Camp, eat and be free

New books show how to eat well on the road and find freebies

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There's life beyond toast and few snags. Plus, see Australia on a miser's budget.


IF PROOF were needed, a visit to a caravan park anywhere in this wide brown land is all it would take to show seniors are taking to camping in soaring numbers.

But to paraphrase Napoleon, a grey army travels on its stomach, and what can you really cook in your tiny mobile kitchenette, aside from toast or a few snags?

The Caravan & Campervan Cookbook, by Catherine Proctor, features more than 100 different recipes that can be cooked in any small kitchen.

From roasts to rissoles, salads to savouries and dampers to deserts, this book will help bring a tempting new twist to your travel cooking - and perhaps make you some new friends in the road.

The easy and tempting recipes have all been planned for simplicity as well as good eating, using basic ingredients that are readily available Australia-wide - and all road tested by the author in the great outdoors.

Many of the recipes are illustrated in full colour, as are many of the techniques and equipment the authors use while out on the road.

It also goes further than your usual recipe book, with details on the different types of travel cooking gear, advice on menu planning and hints on what to keep as regular stock.

The author is a professional writer who has run her own cookery school and catering business for more than 20 years, writing many cookery and health titles during that time. Other titles include Sydney's Best Picnic Spots, Parks & Reserves, Sydney's Best Beaches & Rock Baths and Sydney for Dogs.

  • The Caravan & Campervan Cookbook (Woodsland Press), Catherine Proctor, RRP $39.99

AS ANYONE who has been on the road knows, never stand between a senior and a freebie.

So a new edition of the "bible" for bargain hunters will bring special joy to the closed-wallet set as its pays for itself over and over again.

The result of seven years' travel and research, Australia Free 3 lists hundreds of free-access swimming spots, waterfalls, beaches, museums, walks, lookouts, parks, gardens and opportunities for communing with wildlife.

Packed with colour photos, the guide also provides detailed maps and GPS co-ordinates to ensure travellers have no trouble finding the attractions.

To get an idea of what's out there, here is one of author Mike Koch's tips: a visit Whitsunday Sailing Club at Pioneer Bay, Airlie Beach. "If you go there on a Wednesday afternoon, around 3pm you may be lucky enough to get a ride on board a yacht for their 'round the buoys race," he says.

Another big feature of the book is places to stay: more than 1500 of the best free roadside rest areas and camping spots are included. Custom icons throughout the guide show readers at a glance what facilities are available at camping location.

All in all, it's a must-have resource for the whole country that includes many places never mentioned in a guidebook before.

  • Australia Free 3: The Ultimate Guide for the Budget Traveller (Woodslane Press), Mike Koch, RRP $55.

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