads
in NT caravan rollover
TWO grey nomads from SA, aged 64 and
59, were injured when a 4WD and caravan flipped in the Northern Territory
today. They were taken to hospital by ambulance when their Hilux 4WD
and Swift Challenger caravan rolled several times on the Stuart Highway at
Howard Springs. Their injuries were not believed to be serious. An
Emergency Services spokesman told Caravanning News they were now
dealing with at least one caravan accident a week in the Territory and
urged travellers to take extra care.
Have your say
production continues to rise
AUSTRALIA'S caravan industry is predicting another record year of
production. The forecast comes as recently
released statistics for April revealed a 3.2 percent increase in
production compared with the corresponding month last year. It was the
fourth consecutive monthly increase this year, indicating Australians'
appetite for caravanning and camping is supporting local manufacturing.
Yearly production so far was 10.3 percent higher compared to 2014 figures.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia is now estimating another record
year of production.
Police warning on caravan park
CROOKS are targeting caravan parks in far north Queensland as grey nomads
flood in for the winter sunshine. Now Cairns
police are asking park owners to provide security advice to travellers
urging them to secure valuables, record serial numbers of personal
property and lock their vehicles and accommodation. "Unfortunately, police
have seen a recent rise in burglary and property theft offences in several
local caravan parks and holiday units," a police spokesperson said.
"Opportunistic thieves are particularly targeting unlocked cars,
campervans and holiday units. In most cases the victims are inside
sleeping when thieves have quickly and quietly gained entry to steal cash,
mobile phones and personal electronic equipment."
Have your say
hunt dog shooter
POLICE are investigating after a dog was shot while
its owner was visiting a caravan park in South Australia. Scrappy, a
Tenterfield Terrier/Border Collie cross (pictured), went for a stroll but
was unable to use his right back leg when he returned to his owner at
Avoca Dell Caravan Park near Murray Bridge. A vet later found an air rifle
slug embedded in the leg, but said Scrappy would make a full recovery.
Police have appealed to anyone with information to come forward.
Have your say
Bats move in, caravanners move
BATS are creating mayhem in a NSW town and driving caravanners away.
Travellers are reportedly quitting caravan parks after the flying mammals
moved into Muswellbrook. Numbers have tripled since colonies took up
residence on the town's Hunter River. "People just don't want to be around
them, they stink and they screech all day," the caretaker of one caravan
park explained. A local campdraft has also been cancelled due to the risk
bats pose to equine health.
Have your say
'Bloody caravanners' ad not
THE Advertising Standards Board has rejected claims that a Holden
advertisement featuring one caravanner abusing another is offensive.
The 30-second television ad shows one caravanner in a brand new 4WD
Colorado 7, towing an equally flash Jayco Silverline RV, shaking his
outstretched hand and muttering "bloody caravanners" as he comes up behind
an older and slower caravan ‒ a sentiment echoed by his young son sitting
in the rear of the 4WD. The advertising watchdog revealed it was among the
most complained about ads so far this year, attracting 161 protests from
enraged viewers. But despite this, it ruled the use of the word bloody in the ad
was not aggressive but "light-hearted and ironic considering the man
is towing a caravan himself". It dismissed the case.
Bogus emails warning
HACKERS are targeting computers in Queensland's caravan industry.
Now an urgent warning has been issued to people not to open 'zip' files in
emails without first checking with the company from which they are alleged
to have been sent. Family Parks and Caravanning Queensland are among
organisations to have already been stung by the bogus emails, forcing a
clean-up their computers. But not before virus-infected files had been
sent simultaneously to email addresses stored on their computers. Affected
emails from Family Parks carried the words Urgent Taxation alert in its
subject line and a file called 'tax-zip' in its body. The one sent to
Family Parks contained 'the_tax_information.zip' in its body.
Have your say
Another five parks join Kui
KUI Parks has added another five caravan parks to its nationwide network.
"What has been particularly exciting is the fact that many of them have
been recommended by our travelling nomads," founder Bert van Spronsen
said. Kui Parks now has 47 caravan parks under its wing. The latest
additions, all in Queensland, are Chinchilla Tourist Park, Barambah Bush
Caravan Park, Crows Nest Caravan Park near Toowoomba, Three Rivers Tourist
Park in Mundubbera and Sapphire Caravan Park in the Gemfields.
Have your say
corporate home for Roadstar
THE former Galaxy Caravans factory in Victoria, which stood idle after the
company went belly up last year, has been given a new lease of life.
New owner Roadstar has redesigned the building and transformed it into its
new and modern corporate home. Boss Ken Nizam, who bought the factory in
February, told Caravanning News he was "proud" of what had been
achieved at the premises in Cooper Street, Somerton. "They have been
renovated from ground up and make the true home of Roadstar a comfortable
place for our valued visitors to visit and tour," he said.
New business model for caravan
THE Caravan & RV Leisure Centre group in NSW has reviewed its business
model and strategic plan, it has been revealed.
This follows their new accountants' advice which has led to one of their
companies going into liquidation. Michael Hart, of chartered accountants W
Walker and Company, told Caravanning News the shake-up was the
result of a recent change of dealer agreement and consolidation of the
business to include a full service repair division in the one company.
"All existing contracts with customers and supplier dealings under the
prior structure will be honoured in full," he said. "Caravan & RV Leisure
look forward to continuing to provide an exceptional level of service
under their new business model." The company has been operating on the
state's Central Coast for 12 years and is agents for Adria and New Age
Have your say
traders welcome RV Stop plan
BUSINESSES in a small Queensland town have welcomed plans to set up an
overnight camping area for caravanners and other travellers.
Noosa Shire Council has agreed to trial the caretaker-controlled, maximum
four-night RV stop in Mary River Road near the heart of Cooroy. It hopes
the facility, which will include a dump point, will encourage the growing
RV market to stop awhile. And local shops told Caravanning News
they couldn't be happier. It will accommodate up to 40 recreational
vehicles and, according to local councillor Sandy Bolton, provide an
opportunity to boost the local economy. The council last year resolved to
amend the town plan to better cater for "grey nomad" tourists.
MSA to focus on RV builders'
THE national body responsible for addressing the skill needs of
Australia's caravan builders will pay special attention to the industry
this year. Manufacturing Skills Australia plans
set up a targeted project group with industry representatives to look at
training take-up and how electrical licensing regimes can be more
effectively managed. The body is responsible for developing and updating
of qualifications for workers who build, service and repair recreational
vehicles. Eight qualifications cover recreational vehicles in its training
package, ranging from Certificate II to Diploma level. The Caravan
Industry Association of Australia said it would continue working closely
with MSA to ensure training was relevant to the industry.
Have your say
Prototype put through
recently released news of its latest off-road offering ... but not before the
caravan builder had "torture tested" a prototype model on some of the
toughest tracks in outback Australia. Research and development
director Eddie Wills told Caravanning News the company had used "an expert
crew" to tackle some very harsh, remote country to ensure the TuffTRAX
could stand up to the punishment. "Over nine days we covered the maximum
kilometres possible with high payloads and high legal speeds," he
explained. "We pushed the chassis, suspension, brakes and overall
construction hard and used the same cutting edge data tracking used in V8
super cars to measure the g-forces of every bump and corner on the entire
Port Hedland throws down the
PORT Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has thrown down
the welcome mat to caravanners. The council has
opened up the racecourse for free camping to assist road-based travellers
looking for short-stay accommodation for a night or two. "Our free camping
ground is pet-friendly and has a new grey water dump point," the local
Visitor Centre explained. The new facility is located 500m from the local
shopping centre. But the Caravan Industry Association of WA has questioned
the wisdom of offering free camping while caravan parks were as little as
one-third full. It claims the council is acting against the interests of
Have your say
recall over spare wheel risk
JAYCO has recalled nearly 300 caravans after fears their spare wheel could
come adrift and cause accidents. Australia's
biggest manufacturer of recreational vehicles has appealed to owners to
contact their dealer or service agent as soon as possible. "If the spare
wheel retainer bracket separates from the bumper bar, there is a risk of
the spare wheel and bracket falling off the back of the 'van, posing an
accident hazard," Jayco said. For the full list of affected caravans,
click on the More button.
Campgrounds ideal for winter
A New South Wales government minister is urging holidaymakers to take
advantage of winter to enjoy the state's campgrounds.
Trade, Tourism and Major Events Minister Stuart Ayres said the season was
an ideal time to camp in many areas. "Travellers can expect sunny days in
outback NSW, warm ocean temperatures along the Pacific Coast ... and many
campsites across the state provide firewood so visitors can enjoy their
own campfire," she explained. Destination NSW chief executive Sandra
Chipchase said the state's diverse landscape, 2000kms-plus of coastline
and dramatic deserts make it one of Australia's best winter camping
destinations. "From glamping tents and luxury beach cabins, to riverfront
caravan sites and outback campsites, there is something suit all tastes,
styles and budgets," she added.
Have your say
Out-of-work miners hit RV
JOBLESS mineworkers and their families are snapping up RVs and
taking to the road in bid to find work, according to a Queensland caravan
dealer. Caravan Mart at Townsville reports
bumper sales of caravans and campervans as retrenched workers search for
jobs while touring Australia at the same time. Managers Bob and Kaye Black
also attribute rising RV sales to overseas terrorism which has led to more
Aussies holidaying in their own backyard.
Have your say
campers put drinking water at risk
ILLEGAL campers at Pilbara's Harding Dam in WA are putting the region's
drinking water at risk. The state's Water
Corporation is now warning the errant travellers they face $5000 fines
after claims they are contaminating the water with human waste. And the
problem is worsening as more people ignore no-camping signs to overnight
in the recreational area which offers barbecues, toilets, gazebos and a
lawn area. North West regional manager Rino Trolio told the ABC that
illegal activity was on the rise. "This has caused an increase in the
amount of rubbish and human waste within our source protection area," he
said. The corporation warned it would increase surveillance at the dam.
Have your say
Traveller nabbed by
Nomads warned of fish limits
GREY nomads have been reminded of the
Northern Territory's strict fishing rules. It comes after police
issued a 68-year-old traveller from NSW with a notice to appear after he
was caught with six barramundi on the Daly River, double the three-fish
bag limit. The man was staying at the Woollianna Caravan Park, which is
close to some of the best barramundi hot spots in the Northern Territory.
Senior Constable Sean Stanley, of the Water Police Section, said tourists
were "encouraged to enjoy our excellent fishery", but stressed all
visitors must comply with bag limits in waterways across the Territory.
The NT Fishing Mate app, which provides detailed information about
the new general possession limits and fish protection areas, is now
available for download on all mobile devices and tablets. "Water Police
will continue to adopt a zero-tolerance policy in relation to marine and
fisheries offences," Sen-Constable Stanley warned.
Have your say
Couple accused of faking RV
A VICTORIAN couple alleged to have faked the theft of their RV to claim
insurance will appear in Wodonga court in August.
The man and his 43-year-old wife were charged after they reported their
$20,000 camper trailer as being stolen after it failed to sell. They are
accused of attempting to obtain money by deception and making a false
report to police.
Have your say
nomads not media hype ... they're real
AGE plays an important part in determining whether travellers choose
camping over caravans or campervans, according to a new study.
And Roy Morgan Research says that families are happy campers and grey
nomads are for real. Without exception, Australians aged under 50 are more
likely than their older counterparts to have stayed in a tent on their
last holiday, the research concluded. People in the 50-plus bracket are
more likely to have stayed in a caravan/campervan. Grey nomads are not
just the product of media hype, they’re real, the researchers said.
Cops cleared after caravan
park capsicum spraying
A MAN who was sprayed with capsicum by police at a Victorian caravan park
has lost his claim for damages. Bryan Biddle,
63, accused the three officers of assault and false imprisonment. But
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye threw out his case and ordered him to
pay the legal costs which could be as high as $100,000. Mr Biddle claimed
he was needlessly sprayed at the Honeysuckle Caravan Park at Violet Town,
which was owned and operated by his wife Dorothy. Police had been called
to the park after claims from another woman, with whom he had had a
previous relationship, that she believed he was outside her home and in
breach of an intervention order. Justice Kaye ruled the police officers
had not used unnecessary and disproportionate force when arresting Mr
Have your say
Mr Healey (right) with Sydney
RV Group general manager Norman Roe
Fifth time lucky for
Robert 'stoked' at Passport win
SEASONED caravanner Robert Healey is
now the proud owner of two caravans after coming up trumps at a major
show. The lucky Sydneysider took home a New Age Glider caravan and
Australia Wide full annex after winning the major Passport prize at this
year’s NSW Caravan Camping and Holiday Supershow. "I currently have a 30
foot 'van that I tow with a LandCruiser so I am stoked to have this new
one too," he said. The $60,990 prize proved to be a case of fifth time
lucky for Robert, who has visited the show regularly for the last five
years. Mr Healey, who took the day off from his job at Bankstown Coaches
to collect his prize from Sydney RV Centre in Penrith, has owned a caravan
for the past two years. He has already been on an 11-month caravanning
trip around Australia.
rings in the changes
BELLS Caravan Park, one of five parks run by Moreton Bay Regional Council
north of Brisbane, is undergoing a transformation.
Security has been upgraded and 10 new hardstanding sites added to the
three-star park at Clontarf on the Redcliffe peninsula. A new security
fence has also been erected around the entire park, which has been the
target of petty thieves. Guests now have to pass through a security-coded
boom gate to enter the park opposite Bells Beach.
Have your say
Call for waterside warning
WATERSIDE caravan parks and camping grounds are being encouraged to erect
warning signs to help prevent drownings. The
call comes from The Royal Life Saving Society after a father-of-two
drowned while trying to rescue his children from the swollen Shoalwater
River at Coolendel in NSW earlier this year. His family was on its first
camping holiday at the Coolendel riverside campground, 30km west of Nowra.
His widow, who is expected to give evidence at an inquest in September,
believes the tragedy could have been avoided had there been warning signs
at the river.
Have your say
Rare dune grasses a threat to
new park plan
PLANS for a new multi-million dollar caravan park at the
small fishing town of Lancelin in WA have hit troubled waters. This is
despite the state government's Caravan and Camping Action Plan
highlighting the tourist destination as an "extreme priority" for a new
caravan and tourist park in the town, about 100km north of Perth. Problems
arose after worried locals protested that the oceanside development could
threaten sand dunes supporting a "threatened ecological community" of
grasslands with national heritage significance.
Stolen caravan in 120km police
A COURT has heard how a stolen caravan was chased at high speed by police
for more than 120km. The pursuit along the Hume
Highway ended with the caravan jackknifing at the Broadford exit in
Victoria and the learner driver being arrested. The 20-year-old man
appeared in Ringwood Magistrates Court and admitted five charges including
dangerous driving, speeding and refusing to stop for police. His learners'
permit was cancelled for 15 months and he was ordered to serve 100 hours
of unpaid community work. The caravan was stolen from near Ballarat before
being towed to Sydney. The drama happened on the return journey. The court
was told the man had suffered "flashbacks and nightmares" about the night
and realised it could have ended in death.
Have your say
Information sheets in
BIG4 on a roll with
AUSTRALIA is becoming the hotspot for
Chinese tourists ... and the BIG4 chain of caravan parks is jumping on the
bandwagon. It has already launched a new Chinese-language website
(pictured right) and says tourists from China now account for the second
biggest market behind local guests. To meet the demand, managers at its
180-plus caravan parks are being provided with information sheets in
Mandarin to help them welcome the cashed-up tourists from the communist
nation. Holidaymakers from China accounted for
more than half the chain's international bookings. Meanwhile, Tourism
Australia said recent forecasts indicated the Chinese market could be
worth up to $13 billion to the Australian economy. And with a weaker
Australian dollar, the signs are that the number of Chinese tourists
heading Down Under will continue to grow, with many opting to tour in
Have your say
spectacular safari planned
A CARAVAN safari in WA promises to be bloomin' spectacular.
Global Gypsies and RAC Travel have joined forces to offer a fun and
educational tour of the state's wildflowers later this year. Owners of
motorhomes and camper trailers are also invited to join the convoy led by
award-winning tour guide and towing trainer Jeremy Perks. "Experienced
caravanners will enjoy the camaraderie and having everything arranged in
advance, while novice caravanners can welcome the opportunity to practice
with their new caravan," he said.
Burdekin parks set for
BURDEKIN Shire Council caravan parks in north Queensland are geting a
facelift. Mayor Bill Lowis said the council had
budgeted $180,000 to be spent on the popular 69-site Burdekin Cascades
Caravan Park in Ayr. "We will refurbish the existing cabins, upgrade some
of the power heads and re-roof the ablutions block," he said. "The Home
Hill Caravan Park still has $85,000 available from last year's Budget for
the refurbishment of the ablutions block." Swimming pools next to both
parks will also be refurbished.
Have your say
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No swift response from
companies after gas cooker explosion risk
REGARDING the recent recall of Swift cookers in
caravans which could pose the risk of a gas explosion.
There seems little response from companies involved in the
rectification/advice of the matter.
Surely if the issue is installation of the product, the consumer isn't
the party to bear the process/costs of the rectification.
There is an issue of the communication of the matter from the
But more importantly, support for the safety of owners buying a
product now known to be possibly installed below recommended
LPG is tightly regulated ... and for good reason.
This issue is about responsibility of the manufacturers to ensure
standards are met for the public's safety.
No information leads to much hearsay and half-truths.
We need to be informed and armed.
Currently, the industry response is quietly deafening.
FURTHER to the story you ran in last month's edition
of Caravanning News (see
year we were at Mt Barnett camp ground in WA when a Lotus 'van
exploded from a gas leak.
It ended up with damage similar to that described in your story.
Is this a concern for this brand perhaps?
I WOULD like to comment on Southern Cross Park
leasing Horsham caravan park (see story here).
We stayed there twice this year and found the staff great. We loved it.
It was quiet
with a lovely river running past.
Will stay again and have told all our
REGARDING your story on Southern Cross Parks leasing
Horsham Caravan Park.
I think it is well overdue for the park, considering the weekly rate
they charge there.
It has no grass at all ... just dirt and gravel.
But it does have the advantage of being walking distance to the town
and is right beside the beautiful botanical gardens in Horsham.
Slow news day?
SO a newspaper columnist has fired a broadside at
grey nomads (see story
I see everyone was sucked in by this blast from the Brisbane press
that comes at regular intervals.
I thought people would have woken up to this regular ear-flapping.
It must have been a slow news day with nothing big happening to
attack the Labor Party with.
I WOULD like to comment on the traders who have
opened a low-cost camping area in the Queensland town of Monto (see
It's wonderful news and about time.
It's great to see the people staying instead of driving on to the next
They are self-sufficient and only need a safe place to stay.
Monto has a lot to offer visitors. l say make them welcome ... it can
only be good for the town.
Great little town
HOPING there are many travellers visiting this great little town.