grey nomad

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Coined by documentary filmmakers Catherine Marciniak and Steve Westh for the documentary Grey Nomads screened on the Australian public broadcaster ABC at 8.30pm on September 23rd 1997.


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grey nomad (plural grey nomads)

  1. (Australia) A retired person who travels independently and for an extended period within their own country, particularly in a caravan or motor home.
    • 2008, Monte Dwyer, Red In The Centre: The Australian Bush Through Urban Eyes, Monyer Pty Ltd, page 69:
      Every year Grey Nomad migration sees the little Gulf town of Karumba stretched creaseless with sunbirds and fisherfolk.
    • 2011, Tim Bowden, No Tern Unstoned – Musings At Breakfast, unnumbered page:
      I suppose I only became conscious of the grey nomads when I became one. [] Some grey nomads are on the road for up to two years as they follow the seasons — Broome and the Kimberley during the dry season, or Far North Queensland from the Gold Coast up to escape the southern winter. Then a stately migration south — most caravanners only notch up about 300 kilometres a day — to Victoria and Tasmania, or the Margaret River area of Western Australia, for the cooler climes in high summer.
    • 2011, Alan Carter, Prime Cut, Large Print 16pt Edition, page 103,
      Constable Greg Fisher reported on the trip to Mason and Starvation bays and the chat with Billy Mather, none of which had generated anything of real interest except for the tip about the grey nomads who′d passed through.
    • 2012, Heather J. Gibson, Jerome F. Singleton, Leisure and Aging: Theory and Practice, page 206:
      Most grey nomads have retired from paid work and now have time at their disposal to travel around Australia at their own pace. Mings (1997) interviewed 306 couples in 41 caravan parks between Mossman and South Mission Beach in Queensland, concluding that there were major differences between the lifestyles of snowbirds and grey nomads.