My experience “caravanning” is very limited. In fact, when I set off on August 8th, ’17, I had only spent nights in cabins in caravan parks.
My first night was at Dalby. I drove Murtle into the park, where I had booked, and backed into the small area near the power pole/water tap. I arrived late in the afternoon and left early the next morning without any interaction with the other caravanners. Over the next few weeks I had a range of experiences in caravan parks and free camps.
First Free Camp
The next night I was in Bungeworgorai. It was my first night at a “free camp”. Free camps are everywhere these days and suit those campers who are “self-sufficient”. That is, have their own power, toilets and water. For in most free camps there are no facilities.
When I drove in, rather cautiously, I parked near other campers. There was a couple to one side who were very friendly and later I joined them for a drink. On the other side was a guy who also had a Toyota Coaster (more modern than mine) and towed a small car. He also had two funny cats, who were so used to camping that they were happy roaming and always returned to the Coaster. I happily stayed overnight, feeling very safe and comfortable and left early in the morning to continue my journey.
It was right on the Warrego Highway, and in the evening there was quite a lot of traffic with road trains, that were somewhat noisy, but I was so tired it didn’t bother me. I happily stayed overnight, feeling very safe and comfortable and left early in the morning to continue my journey.
Six Weeks on the Road
Over the next six weeks I had “adventures” in both paid caravan parks and free camps. I have learned what to look for and how to manage.
The Caravan Parks are interesting. Some are quite expensive, and some are terrible with appalling facilities and often rude/disinterested staff. It makes you wonder why these people are in such businesses.
I know country folk do not have the benefits of choices with tradesmen, and often have to make do with what they have. For example, in Kynuna, and I stayed in one park behind the Blue Heeler Hotel where the facilities were “under repair” – the toilet block was not usable and one had to walk over to the hotel and use their facilities. On my return journey I stayed at the other Caravan Park where the facilities were somewhat better, but clearly, (as you can see from above photos) there was a great need for work to be done on the park.
One gets the impression that the caravan parks are profitable businesses, but in almost everyone there was a need for maintenance.
As well as the condition of caravan parks, there are issues with other campers. Some are so rude, and the number of disputes between families is rather surprising. I guess I have learned that it is good to camp with friends – and even travel with them if possible.
My “adventures” of the six weeks that I was “on the road” has been an education for me. I have more learning to do.