GREY nomads from all corners of Australia have travelled to Townsville to flee the southern winter for the 16th annual Dam Tremendous Rally.
A spotlight on the Campervan and Motorhome Membership of Australia’s calendar, the Dam Tremendous Rally at Ross Park, Kelso, is North Queensland’s premier motorhome occasion attracting as much as 350 motorhomes annually.
Val Howard, 64, determined to flee the freezing Victorian temperatures to journey north for 4 months together with her caravan.
“It’s beautiful to be again in brief sleeves,” Ms Howard mentioned.
“We’ve got numerous zero temperatures the place I reside within the morning and a few days solely rise up to 11C or 12C.”
A former Townsville resident for 25 years, Ms Howard and her husband offered up and left town in 2011 to develop into gray nomads.
“We travelled for 4 years. It was a really stress-free life-style,” she mentioned.
After her husband died in 2016, Ms Howard determined she wished to proceed travelling round Australia.
“It’s the liberty to have the ability to pack up and journey to a brand new place,” she mentioned.
She and 10-month-old cavalier king charles spaniel Charlie determined to reap the benefits of the North Queensland winter and expertise their first Dam Tremendous Rally and WATPAC Townsville 400.
“The rally is an effective excuse to come back and meet new folks right here, to get away from the chilly winter in Victoria and to meet up with quite a lot of outdated associates,” Ms Howard mentioned.
She mentioned the Dam Tremendous Rally, which wraps up at the moment, was a preferred motorhome occasion for like-minded folks to discover North Queensland.
“There’s numerous chinwagging with totally different folks, all people’s bought an incredible story,” Ms Howard mentioned.
Tourism Analysis Australia figures present within the 12 months ending in March 2018 greater than 11.84 million in a single day caravan and tenting journeys have been made, a 3.5 per cent enhance on the earlier 12 months.
Tenting can be certainly one of regional Australia’s most vital tourism sectors with a Caravan Trade Affiliation of Australia report discovering 90 per cent of caravanning expenditure occurred in regional areas.
“You’re at all times placing a refund into all of the cities you go to by means of groceries, gasoline, coffees and cafes,” Ms Howard mentioned.
Townsville Enterprise Tourism and Occasions Director Bridget Woods mentioned drive tourism was very important.
“We are going to at all times welcome the organisers of the Dam Tremendous Rally and we love the large quantity of visitation it brings to the area,” Ms Woods mentioned.
“The gray nomads love to go to Townsville as a result of they benefit from the stunning pure points of interest the area has to supply.”