Issue 106: NOV 05 2016
$50 for the! best letter
Our reader weekend in Dalgety was a great success
A little bit of spit ’n polish!
Three more RV Friendly Towns to consider…
Suncamper’s Sovereign Deluxe offers comfort and some interesting features…
2 | About iMotorhome
iMotorhome Magazine is published twice monthly and available by free subscription from www.imotorhome.com.au. Your letters and contributions are always welcome! Facebook “f ” Logo
RGB / .ai
Facebook “f ” Logo
RGB / .ai
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
Contributors Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby and Allan Whiting
Published by iMotorhome PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2776. Australia.
Design and Production
ABN: 34 142 547 719
T: +614 14 604 368
Design & Production Manager
E: email@example.com W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: email@example.com
Legal All content of iMotorhome Magazine and website is copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content, however no responsibility is accepted for any inconvenience and/or loss arising from reading and/or acting upon information contained within iMotorhome eMagazine or the iMotorhome website.
View All Units O nline 24/7
Whether you are planning the trip of a lifetime around Australia or you just want to take a break and relax for a weekend, Albury Wodonga RV World offer caravans, campervans and motorhomes for sale and for hire. We believe in good old-fashioned customer service, that’s why we have an experienced and dedicated team who are always available to offer their knowledge and guide you. As part of our Price Match Guarantee*, if you can get a better deal elsewhere – we’ll match it! Our convenient Drive-Thur Service Centre allows you to drop off your caravan or motorhome for service or repairs with ease. Our Service Centre is a one stop shop, offering caravan and motorhome service, repairs, upgrades and modifications, warranty & insurance work, and also a parts and accessories shop. CALL US TODAY FOR THE AW RV WORLD EXPERIENCE
NEW & USED SALES | RENTALS | SERVICE CENTRE 1A Watson St, Wodonga VIC 3690 Ph: 02 6024 4222 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 | My Say
Time for Big News What a month it has been – four days at CMCA’s 31st National Rally in Canberra, eight days motorhoming from Auckland to Christchurch and then our four day Vans from Snowy River reader get-together in Dalgety. Combined with launching iMotorhome New Zealand magazine and its associated website, it has been the busiest month since iMotorhome began. Thankfully things should calm down a little as we head towards Christmas and the New Year. Or maybe not…
Naturally these will be tours with a difference, because the group size will be limited to around a dozen people, ensuring personal attention and ease of travel. They will also be highly inclusive, from vehicle hire and full insurance to pre-programmed GPSs, return airfares, sidetrips and experiences. They’ll also be a whole lot of fun! Just how well they were received is indicated by four couples putting their hands up for Route 66 and two for NZ; all without an itinerary or firm costing.
Speaking of time, at a Saturday morning market in a carpark in Blenheim, NZ, I bought a fossilised Goniatite; a white spiral shell with beautiful detail set in a polished rock from Morocco (go figure). It’s 360 million years old. Beauty aside, I bought it to sit on my desk and remind me that time is fleeting and to try and make the most of it. So far it seems to be doing its job!
The tours are a natural development of my years of tour guiding and organising, plus Mrs iMotorhome’s decades of pointy-end customer service experience. They also follows requests over the last couple of years from readers who would like to replicate some of our travels but aren’t confident doing it overseas on their own.
The Dalgety get-together was an great success and it was terrific to meet eight friends from our first event a year ago and to make many more. Most rewarding was people’s genuine enthusiasm for the event and seeing how happy they were – be it exploring the town, enjoying a meal or making new friends themselves – especially those reticent at first and who confessed they, “Didn’t normally do group motorhome things”. Last issue I teased you by saying I’d make a big announcement in Dalgety. Everyone down there wanted to hear it and when announced it was very well received. So what is the big news? iMotorhome is going into the international escorted motorhome tour business, starting with Route 66 next April and New Zealand in October!
Due to a recent scarcity of time my plan to include an ad in this issue, with full Route 66 tour details, didn’t eventuate, but next month (if not next issue) for sure! In the mean time, if you’re even vaguely interested drop me a line at email@example.com and I’ll make sure you’re amongst the first to receive full details. To give you an idea of what’s in store download our Route 66 Special Issue from July 2013 here. Finally, I’ve already pencilled in 10-13 November 2017 for another iMotorhome reader gettogether. No idea on the venue but at least keep the dates free. Also keep 12-15 May free. I’m working on something exciting because November is too far away and you deserve more fun and adventure before then. Now that is big news, and hopefully worth waiting for!
6 | Contents
Who we are, where and other legal stuff
Find back issues and more on our website
On my Mind
On your Mind
Time For Big News
Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!
Day Test: Suncamper Sovereign Deluxe
Project Polly: Spit’n Polish!
Reader Weekend: Vans from Snowy River
Travel: RV Friendly Towns
What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond
The latest Marketplace offers
Deluxe Offering – a new Iveco daily-based Suncamper with a difference…
It’s amazing what a little spit and polish can do…
A round-up of last weekend’s fun and games in picturesque Dalgety
Three more RV Friendly Towns for your consideration…
What’s on around Australia over the next three months…
An A to Z of who’s in this issue!
Next Issue What’s coming up and which shows are on soon!
Resources | 9 resources
Magazine Resources Just click any of the links below!
$50 for the best letter!
Dalgety Report! Project Polly
A little bit of spit ’n polish!
Three more RV Friendly Towns to consider…
106: NOV 05 2016
Deluxe Offering! Our reader weekend in Dalgety was a great success
Ask a Question
Suncamper’s Sovereign Deluxe offers comfort and some interesting features…
When Monday Doesnâ€™t Matter
On Your Mind | 11
Win $50 for the best letter!
It’s only fitting that since Ed has his say in On My Mind, you should be able to have yours too. If you have anything to say – or ask – just drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share it with our readers. We’ll also reward the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with $50 to help you on your way.
n your recent Project Polly article in Issue 105 (15 October 2016) your section on tyre scrubbing on the front of the Transit mentions there is a fix costing around $2000. Well after months of tyre rotations, turning tyres around on rims, balancing, etc, I did some research on this problem with my Transit RV, especially the scrubbing-out of the right hand inside tyres, but without much success. A mate of mine, an ex truckie, told me to ring this truck wheel alignment company in Adelaide. I rang them and they were onto it straight away. Fixed plenty of front right hand tyre scrubbing but rarely to the front left hand side. I have done 26,250 kilometres over the 14 months since they fixed mine. Both front tyres show no sign of any scrubbing at all, in fact both are wearing nice and even with a flat tread surface. 100% improvement in tyre wear and steering. Cost for fitting the kit, a total front wheel assessment and alignment and rear wheel/axle alignment was as follows: 1 Camber Kit Labour Sundries Enviro Levy Track Commercial Van Camber/Caster Commercial Van Track Commercial Van GST Total
$184.15 $115.00 $ 10.00 $ 6.00 $ 71.25 $ 28.50 $ 52.25 $ 46.69 $513.84
I have more than covered the $500 it cost by not having to pay for any new tyres, any more wheel alignments, tyre changes, tyre rotations, tyre balances, etc. The company is: Hancock and Just Wheel Alignment Specialists 19 Streiff Road Wingfield SA 5013 Ph: 08 8349 4711 Cheers, Reg From all Ford Transit owners – thanks! That sounds like a winning deal. I’m thinking Polly might be up for a trip to Adelaide next autumn – it’s a bit to warm for us over there in summer – and by then she’ll be up for another alignment/rotation, etc. Reg please accept this issue’s $50 prize for letting us know.
12 | On your mind
topic I have been looking at recently, with mixed results on the answers I am finding, may be a topic for the magazine at some time (unless you have already covered this some time ago and I have not found it). What can we actually drive on a car licence? We are all aware of the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) limit that we can drive with an ordinary car licence, namely the vehicle must have a GVM of no greater than 4.5 tonnes. Many motorhomes are manufactured to fit into that limit. What I have found challenging is what applies when you add a trailer (including a towed vehicle) behind the motorhome. Some comments I have found suggest the 4.5 tonne limit applies to the Gross Combined Mass (GCM), while others say there is no limit other than the towing vehicle’s GCM. To make matters worse, when searching the South Australian government website, it states that the car (C-class) licence can drive a vehicle with a GVM no greater than 4.5 tonnes and may tow one trailer, subject to the “Combination mass limits fixed under the Road Traffic Act 1961”. That sounds all well and good, until I search that Act and the only
reference I could find to the “Gross combination mass limit” was inserted into the Act in 1977 and repealed in 1989. It sounds like my wonderful State Government is referring to something that has not existed for nearly 30 years. Furthermore, are the regulations (whatever they may be) consistent throughout Australia? Anyway, having faced these varying and conflicting pieces of information, I thought it may be a useful topic for one of your technical gurus to set us all onto the straight and narrow. Cheers, Eric. Eric, for a vehicle being driven on a car licence, the combined weight of it and a trailer cannot exceed the gross combination mass (GCM) weight limit. So if a motorhome has a 6000 kg GCM and a 4500 kg GVM, it means the maximum trailer weight is 1500 kg. Australia has a national drivers’ licensing system so the rules apply whichever state you’re in. Hope that helps!
hen is a truck not a truck? First, let me state that I have never parked in a truck parking area overnight. I have a Winnebago Longreach which is nearly 9 tonnes without towing the car. I have to have an MR licence. I have to follow all the road rules the same as trucks and also go into weighing stations the same way the trucks do. Am I a truck or not a truck? I have an Isuzu truck with a house on
the back; some people call it a home and it has a motor so it is a motorhome. I have also seen trucks carrying caravans, so are they classified as caravans? This would be the same argument with buses that are converted to motorhomes. They are still registered as a bus, but in some instances are not allowed the same rules on the road as buses or parking spaces for buses. ...continued.
On your mind | 13 ...continued.
I believe to stop the arguments and to enforce the law as stated in your issue, they are going to have to stipulate a tonnage or a length or size of the truck. These are the arguments I have heard on the road from other travellers who own similar trucks. While I respect that the working truckie needs somewhere to rest for the night, they have to have appropriate signage to stop the motorhome from going in for the night and allow police to enforce the law without the arguments. Thanks, Jess. I know it all seems confusing Jess, but here are the rules (in NSW at least) and I hope they help: 1: Truck parking areas are for Heavy Vehicles, which are defined as being any vehicles with a GVM exceeding 4500 kg. That means your Longreach is a Heavy Vehicle and therefore you’re allowed to use them (the term ‘truck’ isn’t used/
recognised in the regulations). 2: Buses are also Heavy Vehicles if their GVM is above 4500 kg, with the same rights and road-use restrictions. However, they can only use a bus stop or bus lane if actually registered as a bus (i.e. for the purpose of commercially carrying passengers). While on the subject, owners of smaller motorhomes should note that in NSW (at least), not parking wholly within a parking bay or using more parking bays than necessary carries a $108 fine. So does not parking at a specified angle, or not parking nose-to-kerb where indicated. Finally, standing or parking in a disabled space without authority carries a whopping $541 fine and the loss of 1 demerit point (not that any of our readers would!). Hope this clears things up.
his morning I have been reading an article in our local daily, The Advertiser, about the opening of the new SA headquarters for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). For all of us who choose to venture outside of the cities, I see the RFDS as one of the most important charities in Australia. While we have no connection with the RFDS, other than they are on our list of supported charities and we live near Adelaide Airport and therefore regularly watch as their planes arrive, I thought how much we take this service for granted and how to make more Grey Nomads support them. The RFDS flew over 26 million kilometres last year caring for us. I would like to encourage all readers of iMotorhome to take time out during their
travels to visit an RFDS base, find out more about what they do and to make a donation, large or small, to help keep them in the air. One day, it will be one of us iMotorhome readers that need them. If interested, the article can be read here. Regards, Eric. Thanks again Eric. You’re right, most of us certainly take the Flying Doctor for granted and like you I’d encourage readers to visit an RFDS base (which is always an interesting experience) in their travels – and spare a dollar or three. Base locations and further information can be found on the RFDS website here.
14 | On your mind / News
Pin Up Ideas!
motorhome. I have no affiliation with Office Works, I just know that is one place to get them. Keep up the good work with the magazine.
egarding your reader question last issue about photo displays. I know Office Works sell snap frames at A4 and A3 sizes and these can be permanently mounted. You then open the snap frames, remove the plastic ‘glass’ and place your photos in them. These would give a professional looking display that can be changed at will. They were originally designed for advertising when the material changes often and you often see them in airports etc. Although costly at $5060 for the big A3 size they shouldn’t devalue the
Regards, Dave. Thanks for the idea Dave, I’m sure others will find it handy too. A search of eBay for Snap Frames also brought up many results and variations. Other readers have suggested cork boards (some saying to put pics in clear plastic sleeves on the boards) and even just plain old Blu Tack!
AVIDA FACTORY FIRE
fire at the Avida RV factory in Sydney’s west late Thursday afternoon was contained to a small section of one building, according to dealer development manager Billy Falconer. He also said there were no injuries and it will be business as usual on Monday, which is good news for all concerned.
IVECO DAILY BRAKE RECALL
wners of Iveco Daily sold between 1 September 2015 and 25 July 2016 are advised of a recall issued on 3 November relating to the possibility an eyelet of the secondary cable of the parking brake might break. If so, the vehicle could roll away. Owners are advised to contact their nearest dealership who will then conduct a visual inspection of the cables, and if required replace the cables.
The recall says that prior to getting their vehicle repaired, Iveco Trucks urges owners of potentially affected vehicles to ensure the handbrake is applied and automatic vehicles are in the park position, and manual vehicles have first gear engaged before exiting the vehicle. To find a list of identifying VINs click here.
Seen in Paradise
Introducing our latest model - Inspiration Supreme Limited Edition From the moment you step into our spacious interiors, open one of our smooth automatic locking drawers and take in the aroma of the genuine high quality leather seating it will become clear that touring in a Paradise will give you the unrivalled freedom and comfort you deserve. Look beneath the surface to find the unique engineering and safety features that will put your mind at ease while travelling. Features such as the rollover bar, high strength alloy frame, composite body, pull-tested cabinetry, appliances and locks will become your priority once you realise they are missing from other mainstream construction methods. Step into Luxury & Style of the new Inspiration Supreme Limited Edition from $258,202.00 + ORC*
Paradise Motor Homes - 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland 4216 www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au
(07) 5597 4400
Paradise Motor Homes Products are protected by Registered Designs, Patents and Copyrights â„˘ ÂŠ 2016. *Inspiration Supreme Limited Edition **Some Options pictured may not be standard
16 | News HORIZON MOTORHOMES ‘BEST MANUFACTURER’ AGAIN
orizon Motorhomes was recently awarded Best NSW Manufacturer – Motorhomes, Campervans & 5th Wheelers, at the Caravan and Camping Industry Association (CCIA) Awards of Excellence, which recognises the leaders in the caravan and camping industry. Clayton Kearney, Managing Director at Horizon Motorhomes said he was humbled by the win. “We are honoured and very proud to have won this award for the second year. The wins are a testament to the hard work and commitment of our team. We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality built-in motorhomes, and our range is constantly evolving and we are continually improving our product to suit lifestyle demands”.
Horizon Motorhomes, with the celebration of its 21st Anniversary this year and being announced as finalists in the Optus My Business awards, to be held on November 18 in Sydney. This year has also seen Horizon Motorhomes move into a new purpose-built state of the art factory in Ballina, Northern New South Wales. The new factory will soon see the manufacture of Horizon’s 600th Motorhome. Construction has commenced on the second stage of the factory, with the new facilities expected to lead to a significant increase in their production capacity.
“I would like to thank and congratulate our team as well as our clients and suppliers who have enabled us to win this valued award”, Clayton said. “We are thrilled to have our range of motorhomes recognised by the Association for the second year in a row.” This latest win tops off a very successful 18 months for
NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD
Hitting the great outdoors this summer? Get remote-ready with the Motorhome Doctor
18 | News
2016 AVIDA DEALER OF THE YEAR AWARDS coming years. I wish to thank all my clients and my team in assisting us in achieving this award”.
vida says it recognises outstanding achievements within its dealer network every year at the Annual Dealer of the Year awards night. All dealers compete strongly each year for the awards on offer, especially the honour and prestige of the coveted Motorised Dealer of the Year and the Towable Dealer of the Year awards. There are a large number of criteria needed to win Dealer of the Year, such as outstanding sales achievement, a good mix of Avida models, achieving high customer satisfaction and the dealer’s overall representation of the brand. Robert and Kim Wangman from Avida Melbourne were presented with the 2016 Motorised Dealer of the Year award, while the 2016 Towable Dealer of the Year award was presented to Ron Warden and Justin Pisaruk from Avida Newcastle. Avida congratulations both dealers and their entire team for a fantastic effort. Robert Wangman from Avida Melbourne, in accepting the award said, “I am extremely proud to have served the Avida Manufacturer and the Avida product for nearly 50 years. I have always had tremendous passion and faith in our products and will continue to do so in the
Avida Newcastle offers Avida Motorhomes, Campervans and Caravans, plus an extensive range of spare parts and accessories, and repairs and maintenance. Justin Pisaruk, in accepting the award said, “I would like to thank Avida for their continual development, support and innovation in the Emerald and Topaz range, which greatly assisted in us achieving this prestigious award. To the staff and customers, thank you. Without your support this milestone for Australian Motorhomes and Caravans – Avida Newcastle would not be possible”. A number of other awards were also presented on the night and these were: Customer Satisfaction Dealer of the Year – Avida Bundaberg Aftersales Dealer of the Year – Avida Shoalhaven Parts and Accessories Dealer of the Year – Avida Townsville Motorised Sales Dealer of the Year – Avida Newcastle Towable Sales Dealer of the Year – Avida Newcastle Dealer Staff Member of the Year – Margaret Lawler, Avida Melbourne Avida RV Club Distinguished Service Award – Avida Gold Coast 10 years Loyalty Award – Avida Townsville
As Australia's only built-in campervan and motorhome specialist, we at BCMC have the knowledge and experience you can trust. We are the exclusive retailer of Horizon Motorhomes and Frontline Campervans* - which are built-in, not built-on, far a smoother and more enjoyable touring experience. Our Motorhomes and Campervans are fuel efficient, easy to manoeuvre and built in Australia by hand, using only the finest high quality materials. Alongside our New & Pre-Loved vehicles, the BCMC Service Centre offers a full range of accessories and maintenance far your RV - making sure your travels are safe and in comfort. Click below to find out why we're the built-in specialists. MOTORHOMES
•• Exclusive retailer of:
• North of Newcastle
be me.com.au 299 River Street, Ballina NSW 2478
02 6681 1555
I NEWS I
BALLINA CAMPERVAN & MOTORHOME CENTRE built-in specialists
20 | News
AUSTRALIAN OVERSEAS HOLIDAY PREFERENCES
en years ago, 6 % of Australians reported that they were planning to go overseas on their next holiday. That figure has since risen to 10.6% of the population, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal. Not only has overall overseas holiday intention increased, the destinations people are planning to visit are changing. So which countries are the winners and losers among Aussies planning an overseas holiday? In the 12 months to June 2016, 18% of Aussies with an overseas holiday on the horizon reported that they were planning to go to New Zealand. This has dropped from June 2006, when New Zealand featured in the plans of 19.5% overseas-holiday intenders. But whereas the Land of the Long White Cloud was pipped at the post by England (20.2%) back then, England’s popularity has slumped in the ensuing years to 13.6%, putting it third behind a much improved USA (17.8%, up from 14.6% in 2006).
Japan was another winner, with the proportion of intending holiday-goers planning to visit rising from 6.1% to 9.1%. Indonesia has also seen its popularity more than double – thanks primarily to interest in Bali – and is now on the itinerary of 8.5% of Aussies planning an overseas holiday (up from 4.0%). Interestingly, England and New Zealand aren’t the only international destinations that have lost ground over the past decade. Holiday intention to Thailand, France and Italy has also slipped, as the table shows.
CUSTOM TOWBARS & TRAILERS We provide quality service and products at affordable prices
Car Sourcing / A-Frame Towing Are you wanting to Flat Tow but don’t know where to start? Look no further we are here to source a car & prepare if for immediate A-Frame/Flat Towing, with our Drive Away Service. Sourcing Cars for customers for A-Frame Towing.
• Levelling Jacks up to 12T. We have a range of self levelling and manual systems.
• We supply and fit the DEMCO Dominator, Ready Brute, and Blue Ox Towing A-Frames. • All our Towing A-Frames come with an Engineering Certificate and meet Australian Standards.
• Towbars for most makes and models - Custom Towbars special Towbars up to 2.8T fitted. • Towbars available up to 4.5T
PRICES START FROM A LOW $7,200 FITTED.
Ph 07 3209 7669 Mob 0408 758 362
PRICES START FROM A LOW $900.
10 Chetwynd Street, Loganholme, Qld 4129
YOUR MOTORHOME & CARAVAN SALES & SERVICE SPECIALIST
We have a fully qualified team of service repairers that specialise in the service and repair of all brands of motorhomes and caravans We offer the following services:
• Service & Repairs for your RV & Caravan Drivetrain • Accessories & Spare Parts • Insurance Repairs • New and Used Sales • Consignment Sales • Trade-Ins.
Conveniently located on the Gold Coast PARADISE RV SALES & SERVICE PTY LTD - QUEENSLAND MOTOR DEALER 3463284 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland 4216 www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au - email@example.com
(07) 5597 4400
22 | News
ICONIC FOSSIL CAR REMAINS IN CANOWINDRA. the local cultural history. They plan to make the car available to the Museum for promotion and exhibition.
n 2 October the Iconic Canowindra grossi car went under the hammer, with the final price reaching $12,000. The buyers were Denese Smith and Ken Saward of Canowindra. Denese has been a long-time volunteer for the Age of Fishes Museum and said she could not live with the possibility of losing such an important part of
“We are very happy that this important cultural heritage item has remained in Canowindra and proud of the community support received. We are especially grateful to Denese and Ken for their incredible community spirit. We literally couldn’t have done it without them,” said Warren Keedle, manager of the Age of Fishes Museum. Fittingly, a permanent exhibition is being created to tell the history and the importance of this iconic vehicle in the development and culture of the town and museum.
ECO-FRIENDLY OUTBOARDS investment that delivers long-term savings on fuel and maintenance costs.
Torqeedo motors also come with an onboard computer, which means you won’t get stranded as you always know how much further you can go with the current battery life at a given speed. The makers also claim there’s an outboard for every on-water adventure, from kayaking to power boating to sailing. Models include:
ustralia’s growing army of tinny-toting Grey Nomads have a new bit of kit to add to their list – an advanced ecofriendly outboard that won’t disturb the serenity, doesn’t require petrol and is easier to carry than • Ultralight (1 HP equivalent) ideal for canoes a standard outboard motor. and kayaks The Torqeedo range of German-engineered electric marine motors includes models suitable to power just about any vessel. The outboards are being demonstrated in a number of boating and camping shows this year, courtesy of Power Equipment, which recently acquired the New Zealand and Australian distribution rights for the range. Prices start at $2500, an upfront
• Travel (1.5 and 3 HP equivalents) suited to dinghies and tenders • Cruise (5, 8 and 20 HP equivalents) for motorboats and sailboats For more information visit the Power Equipment website here.
24 | News
LIES, DAMN LIES AND TOURISM STATISTICS
egional towns across the country are reaping big rewards from a resurgence in camping and caravanning holidays, with $7 billion pumped into regional shops and attractions in the past year,” said a press release that recently arrived in our inbox. It went on to say Industry figures show Aussies took 11 million caravan and camping trips last year and 90 per cent of those were to regional areas and that the traditional camping holiday was breathing new life into regional tourism. “We’ve got record numbers of people staying in our holiday parks and each visitor spends about $150 per night,” the spokesperson said. At that point iMotorhome’s eyebrows rose. $150 per night per visitor? Seriously? But it got better later on. “Add that up and it makes a huge difference to local jobs, cafes, servos and tourist attractions. They want to switch off their smartphones, connect with their kids and get active in Australia’s great outdoors – and they want value for money too. They expect resort-style swimming pools, mini-golf and other activities as well as caravan sites with ensuites.” The ‘report’ went on to detail the benefit to each State and it made impressive reading:
State Domestic Visitor Nights and Economic Impact* • NSW – 14,226,778 and $2.1 billion • QLD – 9,436,03 and $1.4 billion • VIC – 8,785,764 and $1.3 billion • WA – 5,560,553 and $845 million • SA – 3,723,493 and $566 million • TAS – 1,271,558 and $193 million Noting the preceding headline had an asterisk we went looking for it and here’s what we found. It said the figures are, “Based on average expenditure per domestic visitor to a holiday park being $512 per night which includes accommodation, food, drink, shopping entertainment, organised tours and transport.” Yes, $512 per visitor per night. That’s more than $7000 per couple per week, and supposedly 90% of people spending this money are doing it in regional towns. Really? iMotorhome doesn’t believe a word of this and would like to hear from readers about their spending habits while traveling in regional Australia. Perhaps we can present the report’s authors with real-world figures to refute their self-promoting cause.
News | 25
he Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) has released the BDO Caravan and Campervan Data Report for 2016. It says the number of caravans and campervans on our roads has been steadily increasing over the last 5 years, with caravan registrations growing by 30% since 2011 and campervans/motorhomes by 20%. Combined registrations peaked at a record high of 615,301 for the year ending January 2016. This represents 4.9% growth on the previous year and makes recreational vehicles the fastest growing vehicle registrations by type in the country.
This total number is made up of 554,344 caravans and 60,957 campervans/motorhomes, a ratio of 90% caravans and 10% campervans/motorhomes that has remained largely the same in the last year. The average age of registered campervans/ motorhomes is 17.8 years and a very basic analysis of the averages indicates that potentially two thirds of them will be due for replacement in the coming years. Breaking it down further, 65% of campervans/motorhomes use diesel fuel and 74% had a tare weight of between 1000 and 5000 kg.
The Wirraway 260 SL
With it’s Full Length Slideout Room & Apartment Styled Layout !
From WIRRAWAY, “Australia’s Most Innovative Motorhomes” Wirraway is a dedicated family owned business striving for Motorhome excellence. Our Motorhomes are our passion! Every Wirraway Motorhome is handbuilt and designed by experienced motorhomers who know the importance of making life easier on the road. New to our Range is the brilliant ‘live like a movie star’ Wirraway 260 SL, the latest in our 260 series; our EuroStyle 260 with it’s European styled interior and “The Motorhome of the Year”, the Wirraway 260. Wirraway Motorhomes feature opulence, style and all the legendary design, electrical and construction innovations that are unique to all Wirraways.
Each Wirraway Model is unique! - All are a Must See!
View Our New Website to view All Models, Download Brochures &Virtual RealityTours For details contact: Rob Tonkin - Wirraway Motorhomes, 6 Hynes Court, Mildura Vic 3500
Phone / Fax: (03) 50 230 230 - New Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & New Website: www.wirraway.com.au On The Road Wirraway 260SL Slideout Motorhome - 2012 © Rex Willmer
26 | iMotorhome Marketplace Tax Time is fast approaching. Are you ready? For tax advice and assistance at competitive rates by a registered tax agent, send me an email.
Grey Nomad Tax Advisers
Southern Highlands Service Centre
Our office - 4 wheels and a Luton peak. • • • • • •
Eric Taylor, FIPA, CTA, Reg. Tax Agent ABN 76 114 458 058 Email: email@example.com www.greynomadtax.com.au
More Versatile Than Any Other RV Camp Anywhere - It’s Self Contained Large Bathroom With Shower & Toilet Easy To Operate With Electric Jacks Models For Single, Extra & Dual Cabs Plus! Famous Ozcape Quality & Support
An Authorised Repco Service Centre just off the Hume Highway at Mittagong. Auto electrical and mechanical service specialists happy to look after your motorhome or campervan! Call Mark or Sharon and tell them iMotorhome sent you!
T: (02) 4872 2822 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collyn Rivers’ books The all-new Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every aspect of buying, building, modifying and enjoying camper trailers, caravans, fifth wheelers, slide-ons, motor homes, coach conversions and off-road vehicles.
Caravan & Motorhome Book the complete guide
Camper Trailer Book
TO FIND OUT WHAT's ON IN YOUR STATE GO TO PAGE 60!
The Camper Trailer Book
The Camper Trailer Book covers, in detail, every aspect of camper trailers and their use. As with all of Collyn Rivers’ books it describes (in plain English) approaches that will work, not just that may work. The author is an ex motor industry research engineer, who also practices what he describes. He and his wife has crossed Australia and back again, mainly via tracks across its centre over twelve times. In early times, the author also crossed Africa twice (including the Sahara).
Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of all RV electrical systems. It combines exceptional technical accuracy with plain English writing. The Camper Trailer Book covers buying, building and using camper trailers of every kind. Solar That Really Works shows how to build systems that work first time and every time, and how to fix those that don’t. Whether installing solar for the first time, or trying to make an existing RV solar system work as you had hoped - this is the book for you.
Individual books are $42.50 each.
Postage per book Australia $5.50, New Zealand A$7.50, all other countries A$12.50
Special Discount Offer = 10% of all books for two or more! To order (and full details) see: caravanandmotorhomebooks.com Caravan & Motorhome Books, PO Box 356, Church Point NSW 2015
iMotorhome Marketplace | 27
Bony Mountain Folk Festival This great Aussie festival in the bush is on again, featuring the legendary Murphy’s Pigs! Many other great artists, a Bush Poets breakfast, billy tea, damper, great tucker – don’t miss it!
The Duvalay Memory Foam Sleeping System – No lifting, no tucking, no fighting over the doona and bedding that stays put. Find out why it’s Europes bedding of choice for caravans & motorhomes. The premium grade memory foam ensures total comfort and the award winning design cover means your bed is made in seconds.
duvalay.com.au | (02) 6653 4640
28 | iMotorhome Marketplace
Parkland RV Centre
Roberts RV World
Parkland RV is the official dealer for Avida Motorhomes, Crossroads RV and Opal Caravans in WA. We stock quality used RVs and our modern service department can look after everything.
An official Avida motorhome dealer, with more than 50 new motorhomes in the largest undercover RV showroom in the Southern Hemisphere. Our service department is here for all your needs too.
Australia’s leading fifth wheelers, designed here in Australia and built to suit our demanding conditions. Fifth wheelers from 24’ to 36’ available. Call 02 4953 7141 for information!
T: (08) 9493 7933 W: parklandrv.com.au
T: 1800 273 136 W: robertsrv.com.au
T: (02) 4953 7141 W: summerliferv.com.au
Battery Traders Super Store
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
We design and manufacture air suspension kits for all types of vehicles including motorhomes. Easy to install they let you ‘level up’ for stability and safety.
Batteries, solar panels, inverters, alternators and all electrical parts including cables and switches for your motorhome! We can find and fix all electrical faults and are 12 V power specialists.
Visit our world famous 300 ha open range sanctuary, home to some of the most exotic and endangered animals on earth. Explore by foot, bike, electric cart or in your motorhome!
T: 1800 AIRBAG W: airbagman.com.au
T: (07) 3209 3144 W: batterytraders.com.au
T: (02) 6881 1400 W: taronga.org.au
Australia’s leading solar power and satellite TV manufacturers! We stock the revolutionary In Flex and Mini Flex panels, Plus our Complete Traveler Satellite TV package is perfect for motorhomes.
In the heart of Victoria’s Gippsland region. Come and enjoy our natural beauty, famous lakes, High Country and expansive beaches. Find ‘Experience 40 Great Things to Do’ on our website too!
T: 1300 483 249 W: itechworld.com.au
T: (03) 5144 1108 W: tourismwellington.com.au
Connect at home! Connect anywhere!
15Amp to 10Amp Adaptor with RCD and overload protection
iMotorhome Marketplace | 29 The dawn of a new era in solar. Our vehicle-specific insulation screens are Australian made from specially designed and tested material to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. As featured in iMotorhome’s Project Polly!
T: (07) 3398 5500 W: solarscreen.com.au
The E-Twow Electric scooter for adults LATEST TECHNOLOGY FOR RV OWNERS
The alternative to a bike!!
25km/h with a range of 40km in ideal conditions! Super light too at 10.8kg Folds away quite compact for small storage
New state-of-the-art solar blankets from REDARC. Click here.
To ﬁnd out more call Mark on 0412027330 or email email@example.com www.e-twow.com 1
Nomadic Solutions hitches fully ADR compliant no swaying increased towing safety easy reversing offroad vans available
5th wheeler specialist
Nomadic Solutions - the original, quality constructed ‘lifestyletable™’ that is easily attached to the side of your motorhome. Now available in ‘mill finish’ for custom painting.
T: (02) 9011 8144 W: nomadicsolutions.com.au
Southern Spirit Campervans FLEXIBLE STORAGE SYSTEMS FOR YOUR CAMPERVAN OR MOTORHOME Full & part fitouts Hitop, Poptop and Reimo roofs True custommade conversions Repairs & improvements BYO van from Hiace to Sprinter
Store those additional items up and out of the way using our adjustable, transportable and modular storage system!
America’s favourite motorhome is now available in Australia! Tiffin Motorhomes Australia is proud to offer the Allegro Breeze 32 to the Australian market. Click through to find out why they’re fast becoming Australia’s favourite too!
T: 0411 616 617 W: tiffinmotorhomes.com.au
Over 11 years cover manufacturing experience Australia wide.Free Measure & Quote Call in Factory 1:354 Mons Road Forest Glen : Sunshine Coast Queensland PH-‐1300 304 332/0754564818 www.caravancovers.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Qld Stockist of Duvalay.
30 | Day Test: Suncamper Sovereign Deluxe
Suncamper’s Sovereign Deluxe offers comfort and some interesting features… by Richard Robertson
Day Test | 31
Iveco’s latest Daily cab-chassis is making big inroads into the local motorhome scene and Suncamper is the latest manufacturer to embrace it. The Sovereign Deluxe, with its squared front corners, flat sides and snub over-cab nose appears far from innovative, but inside (where you live) are some great features.
ne of the long-term quiet achievers in the motorhome world, Suncamper – which next year celebrates its 40th anniversary – has a loyal following and a established reputation. Recently, Mrs iMotorhome and I borrowed a Sovereign Deluxe for the day and headed to nearby Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River for fish and chips. Oh, and to bring you this report…
he Sovereign series is one of eight model ranges Suncamper offers. These stretch from basic pop-top HiAce campers to the Sovereign and all share common design elements and influences. All coachbuilt models use traditional steel floor and aluminium frame construction, with outer fibreglass and inner plywood panelling, plus full foam insulation. The walls are 30 mm thick while the one-piece fibreglass roof is 45 mm
think and easily capable of handling a person’s weight. It would probably be stretching things to call the Sovereign Deluxe pretty; it’s slab sides and snub nose far more practical than stylish. They do, however, lend the vehicle is certain purposefulness that is reflected in its no-nonsense practicality. One thing that did surprise me is the relative lack of external storage, with only a boot in the rear passenger side corner. Considering the height of the chassis and depth of the body I would have thought a few more storage lockers could easily be engineered in, especially on the driver’s side. Depending on your preferences – brand-wise and financial – you can order a Sovereign Deluxe on either a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Iveco Daily. The test vehicle was on the Iveco and a special customer order, but following
32 | Day Test personal issues the buyer couldn’t take delivery and it’s now a demonstrator. It’s also different in some ways from a standard-spec Sovereign Deluxe, which for a demo is a bit of a bugger. Mechanically, the biggest difference with this vehicle was its manual transmission. Around 99 per cent of new motorhomes are automatic and it was interesting to drive a rare manual Daily. The gearshift was a bit slow, long and deliberate but the clutch was light and smooth. I soon got used to it, but with an industry-leading eight-speed automatic as an option I think this will remain a rare beast. The engine was the lower powered version of the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel (the optional twinturbo is a cracker), but with 125 kW and 430 Nm on tap and only car licence weight to Rear wall mouldings soften the square look, while a decent boot on the kerbside is welcome. Overall the Sovereign Deluxe needs more external storage and appears to have room for it on the driver’s side.
Day Test | 33
Above: The updated Daily’s cab is more car-like and modern, but the standard radio disappoints. It was interesting to drive a six-speed manual for a change, too. Right: Stainless steel taillight backing plate and body moulding help jazz-up rear end styling.
contend with it wanted for nothing. Smooth and flexible the drivetrain allowed easy cruising even in sixth gear, spinning over about 2500 rpm at 110 km/h on the freeway, with plenty in reserve. Iveco made big strides in cab refinement and appointment when it unveiled the updated Daily last year. It’s far more car-like and comfortable, although the standard sound system is still a crapper. Visibility is good and it’s easy to handle. It also comes with all the expected safety features like dual airbags, ABS, traction control and more. In the engineering department the Daily is more scaled-down ‘big’ truck than scaledup light commercial, which comes as no surprise given Iveco’s long history of heavy truck manufacturing. While this Daily has a
34 | Day Test
White upholstery blends surprisingly well with the darker wood tones. A window is planned, I believe, for the kitchen wall behind the dinette to bring in more light and fresh air, but even so this layout has a spacious feel. Note the wine glass holder by the entry door, plus dinette-specific TV (there’s another in the bedroom). gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4490 kg so it can be driven on a car license, it has been derated from its normal 5200 kg GVM. Should you have or want to get a Light Rigid (LR) driver’s license you can order your Sovereign Deluxe with the increased GVM at no cost as it’s a simple paperwork matter for Iveco to sign-off on. That 710 kg increase is all payload, which you can never have too much of. As it is the tare weight of 3640 kg provides a respectable payload load of 855 kg, but remember that has to include occupants, fuel, water, LPG and all your goods and chattels. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning the Daily’s classleading 3500 kg towing capacity, which makes it the go-to vehicle if you want to tow a car, boat or big trailer.
Style and Substance
here’s something blingy about white leather upholstery. It screams look-atme, to hell with the cleaning – and no
kids allowed! That was my first impression stepping inside. This is a model aimed at couples because it comes with just a rear corner double bed, although an over-cab bed is optionally available, as-is a small dinette bed. I think anyone would quickly feel at home inside the Sovereign Deluxe. The layout features a front lounge/dinette that incorporates the swivelling cab seats, spacious central kitchen and the bed and bathroom at the rear. While far from unusual the layout has a range of features that make it quite distinctive.
Lounge of Desire…
pfront, the lounge/dinette is a beauty. Swivel the cab seats around and you have easy seating for five or six – just the thing for hosting sundowners on a cold/ windy/drizzly afternoon. The forward facing dinette seat is L-shaped and returns forward along the driver’s-side wall, under a big picture
Day Test | 35
“Mrs iMotorhome found the L-shaped lounge perfect for relaxing with her legs up, by the big picture window.”
36 | Day Test window. Cleverly this return section can be removed to provide legroom should you want to carry two passengers, as the seat is seatbelt equipped. When left in place it provides a comfortable seat for someone to stretch out by the window and enjoy the view or relax and watch TV. Across the aisle is an inwards-facing twoseat sofa on the kerbside. Its small backrest cushions are Velcroed in place and when removed the cabinet behind opens to reveal a full hanging wardrobe with cupboards above. The final piece of wizardry is a new, Europeansourced dining table mount that is not only sturdy, it easily moves every which-way to maximise dining options depending on which seats are occupied. It’s also height adjustable and can push down far enough to convert the dinette into a second bed (this is on the drawing board). Mrs iMotorhome found the L-shaped lounge
perfect for relaxing with her legs up, by the big picture window. She also loved how sturdy and manoeuvrable the dining table was – something of a rarity in motorhomes I have to agree – and was thoroughly impressed by the wardrobe unit behind the backrest cushions of the inwards-facing lounge. All-in-all she reckons this is one of the best dinettes she’s ever sat at – and she has sat at a few!
he L-shaped kitchen butts-up to the rear of the main dinette seat and then runs down the driver’s-side wall. Refreshingly, it has plenty of bench space and while this particular vehicle only had a customerspecified three-burner gas cooker, the standard fitting is a four-burner cooker with grill and oven. A 181-litre 3-way 2-door fridge freezer, microwave and a ton of cupboard and drawer space round-out this very practical kitchen. About the only negative is the high
The inwards-facing seat is practical and its backrests remove to access a large wardrobe. Kitchen space is generous and a full cooker/grill/oven is standard, rather than this customer-ordered gas cooktop.
Day Test | 37
position of the microwave, which in fairness is common across the motorhome industry. We both agree male designers position it up there with no consideration/understanding of the frustration and danger it causes to the (generally-shorter) women who are usually the ones to use it. Just sayin’… It’s worth noting that the fridge is across the aisle from the main kitchen bench in a tall unit between the entry door and bedroom. It’s a versatile piece of cabinetry which, on its end by the entry door, has a cupboard at the bottom with a shelf on top, the dinette TV in the middle and a wine glass rack with clear doors at the top. And below the fridge is more cupboard space, while on the rear side facing into the bedroom is a half-height wardrobe at the bottom, with another shelf on top and the bedroom TV above.
Bed, Bath & Beyond…
hen it’s time to retire for the evening you’ll find the bed in the kerbside rear corner. The one in the test vehicle was a little more rounded and had a little more side clearance than the standard Sovereign Deluxe bed due to the customer’s
Top: The table is multi-adjustable and makes the most of possible dining seating arrangements. It’s also very sturdy. Above: Kitchen storage space is huge, as is bench space. Cooks will love this one!
38 | Day Test request. It was a decent size and with windows behind and to the side, plus plenty of overhead cupboards and storage below, it made for quite a spacious bedroom area. The bathroom, in the driver’s-side corner next to the bed, has an interesting layout. That’s because the hand basin and vanity is actually in the bedroom, on the wall opposite the foot of the bed and just outside the bathroom door. Step into the bathroom itself and you step into the shower, with the toilet at the very rear, complete with a sliding screen to keep it dry. The only problem with this arrangement is you still end up with a wet floor after a shower when you want to use the loo. A rear shower/ forward toilet would be a more liveable arrangement. Right: Corner bathroom has the screened-off loo at the rear, but that still means a wet floor after a shower. Below: The corner bed was slightly custom sized and can be a bit wider. There’s storage underneath, but the access lid isn’t easy to reach/hold-up with bedding in place.
Day Test | 39
Top: The stylish glass handbasin sits just outside the bathroom door but has limited bench space around it. There’s a swing-out shaving mirror on the wall, too. Right: This unit between entry door and bedroom houses the fridge, although top storage is a bit challenging for some! Note the large hanging wardrobe and bedroom TV.
What I Think
rom its spacious and practical lounge/ dinette to its chef-pleasing kitchen and funky upholstery, Suncamper’s Sovereign Deluxe is quite the surprise package. The fact you can have it on your choice of chassis adds to the appeal, while Suncamper’s proven construction and loyal band of repeat customers says much about its durability. A little bit out of left field it’s deluxe with a twist – and well worth checking out.
40 | Day Test
Specs GENERAL Make
Iveco Daily 50C17
3.0 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel
125 kW @ 2900-3500 rpm
430 Nm @ 1500-2600 rpm
ABS, Stability Control, Traction Control, front & side airbags
WEIGHTS Tare Weight
Gross Vehicle Mass
Braked Towing Capacity
DIMENSIONS Overall Length
7.80 m (25’ 7”)
2.40 m (7’ 10”)
3.10 m (10’ 2”)
2.04 m (6’ 8”)
1.90 m x 1.30 m (6’ 3” x 4’ 3”)
Day Test | 41
3 x gas burners
Single bowl stainless steel
181 L Thetford 3-way 2-door
12 V LED
12 V Sockets/USB Outlets
1 x USB
Hot Water System
Dometic swivel cassette
• • • • • • • •
Highly liveable Abundant storage Thoughtful inclusions Easy driving Chassis choice Customisable Value Durable
CONs… • • • •
Limited external storage Limited grey water capacity Single house battery High microwave position
1x 120 AH AGM
2 x 4.5 kg
19 L cassette
Click for Google Maps
As Tested – 6-speed manual demonstrator
New Iveco – 8-speed automatic from
Warranty – Vehicle
3 years/200,000 km
Warranty – Motorhome
3 years/100,000 km
Warranty – Appliances
As per manufacturer
Manufactured & supplied by Suncamper Motorhomes Unit 3, 9 Sefton Road Thornleigh NSW 2120 T: 1300 416 854 E: sales@suncampermotorhomes. com.au W: suncampermotorhomes.com.au
42 | Project Polly
SPIT ’N POLISH It’s amazing what a bit of spit and polish can do…
Project Polly | 43
his is a very brief update because since last issue Mrs iM and I have spent nine days in New Zealand and four days at Dalgety for our Vans From Snowy River gettogether, so time to do anything to Polly has been scarce.
Not only was that annoying to me, it was also annoying/disturbing to those nearby. In the time between discovering this ‘miracle fix’ and heading to Dalgety the system had continued to function perfectly and confidence of ongoing success was increasing.
Last issue you might recall I spoke about curing the central locking problem on the sliding sidedoor by cleaning the contact points on both the body and door with RP7. Just to refresh your memory, the door was failing to lock via the remote and instead, beeping the horn as a warning that the door was still unlocked.
Imagine my ‘surprise’ then when I checked into the Snowy River Holiday Park in Dalgety on day-one of our get-together and heard the horn beep again! I’d even tried it at Cooma on the drive down and it was still functioning perfectly. However, I had taken a 16 km dirt road detour and suspected the vibrations or dust had upset
" Last issue you might recall I spoke about curing the central locking problem on the sliding side-door by cleaning the contact points with RP7. "
Spring loaded door contacts (L) and body contact points
44 | Project Polly
Above: The offending gas line close to the latch plate. Below: Polly’s gas locker latch is far from high tech and appears prone to easily catch anything in its way. things. So with a piece of paper towel I wiped them again, but the horn still sounded. Bugger. It wasn’t until the third day at Dalgety that, in desperation and the absence of RP7 or similar, I spat on my fingers, cleaned the contacts and tried again. Success! I’m happy to report it’s still functioning perfectly after the drive home, so I’m thinking of bottling my saliva and perhaps calling it RR8 (because you might find traces of what I ate in every bottle)… The other minor issue that came to light was the gas locker door-catch sticking. The latch has always required a deft touch to open – a consequence no doubt of the thousands of times it was used during Polly’s five years with Apollo Rentals – but in Dalgety it became more difficult. The day I arrived it required a fair bit of fiddling and after having to make a flying side trip to Canberra on the second day (see the report on page 46) it defied opening. It took the assistance of a screwdriver and some stern words to change its mind, but I then discovered
Project Polly | 45 the problem wasn’t the latch, but rather the substitute two kilogram gas cylinder I’m currently using. Over the course of the journey it appears the small cylinder had moved about an inch in the locker, towards the door. When I tried to open it the latch mechanism was catching on the braided gas line. A quick repositioning of the cylinder and the latch was good as gold. Well, perhaps slightly tarnished gold (and well worn at that). It’s interesting the things you learn as you live with a vehicle…
Mechanically, Polly is performing well and remains an enjoyable drive. It also doesn’t seem to matter how I drive, 10.5 L/100 km (22.4 mpg) is almost invariably the average fuel figure I get. I am still planning a set freeway run at 90, 100 and 110 km/h at some stage to test the effect of speed on fuel consumption, so keep an eye out for it. Until then or next instalment, whichever comes first, happy motorhoming!
" Mechanically, Polly is performing well and remains an enjoyable drive. "
46 | Reader TechTalk Weekend: Dalgety
The Vans from Snowy River!
The 2016 iMotorhome Reader get-together was well worth the waitâ€Ś
Reader Weekend | 47
Above: Now here’s a bunch of happy campers! Thanks to you all for making the weekend such fun. Right: Our crazy host Sue went ‘above and beyond’ – literally – by climbing the roof to take the above photo.
ast weekend iMotorhome readers took over the sleepy town of Dalgety in South Eastern NSW, nestled on the banks of the famous Snowy River. Months of waiting were finally over and although our get-together took place from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, the first attendees rolled into town and staked their claim at the Snowy River Holiday Park on the preceding Monday! Before continuing I have to echo the thoughts of everybody in saying what an outstanding job the park’s owners Sue and Colin did in preparing for the event. They not only welcomed us all and made sure things ran smoothly, they went above and beyond. Everybody received a personalised welcome pack that not only contained information on the park’s facilities, but a list of things to do and see, including individual brochures, a
48 | Reader Weekend map of the Snowy Mountains region and even a Dalgety postcard. Very professional. They also hosted the informal breakfasts on Saturday and Monday mornings, while it turned out Colin is a trained masseur and he did a roaring business over the weekend.
n all there were 22 motorhomes and 40 enthusiastic attendees, plus motor writing doyen Allan Whiting and wife Kezzie (who run the Outback Travel Australia website), me and eventually Mrs iMotorhome. I say eventually because in the days leading up to the event a lurgy laid her low and on the Friday morning of departure I made the difficult captainâ€™s call for her to stay in bed. This she did and by Friday evening was confident of being up to travel on Saturday, so first thing Saturday she was on the fast train to Canberra. Polly and I dashed back to our National Capital to collect her and we were back in Dalgety in time for lunch.
Reader Weekend | 49 Suffice to say there was great excitement at her arrival! Backtracking a little, by the time of my arrival in Dalgety on the Friday afternoon – a full hour ahead of the official check-in time – it turned out that I was about the fourth last person to get there! The weather was perfect as forecast, which was a relief because I left the Southern Highlands in fog, scudding cloud and drizzle that didn’t clear until after Goulburn. The sun itself didn’t appear until south of Canberra, but by the time I reached Cooma it was sunny and things were looking good.
ometime after 4 o’clock Friday afternoon a progressively larger happy hour circle developed. It eventually drew everybody in and gave me the chance to welcome everyone and say a few words. Okay, quite a few words as it turned out, because I was encouraged to ‘spill the beans’ on the Big Announcement I alluded to last issue (see Editorial). After that we kicked off the ‘official festivities’ with an informal sausage sizzle in the adjacent CWA hall, put on by the local cricket team (but largely done by Sue and Colin), with part of the cost going towards the team as a fundraiser. That night I thought an earthquake struck as in the wee small hours Polly rocked quite vigorously from side to side. I then thought it was Allan waking me up and that I’d slept in, except it was still pitch black outside. There was no noise and the next morning the consensus was it was a wombat scratching itself beneath Polly! I rated it a magnitude 7.5… Saturday morning kicked off with bacon and egg rolls before a guided historic walk around
Top to bottom: Just some who helped make this a great weekend: Rich and Sue, Les and Allana, Peter and Julie with Wayne and Marie, and Allan (without Heather!).
50 | Reader Weekend
Top to bottom: The historic Buckely’s Crossing Hotel put on a great Saturday night dinner, but not before Mrs iM gave the all-clear to the dining arrangements. There’s something about good, honest pub meals (and great company)! the town. Sadly, I was absent for that due to my unscheduled Canberra dash, but by all reports it was interesting and very well lead by local historian Julie Pearson. The afternoon was free and many people either chatted to new friends, explored the town further, visited the pub or went for a walk along the river. Once again the weather was perfect and as the sun began to dip we headed across the road to the Buckley’s Crossing Hotel – the only pub in town – for dinner after drinks in the courtyard. Despite filling the historic dining room and their being at least a dozen or more other diners in various parts of the pub, the two junior chefs and small army of specially recruited young wait staff did an outstanding job of delivering a country sized three course dinner. When people started to drift back to the campsite one of our group – Phil – brought to life the old
Reader Weekend | 51 piano in the corner and entertained us while some danced. Despite speculation there was a decayed wombat inside the piano, Phil did an excellent job that really added to the night’s atmosphere.
predicted “extreme weather event” with winds gusting to 100 km/h rolled in at 2:07 Sunday morning. I know that because we were sleeping with Polly’s rear doors ajar and the insect screen doing its best to keep out the warm night’s bugs. After hastily closing the doors Polly rocked and rolled for the rest of the night, but this time it was no wombat. Though I didn’t hear anything as we were in the non-powered section on the far side of the park, I’m sure there were many people scurrying in the darkness to secure awnings around that time.
Sunday morning was free, but before the minibus arrived for the first of two shuttle trips to the winery for lunch we had a group photo. That entailed Sue clambering up a ladder onto the roof of a cabin in the strong winds and left me wondering what could possibly go wrong. Fortunately nothing did and that was followed by a demonstration of screw-in tent pegs by Allan, and ladies’ shoes and skincare by Mez. You can guess which demonstrations attracted the guys and gals! After that it was off to the Snowy Winery and Microbrewery for a beer and wine tasting followed by a buffet lunch and live music from some of Australia’s rock royalty. Unfortunately the winds continued to howl and the band was unable to use the outdoor stage, which would have made for a perfect setting. Called The Barstars, the group included drummer Dave Twohill and guitarist Gunter Gorman.
Just part of the Friday afternoon happy hour, which grew to include all comers before we headed to the nearby CWA Hall for a sausage sizzle. The 5th wheeler with impressive custom Iveco Daily tow vehicle belongs to Neil and Gayle (checked shirts on right). As you can see, the weather was perfect for our get-together!
52 | Reader Weekend Dave was a founding member of Mental As Anything and played with Dragon and Men At Work. He has also been inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. Similarly, Gunter is rock a legend, having been part of Daddy Cool and writing the hit song Come Back Again (I’m just crazy ‘bout you babe), which they later performed. Gunter also played with Sherbert and Ol 55. Perhaps the most remarkable story from the weekend was when solo traveller Chris came up and said she’d just reacquainted herself with Gunter. It turns out they’d caught the school bus together some 40 years earlier, in Merrylands in Sydney’s west! The reunion was even more remarkable given Chris had no idea of Gunter’s rock music career – he was Ian at school, she said – but she eventually recognised him after watching him play. I later asked Gunter if he remembered Chris and he said he did, because she been a very kind girl in what he went on to explain was quite a tough neighbourhood. The band played until around 5 o’clock and we had some other seriously awed Australian music fans in our ranks, with some chasing autographs and photos for mementos or bragging rights with family and friends. There were plans for a campfire on our final night but continuing strong winds and falling temperatures put paid to that. Well, almost. A few of us sat out in the only sheltered place we could find – close by Allan’s Landcruiser with slide-on camper – until an approaching thunderstorm forced a hurried pack-up. We adjourned to a big picnic shelter by the river and right by the park fence, where we sat while the storm passed, after which the wind completely stopped and stars appeared. It was a unbelievable change. By this stage it was around 9 PM and too late to call out the
Top to bottom: Fun, food and frolics at the Snowy Winery and Microbrewery on Sunday!
Reader Weekend | 53
The feel good story of the weekend was Chris catching up with rock guitarist and Australian music legend Gunter Gorman, 50 or so years after they used to catch the school bus together! troops, so we took advantage of the wood thoughtfully provided by Sue and Colin and made ourselves a campfire. We sat around it, sharing yarns, red wine, Anzac biscuits and chocolate (as you do) until late, by which time the wind returned although not with the same force. The temperature was forecast to drop to 2Â°C and by the time we retired for the evening it was well on the way.
ortunately we had another bacon and egg roll breakfast arranged for 8 AM Monday, for those like us who needed an early departure. Once again, Dalgety, Sue and Colin turned on another picture postcard morning. Speeches, thanks, hugs, promises and email addresses were given, received,
appreciated and swapped before it was time to hit the road. Many of us made our way back to Cooma across the spectacular Monaro Plain, with its bare granite-boulder studded hills and distant views of snow capped mountains. It made a fitting end to a wonderful weekend. As the Vans from Snowy River headed home I believe more than just a few were filled with happy memories and the desire to soon rekindle old and new friendships. Some days I think I have the best job in the world. Other days I know I have.
54 | Reader Weekend Clockwise from top left: Me hanging tough with legendary rock drummer Dave Twohill; Polly in the check-in queue behind John and Mezâ€™s Longreach; Les shaking his groove thing after lunch; â€˜roundtable sausage sizzle on the first night; and Keith and Jenness who were our star dancers!
Reader Weekend | 55
Clockwise from top left: Mez (in red) with her shoes and skincare display; Allan Whiting demonstrating brilliant screwin tent pegs (visit outbacktravelaustralia.com.au for more details); Stunning scenery on the drive in from Cooma; Colin and cricket team mate sizzling our snorkers, and wagons rolling out on the last morning after a cracking weekend!
56 | Travel: Travel RV Friendly Towns
RV Friendly Towns T
he RV Friendly program is a Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Limited (CMCA) initiative aimed at assisting RV travellers as they journey throughout this wonderful country. An RV Friendly Town™ (RVFT) is one that provides a certain number of amenities and a certain level of services for these travellers. When RV tourists enter a town displaying the RVFT
sign they know they will be welcome. Certain services will be provided for them that may not be available in other centres, and they will have access to a safe place to stay overnight and possibly for a longer period. To find out more about RV Friendly Towns and Destinations visit the CMCA’s website by clicking here. For an interactive map of all RV friendly Towns, click here. This month’s featured RV Friendly Towns are:
Travel | 57
Wickepin, Western Australia
he small farming community of Wickepin is in the south-west corner of Western Australia, 214 km from Perth and known for its excellent sheep studs. Yarling Brook is one of the more well-known studs in the area, founded in the 1940s by CG Russell. The town is also famous for the homestead of Albert Facey, a Gallipoli veteran and author of ‘A Fortunate Life’. The Wickepin Caravan Park on Fisher Street provides a free dump point and potable water for visitors to the town. Short term parking for Tourist/Visitor Information Centre
up to 48 hours is available here for just $8 per vehicle per night. If planning to stay in town longer, the Wickepin Community Centre allows parking for up to 72 hours at the same nightly rate. Visitors will find many beautiful lakes in the area, including Lake Toolibin – the largest freshwater lake in the district and home to the endangered Freckled Duck and Night Heron. Also nearby is Harrismith, famous for its wildflowers during spring.
Wickepin Community Resource Centre 24 Wogolin Rd, Wickepin WA P: 08 9888 1500 www.wickepin.crc.net.au
Casual Parking (near retail centre)
Wogolin Rd, opposite all shops & businesses
Short Term Parking
Wickepin Caravan Park, 7 Fisher St, Wickepin, 48hr, $8pvpn payable to caretaker, toilets, showers, bins, water, power, BBQ, mobile service, pets on lead permitted Wickepin Community Centre, 72hr, $8pvpn, water, strictly no fires.
Long Term Parking Dump Point
Wickepin Caravan Park, 7 Fisher St, Wickepin (Lat Long: -32.7807, 117.5033)
Wickepin Caravan Park, 7 Fisher St, Wickepin
58 | Travel
he scenic township of Boort is 250 km north-west of Melbourne, surrounded by waterways, lakes and the beautiful countryside. Boortâ€™s well maintained shopping precinct provides access to essential goods and services for travellers passing through the area. The lake is a major feature, attracting many water enthusiasts including skiers, canoeists, fisherman and swimmers. Boort Park Showground on Malone Street offers convenient parking for self-contained
Tourist/Visitor Information Centre
vehicles for up to 96 hours, for a nightly donation to the Park Committee. Facilities include a free dump point and potable water, and pets are permitted. There is plenty to do in and around Boort, including the award-winning Salute Olive Grove. Visitors can also stop in and meet John Piccoli the Spanner Man, to see his wonderful full-size statues made of old spanners, uniquely placed in a lovely garden!
The Boort Emporium 82 Godfrey St, Boort VIC P: 03 5455 2005 F: 03 5455 2608 E: email@example.com
Casual Parking (near retail centre)
Nolenâ€™s Park, Godfrey Street, next to the CP, 500m from shopping centre, day parking only
Short & Long Term Parking
Boort Park Showground, Malone St, strictly selfcontained vehicles only, 96hr, water, pets allowed, donation per night to Boort Park Committee
Boort Park Showground, Malone St, Boort (Lat Long: -36.110903, 143.729554)
Boort Park Showground, Malone St, Boort
Travel | 59
Collarenebri, New South Wales
ollarenebri is a quiet country town of approximately 178 people, some 707 km northwest of Sydney. The town came into being in 1860 when William Earl established a pub called The Squatter’s Arms on the Barwon River. Within the township there are still many historic buildings dating back more than a century. Cutler’s Store originally opened in 1937 and now operates as a café and takeaway food store, cooking some of the best fresh food in town according to the locals. Collarenebri is said to have the best inland
Tourist/Visitor Information Centre
fishing in Australia, with many fantastic spots along the river. There are plenty of parking options, with short-term stays available at no cost at the Collarenebri Primitive Camping Ground, located within the Collarenebri Sportsground. A free dump point and potable water can also be found there. For longer stays the Collarenebri Showground allows parking for up to seven days for the small fee of just eleven dollars per vehicle per night.
Collarenebri Agency 37 Wilson St, Collarenebri NSW P: 02 6756 2104
Casual Parking (near retail centre)
Collarenebri Lions Park, Wilson Street, Collarenebri
Short Term Parking
Collarenebri Primitive Camping Ground, Collarenebri Sportsground, 48hr, nil cost, toilets, showers, bins, water, pets are permitted
Long Term Parking
Collarenebri Showground, 7 days, toilets, showers, water, LNT rules apply, $11 per vehicle per night, payable to Walgett Shire Council
Collarenebri Primitive Camping Ground, Collarenebri Sportsground (Lat Long: -29.54902, 148.58188)
Collarenebri Primitive Camping Ground, Collarenebri Sportsground
60 | Whatâ€™s On?
What’s On? | 61 Our new, ongoing round-up of events across Australia for the next three months. From food and wine festivals to music of all types, arts, crafts and more, there’s something for you somewhere, so get planning and get out there!
26 – Jondaryan, Toowoomba Area: Australia Day at the Woolshed. Celebrate Australia Day in true Outback style at the oldest working woolshed in the Southern Hemisphere. Enjoy a day of festivities and of course a Great Aussie BBQ!
For more Queensland events click here!
4-6 – Airlie Beach: Airlie Beach Festival of Music. This tropical festival has it all going on. Prepare for a weekend of old school artists taking back the stage and creating sweet sweet music. Artists include Tim Finn, The Ramones, The Potbelleez, Daryl Braithwaite, Chain, GANGAjang and many more.
NEW SOUTH WALES
12 – Sunshine Coast: Conscious Life Festival. Queensland’s fastest growing health and wellbeing festival. Free workshops, seminars, demos and live music. 12 – Kandanga: Mary River Festival. Described as one of the friendliest and laid back festivals around. Experience community spirit at its best as neighbours come together to celebrate the natural wealth and abundance brought to the region by the Mighty Mary River.
27 Dec-01 Jan – Woodford: Woodford Fold Festival. One of Australia's largest and most iconic events, the Woodford Folk Festival is a six day and night event. Boasting the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia, the programme encompasses the depth and diversity of Australia's cultural, artistic and social expression with music, dance, cabaret, circus, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums and visual arts.
20-22 – Yandina: The 21st Annual Ginger Flower and Food Festival. Delight the senses with three spectacular days of food, flowers and entertainment for all. A must-do for foodies and garden lovers alike!
4-6 – Byron Bay: Byron Latin Fiesta. Enjoy a feast of Latin dance workshops and parties, with international, national and local instructors and performers! 5-6 – Millthorpe: Millthorpe Garden Ramble. Enjoy a feast for the senses as you’re invited to ramble your way through open gardens, craft studios, cellar doors and eateries throughout Millthorpe and surrounds. 5-6 – Scone: Scone Literary Long Weekend. With a motto of ‘Maintain the Page’ and a mission to promote books and to nurture a love of literature, the Scone writer’s festival has something for everyone. 6 – Port Macquarie: Oysters in the Vines. What more could you ask for than a celebration of oysters and fine wine? Live music, gourmet food, a picturesque vineyard setting? This is one event not to be missed! 5 – Warrumbungle Area: Crooked Mountain Concert. Hosted by NSW National Parks in Australia’s only Dark Sky Park; enjoy an evening of Hillbilly inspired music, dancing and star gazing! 11-13 – Narooma: Narooma Boats Afloat. Celebrate traditional boats in all their varied forms, from clinkers and putt-putts to launches, cruisers and yachts. Held on and around the pristine waters and colourful boat sheds of Wagonga Inlet in Narooma on the NSW South Coast. 12 – Wollongong: Viva La Gong. Celebrate Wollongong's cultural life and creative identity with a vibrant art and community festival. 12 – Ballina: Ballina Prawn Festival. Celebrate
62 | What’s On? the home of the big prawn with an iconic and quirky celebration of the rich character and unique features of Ballina. 17-20 – Mullumbimby: The Mullum Music Festival. Tucked away in the hills of Byron Bay, enjoy a weekend of atmospheric music and arts. 19 – Gundagai: Sergeant Parry Day. Head back in time to the wild days of the New South Wales goldfields, where bushrangers and police fought head to head. Held on the banks of the mighty Murrumbidgee River, relive tumultuous history on Sgt Edmund Parry Memorial Day. 26-27 – Macksville: Nambucca River Festival. Celebrate the richness and diversity of the beautiful Nambucca Valley with a classic festival focused on high energy water activities showcased upon a River Stage unlike no other.
1-4 – Eastern Creek: MotorWorld Sydney. Check out the latest cars and motorbikes on track, street and off-road circuits at this new family festival! 2-4 – Sydney Olympic Park: Coates Hire Sydney 500. The streets of Sydney Olympic Park with ignite for the final showdown in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. 10 Dec-30 Apr – Sydney: Egyptian mummies. Exploring Ancient Lives. Come face-to-face with six ancient Egyptian mummies and discover their stories at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. 26 – Sydney: Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This iconic blue water yachting events depart Sydney Harbour as usual on Boxing Day. 31 – Sydney: New Year's Eve. Sydney welcomes in the new year with spectacular fireworks at 9 pm and midnight! 31 – Pokolbin: New Year's Eve at Hunter Valley Gardens. The new year with entertainment, fireworks and Christmas lights.
1-3 – Gulgong: Gulgong Folk Festival. Usher in the New Year with a unique musical celebration as the historic town of Gulgong comes alive. More than 50 musicians will perform at various locations throughout the township amid general festivities, live entertainment, markets and artistic displays. 1 – Tumbarumba: Tumbarumba Rodeo. New Year’s Day country fun! This is a full APRA Championship Rodeo with a host of fun-filled events including bull ride, barrel race, poddy ride, bucking ponies, saddle bronc and bareback.
7 – Wingham: Wingham Summertime Rodeo. Prepare for some adrenalin pumping events at Wingham Showground as the Wingham Summertime Rodeo comes to town! 7-8 – Evans Head: Great Eastern Fly-In. Experience a unique Australian aviation event. Aviators and enthusiasts from all over Australia gather to fly together and exhibit a huge variety of modern and historic aircraft. See also vintage, veteran and WWII Military vehicles on display. 7 – Thredbo: Kosciuszko Craft Beer Festival. Held Poolside at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel in the heart of the picturesque Snowy Mountains, this festival is your ticket to the latest and greatest in craft beer brewing. Experience brewing demonstrations, home brew competitions, cheese and beer matching workshops and lots of live entertainment. 8-13 – Wagga Wagga: The Sounds of Summer Concert Series. Presenting music for violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar and piano performed by some of Australia’s finest string musicians. This is an exceptional chance to hear top quality ensemble music in an intimate setting. 11-15 – Parkes: Parkes Elvis Festival. Celebrate
What’s On? | 63 the life and music of Elvis Presley with this iconic, officially-endorsed festival. Coinciding with the King’s birthday on January 8th, experience headline international and national Elvis tribute artists, street parades, competitions, markets and much more! The 2017 Festival theme is Viva Las Vegas! 12-15 – Walcha: Walcha Golden Gate Campdraft. Enjoy four days of campdraft action in Walcha. Competitors travel from Queensland, Victoria and across New South Wales to compete for the generous prize money on offer over the campdraft carnival. Trade exhibitors, food stalls and full bar in operation. 12-15 – Bulli: Illawarra Folk Festival. Held over four days with over 170 performers providing a diverse range of music and artistic performances. Enjoy the intimate, vibrant, community atmosphere the festival is renowned for. 14 – Taree: TasteFest on the Manning. Hosted by the Taree Lions Club, enjoy a feast for all the senses! Showcasing the best the Manning Valley and surrounds has to offer, including craft beer, food, wine, entertainment and music. 15 – Urunga: ArtUrunga’s Sculpture in the Park Festival. An exhibition of over 30 sculptures displayed in Urunga’s beautiful riverside park, with live entertainment and festival fare. Prizes, including a People’s Choice for Best Sculpture will be awarded to winning artworks. 15 – Newcastle: Newcastle Travel Expo. Get the hottest deals and industry expert advice. 16 – Katoomba: Lady Luck Festival. A festival created for rockabilly and vintage enthusiasts! Showcasing ‘customs and culture’ from the fabulous ‘50s; think fun, fashion, food and entertainment for the whole family, with free admission to bands, market day, hot rod and vintage car show, swing dancing and public dance lessons. 18-29 – Guyra: Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival. Showcasing the proud farming history and local produce, this festival is a celebration of rural NSW life. Featuring antique machinery displays and a military vehicle rally, there’s something for everyone!
19-21 – Wollongong: HonkOz Street Music Festival. Experience three days of revelry in Wollongong, featuring acoustic, mobile and somewhat eccentric street bands. Think Mardi Gras and Carnival, blaring brass and drums, a parade, outdoor jam sessions, New Orleans, Gypsy, Klezmer, funk, folk and jazz all fused together for a sensation for the ears and eyes. 20-23 – Numeralla: Numeralla Folk Festival. A little festival with a big heart. Held over three days the festival is the last traditional ‘free’ folk festival in Australia. There are no tickets, while all entertainment and camping are free! Join a long weekend of music, poetry, dance, markets, dips in the river, yarns around the campfire and convivial conversation. 20-22 – Thredbo: Thredbo Blues Festival. The Thredbo Blues Festival is a three day boutique festival held in various venues around Thredbo Village. From cosy restaurants, booming alfresco gigs and indoor music hall settings, the layout and variety makes this festival a standout. 21-23 – Corowa: Corowa Federation Festival. Enjoy the colour and musical extravaganza of the National Federation Festival, scheduled over the Australia Day long weekend. Visitors are treated to an array of fabulous bands, music and festival activities, with markets, buskers, food and wine experiences, a B&S Ball and the old fashioned grand parade along Sanger Street. 28-29 – Katoomba: Wines of the West. Take the opportunity to have a chat with the makers of fine award winning wines from the Orange and Mudgee regions. This event showcases many of the leading wineries, breweries and distillers from the Central West region. There will be tastings, opportunities to purchase wines, entertainment, food stalls, and fun throughout the weekend for all to enjoy. 26 – Carcoar: Carcoar Village Fair. If history piques your interest then this not-so-ordinary village fair is just the thing for you! Listed by the National Trust, the village of Carcoar is rich in history. Relive some of this history with reenactments, talks by historians, Cobb & Co rides and vintage car displays. 26 – Katoomba: Summer Harvest Festival. Experience the Summer Harvest Festival, with an eclectic program of food related workshops and
64 | What’s On? events from long lunches, beer and wine tasting to the famous ‘Chooks Tour’, plus Village strolls to uncover the best of local providores. 28-29 – Kandos: Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show. An annual action packed event sure to impress any motor-enthusiast. For more New South Wales events click here!
of Lights. Soak up the Christmas spirit at this annual festive celebration. 27 – Malvern: Melbourne Pen Show. Calling all writing enthusiasts! The Melbourne Pen Show is held by a not for profit incorporated association aiming to promote greater awareness of the use of both vintage and modern writing equipment in the community.
VICTORIA 18 – Melton: Melbourne Toyrun. Toy runs are held throughout Australia and America, traditionally 5 – Port Fairy: Port Fairy AP & H Society hosted by motorcycle clubs in support of the Annual Show. Experience a traditional country Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. Enjoy a fun filled show with all the events, displays and competitions spectacular! loved for generations. 24 Dec-26 Jan – Port Fairy: Moyneyana 5 – Melton: Djerriwarrh Festival. One of the Festival. One of the longest running festivals in largest community events within the City of Melton. Australia; enjoy this annual tribute to summer and It’s a party for the people. Including a vibrant community spirit. The festival runs over five weeks street parade, market stalls, activities for all ages, from Christmas Eve through to Australia Day each gourmet food, stellar main stage performances year! and an impressive fireworks finale! 6 – Croydon: Maroondah Festival. An iconic event that unites a community and presents a fun-filled, entertaining and interactive festival extravaganza. 6 – Wildwood: Husqvarna Motorcycles Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro. A showcase of Australia's best off road motorcycle riders. Watch the top 100 riders battle for three hours on the hardest course Australia has to offer.
14-17 – Frankston: Waterfront Festival. An open air, all-ages free summertime music event. Something for everyone at this beachfront community party!
12 – Koroit: Koroit Agricultural & Pastoral Show. Experience all the excitement, fun and spectacle of a country show including cattle competitions, horse events and art and craft competitions. 12-13 (Rural Areas November 19-20) – Melbourne: Melbourne & Peninsula Garden DesignFest. The largest designer open garden weekend held in Victoria. Support local charities while you visit a range of diverse, yet equally spectacular gardens.
21 – Southbank Melbourne: Sugar Mountain 2017 - A Summit of Music and Art. Presented by the Victorian College of the Arts, this is a modern boutique music and arts festival sure to impress the toughest of critics.
12-13 – Woodend: Macedon Ranges Wine and Food Budburst Festival. It’s a spring celebration of fine food, wine, music and entertainment!
22-22 – Werribee: 10th National Clydesdale and Heavy Horse Festival. A festive weekend celebrating equestrian culture and the mighty heavy horse.
26 – Frankston: Frankston’s Christmas Festival
What’s On? | 65 26-30 – Lexton: Rainbow Serpent Festival. A world class music and arts festival celebrating Australia’s unique cultural significance. For more Victorian events click here!
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 4-6 – Millicent: Millicent Agricultural and Horticultural Show. Join in as the regional community displays and parades the best produce, livestock, craft, creations and exhibitions. 5 – Weetulta: Weetulta Strawberry Fair. Embrace sweet tradition with this 80 year old fair! 11-13 – Moorook: Riverstock Festival. Voted Community event of the year in 2015 and described as ‘three days of music, fun, food and wine.’ What more could you ask for? Set on the banks of the Magnificent Murray! 19-20 – Adelaide: Adelaide Motorsport Festival. Experience the thrills of by-gone era with a two day festival that celebrates and re-enacts South Australia’s rich motorsport history. Dubbed a “museum-in-motion,” Adelaide comes alive with the sound of classic motorsport. 19-20 – Mannum: All Steamed Up Engine, Blacksmith and Classic Boat Festival. Featuring historical displays, demonstrations and fun filled events this celebration of river life has something for everyone. 19 – Mount Gambier: Mount Gambier Brass Band Festival 2016. The largest country based brass band festival of its kind in Australia!
18 – Edithburgh: Edithburgh Carols By The Sea. Held annually on the Sunday before Christmas, enjoy a classic carols session on the beautiful coast at Edithburgh.
14 – Mannum: Sounds by the River. An iconic Australian music experience with an incredible line
up featuring John Farnham, James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite, Shannon Noll and Taxiride. For more South Australian events click here!
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2-5 – Mandurah: Mandurah Stamp, Coin, Banknote and Postcard Fair. The major Philatelic and Numismatic event in Western Australia, a collector’s paradise! 4-6 – Perth: Conscious Living Expo. Uplift Your Body Mind and Spirit and Explore Healthy Sustainable Lifestyle Choices at Perth's Premier Expo Event. 5 – Perth: Live Lighter Perth Basant Festival 2016. Described as a ‘festival to celebrate life’ it’s a spring celebration of new beginnings and renewed respect for Perth’s rich and varied cultural communities. 13 – Karnup: South of The River - Family Fete and Craft Market. Showcasing local small business and talented craftspeople with amazing products, crafty crafts and creative wares. 20 – Cowaramup: Mili's Spring Sunday. Set in the grounds of Edwards Winery enjoy a day of market stalls, live music, great food and of course great wine! 26 – Busselton: Light the Night. Shed some light and support the Leukaemia Foundation in raising awareness for Blood Cancer. 25-27 – Perth: Event Arcadia. The Arcadia Spectacular is an Australian-first and will combine theatre, circus, music, aerial performance, robotics and pyrotechnics. Transforming recycled military machinery and industrial components into spellbinding new worlds, the Arcadia Spectacular shows are the ultimate immersive experience.
10 – Manjimup: Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival. Experience a full program of events and festivities with special guests, street theatre and long table lunches amid fully laden cherry trees!
66 | What’s On? 10 – Perth: Symphony In The City. Let the region showcase its talents, resources and produce and all the spills and thrills that accompany country spirit!
11-16 – Eaton: Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience. Presented by the Australian Government and the Australian War Memorial, this free ground-breaking exhibition is touring 23 locations around Australia. Hear, see and be moved by the incredible telling of the story of Australia. 12-15 – Lancelin: Lancelin Ocean Classic. The largest and longest running wind surfing event in Australia. Experience four action packed days of fun and excitement. 20 – Perth: Fringe World Festival. Held over four massive weeks of good vibes and good times, experience a feast for all the senses. 21-22 – Perth: WA Cider Festival. Raise your glasses in a salute to the mighty beverage and quench your thirst for the finest craft ciders available.
featuring the largest working display of arts and crafts in Australia with more than 200 artists and artisans. 19 – Bicheno: Bicheno Food and Wine Festival. One of Tasmania's best food and wine festivals held on a magnificent waterfront site in the town of Bicheno on Tasmania's East Coast. Featuring outstanding local food, wine, music and entertainment.
28 – Hobart: Taste Of Tasmania. A craft experience like no other! Held over four days featuring the largest working display of arts and crafts in Australia with more than 200 artists and artisans.
6-8 – Cygnet: Cygnet Folk Festival. Set in the picturesque Huon Valley countryside, celebrate Tasmania’s leading gathering of folk and world music, dance, poetry, performance art, food and culture! 20-27 – Hobart: Beer Lovers Week. For the love of Beer and State pride, experience a week of celebrations in honour of the (not so) humble beer! 26 – Devonport: Henley-On-Mersey. Celebrate Australia’s proud heritage and pioneering spirit as well as our unique quirkiness at Henley on the Mersey. Try your hand at archery, whip cracking, sheaf tossing, egg throwing, scarecrow competition and the hurdy-gurdy!
27-29 – Karridale: Western Australian Circus Festival. Step into a whole new world with a three day celebration of circus, comedy and cabaret shows from around the world.
27-28 – Hobart: Beerfest. Experience Tasmania’s most exciting Craft Beer and Food Festival and the grand finale of festivities for Tasmanian Beer Lovers Week.
For more Western Australian events
27-29 – King Island: Festival of King Island. Location location location! Indulge in a weekend of great music, great food, great people and outstanding views.
TASMANIA 4-7 – Deloraine: Tasmanian Craft Fair. A craft experience like no other! Held over four days
For more Tasmanian events click here!
What’s On? | 67 NORTHERN TERRITORY
1 Oct -28 Feb – State Wide: Million Dollar Fish. In its second season, ‘Million Dollar Fish’ is a tag and release fishing competition with a twist. Open Until the 28th of February, you have the chance to land the fish of a lifetime. Some 101 tagged Barramundi have been released, each with a value of $1000 – except one – who weighs in at an impressive $1 Million Dollars!
11 Nov-17 Dec – Acton: Sunset Cinema Canberra, Australian National Botanic Gardens. Held at the National Botanic Gardens, experience cinema in a whole new light this summer, sit back, relax and watch the stars under the stars! 13 – Parkes: Country Fair Day. Inspired by the summer exhibition, the Popular Pet Show, the National Portrait Gallery are hosting a country fair! Enjoy a day out – there will be farm animals to pat, fairy floss to eat, live music and creative activities.
4-7 – Marrakai: Marrakai Mango Festival. Be entertained by all things ‘mango’ while enjoying the natural beauty of the savannah and wetlands of the 19 – Parkes: Wanderlust 108. The world's only area. From Mango cocktails to jumping crocodiles mindful triathlon, with markets, workshops and and all the local twitching delights in-between. festival theme. It’s a field day for your mind, body 12 – Darwin: Charles Darwin Film Festival. An and soul, featuring walking, yoga and meditation. exclusive film festival seeking to embrace the principles of English naturist and geologist Charles Darwin. Featuring short films, documentaries and music videos 3 – Parkes: Spilt Milk. If experimental art and produced by local Northern Territory Filmmakers. culture is your jam, then combine it with the latest cutting edge music and step outside life’s small 22 – Darwin: Christmas Saltwater Craft Fair. things. Spilt Milk is bringing together some of Fill your Christmas with extra special gifts, buying Australia’s best things: music, food and art, within handmade goods from the people that make the tree lined land them, in the stunning Darwin Waterfront Precinct. 26-29 – Gove: Gove Game Classic Fishing Competition. Pit your strength against a barracuda, sailfish or marlin in the stunning waters off Nhulunbuy over four gruelling days of unforgettable fishing.
5-8 – Canberra: Summernats. Four days of high octane thrills! Australia’s biggest horse power party, with over 2000 elite street machines displaying their prowess.
2 – Alice Springs: Alice Springs Christmas Carnival. An evening of entertainment and Christmas festivities. 4 – Darwin: Carols By Candlelight. Belt out your favourite Christmas carols to kick off the Festive Season in the Botanic Gardens, with choral performances and spectacular fireworks. 10 – Darwin: Darwin Symphony Orchestra – Master Series 4 (Babe). Set to be an amazing experience, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra will perform Nigel Westlake’s magical film score to Babe, live to the film. A special wet season matinee for the whole family that is not to be missed. For more Northern Territory events click here!
26 – Canberra: Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular. Held on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, experience a spectacular light show celebrating Australia Day! For more ACT events click here!
68 | What’s On?
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
“...and don’t forget your chopsticks.” – Mrs iMotorhome
Advertisers' Index | 69
Advertisers' Index AirBag Man Albury Wodonga RV World
Parkland RV Centre
Robertâ€™s RV World
Australian Motor Homes
Australian Motor Homes Information Evening Win a RV Adventure with Avida
5 23 8
Solarscreen29 Southern Highlands Service Centre
Southern Spirit Campervans
Battery Traders Super Store
Bony Mountain Folk Festival
Caravan & Motorhome Books
Caravan & Motorhome Covers
Duvalay27 e-Twow Electric Scooters
Grey Nomad Tax Advisers
Outback Travel Australia
OzCampers26 Paradise Motor Homes
Paradise Sales & Service
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
Trakka10 Wellington Shire
Wirraway Motor Homes
ULTIMATE CONQUEST? single slide-out for the east-west bed, a lavishly equipped full-width rear bathroom and very liveable lounge/dinette, it’s well worth checking out. There will be more travel, technical and an update on Project Polly, plus our usual range of news, letters and more. Don’t miss it!
Next issue we bring you a look inside Jayco’s range-topping Conquest FA.25-1. It’s a 7.99 m (26’ 3”) 4-seat/4-berth C-class built on a Fiat Ducato, but with an AL-KO motorhome chassis and uprated front suspension. With a
We’re back in the two week groove and Issue 107 will be out on Saturday 19 November. Until then why not join our more than 32,000 Friends and followers on Twitter Facebook , Pinterest and Instagram to see what we’re up too?
Facebook “f ” Logo
Nov 11-13 09-12 04-06
RGB / .ai
Facebook “f ” Logo
RGB / .ai
South Coast Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo
Perth 4WD & Adventure Show
Newcastle Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo
Mackay Park, Batemans Bay. NSW.
McCallum Park, Perth. WA. 6100.
• • • • •
• Open 9:00-6:00 (5:00 Sunday) • Parking: Commercial nearby • Adults: $18 • Seniors: $14 • Kids: 5-15 $9 (U5 Free)
Newcastle Entertainment Centre & Showground Broadmeadow. NSW. 2292.
Open 9:00-4:00 daily Parking: Free Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Kids: U16 free
Visit Website Click for Google Maps
Visit Website Click for Google Maps
• • • •
Parking: Free Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Kids: U16 Free
Visit Website Click for Google Maps
Know of a local or regional show coming up that attracts and promotes motorhomes, campervans and the great RV lifestyle in general? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily promote it in this calendar.
Get a FREE subscription from our website now!