Spirited travellers. Why caravanning is good for the soul

Caravanning. Treating the travel bug for decades.

While the travel bug might be untreatable, BIG4 guest blogger and avid caravanner, Natalie Tuck, thinks she’s uncovered the nearest thing to a cure.

Avid caravanner and traveller, Natalie Tuck.

A wise storyteller once said: “Not all those who wander are lost.”

I couldn’t agree more with J.R.R Tolkien. There’s something incurable about the wanderlust some of us live with. Over time it waxes and wanes, but it’s always there.

Shouting at you while walking past the travel agent window, pulling at your heart strings via your Instagram feed, and whispering sweet promises on those wintery mornings as you rush off for the morning commute.

I may not have the ultimate cure for wanderlust, but I feel like I have something kind of close. And that, my friends, is a caravan.

The trusty caravan. Location: BIG4 Shepparton Park Lane Holiday Park, VIC.

I know, it may not seem life shatteringly obvious, but hear me out. The trips you can take with a home on wheels adds up to a lot of travel time.

Think long weekends spent at the Grampians, Easter on the Murray River, summer holidays in Tassie. Tempting, right?

People often ask me why I love caravanning so much, and my first answer is always because it gets me closer to nature. On reflection though, it is so much more soul-nourishing than that.

So here are five reasons why I believe caravanning is good for the soul…

All you need is love. Or a caravan. Location: BIG4 Rollingstone Beach Front Resort, QLD.

1. Caravanning gets you ‘out there’

Your caravan is your home on the road, and that means travelling. You even get to mastermind it all by choosing your own adventure.

A quiet fishing trip to the Gippsland Lakes or an all-aboard trip around Australia. Sometimes I think I’m the only one in the world who still loves reading maps. Plotting, planning, kilometre crunching.

Hailing from Melbourne, I still love the Melways. You can learn so much about your own city with this cartographic corker.

And, what about going down the ‘rabbit hole’ with a bit of internet browsing? I want to see beautiful autumn foliage: Bright, tick; Walhalla, tick! And so it goes…

Choose your own adventure. Horseshoe Falls, Mount Field National Park, TAS.

2. Caravanning puts you closer to nature

I love sunsets and sunrises, but for some reason when I’m at home I don’t make much effort to experience them.

It seems, you’re far more likely to get up early to witness the rising the sun when it’s right outside your caravan door.

I captured this sunset (see below) at BIG4 Great Lakes Forster-Tuncurry in NSW. I loved that I could camp right opposite the lake, and there are plenty of other BIG4 parks that put you within the easiest reach of water. Hello, dreamy photos.

Sunset stunner: BIG4 Great Lakes Forster-Tuncurry, NSW.

3. Caravanning brings the family together

We seem to enjoy many more fun-filled-family-activities when caravanning. For one, we always take our bikes and ride everywhere and are a lot more active in general.

We are also more likely to engage in adventurous undertakings because our theory is that we may never visit that place again. Anyone relate?

Here’s a good one: Try riding your bikes (or hire electric ones in town) all the tree-lined way from Bright to the ‘Wandy pub’ in Wandiligong. It’s a local favourite with fabulous food, and it’s great for the kids too with table tennis and outside fire pits. Those views of the mountains: Just gorgeous.

Pedal among prettiness: Electric bikes of Bright, VIC.

4. Caravanning allows you to appreciate wildlife

Meet your new neighbours – local wildlife. It’s rare to hang out with kangaroos in Melbourne, so I get a kick out of camping with them.

South West Rocks in NSW was home to the friendliest mob of kangaroos I’ve ever shared a site with. We never approach them, though. We all just go about our own business with mutual respect.

The wombats at Wilsons Promontory National Park in VIC’s Gippsland region are always good company too – as long as you don’t leave any food out.

And I’d prefer waking up to the crescendo of bird chirps, calls, songs, shrieks, etc than an alarm any day.

The 'roos are friendly at South West Rocks, NSW.

5. Caravanning introduces you to new places and experiences

Change really is as good as a holiday. You don’t need a lavish overseas adventure to feel like you’ve had a break.

Even just a few nights staying somewhere new is enough to make me feel revitalised. I love moving beyond my comfort zone to stretch my perceptions of the world and my place in it.

Connecting with new people and communities is rewarding – after all it’s an innate human need to find connection with others, right?

We’ve met so many wonderful people on the road – each with their own unique perspective on travel and the reasons they do it. I love listening to their stories about why they love caravanning so much.

Social networking caravan style. Location: BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park, TAS.  

And that’s another thing, travelling turns us into storytellers, as it creates lasting memories that can be shared with loved ones…and the world if you so care to digitally share.

As you can see, I’m an enthusiastic believer that caravanning is good for the soul. Having a caravan and being able to travel frequently appeases my rampant desire to get away. I don’t just hope to dream anymore; I dare to dream.

Not all those who wander are lost. Although in this case, it's not looking good.

Are you a caravanner? If so, what are your views on this article? Can you relate? Do you have anything to add? We’d love to read your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.

Isn’t it time you 'got out there' for a caravanning adventure? Book your next BIG4 break now.

8 comments on “Spirited travellers. Why caravanning is good for the soul”

  1. Phil Curran

    17 April 2019 at 11:39 am

    Couldn’t agree more. Things that get on your nerves day-to-day seem so trivial when we are away in the van. It allows my partner and I to re-connect every time, and introducing the grand-kids to this pastime is oh so enjoyable. I would say that caravanning keeps us ‘young’.

  2. Betty Muskens

    17 April 2019 at 11:57 am

    Agree with the above wholeheartedly! That’s why I’ve now decided to explore our beautiful country in my motorhome as a new grey nomad! Australia here I come! Show me your best!

  3. Jan

    17 April 2019 at 12:28 pm

    I totally agree with all of that. We are full time caravanners, and we love it. A new road to travel is so exciting, and we have so many to chose from in Australia!! We never tire of the adventures and memories we have.

  4. Alyson

    20 April 2019 at 8:24 am

    Absolutely hit the nail on the head! Nothing like the open road, everything as described and we have stayed at most of the parks mentioned. I can’t wait to retire to do more caravanning.

  5. Heather

    20 April 2019 at 5:25 pm

    I’m relatively new to caravanning but already have met some wonderful people on our travels and beautiful scenery. Australia truly is a wonderful country and caravanning makes it that much more special.

  6. Christine and James

    28 April 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Totally agree with everything Natalie has written, we have been retired over 18 years and every year we get away for our winter and other times throughout the year because we love travelling this beautiful country of ours in our caravan, discovering new places and revisiting favourite places. Its a great way to holiday, no packing & unpacking bags, no time schedules, stay where we like, meet lovely like-minded people and feel relaxed all the time.

  7. Bill and Ruth

    2 May 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, what a way to see this great land of ours. Being retired with no schedule once we go it’s hard to think of returning. Just as you all have said, many places to go and lots of people to meet. Anyone been to Gulargambone? On the Castlereigh Hwy not BIG4, but oh the atmosphere!!! well worth a visit. Happy caravanning, might see you on the road one day.

  8. Neil lambert

    16 June 2019 at 5:42 pm

    An excellently written article, Natalie. Quite new to caravanning and will soon do longer trips away. Once packed and on the road, it is very therapeutic. Great way of discovering different parts of Oz and meeting like-minded people.

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