Page 1

American

Issue 109: JAN 07 2017

Evolution! Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Tiffin’s Allegro Breeze takes a big leap forward in 2017… Reader Report

Newbies ‘escape’ in a Trakkaway 700…

Project Polly

Fuel test: Does slower really save?

My Town

Broken Hill from a local’s perspective!

Wirraway Evolution 280 SL

Day test


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

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Contributors

Published by iMotorhome

Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby, Collyn Rivers and Allan Whiting

PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2776. Australia. ABN: 34 142 547 719

Design and Production Design & Production Manager

T: +614 14 604 368

Agnes Nielsen

E: info@imotorhome.com.au

E: agnes@imotorhome.com.au

W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368 E: richard@imotorhome.com.au Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street T: 0418 256 126 E: malcolm@imotorhome.com.au

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.


A GAME CHANGING RV IS COMING

Coming to a Sunliner Dealer near you. February 2017

www.sunliner.com.au


4 | On my mind

New Year’s Revolutions

H

appy New Year and welcome to 2017! I hope you had a wonderful festive season, whether you were with family and friends at home, out on the road alone, or whatever you were doing… I was fortunate to visit Vancouver with Mrs iMotorhome while she was working. She’s an international flight attendant in case you’re not aware and we had just 52 hours there, arriving Christmas eve afternoon and departing Boxing Day evening. Although literally a ‘flying visit’ it was wonderful to escape the summer heat, visit a city new to both of us and, although we missed a white Christmas, stroll for hours in falling snow on Boxing Day. This new year promises to be quite revolutionary for iMotorhome. At the end of March we head off to the USA on our first escorted motorhome tour – Route 66 – and the plan is to run a similar tour of New Zealand in October. March also marks the fifth anniversary of starting work on iMotorhome, with May being the anniversary of our first issue. Five years is a long time in publishing, especially for a new and unproven concept, and I have to thank our team, loyal advertisers and you for making it all possible. But it’s time for change… I’ve decided that from this month, iMotorhome Australia will go monthly. The decision wasn’t easy and has been some time coming, but was hastened by the launch of iMotorhome New Zealand as the workload of producing three magazines a month was simply unsustainable. I know many of you will be disappointed, but you’ll still have two magazines – it’s just they’ll both come out at the same time and one will be on a different (but very interesting) market! As a magazine business funded entirely on advertising, the move into New Zealand is helping us spread the financial risk so that,

hopefully, we can keep bringing you these publications for years. Our move into tours is for that same reason; well, financial risk management plus the prospect of tootling around the world having fun in motorhomes, that is. If you’d like to join us on Route 66 we still have a couple of spots left and can assure you of a very good time! The final major change to announce is I’m cancelling the iMotorhome app from the end of this month. It has never worked as desired, take-up has been slow and the ongoing monthly costs mean it just doesn’t stack up. Apologies again if you’re one of its users… So after all that you might be wondering what there is to look forward to in 2017? iMotorhome Australia magazine will grow, with each issue now carrying a second road test and, hopefully, more travel and other articles as we free up a bit more time. You’ll also receive a mid-month email with news, previews of what we’re doing and a regular reader poll. For those who have submitted a Reader Report on their motorhomes they will start appearing from February – honest – my apologies for the delay, but things have been busy (and we keep running out of space!). That’s enough news for one month, I think. Take care and all the best as the new year unfolds. Like this magazine, life is an adventure (and possibly a box of chocolates) and you never know what’s coming up next. Hopefully 2017 will bring you safe travels, happy times – and lots of good reading!

Richard


GET YOUR KICKS – WITH US – ON ROUTE 66! JOIN IMOTORHOME’S GREAT ADVENTURE ALONG THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ROAD ON AN ESCORTED AND EXCLUSIVE SMALL GROUP MOTORHOME TOUR!

Route 66 not only runs “From Chicago to L.A. – more than 2000 miles all the way”, it runs deep in popular culture. No other road is more famous and now we’re giving you the chance to find out where and how it came about and experience it’s magic for yourself!

we’ll immerse you in its Route 66 history as well as its gangster past. From there we travel to the incredible Winnebago factory and museum before collecting our brand new motorhomes, equipped with an RV GPS with Route 66 highlights and all campsites, and hitting the road!

Fly with us to America where we start by exploring historic Forth Worth and Dallas, home to cowboy legends and political tragedy. Then it’s on to Chicago – birthplace of The Mother Road – where

This exclusive tour is led by Mr and Mrs iMotorhome and limited to just six customer vehicles – and three spots are already taken!

Take a look at our amazing inclusions…

• 3 000 miles allowance (trip distance is approx 2200 miles)

• T he original Budweiser Brewery and its ‘Biermaster’ Tour

• Unlimited generator usage

• Route 66 Museum

• Domestic American Airlines flights Dallas-Chicago-Minneapolis

• Roadside assistance

• Sisemore RV Museum

• Bedding, towels and cooking equipment

• Grand Canyon Railway – First class day trip!

• All airport and rental company transfers

• iMotorhome’s custom Trip Essentials travel pack for your journey!

• G rand Canyon – 4WD bus to the Colorado River!

• Return international economy airfare from Sydney/Melbourne or Brisbane with Qantas

• 6-nights Marriott Hotel accommodation • 2 nights Forth Worth • 2 nights Chicago • 1 night Minneapolis • 1 night Los Angeles

1 8 nights Apollo motorhome hire including:

• A ll campsite fees (powered sites where possible) • Welcome dinner in Forth Worth • Farewell dinner in LA

• Las Vegas – City tour

Plus, we’ve got a few surprises planned that are guaranteed to delight!

Amazing Extras Included: • Forth Worth – Private walking and bus tours

• Pre-programmed RV-specific GPS

• Dallas – Private city tour including the famous JFK Museum

• CB Radios

• Chicago – Private Route 66 walking tour

• Top available insurance cover

• Chicago – Gangster Tour!

• Supplementary $1m personal 3rd party liability insurance

• Winnebago Museum and Factory tour

• Extra driver

• Hoover Dam Museum

• St Louis Arch

March 29 - April 24 2017

Priced at just A$9750 per person, be quick to secure your spot!

• Mississippi River sightseeing cruise

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to be part of our exclusive group. For enquiries, booking form and full terms and conditions email richard@imotorhome.com.au now!


6 | Contents

2

About Us

9

Resources

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Find back issues and more on our website

4

On my Mind New Year’s Revolutions!

11

On Your Mind

29

Marketplace

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

14

News

32

Day Test: Tiffin Allegro Breeze

50

Day Test: Wirraway 280 SL

60

Reader Report: Trakkaway 700

66

Project Polly: Who’s Fuellin’ Who?

70

Travel

78

MobileTech

91

Advertisers’ Index

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

The latest Marketplace offers

American Evolution! – This big A-class just keeps getting better…

Australian Evolution! – A new chassis and extra length for this new model…

Down The Trak – Newbies sample the motorhoming life!

Slow down and you’ll save money. Or will you?

Three more RV Friendly Towns!

Assistive Technologies

An A to Z of who’s in this issue!

74

Travel

80

What’s On?

92

Next Issue

My Town – Broken Hill!

Australia-wide events over the next three months!

What’s coming up and which shows are on soon!


View All Units O nline 24/7

awrvworld.com.au NEW AVAN OVATION M5

Epitomizes smart design to create optimal space and luxury. The Ovation combines the finest elements of Avan style with the unique versatility of a motorhome. The lutton peak has plenty of room to sleep the kids or grandkids. Features: Fiat Ducato chassis, sleeps 4, GVM 4400kg, electric bed over U shape lounge, separate shower toilet, diesel heater, soft close cupboards, tow bar. Price: $132,693 + ORC

AV2139

NEW SUNLINER SWITCH 442

The Switch series offers the winning combination of superior design and performance expected of a Sunliner RV with exceptional value for money. The comprehensive list of standard inclusions ensures that you don't have to compromise to own a new Sunliner RV. Features: Fiat Ducato X295 chassis, GVM 4400kg, diesel heater, 140w solar, Queen bed on slide out, full ensuite with sep. shower & toilet, generator box. Price: $128,592 + ORC

SU4091

2017 ANNOUNCEMENT WE ARE EXPANDING

Albury Wodonga RV World is expanding to 4x4 and tow vehicle sales. Let our team assist you with finding the right everyday vehicle or tow vehicle for your caravan within your budget. We stock all makes & models in excellent condition and accept trade ins. Why not bundle your tow vehicle and caravan with us for extra savings! Our staff have many years experience within the automotive industry and are willing to share their knowledge with you.

CAMPERS | CARAVANS | MOTORHOMES | 4X4 & TOW VEHICLES 1A Watson St, Wodonga VIC 3690 Ph: 02 6024 4222 E: info@awrvworld.com.au


Resources | 9 resources

iMotorhome

Magazine Resources Just click any of the links below!

Issue

Win!

$50 for the best letter!

Dalgety Report! Project Polly

A little bit of spit ’n polish!

Travel

Three more RV Friendly Towns to consider…

Back Issues

Road Tests

User Guide

Marketplace

Subscription

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…

Reader Survey

Reader Review


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 letters@imotorhome.com.au 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.

Rack ‘O Van

T

hanks for a beaut magazine, I look forward to every issue and have caught up with all of the back issues. My plan is to buy a 4x4 motorhome and be on (and off) the road permanently. Like Ian (Show Me The Money, Letters, Issue #108), I will want to carry a motorbike with me. To do this, I have found the HitchMate Cargo Carrier. It fits a class four towbar receiver and there are two models; one that can carry a motorbike up to 130 kg and the second, up to 220 kg. I hope this helps.

Thanks for your email and glad to hear you like what we do. Thanks also for the heads-up on the bike carrier, I’ll pass it on and see how Ian goes. For your troubles please accept this issue’s $50 prize, which you can put towards your dream machine – and bike carrier! Please keep us posted on your purchase progress and be sure to share some pics when you finally make the big move.

Cheers, Mark

Legal Eagle (Eyes)

H

i, good mag. With the new Polly light bar fitted to the number plate frame, can you read the number plate from a 45º angle from above? If not you are illegal, please check your measurement.

Regards, Peter

Thanks Peter and glad you like the mag. No, the plate can’t be read but I’d already noted it for rectification. Interestingly, the auto electrician who supplied and fitted it is also an authorised inspection station so you’d think they’d know what they’re doing. Anyway, when they get back from Christmas holidays they’ll be putting it right.


12 | On your mind

Paradise Lost?

A

s someone eagerly awaiting the delivery of a Paradise Motor Home based on the Mercedes Sprinter 519, I was delighted to read your review of the vehicle in Issue 108 of your excellent magazine. However I was disappointed to read that the vehicle reviewed had a 5-speed automatic gearbox and a 75 litre fuel tank. Please tell me these are typos – both the Paradise brochure and current Mercedes specifications sheet quote a 7-speed box and 100 L fuel tank.

Funny you should mention that Tim, but when proofing the story I did wonder about those very two items – and should have checked. You’re quite right and Mr Street has been suitably chastised! Thanks for picking it up and congratulations on your impending delivery; you must be very excited. Please send us some photos when the big day finally rolls around!

Sincere regards, Tim.

Tour de Farce…

I

thought I would pass this on to you in case you run in to any Kiwis/Aussies who may be planning a European tour. This may be of interest and provide some clarification as to the current state of play and what is being proposed to the existing situation, where it seems it is possible to stay in the Schengen area traveling between member states for longer than 90 days.

in the Schengen area under short-stay visa waivers without applying for a residence permit or any other authorisation.

The European Commission and The Council of the European Union have acknowledged that it is possible for third country nationals (eg: AUS/NZ) to stay in Europe for longer than 90 days as a result of the various visa waiver agreements.

The Council of the European Union is trying to introduce a “Touring Visa” to manage this situation. The proposed amendment appears to be still under consideration. For a brief explanation of the implications of the amendment click here.

“The Schengen Convention (Article 20(2)) currently allows for Member States to “extend” the authorised stay of nationals of visa-free third countries (US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, etc.) beyond 90 days on the basis of bilateral visa waiver agreements concluded in the past. This leads to a situation where certain third-country nationals can stay for practically unlimited periods

Regards, Rob and Krys.

For instance, New Zealand citizens can remain 51 months in the territory of the Schengen area (3 months Schengen visa-free stay plus 48 months on the basis of 16 bilateral visa waiver agreements).”

Thanks Rob and Krys, that’s very interesting indeed. I’m sure many people looking at extended touring in Europe will follow this keenly – including Malcolm and me!


On your mind | 13

Hey Charger!

I

just read about your new battery charger in iMotorhome. It sounds very good, particularly the Lithium profile. Could you tell me if the charger, with solar panels connected, will maintain the vehicle battery after the house battery is fully charged when the vehicle is not in use? My Ctek D250S Dual has two inputs and maintains the truck battery when the house battery is full. It also has max input of 20 A but is half the price of the Redarc. I have had one for about six years and it is on its third motorhome.

That was also a question I had for Redarc when Polly’s new Manager30 system was installed, but sadly the answer was no; an answer I know you’ve since received directly from Redarc. Interestingly, I’ve had a look at Ctek’s website and the D250S in particular. From what I can understand the ‘Dual’ part of the name refers to its ability to take power from dual 12 V DC sources – solar and alternator – and send it to a single destination. I might well be mistaken, but are you sure it’s charging your vehicle battery as well as the house battery?

Cheers, Bob.

NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD


14 | News

PARADISE REVIEW CORRECTION

I

t seems the Devil slipped into the technical details of last issue’s Paradise Inspiration Supreme Limited Edition review. In a nutshell, the gearbox of the latest model Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 519 CDI is a 7 speed automatic, not 5 speed as listed. Also, fuel tank capacity is 100 litres, not 75. Apologies for any heart attacks caused to waiting Paradise buyers, and indeed Paradise Motor Homes themselves.

NO EXCUSES With the 4x4 Motorhomes Australia range of Campervans and Motorhomes, you will have no excuses not to live the outback dream. Be it the 4x4 Toyota Hiace Campervan, the 4x4 Toyota Coaster Motorhome, the 4x4 I-Bus Motorhome Series, the 4x4 Iveco Daily or the 4x4 Iveco Tonto Motorhome, all our single body campervans and motorhomes can take you anywhere in Australia which is why we call them the Go-Anywhere Motorhomes. Starting from $94,000+GST for our standard 4x4 Toyota Hiace Campervan, we are affordable as well. So, what’s your excuse?

1300 287 494

www.4x4motorhomes.com.au


CHANGING RV IS COMING

16 | News

SUNLINER’S SECRET HABITAT

S

unliner Recreational Vehicles says it is excited to announce it has a new, game-changing motorhome under development that due for release in February. The secret new motorhome is said to be designed to address the needs of RV travellers searching for a vehicle to take on the Big Trip that supports a more free camping style of travel.

the Victorian Camping, Caravan and Touring Supershow on the 22nd of February. But we are happy to reveal that our four major considerations for the Habitat were: • The ability to get ‘off the grid’ for as long as possible • The types of terrain to be negotiated

• Storage capacity Nick Hunter, Sunliner’s managing director said, “We are incredibly excited about this Coming to a Sunliner nearfree you. • Dealer Security while camping,” he concluded. new motorhome. We have spent 12 months in February 2017 research and design, talking to our customers Display models are being shipped to Sunliner and to our dealers, and carefully studying how dealers in January for February, release. Customers who want to get a first look are RV travellers want to travel. We’ve listened to encouraged to contact their local dealer or the frustrations in terms of motorhome design register their interest at the Sunliner website by and worked to overcome them. The end result is our new Habitat, a motorhome for the clicking here. serious RV traveller.” “We can’t say too much because we are planning to launch the Habitat officially at

www.sunliner.com.au


News | 17

FREE ROOKIE DAY RETURNS

S

outhern Spirit Campervans in Brisbane is holding its second free Motorhome 101 – or Rookie – Day on Saturday 8 April at its Geebung facility. The first such day for newcomers to motorhoming was held last March and both Richard and Polly attended to lend support (this year Richard will be on Route 66 in the USA). The informal day was a great success and as well as providing a chance for attendees to familiarise themselves first-hand with RV systems, there was also plenty of time for questions. Structured to cover all aspects of campervan and motorhome operation, hosts Pia and Olli also provide a comprehensive set of reference

notes to keep, plus a free sausage sizzle at lunch time and cold drinks throughout the day. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone new to recreational vehicles to find out how all the systems work. It’s also a great opportunity for new owners to bring their vehicles along and ask questions about systems and/or accessories they’re not too familiar with. The Day runs from 9 AM to 4 PM and while free, bookings are essential. For more information or to book please call Pia on 0401 797-179, or email sscampervans@ gmail.com.

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

TOWING A-FRAMES

TOW BARS

• 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

motorhomeandtrucktowbars.com.au admin@kebar.com.au

PRICES START FROM A LOW $900.

10 Chetwynd Street, Loganholme, Qld 4129


18 | News

NEW ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE

K

en Tame and Associates, the recreational vehicle insurance specialists, now has an exclusive offer for CMCA members and Ken Tame policy holders: A roadside assistance membership package. The Company’s website says, “We provide assistance anywhere in Australia, giving you peace of mind that wherever you are, you’re not alone. Whether you’re a permanent or occasional traveller, our product is tailored specifically to meet your needs. We’re here to keep you moving, which is why our Ken Tame insurance policy now has the following option available as an additional benefit: • 24/7 Australia-wide Roadside Assistance, and • Complimentary video doctor and prescription services “no matter where you are” “The experienced Allianz Global Assistance team of qualified mobile mechanics are equipped with the skills and tools to get

you back on the road fast, wherever you break down. Roadside Assistance means premium vehicle breakdown cover backed by a superior level of expertise and service. If you’re in need of a Roadside Assistance Membership package, simply call our office on (03) 9853 5555 to arrange for this additional membership.” “Our unique Roadside Assistance Membership package also includes complimentary video doctor and prescription services. Accessing a GP isn’t always easy when you’re on the road, but Allianz Global Assistance’s preferred telehealth provider, Doctors on Demand, let’s you securely video chat with a doctor and receive repeat prescriptions written and delivered when you need them. This unique additional membership has everything available to get you back on the road, enjoying all that Australia has to offer.” To find out more visit the Ken Tame website here.


It’s luxurious.

And that’s the long and the short of it.


20 | News

ELECTRIC KOMBI?

A

ccording to a report on the Practical Motoring website, Volkswagen will reveal a new self-driving, all-electric concept people mover at the Detroit Motor Show this month. It follows the reveal at the Paris Motor Show of a Golf-sized electric hatchback called the I.D. Volkswagen said, “The concept vehicle forges links between the legendary origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. Like the I.D., this concept is also based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) and so it shows the potential and bandwidth of the MEB”. The concept will have two electric motors and thus all-wheel drive. The driver will only have to touch the VW logo on the steering wheel to activate the self-driving mode.

“The I.D. concept vehicle will also be able to drive fully autonomously in the future. Press lightly on the Volkswagen logo and the electrically retractable steering wheel disappears into the dashboard. While the driver relaxes, laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors and cameras monitor other road users and the surroundings,” Volkswagen said. iMotorhome thinks it’s a tantalising prospect that could provide safe and independent travel to people with a range of disabilities and open up a whole new recreational vehicle industry. That aside, it has great potential for reducing driver fatigue related accidents as well as simply providing a convenient option when people don’t want to drive.


Why not start the New Year in Luxury

Independence Deluxe Black Edition

Paradise are passionate about producing Australia’s best motorhomes 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 Independence Deluxe Black Edition from $532,308.00 + ORC*

Paradise Motor Homes - 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland 4216 www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au

(07) 5597 4400

/paradise.m.homes

Paradise Motor Homes Products are protected by Registered Designs, Patents and Copyrights ™ © 2016. *Independence Deluxe Black Edition **Some Options pictured may not be standard


22 | News

PROFESSIONAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION

T

he Caravan Council of Australia is introducing a professional engineering and legal assistance program to help owners of motorhomes and caravans who have serious unresolved technical problems with their vehicle. This service is available only for alleged major defects involving compliancing and safety, where discussions with the supplier have failed to satisfactory resolve the issues. Complainants are asked to provide a few small size photos – if applicable – to best illustrate the issue/s. A completed submission form, with photos, must not exceed five megabytes and must be limited four pages. A statutory declaration from

the complainant will be required before the supplier is contacted. Complaints are to email the fully completed form to the Caravan Council of Australia where it will be examined (in strict confidence) by an independent professional experienced engineer and an accredited experienced solicitor, without cost, to determine whether any legal action is likely to favourably resolved the issue/s, and what the indicative costs would be. If the claim is deemed to be justified and likely to be satisfactorily resolved the solicitor will provide a free and without obligation initial telephone discussion for up to 20 minutes. For further and full details contact the Caravan Council of Australia at 3 Margaret Street, Parkdale, VIC. 3195 on 0409 865 399 or email caravancouncil@optusnet.com.au.

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: info@wirraway.com.au & New Website: www.wirraway.com.au On The Road Wirraway 260SL Slideout Motorhome - 2012 © Rex Willmer


Hitting the great outdoors this summer? Get remote-ready with the Motorhome Doctor

motorhomedoctor.com.au


24 | News

PENSION CHANGES FROM JANUARY

R

eaders on an Australian Government pension should, by now, be well aware that as of 1 January new rules regarding assets and eligibility have come into effect. In case you’ve been away, are away, or just haven’t got around to checking out how it might affect you, you can find full details on the Department of Human Services website – assets test estimator – by clicking here.

FIRE SAFETY REMINDER

F

ire and Rescue NSW is reminding RV enthusiasts to be fire safe and to start by making sure your motorhome has a working photoelectric smoke alarm. Other tips included planning how to escape an RV in the event of a blaze. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so make sure you ‘keep looking while cooking’, it advises. You should regularly check gas pipes and connectors are in good working order, particularly after driving on country roads. Other important items included having a fire extinguisher and fire blanket onboard. Also, if staying in a caravan park, check the location of the nearest hose reel and evacuation point, and never leave an open fire or hot coals unattended.


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

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CAMPERVANS

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IN STOCK

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SERVICE

be me.com.au 299 River Street, Ballina NSW 2478

02 6681 1555

I NEWS I

CONTACT

BALLINA CAMPERVAN & MOTORHOME CENTRE built-in specialists


26 | News

AERO GLAMPING?

A

new form of accommodation is taking off at an award-winning Victorian caravan park. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park in the Grampians has installed a first-of-its-kind Aero Glamper, compete with fully functional flight simulator and it’s already proving a hit with keen aviators. The Boeing 737 simulator is connected to a five-star luxury canvas safari tent with a rugged Australian Outback feel that has been fitted out with handmade furniture. Park owners Rohan and Josephina McDonald report that the idea has already landed a lot of interest. Aero glamping guests receive a free hour of flying with a flight director for each night they stay. They also get to choose which of the World’s international airports they would like to tackle landing at. At night, the simulator can be set to autopilot and wannabe pilots can select their destination and enjoy the first class atmosphere from their own king sized bed. To find out more call (03) 5356 4281, email bookings@ hallsgaplakeside.com or visit the website here.

NEW MARYBOROUGH BUDGET RV PARK

R

Vers have welcomed news a local football club on Queensland’s Fraser Coast will develop a new 50-site budget RV park. The local Regional Council has awarded the $1000-a-year tender to Doon Villa Soccer Club to set up the low-cost facility on Council land near the entrance to Maryborough Airport. Watch for news of its development and opening.


PARADISE RV

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 - info@paradisemotorhomes.com.au

(07) 5597 4400


28 | News

PORT HEADLAND BONANZA

A

temporary RV overflow campsite in the WA town of Port Hedland has proved so successful that it will be kept open for an additional month during this year’s busy tourist season. Grey Nomads and other travellers injected around half a million dollars into the local economy during the four months it operated last year. Traders and the local Council attributed the welcome windfall to the campsite in McGregor Street. Tourists can stay at the $10-a-night facility for a maximum of 3 nights when alternative campsites in town are 50 percent full or if their self-contained recreational vehicle is too large to fit in a vacant spot. Call the Visitors Centre on (08) 9173 1711 for further information.


iMotorhome Marketplace | 29 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

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30 | iMotorhome Marketplace

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32 | Day Test: Tiffin Allegro Breeze

AMERICAN EVOLUTION!

Tiffin’s impressive Allegro Breeze A-class just gets better… by Richard Robertson


Day Test | 33

Bells and whistles are standard and I’m surprised there’s not an optional brass band. From every angle Tiffin’s Allegro Breeze is an impressive motorhome and it’s jam-packed with standard equipment. Note the small electric awning above the entry door to match the main one, plus the outdoor TV and entertainment system underneath the hatch door on the slide out.

D

espite steadily rising RV sales new A-class motorhomes continue to be almost as rare in Australia as unicorns. In fact as far as I’m aware, unless you want a custom coach conversion, this rarefied end of the market is now owned by Tiffin Motorhomes Australia. In case you’re not familiar with the brand, Tiffin is a highly regarded American manufacturer that exclusively makes A-class motorhomes. Compared to the major brands family-owned Tiffin is a minnow, but it’s the sort of ‘small fish’ you’d want to buy from in the large and often very average American market ‘pond’. The company is based in Red Bay Alabama, which ironically is about 300 miles and as far away from the ocean as you can get in that famous Southern State. Tiffin prides itself on quality over quantity and in its lineup

the Allegro Breeze is the baby. It’s also the smallest ‘diesel pusher’ – the American term for a rear-engined motorhome – in the US market and in the few short years since being released has carved out an enthusiastic and loyal following.

Australian Connection

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urray Robertson, the man behind Tiffin in Australia, began importing Allegro Breezes (let’s just call it the Breeze from now on) in 2011. America’s smallest diesel-pusher A-class is surprisingly well suited to Australia, not only in length (10.1 m or 33’ 2”) but also in features and economy. With opposing slideouts in the front living area – one for the U-shaped dinette and fridge, and the other for the sofa bed and kitchen – it transforms into a spacious single bedroom apartment with more than enough


34 | Day Test room for a couple to comfortably live fulltime. Tiffin calls it “roughing it smoothly” and I think that describes it perfectly. I first reviewed a Breeze in Issue 69 in April 2015 and came away impressed. You should download and read that review because I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here or go into as much detail. Rather, I’m going to concentrate on what makes the 2017 Breeze different and better, as better it is. Like all good manufacturers Tiffin doesn’t release new models every year; instead choosing to refine and develop its line-up. Think of it as evolutionary development rather than revolutionary. Because Tiffin is still a comparatively small family-owned business, Murray and his very-able assistant Alex have Right: The superseded Breeze is still an impressive machine and late model, low mileage examples are now being imported and converted at a considerable saving. Below: A new and more efficient solar panel system, upgraded air-conditioners and a new, automatic Vansat Bluestar satellite receiver are all part of the 2017 package.


Day Test | 35

been able to establish a genuine working relationship with the factory that must be the envy of every other low-volume vehicle importer. Treated more like family and despite the small numbers they order, they have effectively been given the keys to the factory and are able to influence the design and build, and even work-on Australianbound Breezes. While Murray is aiming for a full right-hand drive (RHD) build and it seems the factory is amenable to the concept, that ideal is still some way off. In the mean time each vehicle undergoes RHD conversion of both chassis and body at Tiffin Australia’s Gold Coast factory and they do an impressive job. In fact I challenge anybody to pick the finished job as not being factory original, such is the quality and attention to detail.

Top: Alex (L) and Murray have put huge amounts of time and effort, as well as money, into tailoring the Breeze to the Australian market and ensuring it’s properly supported. Above: The ‘Office’ is a great place to work!


36 | Day Test

Full body paint in a range of colours and styles are yours for the choosing. A Super Clear UV protection coat is also applied, unique to Australian Tiffins, and the finish is excellent.

Back to Basics

B

efore continuing let me give you some basic facts and figures. Aside from being 10.1 m long and with opposing front slideouts, as mentioned, the Breeze rides on full air suspension and is 3.5 m tall, 2.5 meters wide, has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 10,660 kg and a towing capacity of 3500 kg. Apart from anything these weights mean you’ll need a Medium Rigid (MR) drivers licence, but it’s worth the effort. Fresh water capacity is 275-litres, grey water 208-litres and black water 125-litres (it has a toilet holding tank instead of a cassette); all of which are a small but valuable increase on the previous model. With an 8660 kg tare weight and potential maximum payload of 2000 kg you’d think the factory would have increased fresh and grey water capacities even further. But of course this vehicle is still design for the American market, where freedom

camping – they call it Boondocking – in big vehicles is relatively rare. And so the capacities are more than adequate for a few nights in Walmart car parks between leaving home and the destination RV park. Having said that, 275-litres of fresh water is still considerable in a production vehicle in Australia and should provide more than adequate freedom camping abilities for most people. Those abilities are greatly enhanced by the Breeze’s electrical independence. No fewer than 4 x 216 AH deep cycle house batteries backed by 400 watts of solar panels, a remote-start 5 kVa diesel Onan generator and a 4000 watt pure sine-wave inverter are provided; proof how much Americans like their air conditioners, TVs, toasters, coffee makers and washing machines – even in Walmart car parks! One more thing to know, or remember if you read my original review, is that Tiffin makes its


Day Test | 37

“Firstly, let me say that driving an A-class motorhome is like no other RV driving experience.�


38 | Day Test own chassis for the Breeze. That’s right, it’s a custom chassis solely designed to fit and work with the body mounted on it. Not only is that possibly unique, it means that as a unit the Breeze is one very well set-up and integrated motorhome. What’s new in 2017? Plenty, so read on...

New Mechanicals

A

new engine is the most obvious mechanical change. Gone is the Navistar MaxxForce 6.4-litre V8 twinturbo diesel. In its place is a next-generation Cummins ISV5.0 275; a 5-litre V8 single-turbo diesel that produces 205 kW and 760 Nm while delivering claimed fuel savings Cummins says of between 20 and 40%. However, to meet emissions standards the new engine requires AdBlue, but the 30-litre tank is said

to be good for about 5000 km. Drive is still through a six-speed Allison automatic, which has become the default transmission choice for a generation of vehicles in this class. Also new and a significant improvement is fully independent front suspension, which I’ll talk more about later. For the 2017 model year the floor height has been raised six inches and this has a two-fold effect. Firstly, it eliminates internal wheel arch intrusion in the living area and bedroom, while secondly it allows for deeper storage bins (now with motion-sensing lighting), while bin doors with a simple but effective self-closing mechanism have also been added. Other body improvements include a remodelled nose with HID headlights and day running lights; a new windscreen, with

The all-new front end looks a million dollars – like the real estate behind – and now includes HID headlights and LED day running lights. New chrome mirrors have side vision cameras, while the new, larger windscreen is enormous. Fortunately, spares are always in stock…


Day Test | 39

replacements kept in stock (along with things like suspension airbags, engine filters, awnings and motors, hubcaps, wipers, etc, ready for Australia-wide dispatch); a new rear body moulding and taillights; frameless cab windows, and a deeper entry door with the first step closer to the ground and a stairwell handrail. On the roof is a new Vansat Bluestar satellite system, upgraded air conditioners, and a new 400-watt solar panel system with more efficient cables that matches the old 600-watt system. Also, an external gas bayonet point and outside TV entertainment system are now standard. The body itself, which features an impressive full paint finish available in a number of colours and styles, now also comes with a Super Clear UV protection finish that’s unique to Australian delivered vehicles.

Top: The new instrument cluster is upmarket and impressive to look at and use. Each gauge is individually replaceable, while the purple needle lighting adds an extra touch of style. Above: Computerised self-levelling hydraulic jacks are standard and close to fool proof, even warning of excessive slope. The air suspension is also height adjustable to suit different situations.


40 | Day Test

Tiffin is a family owned business and small by American RV manufacturing standards. They pride themselves on the quality of their hand-made solid timber cabinetry and while it’s certainly not a lightweight solution, it is robust and longlasting, and won’t swell if it gets wet.

New Insides

A

s impressive as all these new features are, they’re only half the story. Inside, the Breeze has also come in for some serious attention. From a driver’s perspective the most obvious improvement is a totally new dashboard. Not only does it feature replaceable instruments in case one malfunctions, it’s impressively stylish and wouldn’t look out of place in an expensive European sports car (well, one with air brakes!). The dash surrounds had a carbon fibre finish that’s mirrored in the allnew centre console plus the shelf under the driver’s window that houses the automatic transmission selector, handbrake button, sundry switchgear and requisite cupholder. Speaking of new instruments, the fuel gauge

now also has markings for generator use so you won’t run the fuel tank dry. Also new is a more powerful Denso brand dash air conditioning unit that’s actually designed in Melbourne and used in all Tiffin motorhomes. Both captains chairs are new and feature better shaping and inbuilt footrests. There’s also new leather trim throughout and a wider sofa cushion that results in a wider bed, should you be carrying extra guests (the Breeze can sleep and carry six). In the living area are new floor tiles plus a new style privacy door to the bathroom and bedroom. A 2.5 kg Camec top-loading washing machine and 5 kW diesel heater are now also standard, although surprisingly the heater has just a single outlet. The bathroom also features new cupboards, while an upgraded shower is coming.


Day Test | 41 Decor-wise the interior has new options, with lighter timbers for those not enamoured with the American love of dark wood finishes. When I broached the possibility of a more contemporary-style (read European) interior with gloss finishes and slimline, light weight cabinetry, Murray just laughed. “The guys are traditional cabinetmakers and absolutely pride themselves on the craftsmanship of each vehicle’s hand-built interior. A good thing about solid wood construction is that should the interior ever become wet the cabinets won’t swell or fall apart.” I guess that means no. There are new pull-down privacy blinds throughout, while in the bedroom you’ll now find USB charging outlets on either side of the bed. The Breeze has an all-new 12 V electrical system and new switch panels, while LED lighting is used throughout and concealed LED strip lights are coming. Also coming soon is iPad control for remote monitoring of the vehicle’s systems, including air conditioning on-off and even the optional Bose home theatre system.

Driving!

F

acts and figures can only tell you so much about a vehicle. When it comes to the crunch there’s no substitute for slipping behind the wheel. Being able to compare old and new versions of the same model makes for an even more interesting driving experience, so before I tell you about the new is what I said in my earlier review about the ‘old’ Breeze: “I only spent a short time behind the wheel, but it took me straight back to my coach driving days. The combination of smooth riding air suspension and the muted growl of an engine 10 m behind reminded me of why a diesel pusher is the most desirable heavy vehicle driving configuration. Engine response was good from the fairly long-throw accelerator and

Top: New cabinetry in the main bathroom cubicle feels less cluttered but still provides plenty of storage. Above: Across the aisle is a separate, domestic-sized shower cubicle that I’m told is due for a makeover.


42 | Day Test the Allison-auto shifted almost imperceptibly. Body role seemed well contained and manoeuvrability was good, while braking was almost too good, with strong initial response from the pedal that took a bit of getting used to.” The new Breeze is all that and more, but different. Firstly, let me say that driving an A-class motorhome is like no other RV driving experience. Clichéd as it sounds, the driving position truly is commanding and the view and visibility through the enormous windscreen unmatched. The Breeze is up there with the best of them, being modern and impressively fitted out, and doesn’t disappoint. The accelerator still has a fairly long throw and the new, smaller Cummins engine is more eager, although there is some turbo lag off idle when pulling away on inclines. Given

Wow factor aside, perhaps the most impressive feature of an American A-class motorhome is the pair of swivelling captains chairs upfront. On the road they provide supreme comfort that continues after-hours, when it’s time to swivel them ‘round, extend the footrests and recline. Tiffin’s motto of “Roughing it smoothly” isn’t an exaggeration.


Day Test | 43 it has 26 kW more top end power but 80 Nm less torque, that isn’t surprising. Once underway this engine just wants to rev and you quickly find yourself at the posted speed limit. The new engine is also very smooth and has a distinctly sporty note (for a diesel), while working perfectly with the six-speed Allison auto. Engine response and driveline smoothness, however, are only half the driving story. Perhaps the most marked difference with the latest model Breeze is the way it steers. If you’ve ever driven a large heavy vehicle like a coach you’ll know that the steering is a bit, well, cumbersome. That’s because the front end uses a solid axle and ‘old-fashioned’ steering and suspension to cope with the weights and loads imposed. What this means in practice is that driving is often a continuous series of minor steering corrections with a slight delay involved, all of which combine to keep you headed in the right direction. It’s something you quickly adapt to and becomes second nature and is part and parcel of the heavy vehicle driving experience. But then there’s the new Breeze… This vehicle almost steers like a sports car. Directional response is immediate; there’s no vagueness or kick back through the steering and the front wheels hold a line much longer without the need for continuous corrections. In a nutshell, it now goes (exactly) where you point it. I found it quite a revelation and by far the most enjoyable aspect of driving the new Breeze. The full air suspension provides a degree of ride comfort and control owners of Longreaches and other large truck-based motorhomes can only dream of. Ditto the muted tones of the distant diesel and the seamless shifts from the Allison automatic. If you’re considering test driving the new Breeze here’s a tip: Make sure your finances are in

Access to a range of routine inspection items is through this clever opening front panel. It’s also where you’ll find the 5 kVA Onan diesel generator that even comes with its own starter battery in case you’ve managed to flatten all the others, which would be no mean feat.


44 | Day Test

good order because the experience will ruin you for your current vehicle!

Inside Story

F

irst time visitors to a parked Breeze can’t help but be impressed by the sheer spaciousness of the open plan living area. I have to say it still impresses me after many visits as it’s more like walking into a home than a vehicle. The floorplan itself is straightforward, with front-to-mid lounge, dining and kitchen areas, a mid split bathroom and rear bedroom. Both captains chairs swivel to provide perhaps the ultimate in after hours, feet-up relaxation. The driver’s-side slideout houses the generous U-shaped dinette and large two-door fridgefreezer, while the kerb-side slideout has a three seat sofa bed and the L-shaped kitchen. Lighting is prodigious, with perhaps a couple of dozen individual LEDs in the ceiling and beneath the cabinets, illuminating the vehicle like Disneyland. When the kitchen slides out it reveals a massive forward-facing LED TV on the bathroom wall, which is best viewed from

Looking more like a luxury one bedroom apartment than a motorhome, the Breeze’s opposing front slideouts provide an abundance of living space. Note the equal abundance of LED lights and storage, with the kitchen especially well catered for.


Day Test | 45 the swivelled captains chairs. Of course, there is a separate TV in the bedroom and it drops down from the ceiling, above the queen sized island bed. The split bathroom has a domestic size moulded fibreglass shower on the driver’s side, while across the aisle is the main bathroom cubicle with the toilet, vanity and plenty of storage. Speaking of storage, if the huge amount under the floor isn’t enough, the interior fairly bristles with cupboards, drawers and wardrobes. It should be enough to satisfy the ‘hoardiest’ traveller.

What I Think

I

f what I think isn’t obvious you haven’t been paying attention. Turn off the cricket, go back to the beginning and start again (no not you, I know you’ve hung on my every written word). But seriously… There’s little not to like – or even love – about the latest Tiffin Allegro Breeze. In Australia’s retail motorhome market it has no rivals, because while a few others might come close in living area none can match the integration of the total package, or rival the driving experience. If your pockets aren’t quite deep enough for a new one, Tiffin Australia Motorhomes is now importing, converting and selling late model, low mileage Breezes at a considerable saving. Either way you’re unlikely to be disappointed. As it stands, if I was in the market for a proven, durable and highly desirable luxury motorhome for longterm travel – one that would easily see out my retirement – the latest Tiffin Allegro Breeze would get my coin. That shouldn’t surprise, however, because I’m a great believer in Evolution. Even the American variety… Top to bottom: Featuring a queen size bed with memory foam mattress, its own entertainment system and plenty of storage, the bedroom is well set up.


46 | Day Test

Specs GENERAL Make

Tiffin

Model

Allegro Breeze

Type

A-class

Berths

6

Approved Seating

6

Licence

Medium Rigid (MR)

VEHICLE Make/Model

Tiffin PowerGlide chassis

Engine

5.0 L Cummins ISV5.0 275 V8 turbo-diesel

Power

205 kW @ 3200 rpm

Torque

760 Nm @ 1600 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed Allison automatic

Safety

ABS

Fuel

265 L + 30 L AdBlue

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

8660 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

10,660 kg

Max Payload

2000 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

3500 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

10.10 m (33’ 2”)

Overall Width

2.50 m (8’ 2”)

Overall Height

3.50 m (11’ 6” )

Internal Height

1.98 m (6’ 6”)

Main bed

2.0 m x 1.5 m (6’ 6” x 4’ 11”)

Dinette bed

2.10 m x 1.00 m (6’ 11” x 3’ 3”)

Sofa bed

1.72 x 1.06 m (5’ 8” x 3’ 6”)*


Day Test | 47

Specs

Pros…

EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

1 x Lounge. 1 x Dinette

Awning

1 x Electric main. 1 x Electric over entry door

Entry Steps

Electric

Cooker

3 burner SMEV LPG

Rangehood

Yes

Sink

Double bowl stainless steel

Fridge

215 L Waeco12/240 V compressor*

Microwave

Convection

Lighting

12 V LED

Power

5 kVa Onan diesel generator plus 4000 W inverter

Air Conditioner

2 x Dometic rooftop ducted

Space Heater

5 kW Diesel with single outlet

Hot Water System

Atwood LPG/Electric

Toilet

Pedestal

Shower

Separate cubicle

CAPACITIES Batteries

4 x 216 AH deep cycle

Solar

400 W

LPG

2 x 9 kg

Fresh Water

275 L

Grey Water

208 L

Hot Water

23 L

Toilet

125 L - seperate tank

PRICE - ON ROAD From - New drive-away Qld

$429,000

Warranty – Motor & driveline

3 years

Warranty – Delamination

5 years

Warranty – Construction (structural)

10 years

Also available used from

$300,000

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Driving enjoyment Standard equipment Living space Quality New front suspension New engine Engineering improvements Storage capacity Payload Durability Warranties plus local support Bragging rights!

CONs…

• Potential size and weight limitations • Water capacity could be better • I haven’t won Lotto…

Supplied thanks to…

Click for Google Maps

Tiffin Motorhomes Australia 8 Energy Drive Molendinar. Qld. 4214 T: 0411 616 617 E: alex@tiffinmotorhomes.com.au W: www.tiffinmotorhomes.com.au


48 | Day Test

“There’s little not to like – or even love – about the latest Tiffin Allegro Breeze.”


The eagerly awaited MY17 Breeze from Tiffin Motorhomes Australia is here! A number of changes have been made from last years model. Front and rear caps have been redesigned with a much more modern approach. The coach is now taller overall and features a completely flat floor inside. This has also increased basement bin storage considerably! It also features an all new dash, new V8 turbo diesel engine by Cummins and an independent front suspension setup! Full information can be found on our all new website. Along with details of pre-owned units also for sale. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook too!

www.tiffinmotorhomes.com.au ww Murray 0416 080 127 – murray@tiffinmotorhomes.com.au Alex 0411 616 617 – alex@tiffinmotorhomes.com.au 8 Energy Cres, Molendinar, Gold Coast QLD 4214


50 | Day Test: Wirraway Evolution 280 SL

AUSTRALIAN EVOLUTION!

A customer order evolves Wirraway’s luxury line-up… by Malcolm Street


Day Test | 51

The Evolution 280 SL is a couple of feet longer than its predecessor but features the same three-quarter length driver’s-side slideout and full width rear bathroom. Perhaps the biggest difference is it’s built on the latest Iveco Daily 70C170 cab-chassis, which gives it enormous load carrying capacity but means you’ll need a Medium Rigid (MR) license to drive it.

L

ike most motorhome manufacturers, Wirraway offers a number of standard layouts in their range of motorhome designs. But what happens when a customer wants something a little different? A benefit of being a smaller manufacturer is that a layout variation can be relatively easily offered. Such was the case with a customer who was keen on Wirraway’s 260 SL model but desired a few changes to the basic layout, not to mention extending the length from the usual 7.90 m (25’ 11” ) to 8.57m (28’ 1”). The result was the ‘new’ Wirraway Evolution 280 SL.

The Vehicle

A

number of features of the Evolution 280 SL model look familiar, particularly from the outside. However, a major difference is the use of an Iveco Daily 70C17 cab-chassis with a 7000 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) chassis, instead of the usual Mercedes Benz Sprinter.

In this case the customer opted for the single turbo 3.0-litre diesel that delivers 125 kW and a very torquey 430Nm. It’s certainly well suited to this design and the GVM rating gives a good load capacity, although it does require a Light Rigid (LR) licence to drive. Above the Iveco chassis, the motorhome body has an aluminium RHS box-section chassis with a 17mm Complite insulated weather proof floor. Composite styrofoam/ fibreglass is used for the wall and roof structures including the slide-out, which takes up more than two thirds of the driver’s side side wall.

Storage

A

characteristic of Wirraway motorhomes is the generous external bin space, utilised in various ways. At the rear kerb side, the dual-compartment bin has a slide-out BBQ at the front and a utilities area


52 | Day Test

(power leads and drain hoses) at the rear. Included is the standard Wirraway automatic hose rewinder that is 12V pump pressurised and can be used for everything from washing the motorhome to putting out campfires! In this case the bin door is top hinged. On the opposite side, drawers are used in the rear corner, slideout and beneath the slideout, towards the rear. In the latter case they cannot be opened with the slideout extended. The major asset of drawers is they are easy to get at and there is minimal bending over, plus they are all sealed against water and dust ingress. Further forward, under the slideout, are more bins with lower edges hinged. Although more difficult to get at with the slideout extended, they do contain items like the Dometic 2.5 kVa generator, which require minimal access. Unusually, the TEC29EV generator is LP gas powered! Not mentioned yet are the bins for the 2 x 120 AH batteries and 3 x 4.5 kg gas cylinders. They are to be found on either side of the entry door.

Masses of external storage are a Wirraway trademark, as are clever remote controlled, dust and waterproof drawers that can double as outdoor tables! Note the slide-out barbecue and utility bin for hoses and cables.


Day Test | 53 Inside

U

ndoubtedly the benefit of a slideout is demonstrated very aptly inside. With the entry door mid way between the wheels, the extended slideout creates a very large living area, especially up front. That theme continues in the kitchen area with the bench on the kerb side and the fridge and pantry in the slideout opposite. Obviously, the customer in this motorhome wanted space around the bed because although the double bed is built into the slideout, there are no cupboards on the opposite wall. This provides plenty of bed walk-around area even with the slideout closed. That also gives easy access to the bathroom across the rear because the shower cubicle is in the kerb side corner. Generally speaking the overall finish is done very nicely. All the cabinetry has a Tasmanian Oak finish and the bench and table tops a glossy laminate. The busiest place in the 280 SL has to be around the entry doorway, above which are the radio/DVD player, satellite TV controls, water tank monitor, water pump switch and generator controls. In addition, down the panel beside the door are both the awning and slideout switches. As I said, very busy! Like many a Wirraway motorhome, the cab area is done out very nicely and the closed compartments above both driver and passenger seats are a welcome feature. I always find them good for maps (remember them?) and cameras.

Top to bottom: The bedroom is spacious, especially with the slideout extended. There’s an almost minimalist feel to this particular vehicle, which reflects the owners specific requirements. Note the unusual corner shower that adjoins a mirrored cupboard/wardrobe.


54 | Day Test Living Area

B

oth cab seats swivel and are reupholstered to match a third, forwardfacing seat behind the passenger seat (there’s a folding table in between). Hiding behind the rear seat is a wine bottle rack. For the front seats, Wirraway has solved the Iveco handbrake issue – where it normally interferes with swivelling the driver’s seat – by removing it and having an electronic push-button on the dash board instead. Outlets for 240 and 12-volt power are fitted to the panels on both sides behind the cab, thus being readily accessible from front or rear seats. Right: As per the customer’s request there is a washing machine under the cooker. Of course. Below: Built just for two and very comfortable, the main dinette is especially inviting.


Day Test | 55

In case three seats are not enough, there’s a sideways facing seatbelt equipped lounge in the slideout. It comes with a table that matches the main one opposite, and is fitted with a Lagun mount so it can be turned around to be used with the driver’s seat.

Kitchen

L

ooking a bit like an island bench, but against the kerb-side wall, the kitchen bench looks smaller than it is because of all the space around it! It’s slightly different to the usual kitchen set-up because instead of a gas cooktop there are just two electric elements, while equally unusually a washing machine is fitted under the cooktop! Six drawers are fitted in the under-bench space alongside and above the washing machine and all are shallower than usual in order to fit in. Because of the electric cooktop there’s a bit more bench

Top: With the slideout extended there’s plenty of living space, while the lounge provides valuable extra seating and dining space if friends drop by, or just somewhere comfy for an afternoon snooze. Above: The minimalist kitchen is another reflection of the customer’s specific requirements.


56 | Day Test

Left: This small flip-up bench extension is a valuable inclusion considering the relatively small kitchen bench. Right: A full height slimline pantry fits neatly between the lounge and 150-litre, 3-way fridge. Note the small hanging wardrobe above the bedside drawers.

working space than usual, plus there is the bonus of a flip-up extension at the end of the bench. Conventional is the microwave oven, fitted into the locker space above the cooktop, with the rangehood underneath. Not so conventional is the flat screen 61 cm (24�) TV bracketed into the wall behind the stainless steel sink. It will swing out for easy viewing from the lounge and front seats, but not whilst the washing up is happening. On the opposite side, in the slideout, is the 150-litre fridge and it has a full height slide-out pantry on one side and a slide-out wardrobe on the other.

Snooze Time

A

little surprisingly perhaps, the bedroom area looks almost conventional and both sides of the bed have cabinets with a rack of drawers. The only difference being that the left-hand side is wider and has a hanging wardrobe above. Mains power points are fitted to both sides with the righthand side having the bonus of a 12 V socket. Although the opposite wall has no underwindow storage, there is a full height cupboard with a shoe rack fitted into the corner against the bathroom wall.


Day Test | 57 Amenities

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ike the rest of the motorhome, there is plenty of room to move in the bathroom. In addition to the decently sized shower cubicle there’s a black-tank toilet against the driver’s-side wall and a small vanity cabinet with pedestal style wash basin against the shower. Lockers with mirror doors are fitted above both the toilet and vanity, while a small rear window aids ventilation.

What I Think

W

hat I find most interesting about this motorhome is the way Wirraway has accommodated the customer’s requirements into one of its existing layout designs. I must admit there are some features I would not have chosen, but that’s okay because it’s not my motorhome! Room to move in all areas was clearly a priority and that has certainly been achieved. Even with the slideout closed there is still plenty of room to move around. There is also plenty of storage space, while the big Iveco Daily provides a payload capacity to match. This is a well appointed motorhome with all the features we have come to expect from Wirraway, and the end result is another happy customer!

Top: The rounded corner shower is another Wirraway trademark, but bathing privacy is assured thanks to a concertina door. Right: The loo looks every bit ‘the throne’ but you might want to watch your head on the cupboards above when standing! Just visible in the right hand corner is part of the green glass pedestal hand basin.


58 | Day Test

Specs GENERAL Make

Wirraway

Model

Evolution 280 SL

Type

B-class

Berths

2

Approved Seating

4

Licence

Light Rigid (LR)

VEHICLE Make/Model

Iveco Daily 70C17

Engine

3.0 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

125 kW @ 2900-3500 rpm

Torque

430 Nm @ 1500-2600 rpm

Gearbox

8 speed automatic

Safety

ABS, Stability Control, Traction Control, Front and Side Airbags

Fuel

100 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

5080 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

7000 kg

Max Payload

1920 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

3500 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

8.57 m (28’ 1”)

Overall Width

2.25 m (7’ 5”)

Overall Height

3.20 m (10’ 6”)

Internal Height

2.00 m (6’ 7")

Bed

1.87 m x 1.72 m (6’ 2” x 5' 7")


Day Test | 59

Specs

Pros…

EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

Yes

Awning

Electric

Entry Steps

Electric

Cooker

Westinghouse 2 burner electric (customer order)

Rangehood

Camec

Sink

Stainless steel no drainer

Fridge

150 L 2-door Dometic RM 2555 3-way with AES

Microwave

Sharp

Lighting

12 V LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

6

Air Conditioner

Air Command Ibis 3

Space Heater

Opt

Hot Water System

Truma

Toilet

Tecma

Shower

Separate cubicle

CAPACITIES Batteries

2 x 120 AH

Solar

1 x 135 W

LPG

3 x 4.5 kg

Fresh Water

135 L

Grey Water

70 L

Hot Water

14 L

Toilet

80 L

PRICE - ON ROAD From

$281,750

As Tested

$297,650

Warranty - Vehicle

3 years/200,000 km

Warranty – Body

As per manufacturer

Warranty – Accessories

As per manufacturers

• I veco Daily payload capacity • Eternal storage and ease of access • General fit and finish • Spacious interior • Bed walk-around area • Controls centrally located • Huge front living area • Iveco handbrake solution

CONs…

• Electric cooktop require mains power or generator • No TV at washing up time • Single vent fan in bathroom • Water capacities

Supplied thanks to…

Click for Google Maps

Wirraway Motorhomes 6 Hynes Court, Mildura. Vic. 3500. T: (03) 5023 0230 E: info@wirraway.com.au W: www.wirraway.com.au


60 | Reader Report

DOWN THE TRAK! Motorhoming novices escape in a Trakkaway 700… by A&J Berry


Reader Report | 61

F

irst let me stress that this account of a kids camping and nestle amongst the RVs? weekend away in a Trakkaway 700 is I don’t think so! by two RV novices. We’ve never owned a motorhome and don’t consider ourselves Problem Solved! experts in ‘motorhoming,’ let alone assessing hen came the solution. How about the merits of one RV compared to another. an extended test drive of the latest Trakkaway 700 from Trakka? Too good We’re actually very close to ‘newbies’. an opportunity to pass up; we eagerly said yes Our only experience was a few years ago, and picked up the demonstrator at Trakka’s delivering a new vehicle from the factory in factory/showroom in Berowra on the northern Iowa, USA to a rental location on the West outskirts of Sydney. My first impression was of Coast. Although that whetted our appetite for this kind of recreation the question for us a clean stylish design with a high-specification build quality and elegance suggestive of a has been would it grow to doing this sort of European import. This was no cargo van thing regularly? Or even to purchasing our conversion or box on a chassis. own RV?

T

Recently, we had the opportunity to participate in the iMotorhome weekend away in Dalgety, NSW. We were keen to see the Snowy River High Country with experienced motorhome owners who might just convince us to take up motorhoming. Just one problem – we don’t own one and don’t have ready access to one! Maybe we could dust off the tent we used 30 years ago to take the

Trakka gave us a thorough briefing on the vehicle, including familiarisation with the detailed and comprehensive documentation on basic vehicle operation, the features and facilities for living and how to manage the systems of the vehicle. I was particularly intrigued by the pneumatic self-levelling suspension. It corrects for load distribution and unlike many similar vehicles prevents


62 | Reader Report

that classic ‘nose-down’ appearance which no doubt catches people out on speed humps, etc. Next morning we loaded up with provisions and basic linen for a weekend away from civilization. This was not to be an extended trip and so we didn’t need to think about what we’d carry in any detail. I’m sure the professionals plan their provisioning much better!

On The Road

E

ager to be on our way, we had a leisurely run down the M31 (AKA the Hume Highway) towards Goulburn and then the Federal (M23) & Monaro (B23) Highways toward Cooma. What a nice easy drive! Our first stop was Maccas. Not for a meal but for a refreshing cappuccino. We might well have stopped anywhere because we could have made ourselves a good coffee

without leaving the vehicle! Back on the road, freeway driving was a breeze, particularly when using the cruise control! There is great visibility from the driving position and no need to actively steer as we slowly overtook heavy vehicles or encountered cross winds. That was a regular feature of driving an American RV on their freeways! So far almost too easy! What about the narrower, undivided rural roads beyond Cooma? The Fiat Ducato auto/six speed manual front wheel drive was really easy to drive, with a typically European confidence; particularly on the narrow, undulating and sometimes winding roads south of Cooma. Never was it so true to say of this vehicle, ”it was just like driving a car”.


Reader Report | 63

In some areas the road presented additional challenges, including uncertain and sometimes negative camber. At one spot as we drove over a hill we came across a flock of sheep completely filling the road and adjacent long paddock as they were being moved from one property to another. At nearly 4.5 tonnes the Fiat easily pulled up without fuss. We took the tourist picture to show it! The driving experience includes the typical lag of a diesel - particularly in auto mode. Having driven the larger American RV in the USA, which felt like a billboard on a mattress by comparison, particularly when exposed to cross winds, I much preferred the driving experience of the Fiat. Just as important, the vehicle could be easily parked amongst regular cars and SUVs, albeit occupying a little more length than one standard car space.

Al Who?

T

his model comes with the option of enhanced outdoor living with pull-out secondary refrigerator and wash basin; key elements of the ‘Alfresco’ pack. It is just great for sitting out in the afternoon twilight having parked up at a great location; with ready access to a cold one and chilled seafood or similar. Amongst other motorhomers it was just the ticket for enjoying the company of others. We found it quite a magnet (or was it our scintillating personalities?). We also found the living space quite acceptable for two people. The rear slideout made a real difference by setting the main bed back just far enough; some 0.5 m. As we are novices, we were not so used to being efficient in use of the living space, particularly regarding storage. However within 24 hours we found so many places to securely locate things that I’m


64 | Reader Report

sure we could have everything neatly stowed and out of the way yet be self-sufficient for many days at a time. The bulky stuff – chairs and outside table – easily fitted in the rear storage compartment, which was designed to lock the table into place. Nothing worse than bulky goods sliding around! We didn’t cook much as this weekend was one of catered food for most meals. The stove (which operates from the vehicle’s diesel fuel supply rather than gas) is quite slow to heat up. However, it makes sense that the hassle of carrying LP gas is avoided. It just meant being pre-emptive with switching on the required hob. The same fuel for all purposes – engine, stove, hot water and interior heating – is a definite bonus. Despite being in the high country, the weather was mild to warm. So much so that we deployed the large electric operated

awning. Later, while we were out to dinner, the wind blew up. We should probably have retracted the awning. However, it was sturdy enough to tolerate the gusts without bother. Learned experts from other RVs gave wise advice that it was not good practice to leave awnings out when not required, even though no damage was done! We tried to use all the facilities available and I even had fun trying to work out how the Electronic Control System could be connected to my phone. The TV didn’t work at all, but that was only because we were well out of range of any transmission towers. What bliss!

Homeward Bound

A

ll too soon the weekend was over. We packed up, cleaned up and said our goodbyes to our new (and some old)


Reader Report | 65

The optional Alfresco outdoor unit with a fridge, utility drawer and a removable basin with hot and cold running water was a real winner! friends. Driving back we enjoyed the experience Fast Facts even more, having become more familiar with Manufacturer: Trakka the vehicle. Model: Trakkaway 700 Approaching Lake George we left the main Type: B-class coachbuilt road to drive down to the lake lookout. We Vehicle: Fiat Ducato 180 Multijet parked and boiled the kettle for a fresh brew. Licence: Car What a nice spot! Just one other vehicle Price: From $175,000 drive away present and it left while were there, leaving us all alone. How many times over many decades have I driven past this spot in a regular car and never thought to take this small diversion. However, being able to make this small detour was prompted by the capacity to stop and enjoy refreshments without even leaving the vehicle. Such tiny pleasures seem to us to be the basis for motorhoming enjoyment. Maybe next time it will be in our own vehicle!

Special thanks to‌ Trakka 9 Beaumont Road, Mt. Kuring-gai, NSW. 2080 T: 1800 872 552 E: trakka@trakka.com.au W: www.trakka.com.au


66 | Project Polly

WHO’S FUELLING WHO? Slow down and you’ll save fuel. Or will you? by Richard Robertson


Project Polly | 67

Since this photo was taken some 25,000 km have been added to Polly’s odometer. Overall, a fuel figure of approximately 10.5 L/100 km (26.9 mpg) seems to be the average of our mixed but mainly freeway and highway/country road driving.

A

few editorials back I wrote about a new cycling riding style I’ve discovered; one based on limiting heart rate to increase endurance rather than always trying to ride as hard as possible. The new style has been something of an epiphany and has rekindled my dreams of long distance riding, especially as I age. As a mate recently put it, “Go up hills like an old man so that at the top you feel like a young one.” I mused at the time what impact slowing down would have on Polly’s fuel economy, so over the festive season break I did a series of runs to find out. The test involved driving the same 170 km round-trip and mostly freeway loop between a service station on Sydney’s southwestern outskirts and home. Loop one was sitting on 110 km/h, loop two at 100 km/h and loop three at (yawn) 90 km/h. To

be honest I wasn’t looking forward to the challenge because I’m a drive-at-the-speedlimit kind of guy. Also, the thought of being a mobile hazard to the legion of semitrailers and B-doubles that frequent the Hume Freeway didn’t appeal. Digressing for a moment, I’m sure you’ve seen the cartoon of a couple in a motorhome dawdling along and the driver remarking what a lovely day it is and how fortunate they are to have the road to themselves, while a string of irate motorist builds up behind them. Funny as it is there is a real truth to it. For a while, authorities in NSW ran a campaign based on the theme, “The road is there to share.” It must have worked to some degree because it is firmly lodged in my mind. Road use is a privilege not a right and consideration


68 | Project Polly

The general store in New Berrima is a favourite with locals, tradies and truckies, and always has the best prices on the Southern Highlands. As a rule, however, I usually fill up on city fringes and in major country towns. Polly’s 80-litre tank is good for an easy 600-700 kms range, making it (usually) easy to fill up where I want. of other motorists is paramount. A slow vehicle in front might be slow because it simply can’t reach the speed limit, or the driver simply doesn’t want to. On a multi-lane road, as long as that vehicle keeps left it’s not a problem. On a single lane road, however, it can be. If you are driving a slow vehicle and see traffic queueing up behind you, speed up or pull over as soon as it’s safe and let them pass. Consideration works both ways and just because you might feel like wandering along enjoying the view, it doesn’t mean other people have to. End of sermon…

Testing Times

S

o, back to the fuel test and I’m the first to admit it was far from scientific or tightly controlled. Firstly, I did a control run over 204 km of mixed freeway and local driving that set an average consumption of 10.84 L/100 km (26.1 mpg). During the test I filled up at the same service station using the following technique: let it fill to the first clickoff and then top it up until the next click-off. Where possible, I used the same pump. Also, it’s worth noting the homeward leg of the loop


Project Polly | 69 involved a climb from near sea level to around 700 metres altitude, while the return leg was (obviously) ‘down hill’. Here’s how it went: • Loop 1 (110 km/h) produced an average of 11.07 L/100 km (25.5 mpg) • Loop 2 (100 km/h) produced an average of 8.87 L/100 km (31.8 mpg) • Loop 3 (90 km/h) produced an average of 9.35 L/100 km (30.2 mpg) Say what? Yes, 100 km/h produced the best result. What happened? I don’t know, although it’s possible Polly has an optimal cruising speed. However, I will repeat the 90 km/h test and report back next issue because I’m as surprised as you. As I said earlier, this wasn’t a tightly controlled and highly scientific test but then driving in the real world isn’t either. What it does show is that reducing speed saves fuel – hardly surprising – and what I also learned was that driving at 100 km/h on the freeway added little time to my journey and was actually quite relaxing (now forget I said that). Driving at 90 km/h, on the other hand, seemed to add years to the journey and I was constantly watching the mirrors for fast-approaching trucks. The bottom line? If road conditions are right and you have the time, driving slower will save you money. It will also likely reduce your chance of being involved in an accident because you have more time to react to a developing situation (and in the event of an accident the slower the impact the lower the risk of fatal or serious injury, but that’s another topic). The road is certainly there to share. Intelligently and considerately using your privilege to drive on it can greatly add to your travelling enjoyment and financial well-being, with minimal impact on others. It’s something to think about next time you’re filling up. No fuellin’…

" The bottom line? If road conditions are right and you have the time, driving slower will save you money. "


70 | Travel Events: 32nd Illawarra Folk Festival

CMCA

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 | 71

Perenjori, Western Australia

W

erenjori is 368 kilometres northeast of Perth. Although covering approximately 8000 square kilometres, the town has a population of just 600. Gold was discovered back in 1894 and in 1916 it was declared a town site. Perenjori also sits on the ‘Wildflower Way’. Wildflower season, from late August to October, gives travellers the opportunity to see an abundance of orchids, pink and white everlastings and the wreath leschenaultia. The town is also a birdwatchers paradise, with

many water birds seasonally making their way inland to nearby habitats. Within town there are two options for overnight parking; the rest area on Mullewa-Wubin Road, between the Anzac Memorial and Village Green, and the Sports Oval, off Mullewa-Wubin Road. Both offer 24 hour parking at no charge, with access to toilets, bins and water included. Pets are permitted on leads. A free dump point is available at the Perenjori Caravan Park on the corner of Crossing Street and North Road.

Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Perenjori & Districts Visitors Centre Fowler St, Perenjori WA P: 08 9973 1105 (July to October) P: 08 9973 0100 (Off season) www.perenjori.wa.gov.au

Casual Parking (near retail centre)

Fowler St between Smith St & Hesford St

Long Term Parking

Mullewa-Wubin Rd between Anzac Memorial & Village Green, (24hr), nil cost, toilets, bins, c/seating, water, BBQ, pets on lead; or, Sports Oval bitumen car park area off Mullewa-Wubin Rd via Stan Cannon entrance, (24hr), nil cost, toilets, bins, water, pets on lead Perenjori C/P, corner Crossing St & North Rd, (96hr), toilets, showers, BBQ, $12pvpn no power (nonmember), $10.80pvpn no power (CMCA member) Perenjori C/P, corner Crossing St & North Rd, (96hr), toilets, showers, BBQ, $12pvpn no power (nonmember), $10.80pvpn no power (CMCA member) Perenjori C/P; Village Green public toilets, MullewaWubin Rd between Anzac Memorial & Village Green; Sports Oval, off Mullewa-Wubin Rd via Stan Cannon entrance

Short Term Parking

Dump Point

Potable Water


72 | Travel

Portland, New South Wales

P

ortland is a historic mining town 163 kilometres west of Sydney on the Great Western Highway. Surrounded by areas of outstanding natural beauty, it’s close to Wollemi National Park and Gardens of Stone National Park. The town is also famed as “The town that built Sydney” as a result of the Portland Cement Works that opened in 1902. While in Portland, the Town Common is an ideal spot for a picnic, with its 650 acres of

natural bushland, or you can explore the town’s shops and galleries if of more interest. The Charlie Pinch Museum, also worth visiting, showcases an interesting collection of Australian memorabilia. RV parking is available for up to 72 hours at Kremer Park on Lime Street. There is no cost to stay and a dump point, potable water, toilets and bins are conveniently provided.

Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Lithgow Visitor Information Centre

Casual Parking (near retail centre)

1137 Great Western Hwy, Lithgow NSW P: 02 6350 3230 www.tourism.lithgow.com Kremer Park, Lime St, Portland

Short & Long Term Parking

Kremer Park, Lime St, (72hr), nil cost, toilets, bins, water, pets on lead

Dump Point

Kremer Park, Lime St, Portland (Lat Long: -33.35432, 149.97662) Kremer Park, Lime St, Portland

Potable Water


Travel | 73

Wauchope, New South Wales

W

auchope is a beautiful rural township approximately 374 kilometres north of Sydney, in the mid-north coast region of New South Wales. Once a thriving timber town, it’s now a popular tourist destination with vibrant cafes, quirky markets and a variety of boutique stores. Wauchope is also a natural wonderland, surrounded by 40,000 hectares of National Parks and State Forests, and is situated on the Hastings River with Bago Mountain as a back drop. Visitors will find much to do in and around

Wauchope, including the Timbertown Heritage Theme Park, the Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park, and Bago Vineyards. RV travellers are well catered for, with ample parking options and good facilities. The camping ground adjacent to Andrews Park on Cameron Street offers overnight parking at no charge, with toilets and bins provided. For longer stays of up to 96 hours, Wauchope Showground on High Street has sites for $20 per vehicle per night plus a dump point and potable water.

Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Greater Port Macquarie Visitor Information Centre The Glasshouse, corner Clarence St & Hay St Port Macquarie 2444 P: 1300 303 155 www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au

Casual Parking (near retail centre)

Andrews Park, Cameron St Wauchope

Short Term Parking

Adjacent to Andrews Park, Cameron St, (24hr), nil cost, toilets, bins, pets on lead

Long Term Parking

Wauchope Showground, 93A High St, or access on Thatcher St via Wade St, (96hr), toilets, water, power, live in caretaker, pets on lead, $20pvpn (up to 2 people) paid to caretaker Wauchope Showground, 93A High St Wauchope (Lat Long: -31.457882, 152.724691).

Dump Point

Potable Water

Wauchope Showground, 93A High St Wauchope


74 | Travel: My Town

Over The Hill! There is always plenty to see and do in Broken Hill.. By Sharon Hollamby TBroken Hill, the famous mining town at the far western edge of NSW, sits near the border with South Australia and at the intersection of the Barrier and Silver City Highways. It might be known as the Silver City to some, but local resident JR Mitchell reckons it deserves gold. JR has a disability and was frustrated by the lack of understanding towards the disabled by some people on Facebook travel sites, so he decided to start his own. The numbers quickly escalated to over 800 and a meet up was soon planned. Knowing how disabled-friendly Broken Hill is, JR was keen to show off his town to others in the group. “This is where Broken Hill does excel. It’s something the Council here is very aware of and even now they are re-evaluating and


Travel | 75 planning,” he said. JR was thrilled when everyone in town got behind the planned meet up. “The Council even asked us to give feedback on a new campground which will be opening soon,” he said. What’s Broken Hill best known for? “Well mining is one of the big things. There are three mines still operating and while you can’t go into them we do have one that shows how the mines used to work, and a mining museum with a two hour tour. In fact it is so interesting that a couple of people from our group went back for another look.” When’s the best time to visit? “From May to November we have temperatures in the high teens. January to March can be hot with temperatures around 40 degrees for days at a time, but your prime time would be September to November, weather wise.’ What are the top things to see and do? “The Palace Hotel has lots of interesting artwork, Priscilla memorabilia and historical photos. Then there are the Sand Sculptures and 34 Art galleries; one of them is the famous Pro Hart Gallery, while Jack Absalom – who

just turned 89 – is still in his gallery every day talking to people. He is such an iconic character.” What about major festivals and events? “We have the St. Pat’s Day races in March, which is a weekend event with stalls, fashion parades and entertainment. There are the Broken Hill Races in November and we just had The Priscilla Drag Queen Festival, with the actual bus that was used in the movie leading the parade. We have markets, car clubs, and just recently some restored buses from the 30s, 40s and 50s came to town. There is no reason to be bored in Broken Hill because there is always something happening.” Where’s the best place for coffee? “That’s an easy one for me, I love the Outback Café. They have only been open a couple of months but their cakes are absolutely amazing and the service is excellent. They are wheelchair friendly and you can sit inside or out.” What about the best places to eat? “Value for money, you can’t go past the Musicians’ Club. They have $12 lunch specials


76 | Travel and a normal menu. I’ve never had a bad meal there and the service is always great. What’s good to see and do at night? “Definitely go out to the sand sculptures at sunset with a bottle of wine and some nibbles. The view of the Outback is magnificent in all its splendour, and looking the other way you can have a panoramic view of Broken Hill. Another amazing place is the Outback Astronomy where you can lay back on the lounges provided and listen as the stars and constellations are explained. They even won a gold medal in the regional tourist awards last year.” How do the locals relax? “Well, sport is a big part of the town and we have a few clubs. We’re not really any different from any other town in that respect. It is a very community orientated and supportive town. Recommended Picnic Spots? “There are at least half a dozen good ones in town. Zinc Park just re-opened and Zinc lake is full at the moment, so it is lovely there. South Paton Street is another good one but there are parks with lawn and shade scattered all through Broken Hill.” Where are the best camping spots? “Broken Hill Racecourse Campground is a nice environment. It is a basic camp but very clean and you get to park on the lawn. A powered site is only $25 a night and although it is not fully disabled friendly that is being rectified now. The Council also asked our group to give their new campground a trial run, which was fantastic. It is in the valley with a short walk up to the Sand Sculptures and should be open in the next couple of months.” What about shopping with easy parking? “There are three main shopping areas. In the main street we have a range of specialty stores and we have two big shopping centres


Travel | 77 with supermarkets. We have plenty of parking in the main street and the shopping centres have lots of shade. Special parking areas are available for caravans and motorhomes, and all within easy walking distance to the centre.” Do you have facilities for visitors wanting to keep fit? “It depends what you want to do. We have a couple of gyms, about eight sports grounds, and a swimming centre with a spa.” Do you have any specialised disabled facilities? “This is where Broken Hill does excel, I think it is one of the most disabled-friendly towns in Australia. It is something the Council is very

aware of and they are constantly re-evaluating and planning, so just about everywhere you go is disabled friendly.” Finally, what do you think makes Broken Hill special? “There are two things. I love the climate here but it is the people that make it outstanding. People here have grown up knowing that they have to help themselves and be community orientated to make sure the services meet the community’s needs. In organising our event, everyone was happy to help and I could not have asked for better.

Fast Facts Broken Hill Visitor Information Centre Council’s Administrative Centre, 240 Blende Street Broken Hill NSW 2880 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday Email: council@brokenhill.nsw.gov.au Casual Parking – Ample parking in the main St and under shade at the shopping centres. Short Term Parking – Thackaringa Rest Area. Toilets, water, fireplace and picnic table. Situated 36 km west of Broken Hill Long Term Parking – Broken Hill Racecourse (Racecourse Rd) $15 unpowered, $25 powered. Dump point and amenities. Dump Point – At the rear of Broken Hill tourist information centre (Blende St), Broken Hill Racing Club, Racecourse Rd. Potable Water – Subject to rainfall.

Hospital: Broken Hill Hospital (Thomas St.) 08 80801333 Doctor: Broken Hill GP Super Clinic (Thomas St) – 08 80887044, South Medical Centre – (Patton St) 08 80883350 Dentist: The Dental Centre (Lodide St) 08 80873576 Pharmacy: Outback Pharmacies (Argent St) 08 80873326, Amcal Pharmacy (McCulloch St) 08 80874238 Supermarket: Foodland: (Beryl St) 08 80872657, Coles (South Rd) 08 80800100, Woolworths (Westside Plaza) 0880802602


78 | Mobile Tech

Assistive Technologies

A new app that makes verbal conversations accessible for the deaf and hearing impaired. By Emily Barker

O

f all the areas technology affects in our daily lives, it’s perhaps made its largest impact upon our social interactions. Technology has also given everyone a voice; and in the case of some social media platforms, an unfiltered, hugely public forum with zero censorship and even less accountability. Last year has been described as the year social media became the ‘loudest and most ¬influential force in our lives’. America even has a new President-elect to prove it! The flip side, though, is a positive one. Despite being less lucrative, social apps dedicated to increasing

accessibility for people with disabilities are steadily increasing. Ava is one of these ground-breaking apps, the first of its kind to make in real-time verbal group conversations accessible for the deaf or hearing impaired. In another score for social technology and humanity, this app was actually crowdfunded by a public Indiegogo campaign. Recognising the fact that Sign language and lip reading in group situations is an onerous task in both social and professional contexts, the developers decided to break down these communication barriers using voice


Mobile Tech | 79 recognition technology. Utilising a distributed microphone system on all devices the app can distinguish individual people, then translate their words and display them in real time on the app just like a group text message. The app uses voice recognition technologies to show a colour-coded transcript of the conversation, which improves in accuracy over time. The deaf and hard of hearing can read what is going on as it happens and even reply via their own text. Suitable for many different situations, from the supermarket checkout to the classroom or family gatherings, this app can replace often expensive translators in professional settings and relieve the pressure for the hearing who cannot sign. Its reallife, real-time, live closed-captioning at your fingertips. In tech terms this app is already ahead of its time. Version 1.0 was released in early November 2016 and the updates and optimisations are an ongoing process. Anyone who has ever had an argument with Apple’s Siri knows just how frustrating artificial intelligence miscommunication can be, but there is the option to tap on words that Ava gets wrong to teach her. With time and use she will get better at understanding you and your peers’ voices. The app offers a range of communication options and plans. These start with a free basic plan that allows unlimited access to captioning for one-on-one conversations and when joining conversations with others, and five hours monthly access to captioning with Ava for conversations you’re hosting. Monthly plans are also available offering unlimited hosting options. You can connect in group conversations with others who have the app by sharing your unique ‘AvaID’ and even communicate with other Ava users all over the world. The app requires no internet connection for transcribing live conversations and uses no more battery than if you were live-streaming audio.

This app has loads of potential and is attracting worldwide interest, and its usability is only going to improve with time. Hearing loss or impairment can be an isolating and frustrating experience, but Ava empowers inclusion for everyone. Name: Ava Communicate Beyond Barriers. Platforms: iOS only at this stage Size: 61.7 MB Cost: Free


80 | What’s On?

What's On? 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!

QUEENSLAND

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! 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!

3 – Surfers Paradise: Sand Safari Arts Festival. Described as a memorable and interactive beachside event this unique arts festival runs for three weeks incorporating the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships. Inspired by the theme ‘Mystical Creatures of the Deep’ the Surfers Paradise foreshore and Gold Coast cityscape will be transformed with life-sized sand sculptures and large-scale inflatable art exhibits. 11 – Brisbane: Brisbane Street Art Festival. The Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF) is an annual multi-platform public arts and music festival with a core objective of showcasing local, national and international art on a wide public platform. 11 – Bundaberg: Bundaberg Chinese New Year Celebrations. Experience the colour and excitement of China’s longest and most important


What’s On? | 81 festival and welcome in the Year of the Rooster. Highlights include authentic performances from artists from Bundaberg’s sister city Nanning; lively dragon and lion dancing, and a dazzling fireworks display. 16-19 – Chinchilla: Chinchilla Melon Festival. Celebrate the mighty melon with a quirky Queensland-style weekend of melon sports and activities; some that will have to be seen to be believed!

23 – Innisfail: Feast of the Senses Inc. The Feast of the Senses is North Queensland’s premier tropical food event! Showcasing their amazing variety of exotic tropical fruits, produce, seafoods and meats it is like no other festival in Australia – and truly a feast for all your senses!

24 – Ipswich: CMC Rocks QLD. CMC Rocks Queensland is the biggest international country and roots festival in the Southern Hemisphere. It promises an explosive array of international and national country music superstars over three 17-19 – Agnes Waters: Agnes Blues, Roots and massive days and nights! Rock Festival. Three days of the best live blues, roots and rock music around. Featuring a jam 26 – Felton: Felton Food Festival. Experience packed entertainment line-up of talented musicians a weekend of authentic country life at the Felton and artists, enjoy a long weekend of great music, Food Festival. Held annually in March, the Festival free workshops and atmospheric entertainment. is a showcase of everything that the Felton Valley is famous for. With an impressive line-up of special 25 – Toowoomba: Have a Go Festival. guests it’s a weekend not to be missed. Ever wanted to have a go at a heritage trade? Now’s your chance at the Cobb & Co Museum. 29 – New Farm: Myriad. Brace yourself for a Experience a range of traditional and modern three day technology and startup festival packed trades and skills, from blacksmithing to airbrush with local and international speakers, interactive art. Meet the artisans, get your hands dirty and technology experiences and mind blowing live have a sneak peek behind the scenes. entertainment. Myriad offers a world class program of events, workshops and activities aimed to generate global connections for small businesses, entrepreneurs and investors alike. 11 – Kingaroy: Wine and Food in the Park Celebrating its 18th year this festival is coming of age in style! Food, wine, entertainment and live music; sample the best of the best in the heart of Queensland’s newest wine region. 15 – Mudgeeraba: Somerset Celebration of Literature. The Somerset Celebration of Literature Festival is the writers’ festival for the Gold Coast, and noted as Australia’s premier youth literature festival. Featuring more than 30 Australian and international authors and illustrators, you can experience panel sessions, workshops and much more! 22 – South Brisbane: World Science Festival Brisbane. Bringing together the World’s best thought leaders to produce a stunning program of live and digital content that connects AsiaPacific audiences of all ages with the concepts, challenges, discoveries and advancements shaping our world!

31 – Currumbin: Bleach Festival. The signature annual multi-arts festival of the Gold Coast, celebrating the City’s best artists, plus Australian and international collaborators. It engages a broad audience through a range of accessible events. For more Queensland events click here!


82 | What’s On? NEW SOUTH WALES

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

11-15 – Parkes: Parkes Elvis Festival. Celebrate 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!

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.

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.

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


What’s On? | 83 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.

28-29 – Kandos: Kandos Street Machine and Hot Rod Show. An annual action packed event sure to impress any motor-enthusiast.

4-25 – Katoomba: The Roaring 20s Festival and All That Jazz! Some festivals need an entire month to celebrate. Held at various locations throughout the Blue Mountains, doff your fedora, polish your pearls and celebrate the golden era of opulence, architecture and jazz music. Experience 1920s-style balls in historic grand ballrooms, the Charleston Challenge, a long lunch, high teas, jazz and blues performances, historical walks, dinner shows and much more. 16-26 – Orange: Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival. Australian Bush poets are an iconic and important part of our national heritage. Celebrate the most famous of them all, Banjo Patterson, in his home district. The 2017 Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival program is a ‘whole community’ Festival that will also showcase the diversity the region has to offer. 17-26 – Toronto: LakeFest. Lakefest is a celebration of Lake Macquarie’s aquatic lifestyle and rich maritime history. The Heaven Can Wait regatta involves sailing yachts, dinghies and skiffs racing around Lake Macquarie for up to 24 hours and raises money for Cancer Council NSW. Lakefest will include sailing events and waterbased sporting and social activities including a Twilight Race, Paddlefest, and Junior Pirate Fun Race.

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 events from long lunches, beer and wine tasting to the famous ‘Chooks Tour’, plus Village strolls to uncover the best of local providores.

20 – Condobolin: Condobolin Picnic Races. Experience the best of country hospitality at one of the Central West’s leading country picnic race meets! 24-26 – Murrurundi: King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge and Bush Festival. Showcasing the traditional skills of Australian stockmen and women through an exciting and intense four day competition. Competitors accumulate points for cattle work, pack-horse work, bareback riding, target whip cracking, horseshoeing, and cross country jumping. The bush Festival program features a host of traditional and entertaining activities.


84 | What’s On? 24-26 – Cobargo: Cobargo Folk Festival. Attracting performers from all over the world this festival offers a broad range of musical entertainment. Offering a fun-filled and familyfriendly weekend of music, dance, song, comedy and poetry. 25-26 – Tumbarumba: Tumbafest. Described as a celebration of music, food and country lifestyle, this two-day festival offers something for everyone. Attractions include a jam-packed schedule of main stage entertainment, sublime regional wines, regional food and produce, extensive food stalls, wine tasting and a farmers’ market. 26-27 – Taree: Artisan Expo. Get up close and personal with some of Australia’s best artisans as they exhibit their wares and their skills.

2-5 – Dunedoo: Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival. Four days of bush poetry competitions, street theatre, puppetry, music, market stalls and comedy entertainment. 10-12 – Kiama: Kiama Jazz and Blues Festival. Three days and nights of jazz and blues, held across more than 30 venues within the Kiama region. Free entry into all venues and over 50 performances covering a wide range of musical styles. 11 – Bermagui: Bermagui Seaside Fair. Annual free fun-filled day of festivities, entertainment and activities for everyone. 10-12 – Henty: Henty 4WD and Outdoor Adventure Expo. Showcasing the best four wheel drive, touring, camping, fishing, hunting, tourism and outdoor adventure industries, the Expo offers patrons a spy, try and buy experience, as well as interactive entertainment, all in the one location.

4 – Orange: Crafted Live: Brewed and BBQ’d. Australia’s finest brewers and cider makers join with some of the best competition barbecuing teams from around the country to produce a sensational collision of food and drink!

11-12 – Junee: Junee Rhythm ‘n’ Rail Festival. Celebrate Junee’s long and significant rail history with a weekend of fun and festivities including steam train shuttles, excellent food and wine and plenty of music.

4 – Lockhart: Lockhart Vintage Verandah Fest. National Historic Truck and Commercial Vehicle Show celebrating transport history, past and present. Markets, auctions, open gardens and heritage displays!

12 – Merimbula: EAT Merimbula. A food festival dedicated to showcasing the diverse and indulgent bounty of the Sapphire coast region. The skilled hands of local chefs turn the region’s harvest into an epicurean experience to be savoured. 17-19 – Katoomba: Blue Mountains Music Festival. Three days of folk, blues and roots set in the picturesque Blue Mountains. 27-28 – Wauchope: Lasiandra Festival. Community orientated event filled with fun, festivities, food and fashion.

4-5 – Kariong: Girrakool Blues Festival and Barbecue. For a taste of the Deep South blended with rich indigenous Australian culture, experience a New Orleans-styled themed fusion festival. Featuring a weekend of quality, international, national and local blues and roots acts. 3-13 – Bermagui: Sculpture Bermagui. Indoor and outdoor large scale annual sculpture exhibition.

14-19 – Corowa: 38th Annual Corowa SwimIn & Military Vehicle Gathering. The Southern Hemispheres largest gathering of ex-military vehicles, featuring collectors, restorers and enthusiasts from around the globe. 17-19 – Narrandera: Narrandera John O’Brien Bush Poetry Festival. The Australian Festival of Word and Song. The John O’Brien Festival seeks to inspire a new generation of bush poets by hosting a number of poetry writing and recital competitions each year, along with


What’s On? | 85 an appropriately themed short story writing competition. 13-20 – Armidale: Armidale Autumn Festival. Experience the highlight of the Armidale community with a festive celebration of colour, music, food and local atmosphere. 18-25 – Lord Howe Island: LHI Rockfest. A weeklong showcase of free concerts and live entertainment. Incorporating Lord Howe Island bird week, there’s something for everyone.

VICTORIA

14-17 – Frankston: Waterfront Festival. An open air, all-ages free summertime music event. Something for everyone at this beachfront community party!

18 – Broken Hill: St Patricks Race Day. Join the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Outback and party in true style! 24 – Corowa: Festival of International Understanding. Held each year to celebrate a guest nation, it features a festival parade, street stalls, and many other events and ceremonies. 24 – Byron Bay: Boomerang Festival. A new world Indigenous festival for all Australians. The first of its kind, featuring an array of music, dance, theatre, comedy, film and visual arts, along with cultural knowledge exchanges, and thought provoking conversations. 26-27 – Yamba: Big River Brew Fest. It’s a celebration of the backyard brewer as judges try and find the best homebrewer in the region! 25 – Bathurst: Soar, Ride and Shine. With a retro 40s and 50s theme this family fun day is a showcase of vehicles of all descriptions. Enjoy a spectacular air show, pin-up competition and a host of engaging displays and festivities.

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. 22-22 – Werribee: 10th National Clydesdale and Heavy Horse Festival. A festive weekend celebrating equestrian culture and the mighty heavy horse. 26-30 – Lexton: Rainbow Serpent Festival. A world class music and arts festival celebrating Australia’s unique cultural significance.

27 – Orange: Orange Camel Races. It’s the race that stops the Outback! Supporting Camp Quality, this family fun day is a quirky event filled with wholesome fun and festivities.

4 – Yarra Valley: A Day on the Green. Described as an ‘experience’, come and discover good food, fine wine and great music in magnificent locations.

31 – Leeton: Leeton Sunrice Festival. Held biennially at Easter during the rice harvest and celebrating the importance of the rice industry to the community.

10-12 – Melbourne: Sustainable Living Festival - Big Weekend. A celebration that sustains the nation! A free festival that seeks to inspire and empower everyday Australians to accelerate their uptake of sustainable living.

For more New South Wales events click here!

10-12 – Lakes Entrance: Lakes Entrance Antique and Collectible Fair. One of the largest displays of antiques, collectibles and old wares in East Gippsland. There will be dozens of stalls selling a huge variety of antiques and collectibles!


86 | What’s On? 24-26 – Melbourne: Australian Romance Readers Convention. The fifth annual event that brings together romance readers, authors and publishers, providing an opportunity to talk about all things related to romance fiction. 25 – Frankston: Frankston Antiques and Collectables Fair. Supporting local charity, everything you’d expect to find in an Antique fair including valuations.

3-5 – Avalon Airport: Australian International Airshow. Delivering one of the most exciting and diverse flying display programs ever seen in Australia. From the thunder of military fighter jets to the snarl of warbirds; a unique mix of military, commercial, antique, airsport, rotor and general aviation aircraft will thrill all visitors! 11-12 – Rutherglen: Tastes of Rutherglen. Rutherglen’s premiere wine and gourmet food event. With award-winning partnering with leading regional chefs and producers, Tastes of Rutherglen is the perfect way to sample the best of what the region has to offer.

for the Moomba Parade, as well as the wild and wacky Birdman Rally! 11-13 – Ballarat: Ballarat Begonia Festival. Regional Victoria’s largest flower festival, attracting more than 60,000 spectators annually. Held on the Victorian Labour Day long weekend this three day event has something for everyone. Flowers, celebrity gardeners, markets, entertainment, kids’ activities and a community parade. 24-26 - Yackandandah Folk Festival. A Celebration of music and community, with a great reputation for providing some of the best overseas and touring acts, while encouraging younger performers. 25 – Beechworth: High Country Hops Festival. Bringing together the four brewers of the High Country Brewery Trail to showcase their products and celebrate the region’s brewers and hop growers. Featuring local food producers, musicians, performers, children’s activities and even a chance to try your hand at some archery. 17-26 - Castlemaine State Festival. A 10 day extravaganza of art, music, film, culture and fun. The program is packed full of captivating events in some of Australia’s finest Gold Rush-era venues. 29-31 – Melbourne: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Not to be missed and in its 20th year, this is the biggest annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere. Held at the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, it’s set to explode with colour and design! 30 – Melbourne: Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2017. Indulge in the rich and vibrant coffee culture Melbourne is famous for

10-12 - Swan Hill Region Food & Wine Festival. A three day indulgent event, taste your way around 30 – Corryong: The Man from Snowy River the region at the many fine food and wine stalls as Bush Festival. An internationally recognised and you take in the music, festivities and entertainment. unique bush gathering of mountain riders, poets, artists, plus lovers of the Australian High Country 10-13 – Melbourne: Moomba Festival. and pioneering spirit. Australia’s largest community festival with a uniquely Melbourne program of activities, and 31 - Melbourne: Food and Wine Festival. events held on the banks of the iconic Yarra River. Internationally renowned and held over 10 days Enjoy talented local performers, the Moomba throughout Melbourne and its regional surrounds, Masters’ world-class water sports; pro scoot, this annual event is a gastronomical showcase of skate and BMX comps; hospitality offerings from unforgettable food and wine experiences. local traders; floats inspired by the community 29 – Melbourne: Melbourne International


What’s On? | 87 Comedy Festival. Forget the doom, gloom and stresses of the modern world; the Festival brings three and a half weeks of wholehearted happiness to all corners of the city! For more Victorian events click here!

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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.

10-11– McLaren Vale: Fleurieu Film Festival. A fun dog-friendly summer film festival described as “A feast for all the senses under the stars”.

24-26 – Adelaide: Cellar Door Festival. Meet, taste and discover thousands of South Australia’s finest wines and tasty treats at the annual Cellar Door Festival. Showcasing internationally renowned brands through to niche boutique producers, the festival provides the ultimate day out for wine and food lovers. 25-26 – Goolwa: South Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Held over two days this biannual event is an exciting mix of wooden boats, people, food, wine and entertainment!

2-5 – Adelaide: Clipsal 500 Adelaide. Australia’s largest motorsport event has more

high-octane thrills and an unmissable line-up of entertainment. 3-19 - Adeliade: Adelaide Festival. In addition to international theatre, eclectic music, dance pieces and breathtaking art, the Adelaide Festival also includes Writers’ Week. 10-13 – Adelaide: WOMADelaide. Set in the serene Botanic Gardens, the festival is celebrating 25 years of global music, food, thought and creativity. 24-25 – Limestone Coast: Adelaide Fringe in Mt Gambier. A sensational program of visual arts events, spectacular performances and jazz music. For more South Australian events click here!

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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. 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.


88 | What’s On?

10 – Perth: Perth International Arts Festival. Held over three weeks and one of Western Australia’s premier cultural events, the Perth International Arts Festival is a feast of joyous, cutting-edge performances and activities for all ages. Experience some of the world’s best international and contemporary theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts and literature. This international festival is a wonderful display of creativity and talent providing amazing entertainment for all. 11 – Katanning: Katanning Concert in the Park. Katanning is celebrating the opening of its new amphitheatre. The Inaugural Concert is a free family event that will include music, food vans and lots of festivities. 11- Busselton: South West Craft Beer Festival. Because beer can never be over appreciated! Sample the region’s finest brews – from the more traditional pale ales and pilsners to creations like ginger and chocolate beer whilst listening to live music from local South West artists on the main stage.

17 - Boyup Brook: Boyup Brook Country Music Festival. Starting with a free street carnival followed by a ute and truck muster, and all the boot-scooting you can handle. Featuring premium local, national and international country music artists.

3-6 – Nannup: Nannup Music Festival. A vibrant weekend full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. Showcasing national and international musical talent and offering a diverse program of concerts, workshops, dance and activities for people of all ages and musical tastes.

5 – Denmark: Summer Music – Jazztrix. An afternoon of opulent music, food, wine and beer, set in the Rockcliffe Winery. 5-6 – Perth: 2017 Community Fair. Celebrating 30 years of bringing the community together, the Rotary Club of North Perth is proud to present the 2017 Hyde Park Community Fair. There is something for everyone at this year’s event, including live entertainment, arts and crafts, market stalls, rides, kids activities, car show, demonstrations, popup bar, food and more! For more Western Australian events

click here!

TASMANIA

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! 27-28 – Hobart: Beerfest. Experience Tasmania’s most exciting Craft Beer and Food Festival and the grand finale of festivities for Tasmanian Beer Lovers Week.


What’s On? | 89 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.

12 – Devonport: Taste the Harvest. Delight your taste buds with Tasmanian food and wine, and enjoy the exhibits, entertainment, tours and competitions. Something for everyone from the young to the young at heart!

10-12 – Launceston: Festivale. Celebrate Tasmanian food and wine al fresco style in Launceston’s historic City Park. An opportunity to taste and savour highly renowned Tasmanian gourmet food, wine, beer and cider amid all the colour and fun of family entertainment, dance, music and street theatre. 10-13 – Hobart: Australian Wooden Boat Festival. A spectacular four day biannual celebration of maritime culture and craftsmanship. The biggest maritime event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere!

11 – Westbury: Westbury Irish Festival. Let down your hair, kick up your heels and get your green on at this easy going entertainment packed family festival.

17-26 – Flinders Island: Feast and Forage. A week long calendar of events held during the last week of summer, celebrating local Flinders produce and island lifestyle.

19 – Hobart: Estia Greek Street Festival. An iconic event representing the proud Greek culture. A day of fun, food and entertainment with various displays, food stalls and arts and craft exhibitions.

18-26 – Hobart: Clarence Jazz Festival. Coming of age in its 21st year this lifestyle festival offers free concerts, fantastic local cuisine and a convivial air to dance, drink and swing into Tasmania’s mild summer nights.

26 – Hobart: Moonah Taste of the World Festival. Feast all the senses with this vibrant multicultural celebration of the rich cultural diversity of the Glenorchy municipality through food, dance and cultural activities from around the world.

19 – Hobart: Festa Italia. A family friendly community event that celebrates all things Italian, including live music, gourmet food and specialised wines. With displays from the various regions, car and motorbike displays, cooking demonstrations, grape crushing, watermelon and of course spaghetti eating competitions!

For more Tasmanian events click here!

23-26 – Rosebery: Rosebery Festival. A vibrant lifestyle festival celebrating community and culture.

4-5 – Hobart: AICon. Tasmania’s longest running popular culture convention. Bringing together a diverse range of interests through multiple avenues, such as Japanese animation, comic books, popular TV series, movies, alternative fashion, video games and more.

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!

19 – Bathurst Island: Tiwi Islands Annual Football Art Sale. Take the opportunity to visit Bathurst Island to buy Tiwi art and craft at


90 | What’s On? community prices and catch the displays in the grand final.

be comedy, performance art, food and wine stalls, street parties, live music, circus-style acts and more!

3-12 – Canberra: Enlighten. The Nation’s Capital is transformed into a vibrant arts precinct as iconic architecture is transformed with stunning light displays and exclusive musical and entertainment performances. 25 – Timber Creek: Circle F Easter Fishing Competition. Every Easter long weekend, Timber Creek holds is very own Circle F Easter Fishing Competition. Fishing enthusiast and families are invited to join the locals of Timber Creek for a great weekend!

20-26 – Canberra: Canberra Comedy Festival. The finest comedy talent descends upon the ACT for a week of hilarious entertainment.

For more Northern Territory events click here!

ACT 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.

26 – Canberra: Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular. Held on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, experience a spectacular light show celebrating Australia Day!

17-19 – Canberra: National Multicultural Festival. Eat, drink, laugh and dance your way around the world! Celebrate difference, share traditions and experience performances. There will

For more ACT events click here!


Advertisers' Index | 91

Advertisers' Index 4x4 Motorhomes Australia

14

Parkland RV Centre

AirBag Man 

30

Redarc31

Albury Wodonga RV World 

7

30

Robert’s RV World

30

Amphibian30

RV Specialists

30

Australian Motor Homes

Solarscreen31

8

Win a RV Adventure with Avida

15

Ballina Campers

25

Battery Traders Super Store

30

Caravan & Motorhome Books

29

Skytracks31

Caravan & Motorhome Covers

31

Sunliner3

Southern Highlands  Service Centre

29

Southern Spirit Campervans

31

Duvalay29

Taronga Western Plains Zoo

30

e-Twow Electric Scooters

31

Tiffin Motorhomes

31

Grey Nomad Tax Advisers

29

Tiffin Motorhomes

49

Horizon Motorhomes

10

iTech World

30

iMotorhome tours – Route 66

5

Keybar Towing

17

Motorhome Doctor

23

Nomadic Solutions

31

Northcoach Equipment

13

Outback Travel Australia

28

OzCampers29 Paradise Motor Homes

21

Paradise Sales & Service

27

Trakka19 Wellington Shire

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Winjana RV

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Wirraway Motor Homes

22


CHANCE DISCOVERIES… Zealand back’ for all you lovers of big rear windows.

Next month we kick off with a chance discovery Malcolm found in his travels; a white box with no branding that is in fact a compact 4-berth ex-rental from New Zealand – called a Discovery! Sold through the RV Super Centre in Melbourne, it’s a low mileage B-class on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter that has a ‘New

FEB

Jan 20-22

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20-22

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22-27Feb

Our second test is still being sorted (that’s what happens when an industry closes up over the Festive Season!) but watch for a clue in our mid-January email. Project Polly will be back as she is our test-bed for the RV-specific Garmin GPS systems we’re taking to America for our Route 66 tour, plus we’ll have more travel, apps and, well, just more! Issue 110 will be out on Saturday 4 February but until then why not join our more than Friends and followers 32,000 Facebook on Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram ?

09-12

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09-12

Geelong Outdoor Living Show

Newcastle Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo

Geelong Showground 79 Breakwater Rd, Breakwater. Vic. 3219

Newcastle Entertainment Centre & Showground Broadmeadow. NSW. 2292.

• • • • •

• • • •

Open 9:30-4:00 (3:00 Sunday) Parking: Free Adults: $15 Seniors: $12 Kids: U17 Free

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

Parking: Free Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Kids: U16 Free

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

NOV

04-06

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NOV

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JAN

Feb 22-27 11-13 09-12 20-22

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22-27

Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow Melbourne Showgrounds Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale. Vic. • Open 9:30-5:00 (2:30 final day) • Parking: Commercial nearby • Adults: $20 • Seniors: $16 • Kids: U17 free with adult

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 info@imotorhome.com.au and we’ll happily promote it in this calendar.

Profile for iMotorhome Magazine

iMotorhome Australia Issue 109 – 07 January 2017  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!

iMotorhome Australia Issue 109 – 07 January 2017  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!

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