Van clubs set to spend big

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Michael Cameron and National Rally Chairman Derek Nathan.
Camera IconMichael Cameron and National Rally Chairman Derek Nathan. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Almost 500 caravans will make the road trip to Albany in October as part of the Coromal Windsor 17th National Caravan Clubs’ Rally.

The national rally is held every three years and this will be the first time Albany has been chosen as the host holiday hotspot.

There is a website dedicated to the event and regular newsletters have been put together since 2016.

With two or more people expected in each van headed to the Great Southern, Centennial Park in Albany has been marked down on the map as the go-to destination for thousands of visitors from across the country.

Some have already set out on their journey from the far north and the east coast.

The last time the rally was held in WA was in 2001, when 340 caravans drove to Maida Vale in Perth’s eastern suburbs.

Rally co-ordinator Derek Nathan said one of the main reasons Albany had been chosen was the support and enthusiasm shown by the City of Albany.

“We are on site for nine days and part of the attraction of the venue in Albany is the proximity to the centre of the city and the major tourism spots,” he said.

“There are things the caravanners can do pre and post-rally, such as Margaret River and the whole south coast which we think is amazing.

“We are also getting really good support from the local business community.

“We are staging a two-day trade fair, which is open to the general public, which is part of what we are trying to give back to the local community and what they are giving us.”

Based on information from previous rallies, Mr Nathan estimated the caravan club visitors would spend about $1.5 million in the region.

Caravanners are encouraged to collate their receipts of spending during their time in the town to provide the City of Albany with a figure that has been injected into the region.

Businesses have been getting on board with the rally by joining the Caravan Expo scheduled for the Friday and Saturday. There will be a range of activities, including crafts, technology classes, disc bowls, fishing, visits to the men’s shed and dancing.

Local club, the MAD Meanderers from Mt Barker, Albany and Denmark, will not have to travel far for the rally, but will get to share their local tips.

The rally will be held from October 14 until October 22.

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