Following the sun during winter may be somewhat of a challenge to some, but for camping enthusiasts Diane and Jay Goncalves, it is the adventure of a lifetime.
The pair, who won the competition hosted by Dometic, are now entering week seven of their 13-week, all-expenses-paid ‘Follow the sun’ trip around New South Wales.
Visiting the Apex Riverside Tourist Park on Sunday night, Mr and Mrs Goncalves said Forbes was by far the best place they had visited.
“It’s just been awesome. We’ve been very lucky,” Mrs Goncalves said, “we’ve been to so many places so far.”
One of the requirements of their competition win was the couple needed to stay at ‘Top Tourist Parks’ and host a ‘Happy Hour’ – inviting fellow campers to inspect their refitted camper trailer and 4WD while enjoying free drinks and a barbecue.
Around 50 people attended ‘Happy Hour’ at the Apex Riverside Tourist Park on Sunday night, where they were entertained with live music and poetry.
Aged in their mid 30s and early 40s the couple said they are avid campers and have taken 12 months off from their respective jobs to enjoy their win.
While the actual prize involved the installation of up to $35,000 worth of Dometic and Waeco products to their existing camper trailer and 4WD, plus the 13 week holiday, the couple said once they have finished photo shoots and interviews with various magazines, they will have been away from their home and jobs for almost five months – one of the reasons why they decided to make a year of it.
“It’s been amazing. It’s an experience we are going to talk about forever,” Mrs Goncalves said.
Despite experiencing a night long willy-willy at The Entrance, Diane and Jay agree they’ve been pretty fortunate weather-wise. Additions made to the camper trailer included a new innerspring mattress, a diesel heater, vacuum cleaner, birthing camera, extra fridges and bigger gas bottles.
“We have everything including the kitchen sink,” Mrs Goncalves said.