WA grey nomads make hay while the sun shines

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WA campers are enjoying the state's idyllic spots such as the Dunsborough area. PIC: Tourism WA

While various eastern states have been tinkering with their border controls in response to the changing Covid-19 situation, the position over in the west has been a lot easier for grey nomads to keep up with … ‘unless you’re already here, you’re not coming!’

The hard-line stance of the WA Government has meant a degree of certainty in an uncertain world and, it seems, that has given caravanners and motorhomers there the confidence to hit the road.

With international travel off the table and the air travel within WA quite expensive, the camping life has seen something of a boom.

According to Jan Barrie, director of Perth-based touring company Global Gypsies, some West Australians are now on waiting lists of up to a year to buy new caravans,

And she told the West Australian newspaper that the renewed interest in caravanning could be here to stay.

“Even post-Covid, caravanning will be an affordable and enjoyable alternative to overseas and interstate travel and in future may be perceived as a safer holiday option,” she said. “Particularly for older people who are more cautious about Covid.

While the normal floods of interstate travellers haven’t been able to get to those magical northern locations like Broome, Exmouth, Coral Bay, Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and the Kimberley, the ‘locals’ from southern WA have been making hay while the sun shines.

The absence of interstate travellers has meant that the overall numbers of caravanners appears to be down, Jan says, with the silver living for ‘locals’ being that there is plenty of space on WA roads and caravan parks.

According to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA), the caravanning boom has also been fuelled by the fact it offers a sense of safety amid the pandemic.

“By design, caravan parks have large open spaces, cabin accommodation and many caravans and Recreational Vehicles have their own toilet, shower, kitchen and air con systems reducing the need to use shared facilities,” CIAA marketing officer, Keelan Howard, told the West Australian.

And she said caravan parks had also greatly improved their hygiene protocols in response to the pandemic.

  • Are you enjoying a ‘less crowded’ grey nomad experience in the west this year? Comment below.

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7 Responses to WA grey nomads make hay while the sun shines

  1. 5 years ago I flew into Perth from Melbourne for work. A local businessman gave me a tour of the city. We looked at the swan river and I said wow it looks great and it reminds me of the Yarra back home. He was so offended. “How could anyone compare the mighty swan river with that sewer in Melbourne”? I thought he was joking but no he was serious and as the tour went on I realized how proud he was of WA and sneering about anything in the Eastern states. I left the state thinking they regret joining the federation. I think the WA border will be closed for a LONG time.

  2. Spent a decade in WA.
    SW is nice the rest is a whole lot of nothing.
    Eastern states have a lot more to see and do

  3. “Less Crowded” No way.. There are so many people out there that bush camping locations are booked out weeks ahead and locations that may have had only 20-30 campers are now having 100 campers per night..In some areas if you are still on the road at 2pm you will have a problem finding anywhere to camp even on the side of the road.. Although it is not yet school holidays van parks are not missing out and prices are creeping up and station stays are catching on also .. Now that the northwest is getting warmer the people are being pushed down to the cooler parts of the state as we follow the wildflowers but we want to be gone from the south before the Christmas stampede.. It is anything but lonely out there..

  4. We are from NSW and just spent 19 months in WA inclusive of Covid lockdown travelling extensively from south to north – and loved every minute of it. We have found it extremely funny how those in WA see the Eastern states. I note an ad for car insurance that highlighted how those working in the Eastern States were partying in weird costumes while WA residents were desperately trying to contact them about an incident – it was hilarious but it was all about the time difference. WA has a lot to be proud of as do the Eastern States. We are all Aussies living through a very difficult and challenging time – we should be kinder to each other. Every state has so much to offer and I feel very proud to have had the opportunity to see so many amazing things in this wonderful country of ours.

  5. Let’s hope wa doesn’t keep its boarders closed that long that easterners forget how good it is over there and find other states to spend there money in.

  6. We have been on road in motorhome for 3 months in Qld, NT and SA. Were planning to go through WA from NT but with border closure headed south down Stuart Highway instead.
    I feel the rather irrational stance against opening WA border to relatively safe NT, SA and Qld has cost the WA tourism industry dearly.
    We have briefly visited Perth and South West before and were hoping to visit northern WA but are unlikely to ever do so now as it would be too far to travel just to visit that state from Qld
    So NT and SA have benefited from our travels and rightly so. We are grateful for the opportunity to visit these states and very pleased that they have not suffered any covid flare ups as a result of opening borders.

  7. I have just spent a few weeks in Exmouth. It has never been so busy and most businesses except those relying on international visitors are having record ever seasons. We were going to visit Kalbarri on the way home but but it was booked out. This was out of school holidays so not sure what Jan Barrie was basing her comments on.

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