Townsville’s ‘Dam Fine Rally’ has been a highlight on the CMCA rally calendar since 1999, attracting up to 300 motorhomes each year
The event began following the success of the CMCA Anniversary Rally held in Townsville in 1999. Members of the local chapter, Tropical Coast Wanderers, saw the need to provide CMCA members – many of whom travel north to escape the southern winter - with a suitable stopover to relax, resupply and take in the many tourist destinations in close proximity to our city.
The first rally was held at Thuringowa’s Pioneer Park, opposite Willows Shopping Centre. Due to the refurbishment and upgrade of the park for the Riverway Complex to include a theatre, swimming pools, gardens, play grounds, and world-class cricket and AFL grounds, the rally was transferred to Ross Dam Park at the end of Riverway Drive.
Hence the idea of “The Dam Fine Rally” was born.
When it was decided to upgrade the Ross Dam wall to meet world standards, we were again required to move locations. The first move was to the vacant area in front of the Bluewater Caravan Park on the highway north of Townsville and the second year to the Weir Primary School grounds on the banks of the Ross River.
This was an excellent venue, close to all amenities with a flat, green, grassed, parking area. Murphy’s Law however prevailed. Days before the rally, Townsville had its wettest and coldest June day on record, (maximum 13 degrees), and we had to cancel the rally.
We have now been back at the Ross Dam Park for four years and it has proved to be a great spot. Located at the base of the Ross Dam Wall, among gum trees beside the Ross River, the park is about 12 kilometres from the Willows Shopping Complex, Riverway Centre and Cannon Park Complex. A Sunbus stop at the front of the park allows members to catch a bus to all points within the city while the Thuringowa RSL is only a short stroll away and will host our Saturday night dinner and entertainment.
In all this time since 1999, our local Council, (previously Thuringowa, and now Townsville City Council due to the amalgamation) has openly sponsored and supported the Rally. As the first RV friendly city in Australia, Townsville City Council has provided much needed monetary and ‘in kind’ assistance and has always happily cooperated with our requests to provide upgrades to the park. Townsville City Council has installed three-phase power outlets for our entertainment area and ablution blocks as well as fresh water outlets and a dump point. The rally would not have progressed to the standard it is today without the assistance of the council and the perseverance of a small number of the local chapter members.
Thurs June 27 – Monday July 1. (optional extra week for the V8 racing)
This year, we have been busy searching for new ways to improve the rally and gain additional sponsorship and support from local companies. The local Winnebago distributor, Motoco RV has come on board as well as Channel 7, Willows Shopping Centre and Brumby’s.
The 2013 rally will be held from Thurs June 27 – Monday July 1. (optional extra week for the V8 racing) There will be nightly entertainment around the camp fires and displays during the day. Our public open day on Sat 29th June will be full on with local entertainers, market stalls and an official opening by Mayor Jenny Hill.
For the adventurous there will be tours of Magnetic Island and the Ross Dam. The Pitstop ladies will be there and for the fishermen, there are barramundi in the Ross River. For the less adventurous, there is nothing like laying back and relaxing in the quiet bush setting.
While in North Queensland, why not make the most of your time and explore all that the region has to offer. From Wet Tropics rainforest in the small township of Paluma, to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage listed Magnetic Island, to the rustic charm of Harvey’s Range and beyond to gold mining town of Charters Towers.
Townsville itself boasts a wide range of attractions locally, including the Strand promenade, Riverway and Castle Hill. Flinders Street Mall is currently undergoing a major redevelopment and is now open to through traffic. Palmer Street is always abuzz with a multitude of dining options, and the attractions precinct in Flinders Street East is home to the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Reef HQ Aquarium, and the Cultural Centre.
With so much to see and do, be sure you allow yourself enough time to have a good look around North Queensland. Townsville City Council provides a number of designated camping areas along the picturesque Northern Beaches, with a maximum of 24 or 48 hour stays. Please see Council’s website for further details on designated camping areas, as well as a range of free downloadable tourism publications providing information on key destinations within the region: www.townsville.qld.gov.au or www.townsvilleholidays.info.