Grey nomads gather to celebrate life on the open road at Wagga's Stone the Crows Festival

Most nomads can think of one time when disaster befell them on the open road, but none of them have let it stop them from their road trips. 

Fran Bush is in her 80s but doesn’t let her age, or her walker, stop her from travelling Australia. Ms Bush has travelled in a motorhome for 17 years, enjoying everything the land has to offer and despite what people think, she doesn’t find her lifestyle lonely.

“People are surprised, I’ve found in the last couple years, that I travel alone due to my walker,” she said.

“My favourite part of travelling is the friends I meet up with along the way.” 

Despite her vehicle being tipped to the side one day, Ms Bush said she couldn’t think of any ‘disaster’ that befell her on her travels. She laughingly said you just have to get up and “keep going”. 

David and Dawn Pearse are fairly new to the nomad style, having started last year, but are enjoying every second of it despite curve balls thrown their way. 

“On the way here, we left Wyong and we had only been travelling half an hour when one of caravan tyres blew out on the freeway,” Mr Pearse said. 

“Of course it was on the right-hand side and we called NRMA but unfortunately they were busy and we had to wait an hour or so.”

The couple haven’t let the setback detract from their adventure and are eager to set off for two weeks following the festival. 

Trish Deen has travelled solo in a campervan for the past two years.

“Before that my husband and I used to do a lot of fossicking around Australia, so I have done a lot of travel around Australia,” she said.

“He passed away, I had to go back to work but I retired last year and got a little campervan.

“I’m not isolated but no matter how much fun you had at things you do sometimes want someone to share it with.”

Being part of a secure online community group helps Ms Deen to feel safe and in touch. The members of the group share advice, tips and travel plans with each other. 

“My GPS had a fit the other day and I was supposed to be calmly coming down from Albury to Euroa and it took me 60kms out of my way,” she said.

“The roads were becoming narrower and narrower and I had no idea where I was.”

Using a compass and the map Ms Deen managed to find her way to a town and get back on the right track and she said it’s all part of the lifestyle. 

With just his dog for company, Alan Hill wouldn’t change a thing about his nomadic life. 

“I have travelled by myself for the past eight years,” he said.

“I don’t find it isolating because I have plenty of friends on the road.” 

Mr Hill couldn’t think of a disaster that’s happened while travelling and counts himself lucky. 

Although these nomads have travelled different roads and prefer different vehicles they all have one thing in common: they cannot recommend their lifestyle enough. 

Each one of them said if you’re thinking of hitting the open road “just do it”.

At the Stone the Crows festival happy hour on Sunday afternoon a group of nomads decided to do something “a bit wild” and set up a flash mob.

The group from Solos practised only twice before surprising festival-goers with an energetic dance routine in the middle of the festival markets on Monday morning. 

The Solos group falls under the Campervan Motorhomes Club of Australia and one of its members, Trish Deen, said she loved how inclusive the event was. 

“There were no strict rules for the flash mob, it enabled anyone to participate,” she said. 

“Our instructor said if you can’t remember the moves just wave your hands in the air.”

The flash mob was part of the Stone the Crows Open Day where anyone and everyone was invited to check out the nomad lifestyle. 

The day started with the Bush Poet’s breakfast and continued through until the signature event of the festival with the Stoning of the Crows. 

Market stalls were set up with clothes, vehicle accessories, handmade instruments and tasty treats on sale with plenty of entertainment available from musicians to comedians. 

With over 1100 attending Stone the Crows Festival continues until Thursday. More information:  



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