Eddie & Felice

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Felice and Eddie plan to upgrade their rig soon

War service pensioner Eddie W, 64, and wife Felice love to support rural towns as they travel around Australia

What rig do you have?
Shortly we will be upgrading from a Jayco Flamingo camper van to a Jayco Starcraft poptop with ensuite and looking at do­ing some more freedom camp­ing due to the cost of caravan parks. However, money not spent on caravan parks can be spent on experiencing ‘real’ Australia.

So, you like to go country?
We have made a conscious decision to support small towns with caravan parks in the local Cairns region, as well as further afield.

Give us an example?
We have spent a week at the Fishery Falls Caravan Park (on the Bruce Highway south of Cairns heading towards Townsville); we have spent a week on two separate occa­sions at the Mount Carbine Caravan Park (on the Mulligan Highway heading towards Cooktown and Cape York); we have spent a week at the Walkamin Central Caravan Park (on the Kennedy High­way between Mareeba and Atherton; we have spent a week at the Pentland Caravan Park (on the Flinders Highway, 104 km south west of Charters Towers); we have spent a week at the Mount Garnet Travellers Park (on the Kennedy High­way heading west from Ra­venshoe); we also spent a few days at the Ilfracombe Caravan Park (a small township on the Capricorn Highway between Barcaldine and Longreach). There are others, too many to mention.

Where next?

We have planned a trip around Queensland that we hope to do before the end of the year (click here to see our planned itinerary). We have done the research and know of some of the places of interest we will be visiting. There are some very interesting places along the way, the smallest consisting of a only hotel in the middle of nowhere (Middleton between Winton and Boulia) which provides free camping for a small donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Where will you stay?
When we go on trips, we plan the route but do not plan where or when we stop. We tend to take pot luck in regards to accommodation and stop when we feel like it, generally about three to four in the after­noon or when a town takes our fancy. From research we have done, a lot of small country towns have more to offer in the way of experiencing Australia than most would realise.

Do you get a warm welcome?
We have generally found locals in these small towns very friendly, accommodating and appreciative of whatever money we spend. It seems that a lot of caravanners – not necessarily grey nomads – seem to bypass the small towns heading for the larger towns and cities, which is a pity as the small country towns and villages need the support. For those that can’t contribute to the likes of Blaze Aid, staying at these small places helps.

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