Scotty: We’re on a road trip down the east coast of Australia, and we’re testing these brand new Oz RV Caravans before our final destination, the Newcastle caravan Camping and Holiday Expo. We’re up early this morning, and we’re catching up with the guys at the Clarence River Fisherman’s Co-op. For decades they’ve been supplying the region with, as the locals tell us, the best seafood produce in the country. Max Leeson has been a part of the co-op for 37 years.
Max Leeson: It is very important to Iluka the co-op employs around about 60-70 people, so that pours a lot of money into the community and produces jobs so it has got to be a good thing. The last few years have been sensational, especially the last 12 months, for the offshore king prawn, and the river escoulies.
Scotty: It has been such good organisation generationally, have you got many generations here that are still in the fisheries?
Max Leeson: Yeah there are up to five generations of fisherman here, especially in the river fishermen, some of them just keep on going, they are still going, father after son after father after son.
Scotty: A tough question for you, is this the best prawn in the country?
Max Leeson: Absolutely, bar none.
Scotty: We are right on time to catch all the action off this morning’s haul.
Max Leeson: They don’t all come up hard and firm. These are the ones that they head, these are the ones that become prawn coloured and such.
Scotty: Billy, I got dinner mate. Got you a little basket of soft and broken. Prawns and fish aren’t the only goodies that these guys supply. Today they have got my fave. Beautiful big mud crab, look at that big puppy oh yeah you can tell he is a good quality, you call these chocolate boys.
Speaker 3: Full them fellows, yeah.
Scotty: Full as a goog. All caught locally?
Speaker 3: All caught locally, on the Clarence river, yeah.
Scotty: So these guys here to the co-op. And from there where will they go?
Speaker 3: Straight to Sydney. They will go on the truck about midday today, and they will be on the floor first thing tomorrow for the early markets.
Scotty: Now you guys tie your crabs on the run, don’t you.
Speaker 3: Yeah.
Scotty: Let me just see all your fingers, you have got them all?
Speaker 3: Yeah.
Scotty: All your toes? Have you ever been nipped?
Speaker 3: Oh many times, yeah. It doesn’t tickle.
Scotty: So a few little favourite words like “Ow that hurts”.
Speaker 3: Yeah that is about it, nothing more than that.
Scotty: A trip to the co-op wouldn’t be complete without trying a bit of produce. Chicken of the sea in my opinion, Morton bay bugs, are you ready, we just grab it at the tail end, twist, and you just sort of pull that meat out, you can nibble the top of that off. Good. Then you can squeeze that, squeeze it together, and it will just peel off like that. Then the next step is straight into the gob. Look at you. Now a good prawn you should squeeze and push and it comes off. Now these prawns were cooked on the boats which means they don’t get any fresher, cooked in salt water, a little salt water brine, once again boys, into the gob.
Billy: Straight in.
Robbo: Way behind you.
Scotty: If you are in town swing by the main street of Yamba for some of the freshest fish and chips. I am guessing a bit of fresh whiting, Clarence river whiting, boys. It is back on the road again, and I’ve got a cracker of a destination to set up our digs for the evening. Woody head camping ground, a part of the Bundjalung National Park. We are not camping, we are definitely glamping. The team at Oz RV have thought of everything, lets go take a look. This is a good opportunity to see how Oz RV stacks up in the style and functionality stakes. Robbo, what are you doing big man, you are on the bed.
Robbo: I am taking a nap in there.
Scotty: Good opportunity though, you are a big man, tell us about the bed.
Robbo: Well it is a full bolster bed, full queen size bed, I am six foot two, plenty of headroom, feet are on the bed, more than comfortable, and a massive amount of under bed storage. More storage in here, more storage above here. My favourite is this guy.
Scotty: A huge pull out pantry.
Robbo: All on those trays there and adjustable trays. Or you can come over this side. Look at that.
Scotty: Wow that is so deep as well.
Robbo: You are never going to have a lack of storage in this guy. Beautiful gas over. You have got a rotisserie in there as well. It comes with a separate grill. Up top we have got three gas burner and one electric. How is this for a bathroom, that for a shower. Massive shower, we have got a toilet right here behind me, washing machine.
Scotty: You are kidding, washing machine in there.
Robbo: The window is absolutely massive. It lets that draught come through, you can feel it now, it is nice and hot out there. You have got full fly screen lock out, or if you want to sleep in in the morning, lock it all out.
Scotty: Where are you Billy?
Billy: Up here Scotty.
Scotty: Mate I have checked out the 22 foot Byfield, now show me over the 19 foot off road Finke.
Billy: Come on in and have a look.
Scotty: Now this is glamping.
Billy: It is, isn’t it. And tell you what, she is tech savvy too. This has got some electronics in it, up here Tremar air conditioner, full reverse cycle so it heats and cools, so winter and summer. You have full RV electronics on there, so it will tell you how much water is in your water tank, so nice and safe if you are out for a camp, you can keep an eye on your water usage. Red arc BM system, full battery management system, so that will look after all of your battery, all of your power in there, and talking about power, 100 watt solar panel up there on the roof, again for free camping, keep the battery juiced up, plenty of power.
Scotty: We have covered the inside, but my favourite feature is outside. Pull out kitchen. Where you, my friend, will be cooking those prawns from earlier this morning.
Billy: You reckon I will.
Scotty: I reckon the big man will be doing the dishes on the other side. Oh Billy you have outdone yourself, that is good.