Less grey with kids in tow, more families on Aussie road trips

More young families follow in grey nomad footsteps


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Charlee, Shelly and Baylee have seen more of Australia than most in their campervan travels.

Charlee, Shelly and Baylee have seen more of Australia than most in their campervan travels.

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Among a queue of grey nomads waiting for a camping site at the ultra busy Riverview Caravan Park this morning, a young family waits patiently.

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Among a queue of grey nomads waiting for a camping site at the ultra busy Riverview Caravan Park this morning, a young family waits patiently.

They are part of a growing number of families joining the great migration better known to Australia's older generation.

Ryan and Laura Heckenbery are travelling with their 14-month-old son Jaime for nine weeks through the middle of Australia.

Self employed, the couple from Wollongong, NSW, were able to drop everything and ship out to see the great outdoors.

In the past three years, Riverview Caravan Park managers Craig and Wendy Batten said they had seen a significant increase in the number of families on the road.

But most were either working while travelling or had packed everything up and sold the house for a complete lifestyle change.

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"In the past three years we have seen more and more parents come through with their kids," Mrs Batten said.

"We are turning around 20 to 30 caravans a day and not all of them are grey nomads."

Nestled deeper in the caravan park, Shelly Delavale wanted to stay close to her partner while he travels Australia working as a sub-contractor.

Travelling for over one year now with two young children, the family has become well established in Katherine while they wait out the contract.

Also building a house on the Gold Coast, Mrs Delavale said they chose to buy a caravan and hit the road rather than rent a home.

"Our path has been a scribbly line," she said.

"We go where ever we have to so the kids are close to their dad."

So far, they have spent time in Alice Springs, Adelaide, Perth and Katherine, and it is up in the air where they will be next.

"The challenges are the same on the road as they are at home. You still have to raise your kids, but you see so much more and the kids are flourishing," she said.

"Charlee has just come out of her shell because she is constantly mixing with different people.

"I don't want the house to be finished."

The young mother said she has seen more families on the road than she expected, but most were on self-funded 12 month trips.

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