Stranded tourists receive helping hand from generous Geraldton residents

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
Derec Davies and Jas Ang with daughter Quinn. The family said the would like to thank the Geraldton community for helping them through a tough time.
Camera IconDerec Davies and Jas Ang with daughter Quinn. The family said the would like to thank the Geraldton community for helping them through a tough time. Credit: Supplied

The Geraldton community has rallied around a family who found themselves stuck in the Mid West without accommodation after their caravan broke down near Coral Bay.

Derec Davies and Jas Ang, along with daughter Quinn, were about four months into a road trip around Australia when their caravan hit what they think was a pothole.

Surveying the damage it was clear the caravan’s axle was out of action.

Staying in a roadhouse overnight, the caravan was towed to Geraldton for repairs.

Going from bad to worse, a mechanic told them it would take at least four weeks to just get the necessary parts delivered.

“Caravanning is going off in Australia, so the mechanic told us there’s a parts shortage all over the place and supply chain issues,” Mr Davies said.

“We thought what are we going to do? We don’t have our home, we’re stuck.”

Struggling to find short-term accommodation in Geraldton that didn’t blow a huge hole in their budget, the family reached out on Facebook to see if anyone could help them out.

They said the response from the Geraldton community was “overwhelming”, with the family offered free accommodation on a farm provided they lent a hand on the property.

“I couldn’t believe it all happened so quickly,” Mr Davies said.

“Being from a big city like Melbourne, you don’t really expect that kind of stuff because I don’t think we would have got that response in Melbourne. It makes you feel like it’s a lovely community.”

The family had more luck at the beginning of their road trip. They decided to buy a caravan and rent out their home just before Melbourne’s latest lockdown hit and were already in regional Victoria when COVID-19 cases started to jump.

Despite strict border restrictions, Mr Davies said the family had been able to travel far and wide.

“We found that the Northern Territory would let us in if you weren’t in Melbourne or Mildura and had been regional for two weeks,” he said.

“We applied for a border pass and spent five weeks in the Northern Territory.

“We are fully vaccinated so it was pretty easy to get our border pass for WA and crossed near Lake Argyle.”

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