What’ s in
ISSUE 110: FEBRUARY 2017
the Box? Win!
$50 for the! best letter
THL’s Discovery 4 is quite all white… Reader Report Our Bespoke Sunliner…
Garmin GPS gives the big picture!
All aboard the Sorrento-Queenscliff ferry
All Smiles Sorrento!
2 | About iMotorhome
iMotorhome Magazine is published 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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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
W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368 E: email@example.com Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street T: 0418 256 126 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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4 | On my mind
This and That…
ur switch to monthly publishing has provided welcome respite from the week-on week-off schedule of the last four and three quarter years. The reality is, however, now we have iMotorhome New Zealand all that’s really happened is we get a longer break after publishing. We’re still producing two magazines a month, just crammed into a shorter period. I’ve long suspected publishing two issues of iMotorhome Australia a month was too much and that many people skipped issues because there’d be another one along in two weeks. It’s early days yet, but looking at our download figures since we effectively went monthly in December could be backing up that idea. December/January has always been our quietest time due to the festive season and summer holidays. For that reason we used to publish two issues in December as normal, but skip the first one in January (with the expected drop in January downloads). This time around we did a single issue in both months and guess what – December 2016 was a gnat’s whisker short of December 2015’s figures, while January this year was about 30% up on January last year (and higher than any preceding December)! Perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder? Time will tell… Now, a question for you: What have I promised to write about or report on over the last years that I haven’t delivered? I’m sure there are many things that have slipped off my to-do list over time and if you’re still waiting patiently to see your request in print I do apologise! So here’s the new deal: Send me a reminder for anything from the past, or if you have a new question or suggestion, remind me in a couple of months if nothing appears!
Finally, I’m closing the bookings on our inaugural Route 66 Tour on February 14 (see NEWS). We still have two vehicles left and it would be great to fill them, not only financially of course, but also to run the tour at capacity to make sure our logistics work. I realise we put this tour together at short notice and quite a few people have said 2018 is looking much better, time wise, but if you’d like to join us please let me know now. I think this inaugural tour will be something special and Mrs iMotorhome and I can’t wait to retrace the steps of our first adventure down the Mother Road in 2013! Speaking of tours, planning is finally underway on our 14 day Taste of New Zealand adventure from Auckland to Christchurch from 2 to 15 October. The dates are tentative but are unlikely to change much, now all I’ve got to do is fill in the details and price it! Breathtaking scenery aside the emphasis will be on experiences of culture, food and wine/ beer. And like Route 66 the tour will be limited to six customer vehicles to ensure exclusivity and personal service. I already have about half a dozen expressions of interest, but if you’re interested please drop me a line and I’ll add you to the advanced notice list. Now that 2017 is well under way, school is back and our relentlessly hot summer only has one month to officially run, here’s wishing you safe travels and all the best for the year ahead. See you in autumn!
A GAME CHANGING RV IS COMING
Coming to a Sunliner Dealer near you. February 2017
6 | Contents
Who we are, where and other legal stuff
Find back issues and more on our website
On my Mind This and That…
On Your Mind
Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!
Day Test: THL Discovery 4
Reader Report: Our Bespoke Sunliner
Project Polly: The Big Picture!
Travel: Ferry Good Alternative?
What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond
The latest Marketplace offers
Malcolm checks out an interesting near-new ex-rental from New Zealand…
Grab some inspiration from these clever DIY mods…
Road testing the huge Garmin 760LMT RV-specific GPS
Is the ferry a good alternative when transiting Melbourne?
All Smiles Sorrento
Sleep apps to help you zzzzzzz
An A to Z of who’s in this issue!
Macedon Ranges Music Festival
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
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Resources | 9 resources
Magazine Resources Just click any of the links below!
$50 for the best letter!
Dalgety Report! Project Polly
A little bit of spit ’n polish!
Three more RV Friendly Towns to consider…
106: NOV 05 2016
Deluxe Offering! Our reader weekend in Dalgety was a great success
Ask a Question
Suncamper’s Sovereign Deluxe offers comfort and some interesting features…
On your mind | 11
Win $50 for the best letter!
It’s only fitting that since Ed has his say in On My Mind, you should be able to have yours too. If you have anything to say – or ask – just drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share it with our readers. We’ll also reward the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with $50 to help you on your way.
any readers of iMotorhome will be aware of the 1 January changes to Government Pension assets levels, as mentioned in Issue 109. I would like to remind all readers of the need to correctly report the value of assets to Centrelink, as this can affect pension amounts. The values that Centrelink require are what you would receive if you were to sell the asset. This would be particularly relevant to motorhome and caravan owners, as these are a major asset. Even if you have only recently purchased your motorhome, do not report the amount that it cost you. It is no longer worth that amount. Do not even report the amount that you would need to pay to replace it with the same model. Both of those
amounts are more than you would get if you were to sell it. Find out what you might receive as a trade-in; how much a dealer would pay to buy it from you or what commission they would charge to sell it for you. Take into account their fees, because they reduce the value it is to you. Work on the lowest value you can find, with evidence to support the value. Also, remember it is not the same as insurance value. Replacement cost is not selling value. If necessary, talk to your financial adviser. Regards, Eric Thanks Eric, that’s great advice. Please accept this issue’s $50 reward for clarifying this potentially confusing situation.
Matters of Class
irstly, may I congratulate you on taking what was possibly a very brave and certainly a major step viz. doing a bit of restructuring. I think it is an excellent idea to go monthly and I always marvelled at your ability to be able to keep the constant flow of quality material before our eyes on a fortnightly basis
and remain sane! You might now have a bit more time to go motorhoming in Polly. Your NZ iM appeals too, as we have a special love for that country having lived and worked there and having taken our own VW Camper on the ship with us just after we got married.
12 | On your mind I know that you have plenty on your plate but would like to raise a couple of the matters to ponder regarding motorhome classes. It seems the industry and some of the general motorhome public are changing the classifications.
out in me and wanting to be correct! There are many motorhomes out there now with a small lip over the windscreen and these I would consider low profile. The Brits are very busy as you know producing this style. Just food for thought or even comment if you have time.
• A-class is easy – in simple terms a ‘bus’ that’s built from chassis up. The Tiffin as just reviewed is an excellent example
I have also noticed many manufacturers seem to skimp on window size or even the lack thereof – especially European imports. One of the reasons we love our KEA Dreamtime is • C-class – although the Brits I find tend to its large windows. It’s just an observation, but refer to it as Cab Over. It’s fairly easy too, everyone without exception remarks on how being coach built on a light-truck chassis and light, airy and roomy our KEA is when they first with room for bedding or storage above the enter and it’s a credit to our NZ neighbours! cab Finally, one of our KEA - MAG members lost • B-class – this is the sticky one! 6th gear in his Ford Transit and was offered a reconditioned gear box for $4500. Ouch! Having studied motorhoming now for nearly He contacted me and we were able, through 60 years; motorhomed in some 25 countries Mick at Fordtransit Parts, to get him a brand and watched the growth in the US, Britain, new genuine Ford unit for $3200, with 20,000 West Europe and here Down Under I feel km or two years warranty. No small saving! I have gained a bit of knowledge. In all my As your Polly is in the same stable its worth presentations ‘Introduction to Motorhoming’ being aware of the service Mick provides. Our that I conducted at shows and rallies for many, member was very impressed too with the help many years, I made a strong point about the he gave arranging all transport and including two distinct styles of build – Coach Builts and offering to advise the garage carrying out the Van Conversion and the three Classes A B C. work on how to achieve a top result. The Americans refer to all van conversions as you know as B-class and most others do too, Sorry this is longer than I intended – wishing but have rarely seen a coach-built B-class in you and Mrs iMotorhome a very happy, healthy that part of the world other than a couple of and really great rewarding year. And enjoy specialist manufacturers. When coach-built Route 66!!!!! B-class started to emerge they had the same Regards, Bill. profile as a van, where the roofline ran down smoothly to the top of the windscreen (e.g. Thanks Bill, you’ve covered quite a bit there! Yes, it most Paradise motorhomes). is a brave step to go monthly, but the reality is we In the last 10 even 15 years the concept of low profile started to emerge, with lower rooflines as a result of the front-wheel drive Ducato married to the AL-KO chassis. The Trakka on page 60 of Issue 109, for example, is not a B-class from my humble understanding, but low profile. This is no criticism of the vehicle nor of Trakka who produce a great product. I guess it is the old pedantic teacher coming
still have two magazines a month so there’s still no more time than we had pre-New Zealand, just a rearrangement of it! Interesting thoughts on the classification of vehicles and I agree, the boundaries are certainly clear as mud. I believe Americans have never had a B-class coachbuilt classification because coachbuilts always had an over-cab bed and were therefore always C-class. Van conversions are
On your mind | 13 relatively new to them, apart from small campers, and so they applied B-class to them. Coachbuilts without an over-cab bed are very new in the US (really only since the recent introduction of European base vehicles) and I’ll have to check-up to see what they’re calling them. As far as Australia is concerned, I’m sticking with A, B, C and Van Conversions as we currently use. Therefore the Trakka is a B-class because it’s coachbuilt but lacks an over-cab bed, not because of any shape or angle of body/cab integration. I also believe the over-cab bed/no over-cab bed qualification is an easy one for people to get their heads around. Van conversions are just that and distinct from campervans because they have a bathroom and are therefore still motorhomes. Every market has its own classifications and terminologies, but to me keeping things simple as
possible creates the easiest understanding. Re window sizes, I guess that has to do with the product sizes available from European manufacturers that most local manufacturers use. Interestingly, American motorhome have even smaller windows for their vehicle sizes and nothing as sophisticated as the double-glazed acrylic European units, complete with integrated insect and privacy screens. I suspect it’s to do with their travel habits as they mostly just seem to go from RV park to RV park, where they plug into power to run the ACs and TVs, and use their towed cars for sightseeing. Thanks for the heads-up on the Transit parts. For any Ford owners out there Mick’s number is 0420 927 633 and his email is fordtransitparts@ hotmail.com. Safe travels and I look forward to a chinwag at a rally in the not-to-distant future!
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14 | On your mind
y husband Nigel and I took a 4 month trip from Melbourne to Western Australia last year in our new Avan Ovation, christened “Aphrodite”. We had a great time, but with some fairly average weather. Eventually we decided it was time to turn east again and headed out of Perth towards Bunbury. The weather turned so feral we had to stay around there until things calmed down again. Eventually we set off and got as far as Kojonup, about 250 km south east of Perth. We had just booked into the caravan park and were setting out to view some wildflowers when a red light flashed onto the dashboard accompanied by beeps and a notice saying ‘check transmission’. We immediately stopped and in due course started the engine again and drove back to the caravan park. The warning did not reappear. The next morning (Monday) we rang Fiat Roadside Assist in Sydney to ask their advice, which was, “Don’t go anywhere. We will get a tow truck to take you to the nearest Fiat garage.” Firstly Bunbury was suggested, but on further investigation we discovered they no longer serviced Fiats. Then Mandurah, but when we rang them they said that was fine but they couldn’t even look at it until Thursday! We pointed out to Fiat that that would involve an unacceptable delay (and consequently expense). It was finally agreed and at the recommendation of the tow truck company (which was already on its way from Perth some 250 km away) that Aphrodite would be trucked back to Kewdale in Perth. By this time it was midday and in the meantime we thought we should try to find some accommodation in Perth while we were off the road. As luck would have it we got the last cabin in a caravan park not far from the garage. Dave from Swan Towing turned up about 3.30 pm and loaded Aphrodite onto his flatbed truck and we climbed in beside him and set off back to Perth. Dave was great, we stopped for something to eat halfway there and he even dropped us off at
the caravan park (at about 7.30pm) on his way to drop Aphrodite at Kewdale Fiat. The next morning Kewdale Fiat sent a car for us and we discussed what was likely to be wrong with our vehicle and what to do about it. They were totally professional and obviously very experienced as it was a large garage servicing a wide range of trucks. Kewdale Fiat lent us a car to use while we were off the road, which was great as we were obviously going to be stuck there for some days. Eventually on Wednesday they decided the problem was caused by a microswitch in the braking system and the part would have to be flown in from Sydney, scheduled to arrive on Friday morning. This all went to plan and by mid afternoon on Friday we were back on the road again. What could have been a complete disaster was saved by the professionalism and competence of all involved and what is more, we didn’t have to pay a cent. Fiat Roadside Assist paid for Aphrodite to be trucked to Kewdale in Perth, they covered all of the repairs and paid for all of our accommodation while we were off the road. We can’t recommend their service highly enough We thought you might like to hear a positive story about a large multinational company. Regards, Stevie. Thanks for sharing that great story, Stevie. I’m sure our readers (and Fiat) will be very happy to hear what a positive experience you had. It’s good to know Fiat really stands behind its products in Australia now. Safe travels and all the best!
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
16 | On your mind
Hey Charger – Again!
e your question in On Your Mind -– Hey Charger! – in Issue 109. Below is a clip from the top right of page 2 in the Ctek D250S Dual owners manual:
The feature does work and we leave our motorhome unused, without a start, for periods of over six months most years. As with all modern vehicles Fiats use power from the starter battery even when fully switched off. The remote control door lock receivers are always on and waiting for a signal; the radio memory is always on and all of the engine control computers are on standby. If the starter battery was not also being maintained by the Ctek charger the battery would be flat in a few weeks. Regards, Bob. Thanks for the update Bob and good to know it works! It’s a shame Redarc can’t introduce a similar feature.
NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD
News | 17
LAST CHANCE FOR ROUTE 66 TOUR!
ime is rapidly running out if you’re thinking about joining us on our inaugural Route 66 Tour, which departs 29 March and returns on 22 April. Bookings close on Valentines Day (that’s 14 Feb guys), which is appropriate because we’d love to have you along! This is your last chance to be a part of iMotorhome history and travel the legendary Mother Road from Chicago to Los Angeles (with a few detours thrown in for good measure). Our exclusive 27-day small-group tour of just six customer vehicles is personally escorted by Mr & Mrs iMotorhome plus Road Test Editor Malcolm and his lovely wife. Included are return economy airfares with Qantas, two internal flights with American Airlines, quality Marriott hotels (two nights Fort Worth, two nights Chicago, and one night each in Minneapolis and Los Angeles), and 18 nights motorhome
hire with insurance, extra driver, extra mileage allowance and unlimited generator usage. Also included is a long list of fabulous tours such as a private walking tour of Chicago with a specialist Route 66 guide, a tour of the world famous Winnebago factory, a day trip to the Grand Canyon in first class aboard the historic Grand Canyon Railway, a Mississippi riverboat sightseeing cruise, mighty Hoover Dam powerplant tour, and a private gourmet food tour of historic downtown Las Vegas. And they’re just some of the highlights from a very long list! Cost is $9750 pp so to secure your spot email firstname.lastname@example.org now, because there will never be another inaugural iMotorhome Route 66 Tour – and everyone wants to be a part of history!
18 | News
MOTORHOMES UP CARAVANS DOWN motorhome and campervan production was up 8.75% on 2015’s total figure, with a month still to go. As of 30 November 1168 motorised recreational vehicles had been produced, compared with 1074 for all of 2015.
igures from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia to the end of November 2016 show that while overall RV production was down 3.4% year-to-date,
The result is excellent news for the campervan and motorhome business, but it seems slideons have taken a hit – just 12 made in 11 months – which is still better than A-class motorhomes (3) and fifth-wheelers (0). iMotorhome finds it interesting that a quick mental tally of the units Australia’s campervan and motorhome manufacturers claim to produce versus actual production is at least 2:1 and possibly higher!
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?
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20 | News
reader made an interesting comment in relation to the exorbitant prices caravan parks in popular holiday spots charge in peak periods – prices up to$150 per night for a powered site for 2 people! They suggested freedom camping where you like – pick the best spot in town – and pay any fine you receive. Chances are the fine will be cheaper! While iMotorhome doesn’t condoning irresponsible freedom camping we can see the
logic behind this. Outrageous fees supposedly based on supply and demand but in reality driven by take-it-or-leave-it greed are ruining travel plans for many. The simplest solution is not to travel at these times, but for many that’s not an option. We’re interested to hear your comments, which you can send by clicking here. To read a letter to a newspaper about a similar situation click here.
MERCEDES CAMPERVAN CONFIRMED crosswind assist, attention assist, adaptive electronic stability program, adaptive brake lights, automatic headlights and wipers along with active parking assist with front and rear sensors. Additionally, emphasising its camper van status, the Marco Polo comes with a seperate house battery, handy when using the standard-fit diesel heater. The camper has a pop-top and comes standard with a roof bed that can take up to 200 kg. Naturally, the pop-top has zippered window flaps for view and ventilation.
ercedes-Benz Vans Australia has confirmed its luxury camper van, the Marco Polo Activity, will be available in Australia towards the end of the year, starting from $69,990 plus on-roads. The camper is based on the Brand’s people mover, the Valente, and can seat up to seven. Measuring 5.14 m long the Marco Polo Activity is powered by a 2.1-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel putting out 120 kW and 380Nm, and mated to Mercedes’ 7-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include satellite navigation, rear-view camera, driver and front passenger airbags, thorax-pelvis and curtain airbags,
Inside, the front seats can be swivelled while the three-seat rear bench can be removed to increase load capacity or, more importantly, folded down to form a bed measuring approximately 1.93 m by 1.35 m. Interestingly, apart from the heater, pop-top and bed the Marco Polo doesn’t appear to have any other ‘camping’ features, like a sink, cooker, cupboards, which seems to indicate it’s more a day vehicle and occasional overnighter. Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia says the Marco Polo Activity will be available in a choice of 12 colours and will go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of 2017.
When Monday Doesnâ€™t Matter...
22 | News
VW CONSIDERING T6 CALIFORNIA
iven Mercedes-Benz commitment to launch the light-duty Marco Polo in Australia, it comes as no surprise to learn Volkswagen is seriously considering reintroducing the California version of the new T6 Transporter.
seats swivel and there are storage cupboards and drawers at the rear, as well as a pull-out dining table. There’s also an optional awning, while the manual pop-top roof (electrically operated in higher-spec models) houses the second bed.
In Europe there is a basic Beach model that goes without some of the comfort items you might want in a campervan, but the Ocean version features a two-burner cooktop and stainless steel sink, as well as low-energy LED lighting and a cool/warm box. Depending on the specification the Volkswagen California can offer seating for up to seven and beds for four, the beds measure 2.0 m by 1.5 m in the Beach, while the Ocean has a narrower bed at 1.2 m wide due to the kitchenette. The front
Drivetrain options will be standard T6 we’d image and it will be interesting to see how this market niche develops – if it does. The T5 California was an over-priced failure when it briefly appeared and it’s difficult to imagine how things will change this time, given the competition from Trakka’s excellent Trakkadu range and other dedicated campervan manufacturers. Watch this space!
Hitting the great outdoors this year? Book a check-up appointment at motorhomedoctor.com.au All makes all models.
24 | News
REDARC’S NEW FOLDING SOLAR
en Redarc says it is proud to extend its solar range with newly updated Monocrystalline Portable Folding Solar Panels. This new range further complements Redarc’s existing range of Folding Solar Blankets and Monocrystalline Solar Panels. The company says its engineers have spent a significant amount of time researching, developing and testing the next generation of solar panels that are lightweight, and have superior monocrystalline cells. The new folding panels are available in 120 and 160 watt power ratings, come with a 5 m Anderson-to-Anderson cable and feature highly efficient ‘A’ grade monocrystalline cell technology. Also, the panel’s lightweight legs are adjustable, to ensure they can be angled towards the sun and be moved as required. The improved folding panels have been added to Redarc’s successful range of solar blankets and accessories that were launched last August. The range includes three black Solar Blankets SunPower® Cells in 115, 150 and 190 watt power ratings and a flexible
112 watt red Solar Blanket Amorphous cell. This portable range is smaller and lighter than a comparable wattage portable glass panel. The range offers the ability to set up camp in a shady area but still get the most out of the sun. What’s more, they can be used with Redarc’s BCDC and Battery Management System range. Redarc has a solar calculator on its website to provide an indicative measure on how much power will be needed per day depending on the size of the auxiliary battery bank and appliances; allowing you to select the right solar panel based on your needs. The complete solar range is backed with a twoyear construction warranty and five years on the cells, and can be purchased through 4WD accessories outlets and auto electrical stores. For more information on the extensive range click here.
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
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26 | News
DON’T MISS RV BEGINNERS’ DAY
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 email@example.com.
KINGSCLIFF BEACH HOLIDAY PARK REDEVELOPMENT
weed Coast Holiday Parks in partnership with Tweed Shire Council has announced a $20 million redevelopment of the Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park and surrounding area. The project will result in the park size being reduced by a third, returning the rest of the land to the community and creating more recreation space for holiday makers and locals to enjoy. The decision by Tweed Coast Holiday Park’s unit coordinator Andrew Illingworth to develop the park comes after a change in demand of people holidaying in the town, including a rise in the region’s demand for caravan spaces. “The semi-permanent vans will be removed to make way for the redevelopment. We will be changing the entire orientation of the park including moving the entrance to the north end of the park and away from the town centre,
which will ease congestion. The change in orientation will also create more beachfront sites,” Andrew said. An update of the foreshore will see the introduction of a rock wall to protect the coastline, which comes after erosion six years ago resulted in the loss of eight cabins. A boardwalk will also be built between the rock wall and park, creating a leisurely space for people to wander and take in the picturesque beachfront views. The community area aims to bring people together and local businesses can expect a boost in customer engagement as a result. Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park closed on 30 January and will reopen on a date to be announced. For more information call (02) 6674 1311 or click here.
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28 | News
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32 | Day Test: THL Discovery 4
VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY
THL tests the waters with little-used ex-rentals â€¦ by Malcolm Street
Day Test | 33
New Zealand motorhome conglomerate Tourism Holdings Limited (THL) is testing the waters by offering some of its very low mileage ex-rentals on the Australian Market. Only the length of our Project Polly the Discovery 4 offers quite a lot, including transport and accommodation for four. But the plain white finish without so much as a swirling graphic or hint of colour to break up its boxiness does it no favours in the appearance department…
ourism Holdings Limited (THL) – the parent company of rental outfits like Maui and Britz – seem to be using a new method of selling off a selection of their former rental fleet. Instead of keeping them two or three years and selling them off with hundreds of thousands of kilometres on the odometer, models like the Discovery 4 are being sold off much earlier at the 35,000 km mark. It’s an interesting move that lets them keep their rental fleets ‘fresh’ – nobody likes a tired, high-mileage vehicle when they’ve paid good money – and allows them to tailor fleet size to changing market conditions. It also provides more saleable, near-new vehicles with plenty of appeal and life left.
ased on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter 313 CDI, the Discovery 4 is aptly named since it can both carry and sleep four people. At 6.7 m (22 ft) it’s built very much in the traditional THL style, with fibreglass composite walls and roof, and fibreglass mouldings for the curvy bits. It’s built in New Zealand with the giveaway being the windows, especially the larger rear ones with their opening lower halves. I’d seen the Discovery 4 layout before, but it was in NZ and built on a Chinese-built LDV cab-chassis. Although the LDV was adequate, there’s no doubt that the Benz is more sophisticated, but also more expensive of course.
34 | Day Test Often, rental motorhomes come with limited external storage, but this one has a tunnel boot across the rear that will do for all your camping essentials. There are of course the usual external doors for toilet cassette, Suburban hot water heater and the gas cylinder (itâ€™s large enough for a single nine kilogram cylinder). Another feature not found on all rental motorhomes is an awning, but the Discovery 4 has one: a New Zealandmade Cvana item. Impressively itâ€™s designed for the rigours of rental use and unusually doesnâ€™t need to be pegged out because it has no legs. As usual there are multiple keys for everything and as usual I split them up during my review, keeping just the ignition and entry door keys on one keyring and everything else on another. Right: The awning is an NZ-made Cvana-brand item. Note how the awning lacks legs and how the box winds out from the vehicle, where it acts as a gutter in wet weather. Below: A tunnel boot across the rear provides good storage for chairs and other outdoor equipment.
Day Test | 35
On the Road
roducing 95 kW and 360 Nm the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel powers the Discovery along well enough. Most of my time was spent on city and suburban streets but that, as many will know, can be more onerous than country driving. Indeed the prime test often is how well does the motorhome keep up with the traffic flow! On this case quite well as it turned out, with the seven-speed auto gearbox performing willingly. Being slightly narrower (2.21 m/7’ 3”) does of course help with general manoeuvring, plus in car parks. A little surprise was the tablet based sat nav system, which is a standard feature!
Built on the latest Mercedes Sprinter with 7-speed auto, the Discovery 4 provides an excellent driving experience even though it comes with the least powerful version of Benz’s 2.2-litre turbo-diesel. Note the dash-top tablet GPS.
36 | Day Test
The ‘New Zealand Back’ is a real drawcard, providing wrap-around visibility and plenty of space to sit back and relax. Featuring a removable table it’s also the dining area and converts to a secondary bed if required. Small window openings might be an issue in Australia, but the big Roman blinds will provide quick shade and privacy
any a rental motorhome has a Luton peak, which solves the bed location problem for at least two people. This one doesn’t; instead relying on a layout with a rear club lounge that can be converted to a bed, plus a second bed that lowers from the ceiling. All of the mid area is taken up by a kerb-side kitchen bench and a driver’s-side bathroom, leaving the front for a two person seat/lounge behind the driver’s seat and a small cabinet between the entry door and passenger seat. A couple of crucial differences between the previously mentioned LDV cab and the Benz cab occur here: One is that in the Benz there is a minimal step down into the cab, while the other is that both Benz seats swivel around. Apart from anything else, this means there is still seating in the motorhome even if both beds at the rear are made up and in position.
It might not sound much but it will make life on the road much less fiddly. The generally light coloured decor, cabinetry fit-out and logo above the cab seats might look a bit familiar to KEA motorhome owners, but that is not surprising given the Discovery 4 comes out of the same factory! On that note, fans of KEA motorhomes might like to know they are still sold in NZ and this might be the nearest you can get to a newer one!
ne of the benefits of this layout is the New Zealand back, which is a practical and highly liveable design. With the upper bed fully elevated there’s room to sit and relax, and the table is certainly large enough for four. When not being used the table can be stored in the adjoining wardrobe while still leaving a bit of hanging space. A double power point is fitted under the driver’s-side side seat
Day Test | 37
â€œBeing slightly narrower does help with general manoeuvring, plus in car parks.â€?
38 | Day Test and there are two LED strip lights mounted on the bathroom cabinet wall. They double as individual reading lights for both beds and general lighting for the dining area. It’s worth noting there are no lights under the top bed, but there’s a third light on the kitchen bench side, along with a power point. Unusually, all the windows have Roman blinds. There is a surprising amount of space in and around the cab area. With both cab seats swivelled there is plenty of legroom and whilst the rear seats are a bit straight-backed, they are well located. They are also right by the window, so the passengers as least get a reasonable view when travelling. As someone
who well remembers trips in a motorhome with passengers right down the back, this setup makes it much easier for conversation on the move! Fitted to the rear seat base are the 240 V circuit breakers, 12 V master switch and both 12 V and 5 V USB charger points. A few more electrics are found in the overhead locker – 12V circuit switches, water tank gauges and battery voltmeter.
ll the basics are fitted to the Discovery 4 kitchen – Dometic four-burner grill, 130-litre Isotherm compressor fridge,
Swivelling cab seats make the most of the front seating area, but the passenger’s seat appears slightly obstructed by the bulkhead and cupboard. A removable table would make the front four seats a terrific alternative dining area, while a small flip-up table in the corner behind the driver’s seat would be great for quick coffee stops.
Day Test | 39
Above: It’s good to see a drainer with the sink, while the single electric stove element lets you save on gas when plugged into power. Having a griller is also handy. Below: There’s plenty of kitchen storage and it even comes with storage slots for the crockery. However, the lack of microwave is puzzling.
and a stainless steel sink and drainer. Unusually, there isn’t a microwave. Showing its rental origins are the three drawers fitted with slots and cutouts for plates, cups and bowls. It’s an arrangement that might be a little space consuming, but in terms of keeping everything tightly stowed it’s a winner. Extra space is provided by a cupboard (garbage bin included) and the overhead lockers.
t’s not really surprising that in a motorhome this size you get a combo bathroom. It does come with a Thetford cassette toilet, flexible hose and variable height shower plus a small moulded-in wash basin, but there’s still room to turn around. Being almost fully moulded and white in colour it’s also very easy to keep clean! Other
40 | Day Test
Space limitations mean you get an all-in-one ‘wet’ bathroom, but has most things you need, except for a shaving cabinet and therefor any storage space.
features like the wall mirror, LED lighting and fan hatch don’t take up much space at all.
blankets I reckon a Duvalay or two is the best idea!
What I think
here’s much to be said for the bed arrangement in the Discovery 4. It’s ideal for a couple as the upper bed can be permanently made up and just lowered into position at night. And even if one person wants to go to bed early there are still the front seats. Lowering the upper bed is done by hand and, given the design arrangement, isn’t too difficult for the average person.
requently, former rental motorhomes look just like what they are. Not so much the way they have been used, but rather in the overall design: more practical than, say, looking good. The Discovery 4 is a little different and it’s not surprising THL is trying it out in the new (well, near new) market place. Although clearly designed for four people it’s a layout that can easily be used by a couple and comes with the popular New Zealand back!
Making up the lower bed isn’t too hard either. It does of course mean removing the table, extending the bed base and fiddling around with seat cushions, but once you have the basics mastered it’s good. For sheets and
Day Test | 41
The main bed is easily operated without electrical assistance. Kea owners will feel right at home with this decor, tooâ€Ś
42 | Day Test
Specs GENERAL Make
Mercedes Benz Sprinter 313CDI
2.2 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel
95 kW @ 3800 rpm
360 Nm @ 1200-2400 rpm
7 speed automatic
ABS, ESP, driver and passenger airbags
WEIGHTS Tare Weight
Gross Vehicle Mass
Braked Towing Capacity
DIMENSIONS Overall Length
6.70 m (22')
2.21 m (7' 3")
3.10 m (10' 2")
2.06 m (6' 9")
2.10 m x 1.40 m (6' 11” x 4’ 7”)
2.00 m x 1.40 m (6' 7” x 4’ 7”)
Day Test | 43
Dometic 4 burner & grill
130 L Isotherm CR130EL 12 V
12 V LED
12 V Sockets/USB Outlets
1 x 12 V, 2 x USB 5 V
Air Command Sparrow
Hot Water System
Combo, flex hose, vari height
1 x 100AH
1 x 9 kg
PRICE - ON ROAD As Tested
Warranty - Vehicle
Balance of new warranty (approx 2.5 years)
Warranty - Body
Balance of new warranty (approx 6 months)
Balance of manufacturers
• Mercedes Benz Sprinter base vehicle • Easy driving • General layout • Front seat/rear seat set-up • Bed/lounge dual function • Tunnel boot across the rear • Awning as standard
CONs… • • • • •
No microwave Multiple keys for everything Small water capacities Single gas cylinder Non-security insect screen door • Plain white finish
Click for Google Maps
RV Sales Centre Central West Business Park 2/9 Ashley Street Braybrook, Vic. 3019 T: (03) 8398 8848 E: email@example.com W: rvsalescentre.com.au
44 | Reader Report
OUR BESPOKE SUNLINER All it takes is a little thought… by Phil McLeod
have noticed many articles in magazines and on motorhoming websites by people who have carried out modifications to their mass produced motorhome, to make it “just how they want it”. That in itself is not surprising as we are all unique, with our own priorities about what is important in our motorhoming lifestyle. Motorhome manufacturers must face the same truism we all encounter in life: You can’t keep all the people happy all the time. Any motorhomer knows the reality that things are always a matter of compromise.
We hired many motorhomes before we were prepared to buy our own – and not because we were intent on trying out different layouts and designs (although that was a beneficial side effect). The reason was it took us a while to realise that our enjoyment in getting out independently on the roads of Australia was not just novelty value, we really loved it. So after many months of searching the motorhome websites, reading magazines and visiting dealers we bought a nowherenear-new 2001 Sunliner Isle, with just 69,000
Reader Report | 45 km on the clock, from its original owners in Victoria.
or cold conditions, we just add a fan heater (assuming we have 240 volts supply).
The first morning we woke up in “Sunny” (as we grew to call our motorhome), we lay there looking around thinking, “If we just added a .......”. But this time, because we owned it, we could actually put some of these obvious ideas into effect. Since then this scenario has been repeated over and over again – and here are some of the results:
Charging station: Just like at home, we seem to have many devices that need overnight charging – phones, iPad, laptop, camera, etc. But unlike at home, there isn’t a vast area of bench space for these necessities of modern life to occupy while charging. Our solution is a small plywood compartment, installed under the overhanging cupboards above the sink and adjacent to a double power outlet. Devices can sit in there out of the way of food preparation, dirty dishes and washing up activities. And just as importantly, cables are up off the deck and out of the way as well.
Hooks and Railings: There can never be too many of these. Why aren’t more of them standard? We added a couple of hooks just inside the doorway, to take motorhome keys, amenity keys, caps and all those things you might need to grab as you exit the motorhome. But even more important were some towel rails. Otherwise how do you ever have a dry towel for your next shower, especially in cold or wet weather Placed under the overhanging lockers by the windows, the towels can sit there all day, whether we’re stationary or travelling and soak up the sun coming in the window. In wet
Crockery storage: There are plenty of proprietary products on the market for this purpose. We found that none of them worked reliably and we inevitably found ourselves having to pull over to the roadside to deal with loose items after hearing the well known motorhomer’s sound of crockery dancing around freely in the
46 | Reader Report
cupboard. Our curse is a bit crude; involving some bespoke partitions, a rubber-lined glassware box and a (clean and unused) carwash sponge as packing.
used to stand on edge in the low pantry cupboard beneath the sink. This was hard to get at and not always where we last saw it, given its ability to move about. Using a couple of strips of PVC extrusion from the An even simpler idea, which I have to credit hardware shop, fixed to the underside of the to my wife Julianne, is stubby holders pantry cupboard top, the cutting board now around our coffee mugs to stop them rattling slides into its slot and never budges, until we and prevent breakages should they come need it next time. What’s more, it occupies loose. She simply cut a slit down the side what was dead space before. to accommodate the handle and now the mugs can co-exist in complete silence and Bits and pieces nooks and crannies: safety. And no more plastic cups for us! The Our Sunliner had very elegant pelmets over stubby holders are easily replaced when the windows and on retiring for the night they get tired – every tourist information we would place our miscellaneous items on centre sells them, and what a great way to top: car keys, wallet, glasses, watch, spare remember where you’ve been! change, etc. The trouble was that often the items would slip off and end up under the The breadboard: bed. And of course, everything had to be I assume everyone has at least one cutting removed from atop the pelmet for travelling, board in their motorhome. But where to whether it was needed or not. I constructed keep it so it’s close at hand when you want a set of compartments, curved to match it, but stays put when you’re travelling? Ours the shape of the pelmets and divided into
Reader Report | 47 sections, which are fixed to the top of the pelmets. Stuff never goes missing from in there! Under-seat storage: We have a typical storage compartment underneath the passenger’s seat in the cab. That’s where we keep the maps, tour books, atlases, etc. We started to throw our thongs and sandals in there on top of the paperwork, but often they were damp. There was plenty of space for them, but they needed to be separated. So a plywood tray that clips into place on top of the steel seat under-frame solves the problem. And it can also be removed and used as a serving tray, when setting the table for dining outside (after suitable cleaning of course!). Bedside magazine racks: Call me lazy, but I grew to resent having to leave the warm bed after sitting up reading to put my book, magazine, glasses, etc, on the table and then get back into bed. So a couple of racks installed adjacent to each bedside now allow us to just pop our reading items inside and snuggle down for the night. No partner disturbance – or getting cold feet! So that’s our story of a very much personalised Sunliner Isle that works for us. No doubt a lot of motorhome travellers face the same challenges that we have and have solved them in other ways. But isn’t it amazing – they are almost always about storage!
Top to bottom: From pelmet shelves to an underseat tray, towel drying rails (just like Polly’s!) and even a slot for the breadboard, Phil and Julianne seem to have thought of everything…
48 | Project Polly
THE BIG PICTURE
When it comes to GPS units there’s no substitute for size… by Richard Robertson
Project Polly | 49
Clear and easy to read without glasses due to its 7-inch screen, the Garmin 760LMT is RV-specific (note the motorhome vehicle icon!) but best suited to America, where its many RV functions work properly. But features like auto zoom – close-in when you need route detail – and common sense voice directions – “Be in the left two lanes and turn left at the traffic lights” – are very handy.
ince the advent of GPS apps like TomTom that run on devices such as the iPad and iPhone I haven’t seen the point of buying a dedicated vehicle GPS. Although it hasn’t always been convenient to have my phone doubling as a GPS, overall it’s been an excellent compromise. Not only has it saved significant money upfront (it was $80 for the app from memory although I believe TomTom has changed to a subscription-based system now), it has meant less equipment to carry, store and/or worry about being stolen from a parked vehicle. In combination with a dedicated windscreen mount I’ve used TomTom in my iPhone with great success on three US motorhome adventures (as well as in Australia), but I do admit there were times I wished for something more.
The decision to branch out into the tour business and start running our own escorted US motorhome tours, however, was a turning point. To ensure our customers have the easiest possible travel experience I decided to buy and supply the best GPS units for the duration of their travels. Online research showed that overall the Garmin 760 LMT is currently regarded by Americans as the best RV-specific GPS. The combination of large screen and feature-rich inclusions – along with free lifetime map updates – seems to make it the GPS-of-choice. That’s how I came to buy a job-lot of them, although wouldn’t you know it, it’s just been superseded by the RV 770 LMT-S! I bought some through eBay and some through Amazon, and with postage and currency conversions they’ve worked out around AU$450 each.
50 | Project Polly
You can create multiple vehicle profiles, each with it’s own length, width, height and weight, and when selected, the Garmin 760LMT will then avoid roads with known height or weight restrictions. You can also run in default mode, which is for a car. Unfortunately, Garmin don’t offer this unit in Australia. Indeed they don’t have any RVspecific GPS units; the closest thing being a 770LMT that appears basically identical but is set up for the trucking industry. What is an RV-specific GPS you ask? It’s a unit that firstly lets you program in the weight and dimensions of your vehicle (indeed any number of vehicles saved as individual profiles) so it can help you avoid bridges, tunnels, roads or any other places with weight or dimension limitations. Secondly, it comes preprogrammed with RV parks plus a plethora of RV-specific businesses like repair and service centres, towing companies, tyre businesses, dump stations, mobile repairers, LPG outlets and truck stops. That’s in addition to petrol
stations, food outlets, tourist attractions, shopping and, of course, navigation for a specific address. That’s the good news. The bad news is those RV-specific features – except for vehicle profile and special routing – only work in America. I guess compiling all that information for our tiny RV market isn’t commercially viable, but it’s little consolation when pressing the RV Park icon to see the nearest location is in Hawaii, 8250 km away!
What’s in the Box?
he 760LMT head unit has a 7-inch screen, which is about the biggest in the business and comparatively dwarfs my iPhone 6 Plus’ 5.5 inch screen. It comes
Project Polly | 51 with a sturdy windscreen mount the head unit simply snaps into, plus a power lead that fits a 12 V outlet. You can buy a glare shield and other mounts, but from experience so far the standard set-up is fine. It also comes with a USB cable for connection to a computer and it’s through this that map updates are delivered and the inbuilt battery charged, should you have ‘played’ with it at home. Set-up is straightforward and follows a series of on-screen prompts, but you need to install the Garmin Express app first. Set-up includes online registration and any map updates, which for my first unit took about four hours of downloading to bring the American map up to date. I’ve read that Garmin updates maps quarterly, with one of them being a big annual update, so it seems my unit was quite out of date. Interestingly, repeating the process with subsequent units has been much faster; meaning they were newer/ more up to date. Although America-specific, the 760LMT comes with an Australian base map with main highways and roads, but little else. You can buy and download worldwide map packs through the Garmin store, so I added the combined Australia and New Zealand pack, which at around AU$160 is the most expensive international pack they offer – how surprising! Not…
On the Road
think it’s fair to say that if you’ve used one GPS you’ve used them all. They’re a bit like computers in that regard. Of course, each has its individual features and idiosyncrasies, and the 760 LMT is no different. What struck me from the outset is the size of the screen and clarity of the display. Not only is it physically big, the size of writing – everything from upcoming street names to displays for speed, time to destination, etc, are big enough that I don’t need reading glasses
" It comes with a sturdy windscreen mount the head unit simply snaps into, plus a power lead that fits a 12 V outlet. "
52 | Project Polly while driving. What joy! The only downside is the unchangeable nasal American accent of ‘Sweetie’ as she directs us. It seems Garmin no longer offer alternative voices, but I’m sure further online research will turn something up. Fingers crossed… Another excellent feature is Favourites, or more specifically, how it displays them. I’ve preloaded my GPS with a myriad of stops for our Route 66 Tour, but couldn’t figure out how to list them in day-by-day order to avoid confusion as we travel. It turns out I didn’t need to – Favourites are listed in order of proximity to your current location! That means as we travel the relevant Favourites for each day will always be at the top of the list. Favourites also appear on screen as a green heart icon on the map even if you haven’t selected them. You can either navigate to them by following the map or touch the heart Icon to get turn-by-turn instructions. Speaking of icons, being an RV-specific GPS the vehicle icon on the map is a little motorhome! I’ve also bought and installed a special pack with every Route 66 attraction and point of interest between Chicago and Los Angeles. On our tour, as we near each one a chime will sound and an icon will appear on screen, along with a brief description. We can then choose to navigate to it or pass it by.
hands-free device for phone calls, plus accept a wide variety of voice commands to operate its navigational functions. This is good in theory, but where a vehicle already has handsfree connectivity it seems to override that and cause issues. I’ve disabled Bluetooth for now, but will reinstate it when we’re in America as having realtime weather and traffic updates over there will be invaluable.
ll things considered I’m pretty impressed with the Garmin 760 LMT. It’s intuitive – well, mostly – and the sheer size of the display makes it a pleasure to use. More than anything else this is its greatest attraction to me, at least here in Australia. The day after this issue reaches your inbox I’ll be on a flight to Los Angeles to take care of final arrangements for our Route 66 Tour. Guiding me around the metropolis will be my Garmin 760 LMT and between appointments I’ll be trying out the Route 66 attractions software and paying close attention to the traffic updates that will (hopefully) keep me out of the gridlock. Being on home turf I expect the map display and the whole user experience to be even better and it will be interesting to see how it shapes up.
From realistic voice instructions that tell you things like, “Stay in the left two lanes then take Another feature I really like is the warning for the next exit and turn left at the traffic lights,” upcoming changes in speed limits (and red light cameras of course). And just this morning, to speed limit changes, steep hills and other known driving hazards, this GPS has a lot to while taking photos for this article, it popped up a ‘potential crosswind’ warning for a hilltop offer. I’ve only scratched the surface in this review, but if you’d like to get your hands on 1 km up the road. How good is that? one and try it for a few weeks, email me and book in for our Route 66 Tour! Otherwise, pop Connectivity online and import one for yourself. It’s a big armin has a free app called Smart Link, world out there but the Garmin 760 LMT will which connects via Bluetooth from put you safely in the picture – and it’s a very your phone and, using data allowance, big picture at that! provides realtime weather and traffic information. The 760 LMT will also double as a
Project Polly | 53
“It’s intuitive – well, mostly – and the sheer size of the display makes it a pleasure to use.”
54 | Travel: Searoad Ferries
Ferry Good Alternative? A short cruise that’s also a timesaver… by Richard Robertson The ferry between Sorrento and Queenscliffe, at the entrance to Port Phillip, is one I’ve always thought of as a commuter or fun thing rather than a serious transport link. However, Mrs iMotorhome and I recently did a big clockwise ‘lap’ of Port Phillip with the aim of seeing if this oft-overlooked ferry could be a viable transport link for travelling RVers.
erries have crisscrossed Port Phillip since the 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1987 that a scheduled passenger and vehicle ferry across Port Phillip Heads was established. The Bay, as Port Phillip is known to locals, covers almost 2000 square kilometres but the heads are just 3.5 km apart and renowned for treacherous conditions due to fast tidal
Travel | 55 flows. To avoid the worst of it the ferry operates between sheltered Sorrento, in the east, and Queenscliffe in the west, which is inside The Bay and just beyond the troubled Heads area, which is also known as The Rip. Some 40 minutes in duration the 10.4 km journey operates 365 days a year and departs on the hour in both directions, commencing at 7 am and with the last sailing at 6 pm (7 pm in peak periods). It’s an all-weather service and the vessels have been specifically designed and built for the route so reliability is good, as is comfort. Operated by Searoadferries it’s a professional and impressive service on a scale much larger than I expected.
anting to ensure we had a place for our small rental car I went online to check out advance bookings. The problem was I couldn’t pin down a time and so I decided to try closer to the desired 2 pm sailing from Sorrento, if plans held. They did, but as we sat in the All Smiles Cafe in Sorento and I went back on line, to my dismay it said
there was no space on that departure. The next available was 3 pm, but that wouldn’t give us enough time to return our rental car. Bugger… The clear thinking Mrs iMotorhome suggested calling reservations to see if there were any cancellations. To my amazement there was plenty of space and we were advised to be there at least 30 minutes before departure, preferably 40, to secure a spot. When I queried the online booking system the cheerful reservations girl said they only allocate a few spots on the online booking system for each sailing. Moreover, she said that even if we held a booking there was no guarantee of getting on if we weren’t there at least 30 minutes before departure! To be honest it seems a bit of a haphazard system and perhaps the best course of action is to call to make a booking – and allow plenty of time to arrive. The good news is if you miss your sailing the ticket is valid on other sailings that day. Similarly, if you get there early and there’s space they’ll put you on an earlier departure.
56 | Travel We arrived 40 minutes prior to departure – better safe than sorry – and went straight to the head of the queue. The one-way cost for our small car (up to 5 metres) and driver was $64, plus $11 dollars for Mrs iM (a bargain she tells me). Had we been driving Polly, which measures 6.5 metres, the price would have been $84, which covers motorhomes to 7 metres. It appears return fares are simply double the one-way cost
he waters around Sorrento are azure and appear pristine, and while waiting for the ferry to arrive from Queenscliff we wandered onto a nearby jetty to watch the fishermen. Judging from the number of schoolies we could see I’m thinking the fishing there was pretty good… The 40 minute sailing time allows 20 minutes to unload the maximum 700 passengers and 80 vehicles, load up again and depart. I had the feeling they’d done it before as it was all taken care of very efficiently and we departed bang-on 2 pm. We drove on through the stern and later, out through the bow, which is a design feature that obviously speeds up vehicle movements. The ship itself was well equipped and in addition to the expected indoor seating and cafe area it also had a bar at the very front with a panoramic view (beneath the bridge), plus a large roof-top sundeck. There are two ferries and each is around 60 m long and displaces between 750 and 950 tonnes loaded. From Sorrento you basically run perpendicular with the end of the Mornington Peninsula, past Portsea and then Fort Nepean. It’s a picturesque journey which, on a postcard day like the one we enjoyed, made it feel like we’d been momentarily transported to the Greek islands. The crossing was smooth and in what seemed like no time we were disembarking at Queenscliff and on our way.
Travel | 57
ur test day showed the Searoadferries’ service across Port Phillip Heads to not only be a highly enjoyable experience, but also a viable link for those wishing to avoid transiting the greater Melbourne area. Anyone driving into Melbourne from the east and heading for Geelong, the Great Ocean Road or Ballarat, or vice versa, should seriously consider the ferry. While it might be a little out
of the way for some, the savings in tolls and stress compared with negotiating Melbourne’s traffic-packed and dull freeways should not to be underestimated. Practical considerations aside, the the chance to spend a few extra days exploring Sorrento and Queenscliff – both impressive historic towns in their own rights – shouldn’t be overlooked. Couple that with the highly enjoyable ferry crossing and it becomes something of a no-brainer. All ferry good indeed…
Fast Facts What: Searoadferries Where: Between Sorrento and Queenscliffe, Victoria. T: (03) 5984-5551 When: Daily on the hour between 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Why: A fun ‘mini-cruise’ that helps avoid Melbourne traffic! How: Book online HERE or call (03) 5257 4500
58 | Roadside Eats
Thereâ€™s much to smile about at this terrific seaside restaurantâ€Ś by Richard Robertson
Roadside Eats | 59
Looking surprisingly like Italy’s ‘boot’, the Mornington Peninsular is understandably popular with residents and holiday makers alike. It forms the eastern side of Port Phillip and at its tip (well, very close) is the charming and historic town of Sorrento.
impressive architect designed homes, and when we happened upon it in the middle of the January school holidays it was teaming with activity.
Like me you might be surprised to learn Sorrento was the site of Victoria’s first mainland European settlement, in 1803, some 30 years before the founding of Melbourne. Victoria’s first magistrates’ court, public hospital, postal service and government printing office were established there, and it was also the site of Victoria’s first wedding, christening and funeral services. Due to a lack of fresh water, however, the settlement was short lived and subsequently moved to Hobart. According to Wikipedia the town has a number of grand historic homes and hotels dating back to the 1860s, almost all of which have been constructed from local limestone. Today, Sorrento is a mix of imposing historic public buildings and
orrento sits near the tip of the Peninsula, on a narrow stretch of land with the bay on one side and ocean on the other. Understandably, the town has grown-up overlooking the bay, with its sheltered waters and pristine beaches. That’s where most activity is but if you just drive a little further, at the end of Ocean Beach Road you’ll find – not surprisingly – the ocean beach, which is also known as Sorrento Back Beach.
Overlooking the beach is All Smiles, a cafe/ restaurant/function venue with a to-die-for view and a wide range of dining options, including a kiosk and cafe. If you’re in a hurry or parking is tight, grab something from the
60 | Roadside Eats kiosk and go. However, if time permits, call ahead to book a table by the window for a special dining experience. Parking is close at hand in the public area for beach goers, although there’s nothing RVspecific and I’d recommend keeping away on weekends and public holidays. Without a booking we still managed a decent table on a busy holiday Tuesday, although not out on the verandah with uninterrupted ocean views. The good news is All Smiles isn’t desperately expensive for an touristy oceanfront restaurant. Being seaside we had to try the fish and chips, which turned out to be beer battered flathead tails with lightly seasoned chips, served with a home-made caper tartare and mini side salad, for $26 each. Other choices included soup of the day for $12, pan seared calamari salad for $25 and chicken and mushroom risotto for $24. A bowl of seasoned wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce was $12, or we could just have had a couple of thick slices of fruit toast with jam and butter for $9. On Sundays All Smiles opens for a buffet breakfast that costs $20 per adult and includes eggs (poached and scrambled), bacon, gourmet sausages, oven roasted tomatoes, grilled button mushrooms, toast, English muffins and condiments. I’m thinking parking would be okay at that time of the morning,too.
Perched on a hill overlooking the beach and ocean, All Smiles Sorrento is a perfect place for a long lazy lunch or lingering Sunday breakfast, at any time of year…
After dining and if time permits, why not take a relaxing stroll along the beach? Alternatively, just a short drive away at the end of the Peninsula is historic Fort Nepean, from where the first shots of the British Empire in World War I and the first Australian shots of World War Two were fired. Bet you didn’t know that! Whatever you do there’s a very good chance you’ll be all smiles at the end of a day in this fascinating and historic part of Australia.
Roadside Eats | 61
Fast Facts What: All Smiles Sorrento Where: 250 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento VIC 3943 T: (03) 5984-5551 When: 9:30 am - 3:00 pm Wed-Sat. Sunday opens 9:00 for buffet breakfast. Why: Quality casual seaside dining with spectacular views! How: Follow Ocean Beach Road to the very end – you can’t miss it!
Click for Google Maps
62 | Events: Macedon Ranges Music Festival
A festival that evokes a contagious sense of community... By Sharon Hollamby
hen Jimmy Oâ€™Hare and his family went to Cambodia and saw the devastating conditions the children endure they knew they had to do something to help. So, coming from a musical background they decided to put on a festival on their own property! The festival, originally known as A Day on the Red, was such a success that they continued and it grew so quickly that a much larger venue was required. With support from their local community and the Gismore Bendigo Bank, the renamed and expanded Macedon Rangers Music Festival is now held at the beautiful Gisborne Steam Park. Gisborne is nestled at the foot of the Jacksons Creek escarpment and flanked by Mt Gisborne to the south and the Macedon Ranges to the
Events | 63 north, providing a perfect backdrop for the festival. With all ticket sales going straight to the Cambodian Kids Foundation, you will not only have a great day out – you will also be helping a very worthy cause!
Indigenous singer/songwriter David Spry has inherited his people’s gift of storytelling. Spry draws on his travel experiences and relates them to his own heritage through powerful, inspirational and heartfelt songs. His compelling stage presence has an intriguing diversity Pack a picnic and some chairs or a rug and that combines Roots, Reggae and Blues that get ready to be entertained. Alternatively, you can have audiences dancing with abandon can take advantage of the large number of one minute and entranced by the warmth of food, market and drink stalls on hand. All profits his ballads the next. As a top ten nationwide from the bar will be donated to the Cambodian finalist in the Australian Music Awards in 2013, Kids Foundation thanks to the generosity of appearances on NITV and Larrakia TV, David the Holgate Brewery, who will be supplying the is certainly making his presence felt in the fresh beer! This years’ line-up includes: new sound of Australian Reggae. • David Spry • Stonefield • Lloyd Spiegel • The Heartache State • Jared Bretnall • Scott Boyd • Walkers Road • Blue Howl • The Matt Borg Trio • And more to be announced
Lloyd Spiegel has been touring the world since the tender age of 13. Now, with more than 25 years in the business, he has played alongside legendary artists including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James. With eight albums and numerous accolades to his name, Spiegel has become one of the most respected guitarists in Australia and was recently named one of the top 50 Australian guitarists of all time.
64 | Events
Fast Facts What: Macedon Ranges Music Festival Where: Gisborne Steam Park, Webb Crescent, New Gisborne, Vic When: Saturday 4 March from Noon to 10 pm. Why: Enjoy a fun, affordable, family day out, while contributing to a very worthy cause!
Ticket Prices: • Adults - $20.00 + booking fee • Concession - $15.00 + booking fee • Children under 12 free
Getting There: Gisborne Steam Park is located around 45 min North West of Melbourne on the Calder Freeway. The park is also only a 15 min walk from the Gisborne railway station.
Free Parking: Free parking is available at the festival
Facilities for the Disabled: All access toilets are available on site. The area is reasonably flat and suitable for wheelchairs.
Further Information Tickets sales HERE. Facebook Website Festival Director: Jimmy O’Hare 0459161914
Events | 65
66 | Mobile Tech
Are you Getting
Poor sleep is a problem, especially as we ageâ€Ś By Emily Barker
Mobile Tech | 67
e all know it’s important to get enough sleep, but do we really understand how important it is? And are we capable of ensuring we can make such quality rest a regular occurrence? How do we even know if we’re getting enough? Sleep is the body’s natural restorative period; it’s responsible for so many essential processes including the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and general grumpiness. Adequate sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, benefiting every aspect of our lives including relationships, driving skills and mental wellbeing. The following are two apps dedicated to horizontal nocturnal adventures of the best kind: Quality slumber! Note: The scientific jury is still out on the accuracy of the many sleep tracker apps that are currently saturating app stores. Each offer various features and most claim to work effectively by simply placing the phone next to you as you sleep. Such mobile apps rely upon the accelerometer, a device built into most smartphones that senses movement; this sensor can accurately detect movement, but not necessarily distinguish between REM and NREM sleep. The upside, however, is that people are becoming more attuned to their own circadian rhythms and the effect of sleep or lack thereof on their bodies. This is great news, as sleep is arguably one of the most, if not the most, important health factor that can be altered. Sleep Well Hypnosis Insomnia & Sleeping Sounds. Cost: Free Size: 83.9 Platform: iOS and Android For those who have difficulty falling and staying asleep the concept of hypnosis is not
unimaginable. There is little more frustrating than lying awake for nights on end, then rising each morning fatigued and irritable. Insomnia can have a multitude of causes and while this may not be the answer to everyone’s inability to slip peacefully into sleep, for those it does help it’s a blessing. The idea behind this app is to re-establish healthy sleep patterns by coaching the mind into winding down naturally, as opposed to its tendency to endlessly ruminate. Unlike many guided meditation apps the focus is not upon breathing patterns; rather, it shifts attention to relaxing the muscles and clearing the mind of unwanted thoughts to prepare for deeper more restorative sleep.
68 | Mobile Tech the answer for some to a future of healthy restful sleep! Sleep Better - Sleep Cycle Tracker & Alarm Clock Cost: Free Size: 69.7 Platfom: iOS and Android
Audio sessions are generally 25 minutes long and come with a range of customisable options including adjustable background music or sounds, separate volume controls for voice, background and sleep booster and an optional ‘awaken at end’ feature for those who are just seeking a power nap. The Sleep Booster feature is a pattern of binaural beats said to induce your brainwave frequency into an Runtastic is well known for its various health optimal state for deep restorative sleep. If the and fitness tracker apps so it’s only natural user reviews and over five million downloads they too have an app to track, record and are to be believed then this app may just be analyse your sleep. The app offers several
Mobile Tech | 69 features designed to enhance your quality of sleep: You can record your sleep patterns, monitor your dreams with an inbuilt dream diary, improve your bedtime habits, see what impact exercise (or lack thereof) has and be woken at an optimum time. You can even find out if your daily caffeine intake or evening glass of wine have any impact on your sleep quality. The app itself is simple enough to use, just activate the smart alarm before bed and leave it under your pillow (it even works in aeroplane mode). The app will then attempt to determine the perfect window of time to wake you based upon the average human’s sleep pattern. The idea is that interrupting the ‘wrong’ sleep cycle stage, such as slow-wave deep sleep or REM sleep, results in the phenomenon that sleep researchers call ‘sleep inertia’ or more commonly, ‘grogginess upon awakening’. Once the data has been recorded the app provides you with information such as the estimated amount of time you spent in deep sleep and how efficient your slumber was. For maximum efficiency you need to input variables like caffeine consumption, stress and daily activity levels to create a more accurate overview of your night. All information is stored within your free Runtastic account, meaning you can access it across various platforms and never have to delete any data. Over time this data is collated into graphs and you should begin to recognise patterns and aim for what optimises your slumber. It’s certainly a healthy step in the right direction, and can all be done from comfort of your own bed!
Note to iphone users: Getting a good night’s sleep helps restore and repair your body. So going to bed at the same time every night and getting the right amount of rest can improve how you feel. The new Bedtime tab in the iphone Clock app helps you establish a target bedtime and wake time, and also lets you visualise your sleep patterns. It then feeds the information into Health — along with data from your third-party sleep apps — so you can get into a healthier sleep routine.
70 | 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!
February 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 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! 17-19 – Agnes Waters: Agnes Blues, Roots and Rock Festival. Three days of the best live blues, roots and rock music around. Featuring a jam packed entertainment line-up of talented musicians and artists, enjoy a long weekend of great music, free workshops and atmospheric entertainment. 25 – Toowoomba: Have a Go Festival. Ever wanted to have a go at a heritage trade? Now’s your chance at the Cobb & Co Museum. Experience a range of traditional and modern trades and skills, from blacksmithing to airbrush art. Meet the artisans, get your hands dirty and have a sneak peek behind the scenes.
What’s On? | 71
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.
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!
31-2 – Brisbane: National 4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo. Prepare for an actionpacked event for fishermen, boaties and outback tourers. With over 200 exhibitors, retailers and industry experts showcasing the latest in fishing, boating, camping, outdoors and 4x4 products.
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 massive days and nights!
1 – Maxwelton: Maxi Races. Country racing at its best, experience true outback hospitality in this iconic event featuring horse races, fashions on the field, live entertainment, novelty events and even a recovery breakfast for the overnight stayers. Located 44km West of Richmond the Maxi Races are a proud display of local heart and heritage.
26 – Felton: Felton Food Festival. Experience a weekend of authentic country life at the Felton Food Festival. Held annually in March, the Festival is a showcase of everything that the Felton Valley is famous for. With an impressive line-up of special guests it’s a weekend not to be missed. 29 – New Farm: Myriad. Brace yourself for a three day technology and startup festival packed with local and international speakers, interactive technology experiences and mind blowing live entertainment. Myriad offers a world class program of events, workshops and activities aimed to
7-9 – Julia Creek: Julia Creek Dirt ’n Dust. Offering visitors three jam-packed days of unique fun and entertainment. See the gutsy outback triathlon teams in action, back a winner at the Artesian Express Outback Horse Races, or kick on late with nightly outdoor concerts and experience the spectacular Dirt n Dust Bullride sanctioned by PBR. Real outback hospitality, festivity and fun! 13-17 Roma: Roma’s Easter in the Country Festival. Celebrating its 40th year this iconic event brilliantly showcases the history and lifestyle of
72 | What’s On? regional Queensland. Offering a range of activities for the thrill-seeker, the cultural buff, and for those that like to take things a little more leisurely. Enjoy a long weekend in the experiencing the atmosphere and friendliness that Roma and the Maranoa has to offer.
program of guest artists, competitions, exhibitions and displays. 26-30 Quilpie: – Quilpie Centenary Celebrations. Experience an outback party like no other. Enjoy genuine country hospitality and festivity as Quilpie kicks up her heels to celebrate this milestone. Held over four days there’s something for everyone! 26-1 – Barcaldine: The Tree of Knowledge Festival. Featuring everything from goat racing to burnout competitions and all that’s country inbetween, including horse racing, live music, street parade and markets. Prepare for a long weekend of culturally enriched celebrations. For more Queensland events click here!
15 Kenilworth: Kenilworth Cheese, Wine and Food Fest. Showcasing the unique range of the Mary Valley’s finest foods, liqueurs and wines. Featuring a variety of food stalls, gourmet cooking demonstrations and wine and cheese tastings all day. Free fun for the whole family in this RV friendly town. 21-22 – Eromanga: Opening of the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Join the outback Gondwana Foundation at the official opening of the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Witness the unveiling of the Australian Dinosaur Giants Exhibition and a camp oven dinner under the stars. Held over two days with a range of presentations held throughout. The Museum dedicates itself to celebrating the evolution, history and amazing diversity of the prehistoric and present day life of the Outback. 21-23 – Nambour: 2017 South Qld Caravan, Camping, Boating & Fishing Expo. One of the region’s largest events, showcasing the latest in caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes, boating, auto and 4x4 accessories, camping gear and outdoor accessories. With over 140 local and regional exhibitors displaying the latest products and services. 20-23 – Kenilworth: Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival - Tropulele 2017. Held over four days, prepare for a vibrant, tropical fusion of Hawaiian culture and Ukulele celebration. Featuring a full
NEW SOUTH WALES
February 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 water-
What’s On? | 73 based sporting and social activities including a Twilight Race, Paddlefest, and Junior Pirate Fun Race. 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.
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.
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.
2-5 – Dunedoo: Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival. Four days of bush poetry competitions, street theatre, puppetry, music, market stalls and comedy entertainment.
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.
March 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! 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!
3-13 – Bermagui: Sculpture Bermagui. Indoor and outdoor large scale annual sculpture exhibition.
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. 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. 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.
74 | What’s On? 17-19 – Katoomba: Blue Mountains Music Festival. Three days of folk, blues and roots set in the picturesque Blue Mountains.
showcase of vehicles of all descriptions. Enjoy a spectacular air show, pin-up competition and a host of engaging displays and festivities.
27-28 – Wauchope: Lasiandra Festival. Community orientated event filled with fun, festivities, food and fashion.
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.
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 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. 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
31 – Leeton: Leeton Sunrice Festival. Held biennially at Easter during the rice harvest and celebrating the importance of the rice industry to the community.
April 31-2 – Wagga: Wagga Outdoor Adventure Leisure Expos. Featuring the latest model Caravans, Campers, Motor Homes, Boats and Kayaks, Camper trailers, new cars and more. 31-9 – Orange: Orange F.O.O.D Week. Enjoy fine food and wine at the annual F.O.O.D. Week (Food of Orange District). A 10-day event showcasing the region’s fresh produce, elegant wines, gourmet products, talented chefs and superb restaurants and other delicious enterprises. 31-2 – Thirroul: Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival. A celebration of the arts and the seaside community. Support emerging and established local artists and showcasing the community. Enjoy art shows, sculpture exhibitions, photography exhibitions, wearable art exhibitions, peace poster exhibition, art in the shops, street art, the talent search, craft displays, a junior surf competition, carnival rides, dancing, and plenty of live music. 1 – Bundanoon Highland Gathering Festival. Out of the highlands mist emerges Brigadoon, the Bundanoon Highland Gathering. With 20 Pipe Bands, highland games, Tartan Warriors, dancers, stalls and clan representatives this is the largest event of its kind in Australia. Celebrating its 40th anniversary as Australia’s premier Scottish Highland Gathering.
What’s On? | 75 1 – Moruya: Southeast Harvest Regional Food Festival. Held every autumn to showcase the harvest of the southeast region of New South Wales. Meet local producers and experience a range of displays and presentations on sustainable living and green lifestyle choices. 5-16 – Nundle Go For Gold Chinese Easter Festival. Annual celebration of Nundle’s history and the Chinese and European miners that helped form the town in the mid to late 1800s. Plenty to see, do, experience and enjoy! 6-9 – Kandos: Cementa17 – Contemporary Arts Festival. A free four-day showcase of independent and experimental arts spread across Kandos. Presenting the work of over 60 artists with a focus on arts, community and the environment. 9-10 – Ettalong. NAB Central Coast Italian Festival. Experience a little ‘culture on the coast’. Enjoy vino, birra, coffee and the best of Italian cuisine all weekend, live music and plenty of entertainment. 8 – Orange: Eugowra Country Fair Markets and Lions Car and Bike Show. Market stalls and Car and Bike Show held on the banks of the picturesque Mandagery creek in the historic village of Eugowra. 8-9 – Maitland: Hunter Valley Steamfest. One of Australia’s premier festivals of steam. Welcoming visitors from far and wide to experience all things steam; specialty steam train rides, vintage diesel rides, market stalls, road steam, mini steam train rides, displays from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and live entertainment. 9 – Woodburn: Carnivale Italiano. A celebration of all things Italian, commemorating the rich and colourful history of the original immigrants who settled at New Italy. 10-18 – Hartwood Campfires and Country Music Festival. Country music and bush camping; described as the people’s festival, hundreds of caravans, motor-homes, camper trailers and a sprinkling of tents gather here for the week to enjoy the entertainment and camping experience. 11-17 – Wagga Wagga - Stone The Crows Festival. A unique event designed specifically for
grey nomads; packed full of live entertainment, quirky games and good times. 13-17 – Byron Bay: Bluesfest. Australia’s premier blues and roots festival, with six stages and more than 200 performances of the best blues, roots, folk, soul and world artists. 14-17 – Wollongong: Mustang Nationals. The Mustang Owners Club of Australia host the Annual Mustang Nationals in Wollongong, over the Easter weekend. Club Members and enthusiasts from all over Australia and New Zealand gather to take part in a range of events culminating with the Mustang Nationals Show and Shine. 14-15 – Maclean Highland Gathering. A celebration of Scottish cultural heritage, Maclean is known as the ‘ Most Scottish Town in Australia’ and clans invade the town for the highland gathering from around the country. 14-16 – Ulladulla Blessing of the Fleet Festival. An honoured tradition, kept alive by the area’s descendants of the original Italian fishing community and by the proud town in general. Join in for a weekend of festivities and fun! 15-30 – Oberon: Mayfield Garden Autumn Festival. Held annually, this spectacular garden display is not to be missed. Take in 160 acres of manicured gardens in full autumn colour. 15 – Corowa: Mcdonalds Corowa Australian Billy Cart Championships. Meet racing enthusiasts, experience country hospitality at its best and set yourself free to a world of racing! 15-16 – Toronto: Lakemac Heritage Festival. Celebrate a proud heritage with this festival. Attractions include classic boats, vintage and veteran cars, the Lake Macquarie historical society display, the vintage farm machinery display, market stalls, quick n dirty competition, Wangi artists group exhibition, sail past and blessing of the fleet.
76 | What’s On? 15 – Tilba Easter Festival. Enjoy a fun filled annual street fair and Easter celebration within a picturesque heritage village bursting with community spirit.
‘big campfire’, camp oven cooking, shearing demonstrations, tours of the district, bush poets, craft stalls, whip cracking, antique machinery display, bush bands and much more.
16 – Narrandera Rod Run. Enjoy a fantastic weekend of beautifully restored vintage cars. Featuring over two hundred vehicles on display, ‘Cruizin’ No Boozing’ in East Street on Saturday from 6pm to 10pm, and the Show ‘N’ Shine in Narrandera Park on Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm.
28-7 – Tamworth: Taste Tamworth Festival. The premier food event on the region’s annual calendar, celebrating its growers, makers, chefs and diners in 10 days of events that include the Warehouse Pop-up Bar, Taste in the Park, The Long Lunch and Farm Gate Trail.
18-25 – Canowindra International Balloon Challenge. Enjoy the daily spectacle as over 20 hot air balloons take to the skies each morning and evening. Culminating with the Balloon Glow and night markets featuring local produce, wine, crafts and synchronised balloon show.
28-30 – Thredbo Jazz Festival. In its 29th year, experience a three day celebration of Jazz music and great food and wine set in picturesque Thredbo in the heart of the spectacular Snowy Mountains.
21-23 – Hill End: The End Festival. Come up to ‘The End’ where it all begins. Annual festival of arts, culture and heritage in the historic village of Hill End. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience in an extraordinary place. 21-23 – Lithgow: Ironfest. An arts festival exploring the relationship between humans, metal and identity. Held annually at the Lithgow Showgrounds it brings together artists, designermakers, blacksmiths, performers of all kind, musicians, steampunkers, historical re-enactors, machine enthusiasts and hobbyists from all over Australia and the World.
29-30 – Kiama: The K.I.S.S. Arts Festival. Experience a sprawling and bustling pop up harbour side shanty town, crammed with festivities, mini venues, food stalls, outdoor stages, circus drop zones, raft races and hundreds more exciting, quirky and hugely entertaining things to do. 29 - Tumut: Festival of the Falling Leaf. Celebrate autumn in Tumut with its iconic annual festival. 29 Apr-14 May Singleton: Singleton Festival. An annual celebration of all things food, wine, music and art. Festival features a two week program packed with loads of events to stimulate the mind and spirit.
22 – Thredbo: High Country Wine and Cheese Festival. Chase cheese to glory or experience the thrills and spills in Thredbo’s second annual cheese For more New South Wales events click here! rolling competition. Free wine and cheese tasting, live music and a great atmosphere. 22 – Bermagui Bike Show. Putting the ‘Fun’ back into fundraising with an event born from mateship. Featuring a Show and Shine, Hot Rod exhibits with live music, auctions, raffles and trade stalls. 22 – Temora: Horsepower Ariah Park. A two day event for ridden and harnessed horses hosted at the historic village of Ariah Park. In addition to the range of traditional equestrian events, browse market stalls, craft demonstrations and displays. 28-30 – Narrabri: Abrogator Drovers Campfire. Held at the Boggabri Showgrounds this annual event welcomes all who travel. Featuring the
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. 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
What’s On? | 77 selling a huge variety of antiques and collectibles! 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.
March 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.
pro scoot, skate and BMX comps; hospitality offerings from local traders; floats inspired by the community 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!
10-12 - Swan Hill Region Food & Wine Festival. A three day indulgent event, taste your way around the region at the many fine food and wine stalls as you take in the music, festivities and entertainment. 10-13 – Melbourne: Moomba Festival. Australia’s largest community festival with a uniquely Melbourne program of activities, and events held on the banks of the iconic Yarra River. Enjoy talented local performers, the Moomba Masters’ world-class water sports;
30 – Melbourne: Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2017. Indulge in the rich and vibrant coffee culture Melbourne is famous for 30 – Corryong: The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival. An internationally recognised and unique bush gathering of mountain riders, poets, artists, plus lovers of the Australian High Country and pioneering spirit. 31 - Melbourne: Food and Wine Festival. Internationally renowned and held over 10 days
78 | What’s On? throughout Melbourne and its regional surrounds, this annual event is a gastronomical showcase of unforgettable food and wine experiences. 29 – Melbourne: Melbourne International 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!
April 1-2 – Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival. Set amongst the vines at Rochford Wines in Victoria’s premium wine district, wine and food lovers alike can enjoy the Yarra Valley’s finest wines, produce and food, as well as locally brewed cider and beers at the two-day festival. 29 Mar-2 Apr – Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Held at the World Heritage Listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, the annual show is set to return with an explosion of colour and design. Remaining after 20 years the largest annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere.
20-23 – Carlton North: Australasian Quilting Convention. Experience the world of quilting and its all of its colourful characters and fabrics. Sign up for convention classes or just browse the displays. 29 - Wandiligong Nut Festival. Indulge all the senses at Australia’s only nut festival. Enjoy a lively market focusing on food and crafts, cooking demonstrations, presentations and activities. Taste roasted chestnuts, crack hazelnuts and walnuts, sample local wines and beers, talk to producers and chefs and enjoy live music. For more Victorian events click here!
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”.
30 Mar-1 Apr – Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2017. A must attend industry event featuring displays, exhibitions and presentations from world class authorities. 30-2 – Corryong: The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival. A unique celebration of bush folklore, skills and traditions uniting mountain riders, poets, artists and lovers of the Australian High Country and pioneering spirit. Bringing together people from around Australia as well as international visitors to celebrate traditional high country and bush culture and in particular the imagery created by AB Banjo Paterson’s and Australia’s most famous poem “The Man from Snowy River”. 2 – Melbourne: Wine and Cheese Fest. It’s all about good wine, good cheese and a few other of life’s pleasures! 8-9 – Bendigo: St. Erth Apple Festival. Presented by Diggers Gardening club, explore a heritage fruit orchard and discover the hidden secrets of heirloom fruits and vegetables.
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!
What’s On? | 79
March 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.
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.
April 8-9 – Adelaide: Heirloom Weekend. Join the diggers club and the Botanic Gardens of South Australia and celebrate making the old new again! Free activities include; workshops - growing and preserving, heirloom tastings, farmers market, chickens and bee-keeping and live music. 19-23 – Tanunda: Barossa Vintage Festival. Paying homage to the history of the Barossa region and its strong handcrafted influence. Showcasing over 90 events over a five-day period the Barossa Vintage Festival features a host of dynamic events that showcase the Barossa, its food, wine and culture. For more South Australian events click here!
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
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.
March 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
80 | What’s On? 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!
April 8 – Albany Wine and Food Festival. Celebrate the local produce of the Great South with a range of great wine, local food, craft beers, spirits and more. Enjoy live music, sideshow coffee sessions, guest chefs and cooking demonstrations. 8-9 – Perth: Buddha’s Birthday and Multicultural Festival 2017. A two day worldwide celebration of the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The festival aims to promote the message of ‘Respect and Tolerance, Consensus and Openness’, promote harmonious co-existence amongst people, and provide visitors an insight into Buddhist teachings and philosophy as a way of life to bring about peace and happiness. 12-18 – Kulin: Blazing Swan. An official Burning Man Australia event. A week long yearly arts based social experiment in temporary community dedicated to self-expression and self-reliance.
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! 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. 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.
19 – Hobart: Festa Italia. A family friendly 21-21 – Pinjarra: Fairbridge Festival. Celebrating community event that celebrates all things Italian, including live music, gourmet food and specialised its 25th anniversary, The Fairbridge Festival of wines. With displays from the various regions, car inspired music returns with more of the music and motorbike displays, cooking demonstrations, and camaraderie that patrons know and love grape crushing, watermelon and of course all packaged up together in a magical weekend spaghetti eating competitions! escape that will feed your soul. 27-30 – Perth: Perth Garden Festival. Bursting with colour, the Perth Garden Festival delights visitors with inspirational landscape show gardens, plant sales, a daily seminar program featuring some of Perth’s best horticultural experts, hands on workshops and activities, live demonstrations with abundant live music and entertainment. For more Western Australian events
23-26 – Rosebery: Rosebery Festival. A vibrant lifestyle festival celebrating community and culture.
March 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. 12 – Devonport: Taste the Harvest. Delight your taste buds with Tasmanian food and wine, and enjoy the exhibits, entertainment, tours and
What’s On? | 81 competitions. Something for everyone from the young to the young at heart!
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!
March 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.
19 – Bathurst Island: Tiwi Islands Annual Football Art Sale. Take the opportunity to visit Bathurst Island to buy Tiwi art and craft at community prices and catch the displays in the grand final.
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. 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.
April 8-9 - Hobart: Spiegeltent Hobart. The very best in comedy, cabaret, theatre and music has been hand-picked for the 2017 program with something to tempt everyone. 24-29 – Burnie: Targa Tasmania. Targa Australia run the world’s largest, longest and hardest tarmac rally event. Described as the ultimate tarmac rally it attracts teams and sponsors from all over the world! For more Tasmanian events click here!
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
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!
April 11-20 – Darwin Heritage Festival. Presented by the National Trust NT, The Australian Heritage Festival is Australia’s biggest annual communitydriven heritage festival. Celebrating Australia’s cultural heritage, through talks, tours, exhibitions and events across the NT. 22-23 – Darwin: Territory Taste Festival. On the Darwin Waterfront, celebrate local produce and talent with two days of cooking demonstrations and master classes combined with a fabulous entertainment program and family-focused activities. 28-30 – Alice Springs: Wide Open Space Festival. Shrouded in mystery and lyrical
82 | What’s On? fantasy this is a unique Central Australian festival. Celebrating Australian art and culture through visual and performing arts; program includes burlesque, circus, roving, spoken word, experimental and hilariously fun local and interstate acts. The visual arts program provides festival folk with immersive spaces, installations, projections, and live painting to put the ‘twinkle’ into the party. For more Northern Territory events click here!
February 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 be comedy, performance art, food and wine stalls, street parties, live music, circus-style acts and more!
March 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. 20-26 – Canberra: Canberra Comedy Festival. The finest comedy talent descends upon the ACT for a week of hilarious entertainment.
April 31-9 – Canberra District Wine Week. Held throughout the Canberra wine district, this week long event showcases not only the region but also the quality wines on offer. Featuring an exciting program of wine dinners, tastings and themed events. 13-17 – Canberra: National Folk Festival. Join the celebration of traditional and contemporary folk life at the National Folk Festival with a program designed to inspire, enliven and entertain. Featuring over 200 acts representing diverse styles including acoustic, blues, roots, bluegrass, world, Celtic, traditional, gypsy and country in a program including music, dance, spoken word, film, circus and traditional crafts, there is something for everyone. 18-7 May – Canberra and Region Heritage Festival. Held over a massive three weeks with a theme of ‘Questions and Change’ and featuring over 100 events, most free, you can enjoy tours, open days, dances, talks, dinners, markets and more. The festival raises awareness to the ongoing need to conserve the region’s natural, historic and Aboriginal heritage. 25 – Canberra: Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial. Experience a day of national remembrance at the heart of the nation. A day for all Australians who served and died in war and on operational service. The spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity. The Australian War Memorial, in close cooperation with the Returned and Services League of Australia ACT, will host the following: Dawn Service, National Ceremony, and Last Post Ceremony. 27-7 – Canberra: Canberra International Music Festival. Experience performances that are challenging and uplifting, at times thoughtprovoking. Always moving, and always of the highest quality. It could change the way you think about live music. For more ACT events click here!
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FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDE… registration when it rolls off the boat in Australia.
Next issue Malcolm takes flight in what is probably the most expensive retail motorhome in Australia: the near-$700,000 Concorde Liner. Complete with a rear boot for a small car (although it’s extra!), this 11.5 metre A-class is built in right-hand drive form in Germany by Concorde Reisemobile and ready for
Apparently the last word in European luxury, it takes a very different tack to delivering the A-class experience compared to the Tiffin Breeze reviewed in Issue 109. For starters it’s built on a front-engined Mercedes-Benz Atego truck chassis, and it has no slideouts! Watch for Malcolm’s detailed review of this very interesting motorhome next issue… Issue 111 will be out on Saturday 4 March but until then why not join our more than 32,000 Friends and followers on Twitter Facebook , Pinterest and Instagram ? Facebook “f ” Logo
Newcastle Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo
Let’s go Caravan & Camping Lifestyle Show
Newcastle Entertainment Centre & Showground Broadmeadow. NSW. 2292.
Adelaide Showgrounds, Goodwood Rd, Wayville. SA. 5034
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Open: 9:00-5:00 (4:00 Sunday) Parking: Free Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Kids: U16 Free
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Open 10:00-5:00 daily Parking: Free and paid nearby Adults: $14 Seniors: $11 Kids: Not listed
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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
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Know of a local or regional show coming up that attracts and promotes motorhomes, campervans and the great RV lifestyle in general? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily promote it in this calendar.
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