Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.
THE GREAT HOLIDAY BOOM
The end of the war heralded the start of what the Sydney Morning Herald called in 1947, the ‘Great Holiday Boom’. A rush of affordable European and English sedans onto the market coincided with pay increases and big changes at work: two weeks of paid annual leave, a two-day weekend, and for many, regulation of the 40-hour working week and even long-service leave.
While it might once have been just a dream, for Australia’s post-war families, owning a car became almost as important as owning a house and suddenly, everyone wanted to hitch up and go.
With more time off and the money to cover holiday expenses, Australians embarked on annual beach holidays and forays into the little-explored outback, armed with maps provided free of charge by oil companies and motoring associations.
The introduction of the production line revolutionised caravan manufacturing, and Australia’s Big Four led the way: Viscount and Millard in NSW, Franklin in Victoria, and Chesney in Queensland. In all, 22 manufacturers joined Australia’s inaugural 1954 caravan show in Melbourne showcasing their affordable, lightweight caravans decked out with Laminex benchtops, vinyl couches, carpeted floors and innovative gas and electric-powered kitchens.
When Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley launched Holden’s FX in 1948, one in every 10 Australian homes had a car in the garage. Once homegrown cars went into production in the mid-1960s, most Aussies had access to one and with rental caravans readily available, the caravan holiday could finally begin.