Wanderers find perfect home base
Paul and Eleanor Scully’s shared spirit of adventure and discovery was always going to play a big role in their next life move.
Their love of escaping in their motorhome was the deciding factor when they swapped an inner-city Brisbane riverside apartment for a new home in Halcyon Greens at Pimpama last year.
The move came almost 15 years after the couple’s first motorhome adventure in 2005. They’ve subsequently clocked up thousands of kilometres, seen spectacular sights, made great memories and are currently on their third motorhome.
Eleanor has become so invested in the lifestyle that she is a director of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA), which has more than 70,000 members and is the largest RV club in the southern hemisphere.
As part of the CMCA board, Eleanor makes the decisions that enhance and support the travelling experiences and aspirations of club members across Australia.
Paul is also heavily involved, helping to organise the CMCA’s annual national rallies which can attract up to 1,700 people – and almost 1,000 vehicles - for an eight-day ‘festival’ of motorhoming and caravanning.
Eleanor speaks fondly of how life on the road brings all types of people together.
“RVing is a great leveller,” she said. “You go out there and you could be parked next to what we call a ‘whiz bang’ – which is a little van – and that person could be a multi-millionaire, and you wouldn’t know. They’re just the same as you.
“It’s all about the people you talk to and the friendship you get.
“Being on the road is such a great leveller because all these people are out there doing the same thing but in a different mode of transport, whether they’re in a pop-top, a motorhome, a caravan or a camper trailer.
“It’s a great lifestyle, it really is.”
With Paul still working full-time, the Scullys can’t roam Australia as endlessly as they would like. Instead, they’ve concentrated on exploring a few key regions.
“We are consciously doing it in pieces,” Paul said.
“We spend a lot of time in particular places. You can nose and poke around, find little towns and go down tracks that you wouldn’t explore normally.
“You travel and you find out how much there is to see. You stay two or three days somewhere and you realise you could stay for weeks. It makes you go back.”
Eleanor and Paul weren’t actively looking to change their home base when they became aware of Halcyon Greens through fellow motorhomers, Barbara and Colin Gard.
The Gards had bought a home in the new community, inspiring the Scullys to take a look. They were so impressed that they decided it was the next step for them.
“We always planned to sell our apartment at Newstead because we didn’t want to tie up that money for the rest of our lives,” Eleanor said.
“At that time we had our motorhome stored but it was a 30-minute drive there and back to get to it.
“Being able to bring our motorhome here to Halcyon Greens was the crowning factor for us.”
Paul said he appreciates the convenience of having the motorhome securely parked just metres from their home.
“It’s on your doorstep and it’s very handy – no more having to pack up the car to drive out to where the motorhome is stored,” he said.
“We were really happy with that aspect and that was the ultimate reason why we ended up coming here.”
Paul, an accountant who manages super funds, said the Halcyon lifestyle suited baby boomers still in the workforce – especially those who like to ‘lock-up and leave’ whenever they can.
“Lots of people here are working, so you don’t have to be retired,” he said.
“It suits that demographic of people who are going into retirement but are not yet retired.
“You have all the amenities and it’s easy to pack up for the weekend - everything’s taken care of.”
Halcyon Greens’ newly formed getaway group of motorhome and caravan enthusiasts is also of interest to the Scullys, who are looking forward to heading off on many more road trips.
“We’ve done the bottom half of Western Australia and Tasmania well and truly, yet we’ve only scratched the surface,” Eleanor laughs.”
‘RV life’ tips
As the traditional grey nomad season approaches, we asked Paul and Eleanor for their favourite destinations and any tips they had for those planning their first motorhome, caravan or campervan adventure:
Favourite destinations (so far!):
Tasmania – We don’t really have any favourites but Tasmania is high on our list. We’ve been twice – we did nine weeks the first time and seven the second. You can’t just go for a couple of weeks. Spend as long as you can to truly explore this amazing and surprising island where there’s so much to see and do.
Whale watching while crossing the Nullabor Plain was also fantastic - standing at the Head of the Bight and watching Southern Wright whales cavort with their calves in the shelter of the bay.
- Join the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia – it’s great for accessing valuable travel information (including helpful APPs), insurance, benefits and handy discounts while meeting people who are into the lifestyle.
- The CMCA’s annual rallies are basically a motorhome and caravan festival that will help you learn “how to motorhome” and mix with kindred spirits.
- It can take a while to sort out what kind of vehicle suits your needs. It’s very hard to do in advance without having done the travel. You have to travel to know what you’ll use and need. Our first motorhome was not comfortable enough, our second one was too big and the third one we had built to suit us.