Some like it hot … and like to avoid camping crowds

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Grey nomads travel out of season
Keith and Denise Kirkwood-Ryan travel late in the season.

As the grey nomad lifestyle becomes ever more popular, the ‘crowds’ at those top camping areas can be off putting to many … and that’s meant the rise of the off-season traveller.

The Katherine Times reports that, despite the searing heat, more people are choosing to travel in the Northern Territory late in the season.

The newspaper spoke to grey nomads, Keith and Denise Kirkwood-Ryan, who are happy to be taking advantage of quieter parks and deserted roads.

“We try to avoid peak season times … there are still a lot of caravans on the road, but the heat coming now might be the tipping point,” Mrs Kirkwood-Ryan said. “We don’t mind travelling in the heat as long as there is a pool or a swimming spot, and lots of other people are doing the same.”

Being from Cairns originally, the couple though have an inbuilt temperature tolerance advantage over southern-based nomads.

The Katherine Times reports that Keith and Denise  have been on the open road since 2009, but ran into drama pretty much immediately when Keith was diagnosed with an extremely rare autoimmune disease.

“It impacted my memory, speech, mood, everything … I couldn’t even remember how to turn on a computer,” Keith said. “As soon as I got better, I thought there was no point in wasting time not doing the things we love, it was a huge motivator to get travelling again, and I will be on the road until I can’t do it any more.”

Like so many grey nomads, the Kirkwood-Ryans then have a story to tell and have found the open road and the camaraderie it offers is what they have been looking for.

They are not alone … even this late in the season.

The new managers of Katherine’s Riverview Motel and Caravan Park, Tony and Fiona Young, said visitor numbers were still steady as more people were choosing to travel late in the season.

“Instead of coming in April they would come in June,” Mr Young said. “But Katherine is heating up, so we can foresee we will start to see a drop off in numbers.”

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4 Responses to Some like it hot … and like to avoid camping crowds

  1. Yes
    Not a traveller myself but resident FNQ. Lots and lots of vans, camper trailers and travellers up FNQ, cairns mareeba , penisula development road and surrounds
    Warm enough now during the day for a refreshing swim, comfortable coolish nights up the tablelands and mareeba. Just perfect

  2. Good to see you two in lights! We are now in Mount Isa! Hope to bump into you again Kim and Garry (Darwin)

  3. Was in the NT late in the wet season. Less crowded, and it was a totally different experience to the dry season. Waterfalls running flat out etc. Stopped in caravan parks needed 240v to run the a/c at night. Did more sight seeing from inside the tug to stay in the a/c.

    • We live up here and I for one can definitely vouch for the wet season. I love it with all the beauty it brings with waterfalls and lushness everywhere. It is truly something else. However the build up Oct-Nov can be harsh. But then the rain comes and transforms the entire landscape before your eyes in just a few short days. And the tropical storms are so spectacular and worth experiencing.

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