Goldstream RV Blog

The Chocoholics Paradise at Cambridge Tasmania

 

Many holidaymakers head to Tasmania to explore this southernmost state of Australia and the first stop on the way is often the capital, Hobart.

 

There are many towns surrounding Hobart that have great holiday parks, including Cambridge. Here you will find Barilla Holiday Park, only five minutes drive from the airport and about 18 km from Hobart. The location makes it ideal for those who fly in and rent a motorhome or caravan, as well as those who have brought their GoldstreamRV across from the mainland via the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.

 

There are many tourist attractions to keep you busy in Hobart – or Cambridge, if that is where you stay, although the drive to Mount Wellington is not for motor homes or cars towing a caravan. To enjoy the scenic wonders from the top you can book onto a bus tour, or leave caravan at the park and drive up without it.

Visit the Markets

 

The Salamanca Markets are open every Saturday and since there are over 300 stalls you will be sure to find lots to look at. As with many markets of this kind, parking can be difficult so leave your transport behind and use the shuttle bus that goes from the Cambridge holiday park; the fare is worth it to escape the traffic.

 

The nearby township of Richmond is worth a visit to see the oldest bridge and the oldest Catholic Church in Tasmania as well as the many craft shops that are sure to offer attractive mementos of your visit. There are many other tourist sites to visit, including: -

 

  • Cadburys Chocolate Factory – chocoholics won’t want to miss this one and tours are available during week days and business hours. However, note that you do need to book ahead.

 

  • Cascade Brewery is just 16 km from Cambridge and again, tours are available but must be booked ahead.

 

  • Just 11 km away is the Tasman Bridge and the Royal Botanical Gardens for those who appreciate the beauty of nature. A Japanese garden and many more attractions are included and parking is available as well as a restaurant.

 

  • A little further, an 18 km drive away, is Wrest Point Casino, with the usual range of attractions and facilities.

 

  • For some great photos of Mount Wellington and the bridge go to Rosny Hill, just 9 km from Barilla Holiday Park.

 

Of course, there are many other places to see and things to do in southern Tasmania, with Port Arthur and the Tahune Air Walk well worth a visit. In the holiday park itself you will find some pleasant occupations such as the mini golf range and a spa pool you can hire for yourself – great to relax in after a day of sightseeing.

The Top Sand Fly and Midge Remedies for Your Next Trip

It is an undisputed fact that Australia is home to some of the most incredible landscapes and water views in the world. And accessing these remote areas with your caravan is one of the most satisfying and fulfilling ways to experience them.

 

But it’s also a fact of life that where there’s water, whether it’s a waterfall, coastline or lake, there will be sand flies. Also colloquially known as midges, these tiny, whining fleets of pests can deliver dozens of painful bites to any exposed skin in a short amount of time.

 

These itchy, painful bites can very quickly divert the attention from the stunning scenery and make you think of a hasty retreat indoors. So with that in mind, here are some preventive measures and remedies.

Prevention Better Than Cure

 

Old wisdom is also the best, and in the case of sand flies and midges, avoiding a bite is much better than trying to treat one. Fittingly for blood sucking vampires, sand flies are most active at dawn and dusk.

 

If you are around wet sand or an area with mangroves at these times, you can be sure that sand flies will be too. If possible, avoid going near those areas at these times of the day.

 

But if you are wanting to enjoy the sunrise or sunset, then the simplest thing to do is cover any exposed skin. Camping and outdoor stores have a great selection of lightweight long sleeved shirts and full length pants to keep the midges at bay.

 

You can also apply baby oil or moisturising lotion to any exposed skin to avoid bites. This works because sand flies inject their saliva into the skin to allow them to draw blood. This surface layer or oil or lotion creates a barrier for them.

 

Another more unconventional option is to incorporate foods with more B12 in them, as it is said that this vitamin repels mosquitoes and sand flies. Bananas are high in B12, but high doses can be more easily eaten through taking a pharmacy supplement.

 

And of course, tropical strength insect repellents and sprays can also do the job, if you are willing to make the trade off with the smell!

Remedies

 

If you are unfortunate enough to get a handful of bites on your skin, there are a few things to help alleviate the symptoms. Bathing in cool water is great, and the ocean is twice as good because salt water has natural antiseptic properties.

 

Numbing sprays and tea tree oil can also stop the itching, as can specific antihistamines for itching that require a pharmacy subscription to obtain.

 

Don’t let sand flies and midges ruin the incredible landscapes and views near the water during your next caravanning holiday, and keep our remedies and tips handy for next time you hit the road!

When the Tiny Town of Birdsville Expands

 

Almost everyone will have heard of the Birdsville Races and many people come to this tiny town in the first week of September to enjoy not only the races, but all the other activities that accompany them.

While the town is usually tiny and quiet, during this week it expands significantly as up to 6000 visitors from the surrounding outback regions and many from all over the country – and other countries – come to enjoy what is on.

 

What is on in Birdsville

 

Starting in 1882 as a way to show off some local horses, the Birdsville Races now boasts 13 horse races that are held on a clay pan just outside Birdsville. It is one of the few race tracks in Australia that are run anti-clockwise. It is not only races that can be enjoyed during this weekend, but many other events as well, many of which raise funds for charitable causes such as the Flying Doctor. You can:

  • Enjoy a little history of the Birdsville races in the community hall
  • Watch or participate in the Fun Run
  • Go to a Cocktail Party
  • Enjoy the entertainment of a Boxing Troupe
  •  Go to Live Entertainment

 

Where to Stay

 

The tiny caravan park is not available for bookings during the week of the Birdsville Races. Instead, the sites are let out on a first come, first served basis.

There is also free camping along the banks of the Diamantina River, with the council providing rubbish bins and portable toilets in limited numbers.

Another option to consider is the tent city set up near the centre of town for people who fly in, or have no caravan. Many people do choose this option because it is such a long way to drive to Birdsville. In fact, you could leave your Goldstream RV happily ensconced in another caravan park at Longreach or another town for the weekend if you don’t fancy the long haul to Birdsville over those unsealed roads. You could then fly in for the weekend.

 

What to Watch for

 

If you do drive to Birdsville it is essential to watch out for dust. It is so thick that when another car or a road train comes along, it is often impossible to see through it. So make sure that you really can see what is coming if you try to overtake any other vehicle – and keep well over to the left when other vehicles are passing you.

 

 

Water Sports and Sand Dunes in Lancelin

 

Lancelin is a picturesque tourist and fishing town 127 km north of Perth. Cruising along the scenic Indian Ocean Drive, Lancelin is an easy hour and a half away, passing beautiful wildflower regions and pristine beaches.

The town has a population of around 600, increasing to 2,500 during Christmas to New Year. The town attracts day trippers from Perth and holidaymakers during the school holidays and throughout the year. The average yearly temperature is a pleasant 24°C.

 

Caravan Park & Camping Accommodation

 

When travelling with your own caravan or camper, Lancelin has great park options. There are two caravan parks, Lancelin Caravan Park is closest to the town centre and beach, while the Lancelin North End Caravan Park is closer to the dunes.

Both parks have a resident manager and offer washing machines, dryers, large sites for RVs, BBQ areas, short stay areas, hot showers, telephones, cabins, powered and unpowered sites.

In the Town

 

There are some great little cafes, a large general store, pharmacy, surf shop and wonderful bakery. Two hotels cater for the nightlife and there are some quality restaurants if you don’t feel like cooking. You can take a stroll down to the jetty, throw a line in or just watch the fishermen unloading their catch as you enjoy the scenery.

Things To See & Do

 

Windsurfing

 

Lancelin provides some of the world’s best windsurfing conditions and the shallow bay and pristine waters make it a mecca for windsurfers and kitesurfers. Every summer the town hosts The Lancelin Ocean Classic, the longest windsurfing and kitesurfing race in the world.

 

Seasports

 

The protected waters of the bay offer ideal conditions for swimming, snorkelling, fishing and boating. Sea lions and dolphins regularly visit the bay while the Back Beach is ideal for body-boarding and surfing.

 

4WD

 

The town is bordered by snow-white sand dunes, which at 2km long are the largest in the state. They are a haven for dune buggies, motor bikes, four wheel driving and sand boarding. The peaks of the dunes offer panoramic views of the town, islands and beaches, and are a spectacular sight at sunrise or sunset.

 

Pinnacles Desert

 

One of Western Australia’s most unique attractions, these ancient limestone pillars are situated in Nambung National Park, an easy one hour drive north. The stone formations rise out of the dunes like fossil tree trunks and are great viewing at sunrise or sunset.

 

This is just a sample of what you can do, why not come in your GoldstreamRV and see it for yourself?

 

Family Truckster - Goldstream RV Wing 3 off-road

The Search For The Perfect Family Camper LED CTA’s Max Taylor To The Goldstream RV Wing 3 Off-Road.

When Max Taylor’s camper trailer was stolen last year, the search began for a replacement camper suitable for his family – including wife Stacey and their three kids, Ethan, eight, Jasmine, four, and Ashton, two.

As the managing editor for CTA and sister magazine Caravan World, Max was well aware of the cross-section of innovation within the Australian RV sector but his growing family had very specific needs.

The Taylors wanted an offroad capable rig that was comfortable to tow and offered sufficient payload, storage and space for the plethora of family-related daily needs. Weight was a factor, too, with Ruby, the family’s petrol-powered 80 Series LandCruiser, already carrying a considerable load.

Bedding was also a major consideration as Max didn’t want to be assembling annexes and bunks on every overnight stop, so the ability to sleep the entire family within the camper was paramount. And, with five people, big and small, sleeping in the camper, the internal layout had to flow to avoid the frustration of constantly shuffling around people, clothes, food, iPads, toys, cooking and eating utensils.

Cooking was an important factor, with the family wanting an outdoor barbecue as well as an internal gas stove. A microwave and air-conditioner would allow the family to camp with mains power in supreme comfort while solar and generated 12V power would serve them when they ventured off the grid. Hot water is a welcome comfort on the road, but almost a necessity for an extended stay.

The search was short and sweet: Goldstream RV’s immense range appeals to many kinds of RV travellers, but it was the commitment to quality and its reputation in after-sales service that made the choice simple. With a few optional extras, the Goldstream Wing 3 Off-Road ticked every box for the Taylors.

The Goldstream RV Wing is the original model in the range. It was first produced more than 20 years ago and now offers a choice of three different layouts to suit a variety of traveller needs.

I can attest to the quality of a Goldstream RV, having travelled 14,500km from Melbourne to both South Australian gulfs and north to Lorella Springs, NT, on a seven-week trip. More recently, I took a Goldstream RV to Nundooka Station, 100km north of Broken Hill, NSW, and survived 45°C heat and offroad extremes. I was skeptical about the ability of an air-conditioner to keep a soft-sided camper cool until my time at Nundooka, when the Goldstream RV became the most popular spot in camp. I wouldn’t call the optional Dometic Freshjet FJ3200 air-conditioner essential, but it’s worth its weight in gold when you need it.

There were no shortcuts in this camper: while the standard Goldstream RV Off-Road pack has proven itself over the years as suitable for the rough stuff, Max optioned the Cruisemaster XT Coil independent trailing arm suspension for its smooth stable ride and easily exchangeable components, such as the polyurethane bump stops, twin gas shockers (each side) and coil springs. A tough suspension means little if the underpinnings aren’t up to scratch, but the Goldstream RV chassis is tough and proven. The hot-dipped galvanised DuraGal box construction has 150x50mm main chassis rails extending through to the drawbar and a DO35 offroad coupling up front. She rides on 15in alloy mags with Goodride 31/10.5 R15 MT radials and 12in electric brakes and a handbrake. The twin 60L water tanks are well shrouded with checkerplate alloy. Families certainly need loads of water, especially when there’s an external shower fed by the Truma gas hot water service. There is no shower tent so Max carries a pop up, stand-alone unit that doubles as a privacy awning for a porta pottie.

EASY RIDER

Out front, we find the Anderson plug connection, a removable jockey wheel, a full-width mesh stoneguard, twin 9kg gas cylinders in lockable mounts, side handles, an aluminium checkerplate protection liner and a long storage boot. Inside the lockable boot are all the poles, steps and tools as well as the 100Ah deep cycle battery, electrical isolators, Projecta battery charger and solar regulator. Max added some clips to individually hold the poles but, to be honest, I reckon they’re a pain! But each to their own. The poles are only required if you choose to roll out the extra flies over the fold-out beds, which act like tropical tradervs.com.au 73 roofs and offer protection in extreme rain.

As we travel around the unit, we find checkerplate panels protecting the base of the side sheets. Underneath are four drop-down stabilisers and to the driver’s side is the pull-out shower, hot water venting and lockable water filler. The rear of the trailer has a moulded ABS outer liner, waterproof LED tail lights, and a strong bumper bar with twin jerry can housings. The spare wheel is out back. On the nearside are the lockable access door, a handy fold-out shelf, 240V inlet, 12V outlet, external lighting, a hatch housing and the optional stainless steel barbecue on sliding tracks.

We set the camper up in a jiffy with the shade of the full-length Fiamma awning completing a very attractive outside living area. Up on top, the one piece insulated roof has the optional Dometic air-conditioner and the optional 120W flexible solar panel keeping the battery charged. It is truly amazing just how much power a single battery can supply when backed up by suitable charging such as Goldstream RV provides. I never found any run-down problems in my seven weeks on the road with sensible use.

I like the convenience of a wind-up camper like the Wing 3, and can quite easily have it set up for a comfortable overnighter in a matter of minutes – alone!  

As you step up into the spacious interior you will be visually pleased with the hard and soft finishes, as well as the fittings, fixtures and appliances. Comfortable seating is an absolute must and you will really look forward to relaxing on the front club lounge at the end of an action-filled day. The table near the front club lounge can be lowered to form another full-width bed.

Immediately to the right of the door is a counter, known as the breakfast nook. It is a handy flat surface with storage underneath. The rear-side of the brekkie nook forms the backrest for one end of the convertible dinette with its handy drop-down table that also forms a separate bed for one of Max’s littleuns. It is actually large enough for an adult to sleep comfortably, or maybe even two who really like each other, which means the Wing 3 can accommodate six, or even eight at a squeeze.

The opposite side is the kitchen with plenty of laminate bench space, a stainless sink, four-burner stove and grill, 93L three-way fridge, microwave and tonnes of cabinetry including drawers and a slide-out pantry. The roof has the air-conditioner outlet, vented relief and plenty of lighting options. The canvas and fly wire surrounds are excellent and most have internal clears. The driver’s side can open right up to become an al-fresco entertainer and the block out blinds lock out all of the harsh sun and insulate the interior from heat and cold.

I just love the pull-out beds. I honestly sleep more soundly in them than my own bed at home. There’s a queen at the front and usually a large double at the rear, however, Max opted for the larger queen at both ends, both with privacy curtains. 

THE VERDICT

Goldstream RVs have a particular air of premium quality and the Taylor family’s Wing 3 Off-Road has all the bells and whistles.

I’ve had enough experience with these units to confidently state that they are a cut above the rest and a good mate when the going gets rough.

Your purchase of a Goldstream RV will mean your entire family can travel in comfort, cleanliness and confidence wherever your heart’s desire. But, be warned, your kids will be the lively ones after a good night’s sleep while the others will be wiping the bugs out of their ears and scratching their insect bites.

Good choice, Max – can I borrow it next weekend?

 

The freedom of a Goldstream RV

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