Caravan Park People

This post was “sponsored by” Barcaldine Tourist Park’s Free wireless internet

(a highly recommended practise and a good Caravan Park)

I find the inland caravan park culture very different from the coast. Semi-permanent residents often dominate coastal caravan parks, with their onsite vans set up as pseudo beachside holiday homes. No longer mobile, their vans accumulate all the defensive markings of suburbia with gardens, fences, BBQ’s and a bit of an attitude towards transients like us. Family groups (like we used to be) are also common in coastal parks in the warmer weather, with children from babes to teens, gathered for a few weeks of holiday fun. Even if it rains there can be a gathering for games or a just a chat. Then, of course, every summer beachside parks acquire swarms of hired mini vans full of northern hemisphere tourists, escaping their cold winter for the warmth of our summer and the attraction of our surf and sand. They make the laundry and bathrooms an absolute United Nations every summer.

Gathering for a cuppa and a chat of an afternoon are the “grey generation” You wouldn’t find this on the coast.

Inland parks are so different. Camping season tends to be any season except summer, when Australia’s blistering inland heat and the monsoon in northern regions makes travel either impossible or just plain unpleasant. The park’s population is almost all made up of travelers, staying for a couple of nights, seeing the sights and then moving on.  During the school holidays, like now in Queensland there are families with young children, but almost no teenagers. Traveling with teens in a car and a caravan is apparently too painful for any family to bear. The enormous distances required to see inland Australia makes tourism in these areas by air much more popular with overseas visitors so no mini vans and less of a cultural mix.

The overwhelming majority of the inland camping population is the “grey nomad group” from the pre-retirees, trying out the independent, traveling lifestyle, to the octogenarians, anxious to fit in just one last trip. In general they are a very friendly bunch, taking any opportunity to share the excitement of their traveling adventures, past and present with others, and always ready to help out others.

Sharing Experiences is a highlight of the day for experienced Travellers

In Queensland, parks like this one at Barcaldine, 1500 km from Brisbane and the coast, the social nature of travelers is encouraged by providing a “happy hour” with Billy tea and cakes provided, BYO chairs, cups and optional alcohol and a local pair of bush balladeers to provide music from “our” generation.

I’ve experienced both cultures, in many parks over 50 years of camping and have found the experience altogether to be recommended. Five Stars it isn’t – but you can’t get closer to the beach or the bush than when camping.


9 thoughts on “Caravan Park People

  1. No lecture just a concert from two octogenerian (very old) country & western performers singing songs that were old before you were born. They sang for an hour so,considering there were two of us I put $10 in the bucket which made me generous in comparison. Tonight in Winton there was a much better performer – s Slim Dusty clone and at 7 pm there are a pair of female comic poets – we might go for a laugh.

    Ask Gemma if she knows about Winton – and IR – otherwise try google. Site of the start of the major shearer’s strike in the 1800’s and the famous “Tree of Knowledge” which was replanted , when the first one died of old age, by PM Bob Hawke. Every time it grows above head height someone poisons it!
    Big labour museum in town – don’t know if time to visit – going to check out the dinosaur footprints that inspired the flocking dinosaur scenes in Jurassic Park.

  2. When Simon ran his comment past me before hitting submit I had not yet read the post and so encouraged his jibe at the ‘old folks’ (terrible I know – you expected better of me).

    But having now read this inciteful post into the sociology of camping it is clear that we really must start taking this blog a bit more seriously.

    • Maybe not too seriously – I will lighten up as we move along and get over some problems with the van – we need some minor repairs in Isa before we move further West and North. Already over 30 degrees yesterday and today. We made our trip to see the dinosaur footprints at Lark Quarry – took a tour to avoid 200 km driving on dirt roads – left at 8 am back at 1,30. When I got there I found my camera battery flat – the spare back in the car. My fault, not happy, had to use Julie’s camera and I have no idea whether I have an image. Might be Julie’s turn to write tonight.

  3. Go the camping culture- I agree- far better than 5 star!!! WE have some good friends we have met in Camp Grounds up and down and around the place. Although I think we even go less stars than you mostly! (Learnt many years ago to dig a hole (well get Steve to) the night before the morning- if you know what I mean!) Enjoy the vibe… 🙂

    • WE have already met so many amazing and helpful people including the electrician who gave our van a full bill of health – our problems were dodgy circuits in the van park in Winton! Great entertainment there though – there were two of most amazing (female) bush poets – they would be the basis of an incredible English lesson with a mixture of their own narrative poetry, some of it so funny, with wonderful renditions of the Aussi classics Patterson and Lawson – poems I had never heard before.
      Monday is school again for some people – say hello and giver my blog a plug please

      • Sorry for the TYPO! Oops.

        Will give your Blog a good plug when I get the chance. Ian was away and so was Phil (Pre-Tests and Shingles respectively- yep…we’re tag teaming with the heatlh- I get the ALL CLEAR, and they take over unfortunately!!!)…so when I see them I’ll tell them to have a look…

        You’ll be happy to know that you missed the WORST SDD in history…glad I took some prep to do as it would have been one awful day without something to entertain you.

        Safe travels.

        PS- Your writing is good. Love the quotes! Are they from your brain or google? 😉

      • I am really sorry to hear Phil has shingles – Greg Marsden had them and it was a foretaste of hell I think. Give my regards to the staffroom and the scientists. I have some blog entries planned that will relate to them. If they saw the Lark Quarry dinosaur one, the photo was mine but the writing was Julie’s. I am sorry to hear about the SDD – teachers don’t have that much time to talk to each other that we should be bored. I suspect that if we didn’t have to be “structured” they could be more useful. I know that I really learned from watching and talking to non science teachers about how they go about teaching. Yet the default position is just to send us back to our staff groups where we already spend a of of time together.
        About the quotes – they are always from books I have read or songs I know well, but I do check them out on google. I know I am know in Patrick White “Voss” country and am heading for Tim Winton’s patch so I will be looking for quotes from them.

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