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Winter is a funny time in Australia for the motorhoming fraternity...
Words and Images by: KEA

KEA Tracks reckons that winter is a funny time in Australia for the motorhoming fraternity. In the southern end of the country, quite a few climb aboard their travelling home and head north for the June to September period. Others just park their motorhome and leave it closed up until spring. A smaller number keep on travelling wherever their  GPS leads them. Then there are the few that actually make a point of heading to the snow country for a bit of time on the ski slopes or even just the opportunity to see the beautiful mountain country in winter. Apart from anything else, it’s a good time of year for the sub alpine caravan parks and sometimes difficult to get a powered site should you want one.

Up north, it’s different again and there are certainly plenty of places in WA, the Northern Territory and Queensland where the winter can be a very pleasant time. Especially for those who really do not cope with summer’s hot, sweaty climates. KEA Tracks lives in a southern state and is always slightly bemused on our regular visits to SE Queensland and seeing  people in scarves and beanies. Where do they go for a warmer winter retreat we wonder?

A few years ago, KEA Tracks spent a memorable Christmas-New Year week in winter time Normandy,France. One thing we did see was the considerable amount of motorhomes and caravanners not only on the move but staying in the caravan parks around the area. There were more motorhomers than caravanners and there are some good reasons for that.

For a start, on a relative basis, there are far more motorhomes running around Europe than in Australia and when parking up or moving off there’s far less fiddling around outside than with a caravan. Indeed, if planning carefully, there’s no need to be outside at all on very cold days.

Back in Australia, whatever you do, there are a few things to keep in mind for the winter period. If just leaving the motorhome parked up for the cooler spell then it’s a good idea to check out a few things. Simple items really, liking making sure no perishable food is left anywhere, in either cupboards or the fridge. With the fridge, it’s best left totally empty, cleaned and with the door(s) wedged open. Switching off all devices, including those with “phantom loads” saves battery life and draining all the waste tanks my well avoid unpleasant odours later on. There’s a bit of debate about leaving diesel tanks full or empty because of condensation problems but we reckon it’s better leaving the tank topped up. Of course, if parked up for a while, then winter time is great for some catch up maintenance, like a good clean inside and out, a check on all electrical cables and gas fittings, as well as well as the opportunity to offload all those items that get carried around “just in case” but are never used.

For the cooler season travellers, KEA Tracks reckons there are plenty of sights and sounds to remain on the road for. Autumn in many locations offers an amazing array of red, green and gold vistas as the trees change their colours. In the winter months, there’s nothing quite like a frosty morning atop the Great Dividing Range or snowy white mountain scenes full of snow gums. Not to mention sitting around a very warm campfire enjoying a beverage or two. Of course, it’s always more pleasant to have a diesel or gas-fired air-blown heater on board.

Spring time too, when nature awakens, is a fun time to be on the road. Warmer weather is approaching and in a place like, say, Canberra or the highland areas in NSW or Victoria, tree blossoms are to be seen everywhere.

KEA Tracks is of the opinion that Australia really is a country for all seasons, don’t you agree?

Tags: Snow Winter RV Cold Motorhome Campervan Caravan Summer Hot Climate Jindabyne Thredbo Charlotte Pass
Category: Features
Written: Thu 01 Sep 2016
Printed: September, 2016
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