Free campers bring benefits

IT SEEMS more and more people are jumping on the free camping bandwagon.

There were at least 10 caravans and motor homes taking advantage of a free stay at the Two Mile rest area just north of Gympie’s CBD today and more at the Six Mile rest area south of the CBD.

Two couples who pulled in for the night said they were in town for their first Optus Gympie Music Muster.

Colin and Bev Jose hail from Hobart and Gloria and Ken Hughes live in Launceston.

They will probably head to Amamoor on Saturday or Sunday after a few days in Gympie.

In May they set off from Tasmania together and stopped at Tin Can Bay and other tourist destinations on the way to Gympie; they do not expect to be home before Christmas.

“We do not use the term grey nomads,” Mrs Jose said.

Unlike nomads the couple, now retired, have a home base – they decided to see Australia and spend their money close to home. “We always meet Tasmanians on the road,” she said yesterday.

Mrs Jose said the music muster was always on the to-do list and they had friends who went every year. The Hughes’ agree they are not grey nomads – Mr Hughes still works.

“We’ve met some characters and lovely people,” Mrs Hughes said of free camping.

On the road the couples met up with fellow Tasmanians Diane and Michael Burton, who were also staying at the rest area yesterday.

Mrs Burton said she regularly used Gympie’s free sites and the peace and quiet was the best bit.

Also at Two Mile was the Fletchers; brothers Bill and John and their wives Carmen and Robyn from Deception Bay.

They travelled from home to Cessnock near Sydney and up to Gympie camping for free along the way.

John Fletcher said they were following swap meets up and down the east coast and would head to Glenwood today before heading home for 10 days.

“Free camping is the only way to do it,” Mr Fletcher said.

They have a book called Camps Australia Wide that tells them where they can camp for free and what facilities are available at each park.

“We usually go to the same places because we like it. Here we love the lakes,” Robyn Fletcher said.