City mad for home on wheels
WHEN legendary Ipswich radio announcer Ashleigh Mac isn't putting his golden tonsils to work on a voiceover, he's packing up the camper trailer for another trip into the great outdoors.
The well-known cafe owner and voice-over man is also an avid grey nomad and, along with his wife Penny, loves nothing more than making the most of what the Ipswich region has to offer.
A growing interest in camping has recently led to Ashleigh upgrading to a compact caravan, which he plans to get some good use out of with his regular trips to such idyllic locations as Maroon Dam, Moogerah Dam, Goomburra and the Noosa North Shore.
"It's only really the last five years that I've got into it. We started off in tents,” Ashleigh said.
"That was OK up until the time we got blown away in a storm at Maroon Dam. After that I went out and bought a camper trailer.”
Ashleigh is one of thousands of Queenslanders to catch the caravan travel bug.
According to 2017 ABS data, the state has the nation's highest number of registered caravans.
In the Ipswich area alone, there were more than 4000 caravans registered to hit the road last year.
With a few growing grandkids loving to tag along these days, Ashleigh and Penny upgraded to something with a few more creature comforts.
His new caravan provides a bit of extra breathing space with its annexe, and some luxuries in the form of a toilet and shower.
"The wife loves the shower and toilet,” Ashleigh said.
"We only go camping maybe once every three months, but when we do go, we go chronic. The best times are when it's just Penny and me and you can kick back and relax.
"One of our favourite local spots is Maroon or Moogerah Dam - especially Maroon because it's quiet and you can just get away from it all.
"The smart thing to do is to go somewhere where you are just out of phone coverage, that way you don't get bothered by anyone but it's only a short walk or drive to check for any important messages.”
State's finest travel gear on display at RNA
GREY nomads aren't the only ones who will be piling into the RNA showgrounds this week for the 59th annual Queensland Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow.
The show kicked off Wednesday and continues until Monday, with gates open 9.30am-6pm until Sunday, and until 4pm Monday.
Visitors will get a glimpse of the latest caravanning and camping products with more than 260 exhibitors setting up shop. Expect to see everything from the latest model caravans, motorhomes, campervans and off-road recreational vehicles through to budget-friendly camper trailers, and tent trailers. There will also be a huge array of gadgets and accessories aimed at making holidays more comfortable for all ages.
There will also be hints and tips on how best to prepare for your next big trip. Entry ticket prices have been cut by 50 per cent to celebrate this year's event milestone. Caravanning Queensland data shows 718 travel mad Ipswich residents made the trek to the annual show last year.