Grey nomads settle down to sit out the lockdowns

Published: July 22, 2021

The latest Covid outbreaks in multiple states has once again caught many grey nomads out and brought their Big Laps to a shuddering halt.

More than half of the Australian population is now in lockdown, and not all of them are living in homes made of bricks and mortar.

However, there is a far better understanding among travellers of what the pandemic can do than there was early last year when it initially appeared. Back in March and April, 2020, there was widespread confusion, anger, and fear when state borders started slamming shut.

This time around, there appears to be a far more resigned response, and most travellers were happy that health concerns were being put first.

Grey nomads Adrian and Janet Saw are currently working as caretakers at a  campground at South Australia’s Mount Gambier Showgrounds.

“We are absolutely happy about the lockdown … the SA government hasn’t messed around,” Ms Saw told the ABC. “Melbourne has proven the lockdowns work, so why not?”

She said most older travellers just wanted a quiet life anyway, and did not ‘want to take the chance’.

“We know what lockdowns are like, we have been travelling for a while now … the close confinements don’t bother us,” Ms Saw told the ABC. “We can still get the paper … we watch television and I do my craft.”

Although campers used shared facilities, Mr Saw said all guests were registered and the park followed Covid-safe plans.

The couple, who have been travelling for seven years after retiring, said there was a ‘mad rush’ with travellers across the border when Victoria was first plunged into lockdown, but the Mount Gambier camping ground has not had a new booking for five to six days.

“The phone hasn’t rung since 9am Sunday morning,” Ms Saw said. “South Australians and Victorians can’t get out here now.”

Like many other grey nomads across the country, the Saws are just preparing to ‘sit it out’ and make the best of the situation. Ultimately, there is little more they can do.

  • Are you in lockdown? How are you using your enforced ‘downtime’? Comment below.
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Jean Winterfield
1 year ago

Lovely to read about Adrian and Janet at Mount Gambier, our hometown. We are currently in NT house sitting but did spend 5 days near Mataranka at Elsey NP while Darwin had its lockdown. It was the best place to be and we were not camped on top of others., shared ammenities but mostly all we’re doing the right thing. We are in no rush to come home and happy to sit it out wherever if necessary. Stay safe everyone


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