A caravan has always been a popular way to travel. It's good to have everything you need trailing right there behind you, and now that the famous Grey Nomads are spending their children's inheritances and hitting the road, the numbers of vans and motor homes have increased, and they are certainly becoming more sophisticated!
When you consider the size of Australia and all it has to offer, taking your home with you really makes sense and it's no wonder the caravan and camping industry is the fastest growing tourism sector in Australia.
No worries about looking for somewhere to stay the night. You have your own kitchen, shower and bed. You get to take the dog, cat or bird and your favourite bits and pieces to create a home away from home.
Australian Caravan Safari Trails arrange groups of between 30 and 50 vehicles who experience rural and outback Australia in ways not usually accessible to individual travellers. They have themes such as The Outback Discovery Trail, created for locals with their own vehicles and international visitors who hire when they arrive.
Convoys are led by experienced tour operators in lead and sweeper vehicles. They provide freedom of choice, safety, guidance and assistance if required. They usually hit the road in groups of three in consideration of other traffic and most days have just two to three hours of driving.
Participants are exposed to real Aussie country hospitality and welcomed by rural communities. They sample bush tucker, enjoy vineyard tours, local produce, barbecues, bushwalking, fireside sing-a-longs and group games. There's always company if you fancy, or you can tuck yourself up in your own zone.
Three safaris set out in 2006 incorporating the eastern, western and southern states, and Getaway joined one of them on the Healesville to Seymour leg in Victoria.
When they arrived in Seymour there was a boules tournament and the very popular tradition of Sundowner drinks.
Some meals are taken in restaurants and are included in the price. On other occasions they are taken in a caravan park.
Everyone on the safari Getaway joined was certainly enjoying the experience. They compare vans, enjoy the company of other Grey Nomads, love visiting places they've never been to and making new friends who will no doubt be on their Christmas card lists.
Get in early to book for tours leaving this year. May 12 and August 11 is the Outback Discovery Trail travelling from Dubbo to Longreach. The Wildflower and Goldfields Trail from Kalgoorlie to Boyup Brook will begin on October 6. June 2 and September 15 are the departure dates for the Murray and Wine Trail from Bright to Victor Harbor. On November 3 you can join the Tassie Wilderness Trail.
On the road between Healesville and Seymour.
The Outback Discovery Trail (Dubbo to Longreach) is $2450 per vehicle with two people. Scheduled departures for two-week trips are May 12 and August 11, 2007.
Wildflower and Goldfields Trail (Kalgoorlie to Boyup Brook) is $2450 per vehicle with two people. Scheduled departure for a two-week trip is October 6, 2007.
Murray and Wine Trail (Bright to Victor Harbor) is $2650 per vehicle with two people. Two-week trips depart June 2 and September 15, 2007.
Tassie Wilderness is a new trail and a two-week trip begins November 3, 2007. Itineraries and costing will be available in May.
There is a $100 discount for members of the NRMA or other state motoring club.
Prices quoted correct at April 12, 2007
The Australian Caravan Safari Trails
PO Box H114
Harris Park NSW 2150
Ph: 1800 228 517, (02) 9615 9999
Click here for voucher a discount to the Melbourne Expo