Submitted: Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 14:32
ThreadID: 139856 Views:11656 Replies:8 FollowUps:12
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“To anyone who sees caravans and RV's driving through Australia at the moment. Think before you judge or attack them for travelling in the midst of a pandemic.

Remember that many people were in the middle of their trip when all if this started. They did not see this coming. And thousands of them are grey-nomads who's retirement dreams have turned terrifying.

Many of them were far from home when they heard the message not to travel and so stayed where they were. They bunkered down in camping grounds and caravan parks to wait it out. Thinking that staying put was the right thing to do.

Recent events have seen thousands of them displaced and left with no choice but to travel.Tasmania ordered all tourists get out of their state by Sunday, 26th of March. And as of the 25th of March, many of our State Governments have ordered the closure of camping grounds and told caravan parks to turn away all but permanent residents.

With nowhere to stay, many travellers will be forced to drive through the night or stop to sleep on the side of the road. Please remember that these travellers have been given no choice but to make their way home through affected area and closed borders, not knowing how they will be treated. Some have been threatened with jail if they do not move on.

Most of them are taking every precaution and are aware that they face 2 weeks of isolation upon arriving home.

Many are elderly and precisely the most vulnerable in this pandemic. They themselves are at risk every time they need to stop for fuel or food. Many of them are shocked, anxious, tired and scared. And many of them have families who are worried for their safety.

They did not choose to be on the road at a time like this. They are not tourists flouting the travel ban. They are our parents and grandparents... and they are just trying to get home safely.

So if you see them, please show them some consideration and compassion. Give them a wave instead of the finger and offer them help instead of abuse. We should all be showing kindness to our fellow humans at a time like this. Even if it is from 1.5m+ and adorned with gloves and masks.

To those making your way home right now, I wish you all a safe journey x”

I cannot take credit for this, but I have shared it so that some people may change their attitude towards Grey Nomads caught up in this crisis.


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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 16:32

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 16:32
Thanks Macca for publishing this message, which is very well written , very thoughtful, and very much in the true Aussie spirit.

"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

"No road is long with good company." Traditional

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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:03

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:03
Lets hope every one on this forum takes the time to read it.
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:35

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:35
Yes, thanks Macca, good read.

We had to cancel a 7 week trip to USA 5 days before we were due to fly out. If we had booked for a week earlier we would be somewhere is USA trying to get home.

So rather than flying out we hooked up the van and went down to Busselton for a couple of weeks. Ended up that by the end of week one we were back home again but relieved to be safe.

One couple with three kids packed up and hit the road at 5:00PM to try and get to the boarder before it was to close in something like 30 hours.

For those not in the know they were faced with the the following - 16 h 14 min (1,574.1 km) via National Route 1 and National Highway 1

Last time I drove from just south of Perth it took me 2 x 12 hour days with 2 of us driving to get to Eucla.

Imagine if they were up at Shark Bay, they would never had made it in time so I guess a lot of them had no choice but to stay put and then be struck with IGA stores that only serve locals.

I know how this effected us and we were lucky to have time to opt out but we lost about $4,000 in pre-paid bookings were we took the cheap option with no options to postpone or get a refund.
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Reply By: Zippo - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:22

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:22
It is very well written, and spot-on.

What it omits to even mention are those who "don't have a home to go to", having sold up for a life on the road. These ones are indeed between a rock and a hard place.
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Reply By: tonysmc - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:26

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 17:26
I know a couple and another separate person that have sold their homes and were travelling indefinitely, while they had there health and enjoyed it. Not sure where this puts them now as they do not have a "home" to go too? I know their super and investments have taken a huge hit as well. I assume their are plenty of permanent residents in caravan parks around oz. So I suppose people in that predicament will just have to sit it out where they are, which is hopefully a nice place.
AnswerID: 630789

Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 19:39

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 19:39
Sister in-law and her husband are in the same situation...they were in NSW headed for W.A. when the borders started closing, they needed to hightail it back to QLD to hole up in a relatives backyard at Nerang on the Gold Coast.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 19:46

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 19:46
Thanks Macca.
We have had a tiny experience of how some of these people are feeling right now. We normally don't like to drive more that 200 or 300km in 24 hours.
We heard about the SA border closure while we were in Central NSW about 1,000km from home. Within an hour we had decided to head home and arrived home 27 hours later. Not pleasant.

We noted during that drive that it appeared that many people were driving faster and further than they would normally contemplate. We arrived in a rest area at 8pm. No others were present, but several others arrived later that night and all had departed again before dawn.
We wondered what impact this has had on road accidents.

We also have a friend with no fixed address, who lives in a motorhome. He will be parked up in our driveway shortly. We are voluntarily in self isolation.
Travel safe people.
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 630792

Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 21:02

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 21:02
We live on lower eyre peninsula, South Australia. We have a small rural property. Where we could offer a park either away from everything, so self contained or close to shed/power and water. 25 Klm to the nearest town , supermarkets etc etc.
And seeing some interstate travellers, caravan/motorhomes in the area, we have decided we can offer some space for someone to park up.
Spoke to one solo man today , he thought our place would be to “out of the way for him” but thanked us for the offer.
If anyone is in need of a “spot” we may be able to accommodate them.

It’d be tough if you can’t find somewhere to stop.
AnswerID: 630793

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 21:09

Sunday, Mar 29, 2020 at 21:09
Good work Shane !!

FollowupID: 906387

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Mar 30, 2020 at 16:52

Monday, Mar 30, 2020 at 16:52
Hear hear Gazz !!!
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Reply By: Bazooka - Monday, Mar 30, 2020 at 16:51

Monday, Mar 30, 2020 at 16:51
Thanks for sharing Macca, and a big thankyou to all those like Shane prepared to offer assistance and understanding (in lieu of knee-jerk abuse) to grey nomads caught essentially in no-man's-land.

Those of us hunkered down in the relative safety of our homes/communities should spare a thought for others caught in the chaos, and not shoot from the hip while knowing nothing about the specific circumstances some find themselves in . Imagine for example what's it's like to be stuck in your tiny inner cabin on a cruise ship with COVID-19 onboard and no idea when or if you might be allowed off.
AnswerID: 630797

Follow Up By: Member - firmy (NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2020 at 20:32

Monday, Mar 30, 2020 at 20:32
That was a great post,we left Busselton WA last Monday now at Peterbough still have about1278 km to go.All good.cheer Mick
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Reply By: Slopokin - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020 at 09:13

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020 at 09:13
Great post Macca
We feel extremely sorry for any travellers who have no place to go and do not have a home base.
We live in Townsville and have a small property where we could provide a secure place with water and power for anyone stuck on the road.
AnswerID: 630800

Reply By: Batt's - Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 07:38

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 07:38
Not having a dig but didn't see it coming ? I think if people have been watching, listening to the news and actually comprehending what has been going on for the past 4 months or so there may have been more than just a few hints dropped. My parents are 79, 80 yrs old and figured out not to travel this yr without any one else having to tell them instead of being in the mind set that we have to go on our annual migration.
AnswerID: 630822

Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 08:39

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 08:39
Not having a dig back batts, but when did your parents decide not to travel this year? Advice warnings only came out about a month or 6 weeks ago, and then it was only to specific international “hot spot” locations. It has all ramped up very quickly in the last 4 weeks, certainly not 4 months ago. Up until 2 months ago, I doubt most people in Australia had never heard of COVID-19, or Coronavirus.

Most true grey nomads have been on the road for many months, and in some cases more than a year.


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 08:55

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 08:55

When we were in Renmark recently, we were speaking to many people in the Caravan Park and almost all of the long term travellers had been on the road for 12 months or long, and the family with the shortest time was 6 months.

Even 6 months ago Covid 19 was unheard of so to say they should have been more careful is unfair. Not sure if you are aware, but there are over 75,000 Australians that have no home base and travel full time.
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 13:57

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 13:57
When we got out of bed on 12th March we were looking forward to a 7 week to USA and other places.

By mid morning we received an email from New York Broadway Group to say the had cancelled the Phantom of the Opera that we were to go to on thr following Saturday 21/03/2020.

By lunch time we had to cancel all bookings, yes there were warnings before this date but Smart Traveller was only warning to be careful until miday so you can say that Friday 13/03/2020 was the start of warning saying not to travel.

Yes, that was a real BLACK Friday for us.
FollowupID: 906465

Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 18:34

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 18:34
That all just shows you how everyone looks at things differently before this virus showed up I rarely watched the news to much rubbish on it but I made an early call myself not to book holidays unless needed. It was quite easy to see this would spread becase of the amount of world travel these days a person just has to be realistic but not live in fear that diseases can spread from country to country very easy these days as it has been proven for over a century.
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 18:57

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 at 18:57
We booked that holiday a year ago so were hoping we would be right to go. All I can say is we are glad it didn't happen a week later as we would have been stuck somewhere in the USA, today we should have been in Tulsa doing Route 66.

We have lost about $4,000 if hotels where we opted for the cheaper rate, no refund and no changing dates although a couple have done the right thing.
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Follow Up By: Gliderguider - Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 21:52

Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 21:52
I heard a report on the radio that caravan parks can legally provide emergency accommodation and that victorian caravan parks were allowing COVID refugees to hole up in their parks. I would think that this would satisfy that condition.
Not sure why temporary residents are being evicted when some of them are anything up to 2 weeks from home.
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