‘We’ll be careful, but it’s time to hit the road again’

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Grey nomads return to the road
Steve and Sue are looking forward to getting back on the road

When the pandemic crisis first brought the travelling lifestyle to a shuddering halt, grey nomads Steve and Sue Ghost were happier than most to park up their rig and stay in the comfort – and safety – of their own home.

Having had a double lung transplant three years ago, Sue is very much at the higher end of the Covid-19 risk scale and the retired couple were extremely anxious to do the ‘right thing’.

“We’ve both been wearing masks since the outbreak of Covid-19 … most people don’t care but some give us a funny look,” said Steve. “Sue has no immune system since the lung transplant and takes anti rejections meds and is highly susceptible to infection.”

As luck would have it, the pair were actually back at their Gold Coast home base upgrading their tow vehicle from an older Holden Colorado to a Mazda BT50 when the borders closed and travellers were told to get off the road.

However, as the number of new infections has consistently decreased, Steve and Sue have found themselves growing in confidence and are about to take their first post-lockdown trip in their 2015 Swift Explorer 584.

“We are off to Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast for seven days and we’re keen to try the new vehicle on the great beach drive to Double Island Point,” said Steve. “Getting away to somewhere different after being at home for several months has got be a good thing!”

As a general rule, Steve and Sue prefer to take frequent short breaks up and down the east coast, and they are still hopeful of getting down to Tasmania next year. Like many grey nomads, the couple are very curious to see if – and how – things have changed since they last hitched up the van.

“It will be interesting to see whether social distancing happens in a caravan park, particularly in the amenities areas,” said Steve. The couple have seen some parks now have online guest portals where money is paid and health declarations have to be filled out prior to arriving.

“Contactless check-in and check-out will probably be the norm for the foreseeable future, and it could be possible to stay in a park multiple times and never talk to a park employee or owner,” said Steve. “At least initially, people will not interact as much so I think caravanning and camping are going to be different for a while.”

The pair will also be modifying their own behaviour.

“We will probably use our own toilet and shower rather than the park amenities at least for a few months,” said Steve. “And going to the RSL or bowls club for dinner might not be the best idea for a while, we might just have to use the caravan oven and stove more frequently!”

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5 Responses to ‘We’ll be careful, but it’s time to hit the road again’

  1. Half your luck us Victorians don’t look like being able to go anywhere any time soon. Stick to the rules and I am sure you will be OK stay safe and happy travelling. Max

    • Nice to see a Victorian say a few kind words. Even though we live in New South Wales we won’t be going anywhere soon. We’re in the age group where with health concerns we just won’t take a risk. Just remember Max when this is all in a better place and time you will be welcome this way with welcome arms. A lot of us are in the same boat here

    • Thanks Max. Stay safe.
      Since this was written we have spent a week in Noosa. Good weather
      and no dramas.

  2. We have booked a week in Tewantin as well, because we don’t have an on board bathroom we have booked an ensuite site. We are hoping to get away on a few more short breaks, our biggest problem is knowing what free sites are open, because so many caravan parks do not allow cats.

  3. Well I thought things were “returning to some kind of new normal” and finally felt brave enough (despite having no immune system either due to the biologic medications I have to take for autoimmune RD)
    After 3 months of total separation from any human contact with friends and family as I’m a solo traveller who ended up in lockdown in rural QLD, I was desperate to get back on the road. As soon as restrictions eased, I bucked the usual grey nomad trend and headed from QLD a few weeks ago SOUTH! To Victoria! During the time I was in transit all hell broke loose down here and as of tonight, even though I’m at a caravan park that I though was far enough away from Melbourne to be safe, yesterday’s announcement that we are going to be included in the 6-week lockdown came as a real shock. I’d booked for a month here anyway, as I love the Victorian winter, and my next booking was for the whole month of August at another beautiful spot near Mt Buller, but that’s obviously not happening now.
    Anyway, those of you saying you’re proceeding with caution are wise, this situation can change anywhere, anytime and new restrictions can be brought in with only 24 hours notice as I’ve found since coming to Vic. I have no regrets for leaving the safe haven of QLD and I’m in a beautiful spot here, but what happened here could have happened anywhere. It’s not over yet.
    Be safe out there everyone!

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