Little Camper Co

Gold Coast’s ‘LittleCamperCo’ will make our weekend-away dreams come true

We’re all dying for an epic weekend away, but it only takes a couple of expenses to deter us immediately: transport, accommodation… yeah I’m out.

Anyone heard of the ‘van-life’ craze? It’s growing rapidly in popularity – particularly here on the Gold Coast.

Because, I mean, we already live on the beach – and it’s a really good one. Our east coast boasts some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world!

But the beauty stretches far beyond the Gold Coast, just teasing for weekend getaways and quick expeditions.

We’ll head west, north, and south in search of a good adventure, because we’re Aussies, it’s just how we get down.

And if you’re not Aussie, no doubt, you traveled here: Kiwis, brits, canadians, BRAZILIANS, so we know you all like moving around too.

ENTER the best way to get up and down the coast, inland and beyond: LittleCamperCo.

Little Camper Co

PHOTO: Little Camper Co.

Long (and hilarious) story short, two Irish blokes Kev and Stevie did the Aussie travel leg work years ago, and were literally shocked more Australians didn’t get out in their own backyard (me included).

But when they found out an interstate holiday could sometimes wrack up the same amount of fees as an international one… they put two and two together.

Little Camper Co, is a Gold Coast based company made for travellers, by travellers, which boasts cosy, custom-built vans to create a little luxury abode on wheels.

Little Camper Co

PHOTO: Little Camper Co.

For just $69 a night (no, that’s not a joke, also no hidden fees), locals can take the comforts of home on the road with them. So that’s accommodation and transport costs sorted.

Their environmentally friendly solar system can power you from sandy beaches, to lush rainforests, all along the road less traveled where other vehicles can’t (sorry power dependent camper vans).

Little Camper Co

PHOTO: Little Camper Co.

The best part is that because it’s a local service… set up by local guys… who’ve seen a lot of this great nation, they can offer expert assistance and planning for a ripper getaway.

Us Gold Coasters are all about local, and all about travel, and they’ve rapped it up in custom-made, cute as heck, decked out insta-worthy (parking sensors included, thank gosh) van!

One last thing… they’ve got a great (if not slightly British) saying: “Save a quid and get off the grid”. And we’re all about it.

When can we GO!? – book here, but don’t book before me, thanks:

NASA to launch rockets from Australia in world-first deal

NASA will launch rockets into space from Australia next year after signing a world-first deal with an Aussie startup.

The world’s biggest space agency will work with Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) to send sounding rockets into space from the Arnhem Space Centre in the Northern Territory, 700km east of Darwin, in 2020.

The Australian spaceport will become the first privately-owned site outside the United States to launch NASA rockets.

Equatorial Launch Australia chief executive Carley Scott said Friday’s announcement was the “single most important event to date” in putting the Australian space industry on the global map.

“This will open the doors to growth and job opportunities in the Australian space industry,” Ms Scott said.

“NASA has not launched from a non-government launch site anywhere else in the world and the decision by NASA to partner with ELA firmly embeds Australia as a serious part of the global space sector.

“It’s exciting to be pioneering the development of commercial space launch services in Australia.

“It’s even more rewarding to be doing it with one of the world’s leading space agency and one synonymous with cutting-edge space exploration.”

It’s understood the US space agency plans to launch four sounding rockets from the Northern Territory site in 2020.

The rockets stand about 15 metres high and are used for engineering tests, scientific research, and collecting data from suborbital space.

Ms Scott said NASA’s choice to launch in Australia was a testament to the growing capacity of the Arnhem Space Centre.

The southern hemisphere spaceport is remote and close to the equator, allowing for more frequent launches in more directions.

“There is huge demand globally for commercial space launch sites and we have developed a spaceport with arguably the world’s best launching conditions, near the equator in the Northern Territory,” Ms Scott said.

“What this means is that we don’t think NASA will be the only organisation lining up to launch from our site and that this is just the beginning of a truly exciting industry getting off the ground here in Australia.

“Government can now look to increase investment in commercial launches, and the Australian space sector more broadly.

“The attraction of NASA by ELA is a significant indicator that Australia is ready to play an increasing role in a large global market.

“It means that the Australian Space Agency’s goal of 20,000 additional jobs and tripling the size of its industry to $12 billion is increasingly achievable.”

The global space sector is estimated to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2040.

Major tourism coup as direct flights from Gold Coast to South Korea launch

Gold Coasters will now be able to fly direct to Seoul, in South Korea, after Jetstar announced its new service this morning.

The partnership with JeJu Air directly links the two countries, and unlocks exciting benefits for the Gold Coast.

Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans says it will become the only low coast carrier to fly direct to Seoul from Australia.

“We’ve seen how well it works from an international point of view with our flights to Japan.

“So it’s a destination in it’s own right, a hugely attractive one, also a place where people can connect over, to go either through to the rest of Australia or from the rest of Australia out of the Gold Coast,” Mr Evans said.

The flights will commence in December, and operate three times a week (to start).

More than 50,000 South Koreans are expected to visit annually, injecting more than $170 million into the Gold Coast economy.

South Korea is believed to be a huge market for the Gold Coast, with the latest tourism data revealing South Korean visitors increased by over 50 percent on the Gold Coast and New South Wales north coast.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones says it’s a major coup for the Gold Coast.

“This new partnership with Jetstar, we know, will deliverer thousands more visitors to the Gold Coast.

“We expect that when these flights go live in December, with three flights a week, that up to $176 million will be injected into the local Gold Coast economy,” Minister Jones said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is ecstatic for future possibilities, now that the link has been created.

“Apart from additional tourists and 50,000 seats coming through, this opens a market for South Korea.

“One, that our vision will be to harness South Koreans to call the gold coast their second home.

“It’s the way of getting them here and having multiple visits.

“The second one, is that international students from South Korea – you watch this space – that number is going to accelerate,” Mayor Tate said.

Gold Coast Airport

GC Airport claims two major titles at World Airport Awards

Gold Coast Airport has been voted the Best Regional Airport in the Australia Pacific Region for the fourth time in nine years at the World Airport Awards.

The awards, based on 13.5 million passenger surveys conducted at more than 550 airports globally, were handed out in London overnight.

Gold Coast Airport also took out Best Service Staff in the Australia Pacific region.

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the awards were a credit to the more than 2,200 staff.

“What makes these awards so special is that we don’t self-nominate – the awards are based on surveys by the travelling public,” she said.

“Leading into the 2018 Commonwealth Games, we placed a huge focus on enhancing the experience of our customers and providing the best possible first impression to our visitors from around Australia and the world.

“That focus has continued, and it is wonderful to see this recognised.

Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted congratulated the airport team for winning two important customer satisfaction awards.

“The Staff Service awards are a very special honour for airports. The award recognises the combined quality of all customer-facing staff service (attitude, friendliness and efficiency) delivered across front-line positions at Gold Coast Airport,” he said.

“As airports seek to develop and maximise customer loyalty and repeat business, facilities and product standards depend largely on investment, whereas staff service requires motivation, enthusiasm and team work, and clearly this is being well provided at Gold Coast Airport.”

‘Vulgar vans’: End of the road for Wicked Campers

THE Federal Government is doing what it can to drive offensive Wicked Campervans off Australian roads for good.

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer has written to State and Territory leaders and Transport Ministers, seeking their support to advance a coordinated national approach to force Wicked Campers to comply with community standards.

The multi-pronged strategy aims to ensure the controversial company can no longer expose cross-jurisdictional loopholes to escape accountability and continue displaying outdated, mysogynistic, vulgar and degrading signage.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport Michael McCormack joined Ms Odwyer and urged travellers to help send Wicked Campers a message by choosing to rent vehicles that don’t carry offensive signage.

“These vehicles are offensive and belong in a junkyard not on Australian roads,” Mr McCormack said.

“By choosing to avoid these vehicles, you’re also choosing to ensure parents or grandparents won’t have to explain the vile meaning of these disgusting signs or images to their children or grandchildren while driving on our roads.”

Ms O’Dwyer said Australia was a modern and progressive country but the use of these vehicles contradicted those values and was unacceptable.

“We have no tolerance for sexist, misogynistic and offensive slogans on campervans, or those displayed anywhere else for that matter, no matter how hard some try to justify their existence,” she said.

“That’s why I’ve written to the states and territories to urge them to support a national approach to rid Australia of these offensive vehicles.”

Source: Flickr via Michael Theis [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Mr McCormack said the ‘vulgar’ Campervans contained lewd language or repugnant images which demean women or glorify drug-taking.

For several years, Wicked Campers has failed to comply with Ad Standards’ Community Panel determinations to remove their offensive and degrading images from hire vehicles.

Because the company advertises on what’s effectively deemed their own material, there’s no third party media provider with which Ad Standards can work to achieve compliance.

The Queensland and Tasmanian governments have made efforts to deal with this issue by legislating to give power to motor vehicle registries to deregister any vehicle that doesn’t comply with Ad Standards determinations.

But Wicked Campers has been able to avoid compliance, and enforcement of large fines and penalties, by changing vehicle registration to another jurisdiction, once a complaint has been made.

Enforcing a national approach will ensure the company cannot ‘forum shop’ across jurisdictions, to expose this loophole and retain their offensive slogans.

At a Council meeting last year, the Austroads Registration and Licencing Taskforce was given the green light to progress national adoption of the Queensland Government’s successful approach to the controversial vans.