Grey Nomads is now a very popular Australian term that aptly describes the tens of thousands of retired adults who travel around Australia at any one time looking for adventure, warmer or cooler weather, friendship with like-minded people and possibly a new life. Rather than being inert, conservative or dependent on care, these older Australians are an integral part of an urbanism where dwellings are mobile, infrastructure is portable or pluggable, social networks are sprawled, and they are on the move daily or weekly.
The term actually came from the title of this 1997 Australian documentary based around this caravan of older Australians:
It’s now more than just about lifestyle, these people are a very important part of our economy, whereby according to economists, “they contribute to a roaming economy where decentralized dwellings means decentralized spending”.
To put this simply, the Western Australian Government in its Caravan and Camping
Visitor Snapshot 2016 report, estimated “1.54 million domestic visitors spent time in caravans or camping, contributing more than $1 billion to the state economy”, and according to the Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia, RV drivers spend an average of $770 per week and their value to a remote place extends beyond economic capital to human capital as grey nomads often provide labour (such as gardening, house-sitting or their pre-retirement professional skills) in exchange for a place to park or for extra income.
So I was intrigued to see that carsales.com.au has launched a new content series called ‘Grey Nomads’, a light-hearted look at the life of caravanning around Australia on the ‘Big lap’.
Six episodes feature some of Australia’s favourite film and television stars including Nazeem Hussain, Steve Bisley, Kerry Armstrong and more. It’s an irreverent and humorous look at people from diverse backgrounds finding commonality and a way to belong through life on the road.
Produced by Hamish Roxburgh and Felix Williamson, the series was created after discovering that there are over 800,000 RV’s and caravans registered in Australia (an estimated 10% of which are on the ‘Big Lap’ around Australia at any one time). “We were really lucky to film in beautiful, iconic Australian locations such as Shellharbour, Seven Mile Beach and Bowral, and direct a super experienced cast and
legends of the Australian large and small screen,” said Felix Williamson.
Grey Nomads streams weekly on Thursdays at 4pm via www.carsales.com.au/grey-nomads, and if you’d like to have a look, click on this link: