The best thing about owning a vintage caravan is hitching it up and setting off down the highway on yet another adventure to a destination far away enough from home to feel like a getaway, but close enough to come home from by Monday. I know as soon as the van is on the back of the car, my spirit starts to soar and small butterflies play in my tummy as I relish in the thought of yet another weekend change of scenery with my portable little home. But what makes a vintage caravan outing even more fun is being able to share it with a whole bunch of other vintage caravan enthusiasts.
On the first weekend of February a group of vintage caravanners from south east Queensland and northern NSW converged on the idyllic location of Lake Ainsworth in the seaside holiday location of Lennox Head, NSW for a weekend of fun in the sun, swimming in the tea tree lake and great company. Having experienced nothing but rain for almost the entire summer, we were greeted with a heat wave, starry nights and bright sunny days. Annexes were put up and banana lounges unfolded and boogies boards were fetched from boots of cars as the kids and road-weary parents hit the nearby lake for a cooling sunset dip.
After convoying down the highway with several other vintage vanners and a scenic detour through Byron Bay, Friday night dinner was a big communal sausage sizzle dinner on the BBQ’s. The laughs and yarns continued well into the night, and long after the caravan park lights had been turned off. These first night chats are always a great way for vanners to catch up on any latest developments in caravan restorations and compare notes on the journey. On Saturday morning a few dedicated and less sleep-deprived members of the group decided to hit up the local garage sales and op shops in search of vintage caravan treasure while others took in the sights and beaches of Byron Bay. Sunday saw the owners of all the hot rods and classic cars line up to take any willing passengers for a joy ride around the scenic coastal roads giving the locals at the Lennox Heads pub some great Sunday afternoon entertainment.
The Lennox Head weekend featured a great assortment of around thirty vintage caravans with a large number of Olympics fibreglass vans convening in one corner of the Lake Ainsworth Caravan Park. With all eras covered from the 30’s through to the 70’s, there were on offer quite a few aluminium clad vans such as Viscounts, Chesneys and Franklins, a good selection of older styled bondwood vans, including a few folding varieties and a couple of Sunliner fiberglass bubbles in various states of restoration. Everyone had such a good time that they decided to do it all again a month later, although the weather let us down the second time around, sometimes it’s not about the destination, or even the journey – sometimes it’s just about the company you share it all with.