IT'S MID-MAY, and I am sitting on site in the First City Caravilla Top Tourist Caravan Park in Cairns.
The daytime max temperature is a balmy 29 degrees, and a very comfortable 20 at night. Denyse and I have the van park almost to ourselves.
It was the same all the way up from our home in Mackay. Most of the delightful national park campsites we visited were also empty, and so were the popular offroad free camping areas. There were even sites free at Balgal Beach, a free beachfront camping area that is always full very early during the season.
The one exception was over the long weekend, when we stayed at Kurrimine Beach Top Tourist Park, which was full with mainly local campers, who came to walk to the reef on one of the lowest tides of the year.
THE STORIES I hear are that the southerners have not arrived yet. But why not? This is one of the best times of the year to be in the north. The weather is great, there aren't too many people around, there is less traffic on the roads, some site fees are cheaper, and did I mention the weather is great?
Bookings for the winter are encouraging, but the shoulder seasons, April/May and Sept/Oct, often have the best weather and parks and tourist attractions are less crowded. It is hard to understand why more people do not take advantage of these times to travel.
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WORDS AND PICS Tony Allsop
Written exclusively for Caravan World online