Our convoy traces the Shoalhaven River en-route to the holiday park.
The inaugural ‘Motorhome Legends’ event kicked off in August, showcasing some of the country’s best motorhomes in the pretty NSW locale of Shoalhaven Heads.
Three motorhomes, an entry-level, mid to high-range, and luxury motorhome, were put through their paces in an event designed to take the hard work out for you when deciding on your next RV purchase.
Reviewed by industry stalwarts including Malcolm Street, who has assessed and driven literally hundreds of motorhomes and caravans over the past two decades, and our own Richard Barwick – the KEA, Wirraway and Paradise were crawled under and over, and driven on and off-road so we could give you our verdict of how they perform.
Our convoy were tested on and off-road.
The manufacturers and content crew created quite a presence in the small regional village – often seen frequenting Hedy’s Restaurant at the Shoalhaven Heads Hotel for a well earned glass of wine and quality pub tucker by the fireplace after hours spent out on various locations around town. But don’t think it was all wining and dining; days were jam packed assessing every inch of the motorhomes around the region. We covered everywhere from the Shoalhaven River to Two Figs winery perched at the top of one of Mount Coolangatta’s foothills, to get the best perspective of these motorhomes for you, and it wasn’t all plain sailing either – our drone used for panoramic and elevated scenic shots was blown off course several times, once landing in a nearby paddock leaving videographer Anna scrambling amongst bush to find it. You’ll be relieved to hear she did, going on to produce the cover shot on this magazine.
Malcolm spent most of his time with his head in the engine, or under the motorhome, ensuring the technical aspects were in check, while Richard was looking at how they fit in the industry and how they would best suit members. I stepped up to the challenge of reviewing the aesthetics – looking at how the motorhome functions, and what it has to offer from a comfort perspective.
You’ll get our full verdicts in individual reviews in coming issues, but we were most impressed by what we saw and what the event holds for the future.
As Richard Barwick states, “we see this as just the beginning of something big. It puts a diverse range of vehicles on offer, which are appealing to all price ranges and lifestyles and is a great way to recognise partnerships and supporters of CMCA, and they all offer freedom of choice.”
Malcolm Street says looking at motorhomes at somewhat diverse ends of the financial spectrum was certainly interesting.
“Whilst the more expensive motorhomes were a good look at frontline RV technology in all its forms, the KEA Beach was a great demonstration of what is available for those keen to embrace the motorhome lifestyle, yet on a limited budget. Of particular interest was the retro fit rear bed kit that turned the rental motorhome into something much more practical for the retail market.”
From an aesthetic point of view, I found the KEA to be the perfect entry-level for a family, it’s durable and I was particularly impressed with the cab bed, or as I liked to call it the ‘mezzanine’, the perfect hideaway for the kids, while the Wirraway and Paradise provide more than a touch of luxury, with home comforts many people wouldn’t even have in their own homes, including soft closing cabinetry, liquor cabinets, and in the Paradise, heated massage chairs in the cab.
At the end of long days reviewing the motorhomes, and a quick bite to eat, either at Hedy’s, or earlier in the day, the Table Talk Cafe (a friendly little cafe with plenty of variety – and importantly great coffee!), we headed back to the Shoalhaven Heads Holiday Park, bordered by Seven Mile Beach and the Shoalhaven River.
With the motorhomes parked on the lawn (where there’s no shortage of space for RVs), we bunkered down in the cabins, which were like mini cottages with a lounge, two bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom. The perfect spot for kids (or grandkids), the park has a swimming pool, jumping pillow, and outdoor cinema, and you can even take your furry friends in the winter months with small dogs welcome from June-August.
All in all the event created the perfect opportunity to test out three varying price points in motorhomes and meet the manufacturers – details of which we’ll bring to you over the next three issues, and we’re excited to see this event expand to showcase even more motorhomes in 2018.
RICHARD BARWICK - Richard is CEO of CMCA, an avid RV camper and has been in the self-drive tourism industry for more than 25 years.
MALCOLM STREET - Field editor Malcolm Street began travelling in an RV in the early 1970s and became an RV journalist in 1999. Each year he reviews more than 40 motorhomes and caravans in Australia and New Zealand.
KIRSTIE BEDFORD - Kirstie started her career as a journalist nearly 25 years ago and has worked heavily in the tourism sector. She loves nothing more than a self-drive trip exploring new places and putting pen to paper to share her experiences.
Shoalhaven Heads is a small town in Shoalhaven in southern NSW. It’s a short drive south-east of the quaint village of Berry, and two hours from Sydney. The town sits at the foot of Mount Coolangatta, and is situated on both Seven Mile Beach and the mouth of the Shoalhaven River.
KEA - ENTRY-LEVEL MOTORHOME
Make and Model: KEA Beach
Facilities: Kitchenette with fridge, stove and grill, toilet/shower combo
Bedding: Double bed, cab bed
Suits: Couple, family
WIRRAWAY - MID-HIGH RANGE MOTORHOME
Make and Model: Wirraway 260 SL
Facilities: Kitchen with roll-out pantry, cooktop, oven and grill; ensuite with separate shower and washing machine
Bedding: Double bed
Suits: Singles, couple
PARADISE - LUXURY MOTORHOME
Manufacturer: Paradise Luxury Motorhomes
Make and model: Independence Deluxe 28FT
Facilities: Kitchen with pantry, soft closing cabinetry, cooktop, oven and grill; three metre wide ensuite with separate shower and washing machine/dryer
Bedding: Double bed and sofa bed
Suits: Couple, family
Tags: Shoalhaven Heads NSW New South Wales Motorhome Legends RV Travel Event KEA Review Shoalhaven Heads Hotel River
Written: Sun 01 Oct 2017
Printed: October, 2017