Like-minded travellers enjoy Qld Outdoor Adventure Expo
IF YOU'VE always wanted to see Australia, to do the great Australian getaway, now is the time to get inspired.
The Queensland Outdoor Adventure and Motoring Expo is on at Toowoomba Showgrounds from August 5-7, and there are thousands of products and services to check out to ensure you set out on your journey like a pro.
With 130 local and regional companies taking part, including the latest in caravans, camper trailers, motor homes, 4WDs, camping gear and accessories, kayaks and cooking gear, this is the region's largest event of its kind. And this year there's more than ever, with the event also incorporating the Queensland Hunting Expo, featuring everything from archery to guns and fishing rods to tackle.
For the daredevils among you, there's the 4x4 outdoor obstacle test track, with three shows daily displaying how to control your vehicle on different terrains, safety tips and tricks to get out of awkward situations.
If, like me, you are a caravanning novice, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Surely you just choose a caravan and you're away.
Far from it. For instance, did you know caravans can safely go off-road these days, can make their own purified water and use solar panels to be self-sufficient?
It's no wonder caravan clubs - where tips and experiences can be shared - are so popular, and the Caravan Clubs of Queensland will be at the expo. There are two local clubs, the Toowoomba and Golden West (T&GW) and the Downs Wanderers clubs, both of which are at capacity, and interest is being taken in establishing a third club.
T&GW president Greg Whitley says it's the social side of caravanning that sets it apart.
Everyone talks to everyone else in a caravan park. You learn more about the area, where to go and, importantly, where not to go, things to see outside the regular tourist route, and about the vans themselves.
As a member of a club, you also have the opportunity to go away more often. T&GW members head out anywhere within about two hours or 200km once a month.
Entry to the expo is $10 for adults, $8 seniors, children free with an adult.
You can also grab your event guide, with the full list of exhibitors, maps and entertainment, inside the Toowoomba Chronicle, Wednesday prior to the event.