‘The Wet is on its way … but we’re going nowhere!’

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Grey nomads in Top End
Ruth and Kerry Holmes with dog Ronaldo settle in at the Coolalinga Tourist Park. PIC: Katrina Bridgeford / NT News

With winter in the rear view mirror and temperatures starting to rise, grey nomads in the north would normally be contemplating a southern migration about now … but this is a year like no other.

Reports out of the Northern Territory suggest that some travellers are going to stay in the Tropics for the long haul, far away from the worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ruth Holmes, 71 and her husband Kerry, 68, who are originally from Bourke in New South Wales, have settled in at Coolalinga Tourist Park just south of Darwin.

“We’ve got no plans to leave anytime soon, we’re quite happy here,” Ruth told The NT News. “It’s the best place in the world at the moment … we also think that if we did get stuck, Darwin’s a pretty good place to be stuck.”

She said it was an easy decision to make.

“We were always planning to come up and, as soon as the borders opened, we were off,” she said. “But it’s mainly the virus – we were down in Adelaide for about 70 days and couldn’t move but it’s better in the NT because you’re virus free.”

The owner of the Coolalinga Tourist Park, Phillip Parnaby, told the NT News that many travellers seemed to feel the same way.

“There are a lot of people from the bottom of South Australia, as far away as New South Wales and some people from Victoria and the bottom of WA,” he said. “They’ve gone into quarantine to get here so they are pretty fair dinkum with what’s going on.”

However, Mr Parnaby thinks it will be a long time until the chaos caused by the pandemic truly settles down again.

“I’m thinking three years before we get back to normal,” he said. “We’ve got to get the word out there, we’ve got to push it that the NT is open for business and we appreciate every tourist’s dollar – it all counts.”

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3 Responses to ‘The Wet is on its way … but we’re going nowhere!’

  1. I’d hate to spend summer in Darwin and I hope their vans can handle all the storms up there

  2. The Top End is the best place to be.
    Gets a bit humid during the “build up” period now until the Wet season arrives.
    Not too much to do during the heavy monsoon season and the possibility of Cyclones forming this season are real.
    In a caravan is not the best place to be with a Cyclone in the vicinity. Stay safe..!.

  3. South Australia is COVID free we can move around no problem and the weather is getting better now we in spring.

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