Doug Wilshire is setting up a property 15kms NW of the Chinchilla township in Queensland’s Darling Downs region to cater for grey nomads and other seniors. Doug has emailed PWF the following description of the property and his project.
The property consists of approximately 700 acres of bushland with large areas suitable for camping. It is in the midst of large scale coal-seam gas and coal mine developments.
GPS coordinates are 26.36.02.76E and 150.40.06.56E. There are two road frontages. The property is located on the corner or Surcingle and Burncluith Roads in an area known as Red Hill and Burncluith.
There are two permanent watercourses, one known as Branch Creek which defines the rear boundary and flows into Charely’s Creek, which in turn flows into the Condamine River near Chinchilla.
This creek has several suitable camping spots along a 21km frontage which is slowly having access tracks and campsites cleared.
Access is difficult at the moment due to continuing heavy rainfall events and lack of a suitable internal creek crossing and gravelled tracks.
The second water course flows roughly through the centre of the property and in known as Tinderbox Creek along which there are numerous campsites near billabongs – some quite substantial – which contain yabbies, yellow-belly, catfish, turtles and other small native fish. This creek joins Branch Creek at a junction at the rear boundary approximately half-way along.
There is a ‘vast and numerous’ variety of bird life as well as other fauna. Doug says that because of the substantial wildlife, the property will be declared a private wildlife refuge and registered with Land for Wildlife Conservation. (There is a detailed description of the property below.)
Timber is predominantly cypress pine, box, blood-wood, ironbark. There is a considerable amount of fire-wood available on the property for camp-fires and there are large trees throughout.
There are presently no facilities available for camping – toilets, showers or electricity – so only those campers who are self-sufficient in caravans, motor-homes or campers should visit.
The aim of the project is to help seniors and grey nomads enjoy their retirement, cooperative living and travel plans without the usual stress associated with accommodation issues.
In catering for seniors, a policy of no kids, cats or dogs, loud music, trail bikes or firearms will be enforced.
Suggestions and comments are encouraged and Doug says will be gratefully received. You can contact Doug by email email@example.com to comment or for further info.
It is the intention of the owner to establish a semi-permanent camping arrangement whereby people who have sold homes or properties to travel, will be able to use the property as a Base Camp from which to travel and return, or simply spend time on location to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquillity and company of fellow seniors.
Short-term camping free camping will apply for a period of up to one month or longer by negotiation. Longer periods are available at a fee of $10 per night, per vehicle.
The owner has sought and received approval from Council to place up to 20 transportable/mobile accommodation units initially on the property without applying for Development Approval. The purpose of this is to encourage those who may wish to use their own accommodation on site, such as transportable cabins, mobile homes or caravans without the rules and regulations and costs associated with other park arrangements available today.
It is envisaged that the owner will provide a lease for a selected area to be used exclusively by those wanting semi-permanent tenancy on say a 3 year or 3 year + 3 year arrangement at a nominal charge of $70 per week, per accommodation unit ($10 per day) after an initial grace period of 3 months and up to 6 months to help with establishment costs and general set up expenses.
There will be no bond payable and first in will get the best spots.
Those intending to take advantage of this arrangement will have to provide their own water catchment via roof or annex and rainwater tank, drop-hole or compost toilet facility and solar electricity. There is no mains electricity or mains water available on the property.
The owner is a retired grey nomad who has purchased a new one bedroom transportable cabin, professionally built of metal insulated panels and complete with shower, toilet, vanity, kitchen sink and cupboard, electrically wired and plumbed with reverse cycle air conditioning and hot water system (which he can’t use).
This cabin has a small veranda and is partitioned internally with sliding doors, vinyl floor coverings and colour bond painted internally and externally with absolutely nothing to do other than connect to solar power and tank water with a small caravan type pressure pump.
The size is 10m x 3m and cost $24,000 delivered on site. These units are available now in Brisbane.
The owner has also built a 10m x 3m galvanised shed on a concrete slab with 10,000 rainwater tank ($1250) – all for $10,000 – plus purchasing and installing a 1 kw solar power facility for approximately $5000, which is more than adequate for normal everyday use, and can be used by campers for battery charging.
All these items are available today at similar cost to that stated here.
Water from creeks will be available to those wanting to establish a vegetable garden or other produce for self or community use. Other forms of cooperative trading within the camp will also be encouraged.
A shed, tractor and trailer, water pump and a range of tools will be provided by the owner for community use, free of charge.
Residents will be expected to look out for each other and to offer assistance when required – as a concerned and caring community – as well as sharing tools, equipment etc.
General rules will need to be established in relation to use of community assets, noise – particularly generator use – vehicles, motor bikes, music etc.
Rubbish removal will be the responsibility of each resident and some restriction on fishing will apply so as to preserve this pastime for all visitors.
Mobile telephone and broadband coverage is available – Telstra only – as the camp is 5kms from the Telstra tower on Red Hill Road.
The owner will provide and spread rubble on main internal tracks when weather permits, but hard surfacing around accommodation areas will the residents’/tenants’ responsibility.
Weed and pest control can be a joint effort when required.
Indemnity and insurance matters will need to be discussed and a policy formulated and implemented.
The owner reserves the right to add to, change or amend these rules and to adjudicate on issues applying to residents/tenants by consultation and democratic means.
You can contact Doug by email firstname.lastname@example.org to comment or for further info.
Good luck with the project Doug – keep us informed as it evolves?