With bypass on way, town looks to lure grey nomads

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RV camping area for grey nomads in Ulmarra
Clarence Valley Council wants to establish eight RV campsites at Small Park, Ulmarra, PIC: Northern Star/Tim Howard

The northern New South Wales village of Ulmarra is seeking get itself ‘bypass ready, with the establishment of an RV camping area one of the proposals under consideration.

The local council thinks the imminent loss of the Pacific Highway traffic makes it imperative that new ways are found to attract grey nomads and other travellers.

A Development Application looks like moving ahead that will begin a process of allowing eight recreational vehicle camping sites to be developed in Small Park, which also functions as the village’s cricket ground, rodeo venue and hosts its tennis courts.

The Clarence Valley Council’s environment, planning and community committee meeting has heard the Development Application has been exhibited in the village and has been well received by the community.

The Northern Star newspaper reports that, of seven submissions to the council, only one opposed the idea.

The benefits enjoyed by nearby Maclean after it converted its showgrounds to be RV friendly were also noted.

“They’ve got an active community there are the moment who are working hard to try to optimise the activities and the assets available for visitors and locals,” said councillor, Greg Clancy. “And this fits in nicely with what’s happening there now.”

A number of towns that have been bypassed in recent years have looked at establishing grey nomad friendly camping opportunities and attractions as a tactic to cope with the economic impact of road re-alignments.

Towns like Bulahdelah in New South Wales have been hailed as examples of what can be achieved when communities take a proactive and positive approach to the challenges of being bypassed.

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6 Responses to With bypass on way, town looks to lure grey nomads

  1. I love stopping in at Bulahdelah. It is one of the best ‘bypass’ towns just off the highway. I always visit the bakery, IGA and the pub as well as other establishments less regularly. Talking to a Lions volunteer at the RV stop one day he (an 80 year old local) proudly boasted that no businesses had closed since the bypass and that he credited it to the RV stop which is more often than not, full of grey nomads. He had little time for the backpackers but as yet hasn’t found a deterrent strong enough to keep them out. I say bring it on Ulmarra. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain. I would however have more than six spots available but at least it’s a start. I know the local caravan park wouldn’t agree but I can assure you. The caravan park will not keep the town prosperous like a bunch of grey nomads will.

    • GREAT idea!! I ❤️ it !! Access to power at a small fee would be great also … say +$5 per night.

  2. We prefer to stop in the smaller townships in smaller caravan parks which tend to be more relaxed and less noisey. I do my best to support the local community. I only ask that basic services are provided such as power, water and a dump point.

  3. A combined free camp plus power sites as the setup at Binnaway NSW has in place would be a good start. Binnaway has a pay as you go for electricity with 3hrs costing $2, and a hot shower costing $2 for 5mins.

  4. We recently called into Pittsworth Qld for lunch behind a lovely park. The area is the old railway yards, level & 25 m from the main street. This town has also been bypassed in recent years. An older resident came up to us & asked if we thought it was a good idea to have an overnight stop in the town to get more travellers in. Of course & this is the perfect place, level, in town & a toilet in the park, perfect. Not for the council though, they oppose it at every turn but bemoan the closing of businesses. When will these blokes realize that they are throwing money away

  5. Towns like this have been turned off by travellers for to long and we don’t forget. SORRY.

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