Ice Cream Vans in Australia….

Ding Dong, Ding Ding……. Ding!

When I was a kid, almost every day at about the same time, I’d hear that sound.

It was a sound that would stir up a mix of emotions. Would I be allowed one? Could my mum afford one? Will she give me some money? Will I get to him before he drives off?

The sound was of bells, but not real bells. Recorded bells, being played back too loudly, distorted.

Yes, I’m talking about the ice cream van!

Buying an ice cream from the ice cream man in the ice cream van was a real treat when I was a kid. And the faster you could run to get the van, the shorter the queue.

Nothing beat being first in the queue at the ice cream van with a silver coin in your clenched fist.

Ice cream vans in Australia.

Okay, I’m a bit slow; I’ve been here over four years. But the other day I was thinking “why doesn’t Australia have ice cream vans?”ice cream

So I asked Mrs BobinOz.

“Why doesn’t Australia have ice cream vans Mrs BobinOz?” I said.

“They do!” She replied.

I may claim many things, but being observant is not on the list. Apparently Australia does have ice cream vans, but they are usually quite stationary; outside parks, school fetes, at fairs or at events, not roaming the streets as they did when I was young and living in England.

They were called “street runs” and they are not so popular these days. I think it’s fair to say that ice cream vans doing street runs are a dying breed.


There is a clue in an article I wrote ages ago called Any Old Iron! Any Old Iron! I heard the distant sound of a Ding! Ding! Ding! So I went out into the streets looking for the rag and bone man so I could get rid of some old stuff, you know, broken fridge and rusty cooker.

But it turned out that the source of the sound of those bells was an ice cream selling van, not a “Mr whippy” type of ice cream van, but frozen ice cream and lollies that can be kept in the freezer and given out as treats.

Along with home delivery ice cream, McDonald’s selling soft ice cream in a cone for 50 cents makes a Mr whippy ice cream look really expensive.

Although I don’t know how much they charge, I’ve never seen one, remember?

Okay, I’ll Google it. Hold on.

Here we are.

A double Choc dip cone costs $5; it’s an extra dollar if you want the chocolate flake too.

Of course I want the flake!

A Mr whippy ice cream may cost 10 times as much as one from McDonald’s, but the thrill of running up to an ice cream van as a kid is priceless.

And the ice cream vans themselves are a marvel; they are a work of art.

Anyway, back to the thrill and buzz of hearing the ice cream van approaching. This is what it was like…..

Did that bring it all back for you? It did for me.

But you may have noticed something not quite right. The ice cream van in the video was not selling traditional soft serve ice cream, it came out of a tub. That’s because it was an advert for Nestlé Peters national TV campaign.

The owner of that ice cream van is a guy called Trevor Thornton, who I have now been chatting to since writing this post and Trevor commenting on it.

Trevor operated three original ex Mr Whippy ice cream vans on the Gold Coast during the years of 2001 until 2010, when the business was sold.

Trevor retained one of these iconic vans from the sale and it is presently used for selling Hawaiian Shaved Ice and soft serve ice cream outside the restriction zone of South East Queensland as determined by the business sale agreement.

And that’s the van you see in the advert above. Trevor still uses it occasionally for charity and promotional work.

Anyway, under the terms of the sale of his business, Trevor cannot sell soft serve ice cream in Queensland until April 2013.

So what does he do now?


Donut VanWill Trevor ever go back to selling soft serve ice cream again? He doesn’t intend to, but says “I’m going to judge the market conditions at the time“.

We’ll all look forward to that.

Here are more pictures of Trevor’s toys…

Retro Van
50 ICE

Book a DonutDo you still have ice cream vans round your way? Or are they a dying breed everywhere? Please let me know the comment below…

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{ 93 comments… add one }
  • Souhayla December 2, 2022, 1:42 am |

    Aww… It was truly superb to read your blog. I too was thinking about my childhood as well. The Ice cream man to Ice cream van is really an amazing change. It is now used for events including weddings, birth parties, and other events as we are witnessing everywhere. But the man can reach every nook and corner while Van can’t. Anyway, It’s a really perfect blog. Helped me to know a lot. Thanks, BobinOz 🙂

    • BobinOz December 6, 2022, 8:20 pm |

      Yes, ice cream vans have really become an iconic thing these days. Cheers, Bob

  • Bill November 20, 2022, 5:59 am |

    I have a question? I own a 1990 SWB transit van ice cream truck. It certainly has lots of character and gets lots of positive comments from the public. Would it be legal to tour around Oz with the truck using my local council approval from Tasmania?
    I’m keen to drive around Oz selling ice cream. Would the red tape allow for that?

    • BobinOz November 22, 2022, 8:51 pm |

      If only I knew Bill, if only 🙂

      Something tells me there must be a whole bunch of red tape preventing you from doing this, because selling ice cream countrywide when you only have a license to do it in Tasmania would just be too good to be true.

      But as I say, I don’t know, I wouldn’t even know who to ask, other than every single council region you want to sell your ice cream in, but I can understand why you might not want to do that.

      Good luck though, it would be a great road trip if you could do it, Bob

  • Sharon March 13, 2019, 2:54 pm |

    Can i find out the name of an icecream man who done street runs in perth for 20 yrs+. How can i find this man?

    • BobinOz March 15, 2019, 7:46 pm |

      Well, when I was a kid, running towards the sound of the music of the van worked for me, may be worth a try? 🙂 You need to go to Perth though.

      Seriously though, I don’t know, but maybe somebody who has made comments here knows him and can help out. Anybody know the Perth ice cream van man?

    • Michael March 17, 2019, 10:23 pm |

      Sarah there’s s few operators not many that have been doing it that long in Perth, is there any other information and I might be able to help locate the right person

  • Mick November 27, 2018, 8:28 pm |

    I grew up near Lismore NSW and MrWhippy was a regular around here. Never was a fan of Green sleeves though as ours play Music box dancer, bought a smile to my face many times, then when i moved to Perth saw MrWhippy almost every weekend, never realised they were in decline. Sad now though back in NSW, as i cant find any neer by. I might check out Marks page.

    • BobinOz November 28, 2018, 9:03 pm |

      Yes, not many of them left now in New South Wales or anywhere. If ever I do see one these days, which is rare, I actually do get excited and feel compelled to buy one.

  • Robbie October 3, 2016, 9:51 am |

    I brought Trevor Thorntons last van

    • BobinOz October 3, 2016, 6:31 pm |

      About time Trevor retired 🙂 The weather is heating up already, I hope you sell plenty of ice creams Robbie. Cheers, Bob

  • Jim January 16, 2016, 12:35 am |

    Hi bobinoz, I just found this site whilst scrolling in ice-cream vans. I had a “No Name” soft serve ice-cream van in Albury/Wodonga area from 1983 till 1997. I had a full-time job, so only used to work it on weekends and special events, but I used to work the streets both days, plus the Sunday morning market. Later on Sunday afternoon, in the summer I would head out to the Hume Weir. That was like licence to print money in those days. Hundreds of people, with no shop around, and often, not much shade on days with temperstures in the low 40’s so when I turned up with my ice-cream and icy cold soft drinks, I would be mobbed. In those 14 years, i had 7 trips back to UK to visit my parents, other family and friends, turning 2 of those trips in round the world. One with my daughter and the other with my wife on an extended 6 week honeymoon. All paid for by my Soft-Serve ice-cream van.

    • BobinOz January 18, 2016, 2:41 am |

      And then McDonald’s came along with their 50 cent ice creams. The good old days, those golden years, they seem to be gone, I think most people who drive ice cream vans know that now. Shame, as I said in my above post, the excitement of hearing that music and running around the street looking for the van could hardly be matched when you were a kid.

  • Jack June 9, 2015, 9:57 am |

    The reason Trevor doesn’t sell is because he sold me 2 of his three vans and he cannot to operate any similar business in QLD.

    There are no agreements for zones. Everybody trades everywhere!

    There are more than 800+ vans operating Australia wide.

    The Mr Whippy name is owned by Cold Rock who bought it in 2000 after no driver wanted anything to do with a tarnished brand! The trademark was registered by a lawyer in 1982 who asked all the van to remove the brand from the vans! (I think nobody (the Italian and Greek migrant drivers) knew back then about prior use and challenge the trademark registration) That is why you don’t see any Mr Whippy Vans anywhere. Stan Gordon the owner of Cold Rock is just sitting on the brand. Very wisely. The brand is useless as there are already 800+ van operating under just as many names! There would be a riot if he challenged the vans. There was one in 1982 in Melbourne where 400 vans blockaded the city center as they tried to get all the van off the streets. No Luck the Government backed down!

    If you want to know more contact the Melbourne Company that has been making vans for many years for everybody to use without Franchises or zoned areas. Nearly all the vans have been made there and none called a single Mr Whippy!

    Besides many of us make our own vans right in our very back yards!

    • BobinOz June 9, 2015, 9:32 pm |

      Thanks for the update Jack, not sure why Mr Whippy as a brand is now useless, but there is certainly a Mr Whippy trademark and a website currently in operation.

      I take your point though, this isn’t the sort of thing that really needs buying into a franchise or zoning, just build your own van and sell what you like where you like. Cheers, Bob

  • Deby March 22, 2015, 12:55 pm |

    Want an orginal Mr Whippy experience? Are you screaming for ice cream? Kid’s galore? Industrial hot spots? Office staff treat? I’d love your feedback, suggestions and wish lists! I’m located on Brisbane’s northside and want to make old & new memories with old school service & smiles, new again 🙂

  • 123Razor January 14, 2015, 6:47 pm |

    thats what we did in the end we also found out that in perth one beach has a mr whippy van almost everyday so we go there alot

    • BobinOz January 15, 2015, 12:54 am |

      Ah, that’s a relief. I’ve been having nightmares lately about you and your little sister wandering the streets of Perth clutching your pocket money but never actually being able to buy an ice cream. Really glad to hear you’ve sorted out.

  • 123Razor December 3, 2014, 9:34 pm |

    Yeah my little sister and I spent a while on the laptop trying to search up when he will next come round….he doesn’t have one.

    • BobinOz December 4, 2014, 2:21 pm |

      Sounds like you’re stuck with chasing the sound of Greensleeves 🙂

      • 123Razor December 28, 2014, 7:08 pm |

        Yeah. This afternoon we heard the sound of green sleeves, it faded, we heard it again looked and no luck and thats how it went ’till the evening

        • BobinOz December 29, 2014, 11:25 pm |

          Maybe you should go to the shops to buy an ice cream?

  • 123Razor November 16, 2014, 4:53 pm |

    I live in Australia and I just heard the mr whippy van my sister and I ran and cycled round streets to find it in Australia the mr whippy van looks different and plays green sleeves people can actually book one for parties and festivals..

    • BobinOz November 16, 2014, 10:08 pm |

      Did you get a 99 with a flake? 🙂

      • 123Razor November 18, 2014, 11:11 pm |

        No we never found it.

        • BobinOz November 19, 2014, 4:14 pm |

          Haha!! That made me laugh out loud, hope you catch up with him next time.

  • Deb October 14, 2014, 8:01 pm |

    Hi Liz,
    That was my a tad under my budget to start too. What a rude awakening I ended up having to triple it! Lucky my other half works.

  • Liz October 14, 2014, 11:36 am |

    Hi been looking at starting up an soft serve ice cream van in my area whitsundays qld
    Been looking at vans but not sure if my budget of $15,000 will get me much. Any advice welcome.

    Thank you

  • Julia October 22, 2013, 11:36 pm |

    I’m thinking of getting my ice cream van, more for markets and events, but would drive on streets as well, and of course it’s would be soft serve :

    • BobinOz October 24, 2013, 12:09 am |

      If you do, maybe you can let us know how it works out. Maybe some other people here can give you some guidance, anybody?

      • Michael October 24, 2013, 8:16 am |

        in what town or city are you Julia

  • socrates February 28, 2013, 10:33 pm |

    can someone please explain if they know who owns this vehicle?
    he explains that hes trying to restore it, but judging the body work this looks like complete cancer? anyone else take on this video as hes interested in selling it but some guy i spoke to called brett from qland said he paid 14k for it and its nothing less than a piece of nihtmare, the checkarplate really is a worry

    advice appreciated

    • andy September 27, 2019, 1:22 pm |

      thats my old van…took the chequeplate off and all good under it…there was some rust around windscreen area…
      sold not to qld but to geelong/torquay area by an existing operator who was going to restore and use in his fleet…whether that happened or not Im not sure….I sold it for well under $10k
      yes…i regret selling but my partner was not at all interested in keeping it

  • Michael February 21, 2013, 11:13 pm |

    Socrates there was a group that supported kids with cancer ” the trek or trek” they were called operating out of perth, they definately had one I fitted the machine and sponsored by supply all the stock for years it was a good van, I believe the guy that had it has gone his own way but the group still exist and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
    Ms Daisy streets are fantastic even in ipswich, try turn the volume up if your loud speaker doesnt make your ears hurt when you stand in front of it a 10 metres its not loud enough be constant same street same day same time within half an hour dont flood the area go once a week or once a fortnight depending on demographic of that suburb branch out maybe go once a month and do other areas like goodna etc weekdays start at lunch time doing industrial areas dont go over 4km per hour, with industrial areas I have doubled my turnover making up to a $1000 before school is out also the businesss ask you to come to there special event like christmas parties where you charge $250 an hour including icecream to the value of if they eat more charge accordingly. do remote towns regardless of population size Cue in W.A. pop 120 $750 2hours, Wilcannia N.S.W. 1.5 hrs $550 Ceduna 8 hrs $2400 only half the town done all those outback towns glenn innes warrick peter borough are great once a month and they just love you comming half the time the shire workers get you to pull up at the office so they can have one never had permits for any town except where I was based of course public liability and my vans were spotless selling only the best product Norco dairy lismore

    • BobinOz February 26, 2013, 1:27 pm |

      Fantastic advice Michael, I think I might buy an ice cream van for myself 🙂



  • Deb Lang February 19, 2013, 5:30 pm |

    Hi! I am Ms Daisy Ice Cream Emporium

    Like any business you have to work extremely hard to get results. Nothing worthwhile is easy. But when you love what you do the rest follows.
    As for doing the streets…. Yes I still do during the week. As Relle said… It isn’t particuarly viable, but I do it for the kids. We had it when we were young and I want this generation to as well. It gives me great pleasure to see them doing cart wheels and dancing when I come along their street. That makes it all worthwhile. Cheesy I know but its true.
    My main thing is events on weekends and private functions parties etc. Now Mr Whippy didn’t do that when we were wee! 🙂

    • BobinOz February 20, 2013, 12:57 am |

      Good on ya Ms Daisy, I’m all up for anyone who enjoys making kids lives a bit happier. Keep up the good work!



  • Socrates February 2, 2013, 10:55 am |

    Hi there if anyone has a commer karrier Icecream for sale please let me know on 0413613037

  • Justintime January 29, 2013, 8:08 pm |

    Hi I run an ice cream van in Southampton. I also supply catering, bouncy castle hire and kids disco with party games and prizes. It’s a good spin on a classic such as an ice cream van. 🙂

    • BobinOz January 31, 2013, 1:26 pm |

      Ice cream vans alive and well in Southampton, good to hear it 🙂 nice idea to add a bouncy castle as well, cheers Justintime!

  • Dillon January 19, 2013, 10:31 am |

    they are a dead breed in wisconsin

  • Marco December 6, 2012, 10:51 pm |

    Hi can anyone tell me where i can get hold of this legislation form? ie a link.

    Also anywhere i could hire a van and aprox costs to do so.

    I recently lost my job and would love to get a van up and running.

    my email is

    thanks in advance

  • Trevor Thornton December 6, 2012, 9:51 pm |

    Strange.I found the licensing procedure with Coffs Harbour City Council to be an exhaustive but logical experience.

    • Sarah January 19, 2013, 4:45 pm |

      How long ago was this? rules changed recently

  • Sarah December 5, 2012, 2:21 pm |

    I own an ice cream van. I live just outside of Coffs harbour. I am struggling to sell anything? I’ve tried the roaming around and one one buys anything. I have pulled up at the beachs…not much response. One day recently we had our hottest day this year, I took the van out for 4 hours. I made $20. That didn’t cover anything.
    I’ve also found the council fees and rules are far too much risk. I am ‘not allowed’ to sell out of my van (opening the window is a no no)??? No wonder it’s dying…too much red tape!

    • BobinOz December 5, 2012, 9:49 pm |

      Not allowed to sell out of your van through the window? What kind of rule is that? No wonder it isn’t working out. Maybe some of the other ice cream sellers here can help you out, it doesn’t sound right to me.

      • Sarah January 19, 2013, 4:47 pm |

        I started selling coffee (along with iced coffees/thickshakes etc) I got permission to go to one area to do a run. Is working much better now as I run these things ‘into’ my customers.

  • Relle October 8, 2012, 10:51 pm |

    Ms Daisy Ice Cream Emporium still goes round the streets out here in Ipswich Qld. She told me its not particuarly viable, but she enjoys doing it for the kids. At least someones keeping the tradition alive.

    • BobinOz October 9, 2012, 6:51 pm |

      Maybe I’ll take a drive down there and buy an ice cream off of Ms Daisy, Ipswich is only about 20 minutes down the road from me. I’ll wait till he gets a bit warmer though, it was only 30°C today.

  • Michael July 29, 2012, 12:25 am |

    Only started 15 yrs ago in Perth, have done 63 towns in W.A, over 40 in N.S.W.,S.A., QLD and most of the N.T., had input in to the construction of softserve machines suitable for vans as there wasnt a machine suitable for 30years from carpigiani single phase pump fed 201 now thanks to Tony at Majors and Glen from Joey softserve and myself there are van suitable machines with overnight storage and dont weight 1/2 a ton that have a much higher output have pulled a cone every 4 seconds for 4 hours continuos of a single barrel, there are now over 100 vans in Perth but the shires have made it harder to operate with massive fees, we operate 7 days a week, just by chance a friend of mine lives on the same street as supersoft I was going to stop in and say hi 2 years ago whilst operating out of byron bay the tweed coast was a favourite but apparently no-one except Home icecream was allowed to operate thought monoplies were against the law mmm.Darwin is fantastic with only 1 van operating the one I sold last year, plenty of scope for 3 or 4 more there. Taking a break for a while do something different will build one brand new van to last the rest of my life in a year or 2, still have Mini whippy which is on ebay at the moment and a bedford in darwin which I will pick up sometime

    • BobinOz July 30, 2012, 4:08 pm |

      Hi Michael

      I’m beginning to cotton on to the fact that ice cream van owners are actually old classic car enthusiastic in disguise as well!

      Sounds like the ice cream van is alive and well in a good number of Australian cities, including Perth. No surprises that the local councils are in on it, charging massive fees!



    • kylie November 4, 2016, 10:45 pm |

      I am in my 5th week trading in my 3rd van (bus)…my first was a 1962 VW…which I traded in Kununurra WA in 2000 and then relocated to Darwin where there was another 2 casual vans operating…wasn’t so great back then and don’t think it could do with another 2-4 vans without going bust…I moved around a bit and ended up selling the VW and upgrading to a Transit which I fully built in my front yard in Wyndham WA and traded in both Wyndham and Kununurra…I have recently relocated back to Darwin with my new beast, again built in the yard.. I had the least amount of tradesmen I could, I did as much as i possibly could myself due to my lack of faith in most tradesmens ability to do the job propa 1st time and even had to question the workmanship of all of those who did work including those with the engineering title!!! Anyways, there is another van here ATM, more than likely the van you sold all those years ago…don’t think the hubby and wife team are happy I have returned to my old stomping grounds…told me to ‘F’ off etc etc 5 years ago when I came for a few weeks to trade and now winging to the customers who are alerting me of their complaints and even took footage of me driving down the street in my 2nd week of trade…Bonus for me, he is still illegally WA registered and has been for the 5 years I have known of them…and going on the signage of his suggested business name the business isn’t registered either… Again, if this town had another 2-4 vans it wouldn’t be worth doing at all!!!

      • kylie November 5, 2016, 10:39 pm |

        Hmmm had a thought today that I purchased the VW from a dude called Michael…maybe it was you!!!

        • BobinOz November 7, 2016, 5:40 pm |

          Hopefully, if Michael is still monitoring this thread, he will be able to tell you. Darwin must surely be a good place to sell ice creams, so I hope it goes well. Bob

        • Michael November 7, 2016, 10:31 pm |

          Hi Kylie yes it was me that sold the 62 vw, would love to have bought that back, have seen it several times on the back of trucks. 1 van in Darwin lives at the race course on the hway past winnellie he will give you a hard time but gives up easy and mainly only does indigenous community’s, my van would be the other one, it was a fantastic van with a custombuilt Italian icecream machine specifically designed to do Darwin with a larger condenser and larger compressor, the girls father bought it for her they were very nice to start with then I let them keep it in my warehouse while I was overseas for a few weeks came back to find everything associated with icecream stolen which may have been the German backpacker they had working for them, then the electric fan on the radiator stopped working but they kept driving overheated and blew the engine, instead of fixing it they came up with the bright idea of putting a holden motor in to a ford, all my fault apparently, that van was last in Brisbane where they sold the machine out of it,You also have home icecream absolutely no competition, Facebook me Kylie and I’ll give you a few tips Michael Trowbridge there will be a pic of a harley

          • Michael November 7, 2016, 10:42 pm |

            kylie I also lived in kununurra, my father went up there in the 60s to build lake argyle, lived there 25 yrs in hindsight that Kombi wouldve struggled in that heat

            • kyile November 8, 2016, 10:34 am |

              WOW nice to hear from you Michael…I kinda thought it may have been you!!! I thought I saw you on a Knx facebook group/page about 1-2 years ago, so I did remember your name just didn’t want to make it public above… I’ve kinda given up on FB and deleted almost all of my friends/family and using it for business purposes ONLY now…But VERY happy to throw tips your way too (IF you even need any!!!)…every bit helps!!! I will message you via FB just to say hi (so my message might be in your others or hidden folder just to make things difficult as FB often does!!)…I have to run into town today for supplies and a few otheries..including a hunt for a drive belt for my gelmatic machine so I can fit it this arvo (not holding my breath on availability tho!!)…it might last me this weeks trade but not 100% confident with that so might rig up a temp stocking fix for the time being…just hope it works!!!$90 including express delivery from WA supplier if I can’t find one today locally… waiting on images and removal instructions from them ATM for belt setup so I can do my stocking thang should I have to, it didn’t seem right to me when I finally got the rear cover off to inspect it (the tensioner thingy on blue arm didn’t seem to be doing anything special, but I may be mistaken)…I sent them an image of the belt condition and was told the only way the belt would end up in the condition it did after 5 weeks use from new was continuous lockup…I assume ‘lockup’ is when the product over freezes, but this has never occurred in any of the machines I have ever used…give me the taylor 150 anyday for numerous reasons…still have 150 from my Transit van, had it been easy enough to rip this new machine out it would have been replaced with my trusty Taylor on the first day of using the newer machine…I locked it in good n proper to the point I had to get the grinder out to cut the back off for access 2 days ago…VERY carefully of course not to damage anything and I was successful..wooohoooo…and people often laughed at me for holding on to the scrappy remains of my cutting discs!!! thinks I coulda fit that machine differently and done more but was buying up most of the required goods for the project from Perth and was time limited… as you would know Knx is very limited even for the most basic items and freight costs a killer. Purchases included the vehicle, genset and more, so was a quick decision on where it would be permanently mounted and wanted her locked in so should I have had to hit on the anchors on my drive home to Knx it wouldn’t hit me in the back of the head…well not so hard anyways..hehe…same as the genset!!! but still happy enough on their locations and mounting…
              I have recently created a page for my new bus..’Da Tukka Truck’, I am not active on it yet, but slowly, slowly I will get there!!!
              It was suggested often by many that the VW would struggle in the heat with the air cooled system….I never had ANY issues with that ever, she was awesome…even drove it fully loaded from Darwin to Katherine with trailer on her…the brakes and rust were my ONLY issues (even after replaced with new brake parts…master, slaves and calipers etc..all new!!),..I purchased a manual and fixed it myself, 1 time, then voila, no more issues!!! another reason I have very little confidence in the so called professionals of trades (and they were the Darwin VW specialist (now closed)!!)… I do EVERYTHING I can do possible and legally to avoid using tradesmen… I sold the VW VERY cheap and makes everyone cry when I tell them the final selling figure (I was offered more but declined)… I had another BIGGER rebuild/renovation project that was doing my head in at the time. I had cut most of the rust out and had had the floor replaced, but just got too much for me on my own and had to go!!! It sold about 8 years ago, still regoed with extra parts I scavenged from a few wrecks I found on the side of the Hwy’s between Knx, Alice and Darwin… It was the EXTREME spotto game, as I often spotted them from a fair distance off the hwy in the scrub without really looking… I still can’t believe I found the little treasures!!
              The VW was going to be restored by the new owner and used as a coffee outlet in Freo or south of Perth area…
              Your the second person to give me the living location of the other ice cream van…and both times without asking any questions or prompting for info..I have known where he lives for a while now so with that info and their suggested business name I have a fair bit of info…he and his wife caretake a local government owned reserve, where they hold Rodeo’s and allow big caravans with pets….he is the one who told me to ‘F’ off!!! maybe he thinks he scared me off (as he is a big biker looking dude), as I went home to Knx not long after and have only just returned with my new kick arse BIGGER/BETTER/FASTER/MORE bus…not faster in KMPH tho!!!(that’s what happens when someone tell’s Kylie to ‘F’ off!!!) haha…nah had numerous reasons for moving back here, but he can think he scared me off if it makes him feel good!!! They do the Indig communities, as I do, they also have the van parks and I assume the rodeo’s covered, but without NT rego he is NOT insured!!! One of my customers alerted me 3 days ago of their intention of selling their van due to illness…she reckons they want $80k for it…good if they can show figures I guess, but from my search of their suggested business name they aren’t even registered for GST etc (so not doing so well ‘apparently’) and with my customers (again without asking/prompting for info) informing me they are out there EVERY day (when they aren’t broken down), tells me they gotta be turning over more that $75k PA…
              I get on VERY well with my customers and IF I can’t make them laugh I haven’t done my job propa!!! I even chuck lollies at the kid’s who dance to my music as I drive down the street…they crack me up with their little dancing moves…so if they make me smile/laugh I gotta give the feel good factor back to them…if a kid misses out on a treat because they have not enough cash, I will often, but not always, slip them a little something so they don’t feel left out…15 years ago when heading home via my last community stop, I used to call out to the kids to get their cups/plates etc so I could fill them up with free ice cream…was my routine clean out day so rather than chuck it I gave it back to the kids I grew to love!!! I am far from wealthy and have done almost everything without handouts from family or other (although I got a loan from my bro’s to buy the VW, which was paid back in a timely fashion)…I just like sharing the feel good factor!!!it IS the best part of my job and I’d like to thank you Michael for selling me the VW ALL them years ago simply for that reason!!! it’s all about the feel good service for me and f I were to win lotto I would do it ALL at cost price…but that’s not going to happen coz I don’t do lotto!!!
              I was informed a few months ago there was another van that does the Darwin inner suburbs, but I’ve never seen it…I was also informed there was another van here who started what she thought to be a unique business in KNX, but she didn’t do well there at all, not only because there are numerous vans there but because she expected too much and didn’t know how to deal with the local mob and numerous other reasons…I haven’t seen her or her van here though…would be interesting to see her again…she was a brave woman giving me the birdy the day she left Knx as I drove past her house on my rounds!!!
              I am planning on building/buying another van for my friend to use to do the areas I currently do, as I have bigger plans for my kick arse bus…I saw something on FB the other day which gave me an idea for a VERY unique finish and possibly the only one in Oz…
              15 years ago the 2 vans here was an old Bedford (assume yours!!) and a Nissan bus ‘Mr Yum Yum’, but haven’t seen either of them since way back then and often wonder what happened to them!! The Mr Yum Yum set up I think was 240v powered via the vehicle engine…I am pretty sure I had a sneak peak while he was at one of the shows here and pretty sure that’s what I saw…I have heard of this before and would like to do this with my current and future vehicles but don’t know who would do this locally…
              Home ice cream have been here since I was in the VW too…absolutely NO competition…and little customers in one of the local suburbs suggesting they were so happy to get soft serve opposed to the crystallised packaged ice cream!!
              Sorry for the novel guy’s…

              • BobinOz November 8, 2016, 5:26 pm |

                It’s beginning to sound like The Glasgow Ice Cream Wars up there in Darwin 🙂 Well, let’s hope not. Google has lots of information on this if you haven’t heard about it. Good on ya for chucking out those sweets to the kids, cheers, Bob

                • kylie November 9, 2016, 11:19 am |

                  Was more of a war zone in Kununurra than here in more ways than 1…but I suppose it’s only early days here yet!!!haha…

              • Michael November 8, 2016, 9:47 pm |

                Kylie, do the industrial area Thursday and Friday at midday also approach the speed way offer $50 a night was good for 700 to 2000

                • KYLIE November 9, 2016, 11:16 am |

                  Yeah thanks for the info Michael…the plan is to hit the industrial area once I am all sorted with a few things, including my FB page and flyers with a menu, which I intend on hand delivering with a personal touch to local businesses etc…Most of the industrial area’s will already be sewn up with smoko van’s, but I have MUCH more to offer in this truck!!! Anyway, I managed to find a drive belt for the gelmatic localy at 1/3 of the cost mentioned above…yippppeee for me!!! although it’s not ribbed like the original but I can’t see any reason this would make too much difference…the cogged one will be on order from Germany at $40 including delivery, due to land in 2 weeks (just thinking that the original belt only lasted 5 weeks from the machine being new so having a spare-spare is a must!!…thinks I watched too much Magilla Gorilla in my younger days!!)…I still haven’t any info from the Gelmatic sellers on how the belt is meant to sit on the pulleys and tensioner thingy as when I finally got to view it I found the belt around the pulleys only with the tensioner thingy looking to be doing nothing at all…so hopefully I get it right first time!!!
                  I would have asumed the speedways and those events similar would be all sewn up with food vans already as there is a big number of food vans here now the shire have encouraged it…I want to try and keep my nights free at the moment too, but might look into it and more once I am more established…

                  • Mark November 9, 2016, 12:11 pm |

                    Hi how does the old belt look is it frayed cracked ? Sounds like the pulleys might be slightly out of alignment if the belt only lasted 5 weeks and u never had any freeze ups

                    • Kylie November 9, 2016, 1:56 pm |

                      When I say from new…it was new 4-5 years ago waiting in the tropical heated zone while I finished the rest of the bus off, so I am thinking this may be a contributing factor also but think you might be right in other cause…no freeze ups ever…one of the gelmatic team suggested continual lockup too after looking at the image I sent to them of the belt…not knowing what they meant by lockup I assumed it to be a freeze up of product and made them aware this machine has never has had this occure. I did ask if this is what they meant by lockup but still no word…the belt has lost most of it’s coggy things and is twisted…

                  • Michael November 9, 2016, 2:22 pm |

                    Kylie will get you a contact for gelmatic not the sellers, doing just icecream in the industrial will give you less headache, if tensioner was slack was probably your whole problem

  • BobinOz July 6, 2012, 2:38 pm |

    Yes, I agree with Trevor on this one, as they say “one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch”.

    I’m not into pigeonholing people in this way and it is quite insulting to the people here who have worked ice cream vans for more than 20 years.

    • Michael November 8, 2016, 12:15 am |

      Well said Bob, had several operators over the years that gave us a bad wrap though we did our best to run them off, 1 was a slimy rock spider the other a drug dealer, he used to give other operators a hard time but I would sit on his tail with music full blast he eventually got busted

      • BobinOz November 8, 2016, 5:35 pm |

        Ah, yes, my reference a couple of comments above about the ice cream wars probably should have gone here underneath your mention of that drug dealer.

        There will always be bad guys in any line of work, but hopefully they are always outnumbered by the good guys. We can’t be pigeonholing people whatever they do for a living, that’s just plain wrong.

  • Trevor July 6, 2012, 6:44 am |

    Not these days,concerned mother.Ice cream vans as with other mobile vendors are highly regulated by local and state government.Sweeping generalisations such as yours are vindictive, ill-informed and border on what is legally acceptable.Your inability to form a coherent argument is also exposed.It’s like saying all priests are pedophiles and all taxi drivers are rapists.

  • Concerned mother July 5, 2012, 6:00 am |

    In Geelong Australia a young kid was lured into the can and molested. that is why you dont see them anymore. Unregulated small business run by men driving around in a van dealing with kids. recipe for disaster

  • BobinOz July 3, 2012, 1:50 pm |

    Mark, were you born in an ice cream van? Francis, did you ever run into Duncan Bannatyne?

    Thanks all, looks like ice cream vans are alive and well and certainly roaming the streets of the Gold Coast. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you next time I’m down that way.


  • Trevor July 2, 2012, 3:17 pm |

    There’s a rumour Mark was actually born in an ice cream van.I could believe that.

  • mark forman July 2, 2012, 1:50 pm |

    hi my husband and i imigrated from scotland 20 years ago we had icecream vans there and thats what we do here on the gold coast we have 7 vans and we do street runs every weekend the same as it was done in scotland except no crisps ginger or sweeties just soft serve and we brought in from uk the proper chimes that you get from back home. i found your article very interesting and yes it would of been 1 of my vans you saw at brookfield show, kind regards frances forman p.s i forgot on my web

  • mark forman July 1, 2012, 9:13 pm |

    spot on that was my 2005 sprinter that was at brookfield have a 2009 515cdi just about to start thanks mark

  • mark forman July 1, 2012, 8:46 am |

    ice cream vans still roam the streets of the gold coast i know as i own seven of them check me out on facebook

    • BobinOz July 1, 2012, 8:10 pm |

      I think I saw one of your vans at the Brookfield Show the other month, would that be right?

  • Trevor March 19, 2012, 10:34 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Believe me the sounds of ‘Greensleeves’ cutting through the subtropical air of South East Queensland still works.
    There were about 200 of the original Smiths Commer Mr Whippy vans shipped to Australia and New Zealand in the early 1960’s.Sadly decay has seen the best of them but the few survivors,restored, make for a great sight when they hove into view.
    I kept one of the Commers from the sale of my business in order to be the coolest grand-dad ever.It’s still working.Even got it’s own casting agent.Not bad for a 52 year old.Here it is working in Melbourne a few years back

    • BobinOz March 20, 2012, 9:57 pm |

      Well if you are not the coolest grandad ever, you must be very close to it. Any chance you could start driving her around the streets of Brisbane’s western suburbs?

      Or is the Commer still pursuing her acting career? It must be a labour of love keeping her working.

      Thanks TT!

      • Tanya Love March 26, 2012, 12:24 pm |

        Hi Bob, I am a photographer looking for a Mr Whippy van I Brisbane for a photoshoot! Would love to hear from you if you are interested. Thanks so much, Tanya. 🙂

        • BobinOz March 27, 2012, 12:21 am |

          I would love to help you Tanya, but I haven’t got a Mr Whippy van. I assume that’s a major drawback?

  • Sarah March 7, 2012, 10:21 pm |

    A bit late, but we had ice cream “vans” in Winnipeg, Canada growing up – they were bikes with a freezer thing attached to the front on wheels though… I agree that the canned music is creepy – the bike ones just had bells that jangled as it drove along. Just did a search and looks like they still bike around (and that’s my old neighbourhood even): Click Here

    I do remember a few of the motorised vans with the Greensleeves music in the UK (Northampton) when I lived there for 10 years.

    I haven’t seen a roving ice cream van around Chapel Hill (Brisbane) though…

    • BobinOz March 8, 2012, 12:37 am |

      Nice picture! Imagine having to cycle one of them around all day? And how does he keep the ice cream cold without a generator? Although Canada, maybe he doesn’t need a fridge?

      At least the kids don’t have to worry about him driving off before they get to him, they could just keep running and catch up.

      • Sarah March 8, 2012, 5:51 am |

        🙂 It’s around 30 degrees in Winnipeg in the summer (best summers EVER, just way too short!), so I guess the boxes must be very well insulated! Yes, I do remember running after him.

        Do you remember the Eddie Murphy bit from Delirious where he talks about the ice cream van?

        • BobinOz March 9, 2012, 11:55 pm |

          No, I didn’t remember it, but I’ve just watched it on YouTube. I would post it above but Eddie has a turn of phrase not quite suitable for a family audience 🙂 funny though!

          Never knew it got that hot in Canada!

  • Amy February 18, 2012, 5:28 pm |

    We had ice cream “trucks” in my neighborhood in small-town Kansas, USA… But I always found the canned music a bit creepy. Call me American, I guess. Here in our pocket of a southern Brisbane suburb, I hear the real bell dinging every day around the time school lets out. Maybe you don’t live near the right demographic, Bob in Oz? By that I only mean by a major state school.

    • BobinOz February 21, 2012, 5:05 pm |

      You might be right, I do live a bit out in the sticks. I am close to a school though, but still no ice cream van.

  • BobinOz February 13, 2012, 1:27 pm |

    Well, it certainly sounds as though worldwide ice cream vans are on the decline, but there are still some ice cream van hotspots. Gloucester, Perth, Canada and Scotland in the winter!

    Sorry Sara, I’m not counting Windsor, that’s the wrong kind of ice cream van 🙂

    I want to buy an ice cream van and drive it around our local streets, is that a stupid idea? I think all kids should experience the excitement of “Greensleeves”.

  • Ruth February 13, 2012, 10:48 am |

    When we arrived in Perth, in our temporary home, we wondered why we never heard an ice-cream van. Surely an expat can see an opening in the market.
    Then we moved into our new home. Within a few days, guess what? The sound of ‘Greensleeves’ coming from a mystery location on the estate. The grins on the children’s faces (and my husband’s) were a picture. And enormous relief that, yes, Australia does have ice cream vans. Another big tick for Oz.

  • kaven February 12, 2012, 10:35 pm |

    We have icecream vans in toronto canada. The one drives by our building everynight in the warm weather. At the end of our street there is 2 18floor buildings which the sound bounces off and comes back to our place. When he goes throught the streets it always sounds like it is right infront of our house. Pretty cool because the sound brings back childhood memorys. Not cool because he comes by everynight at 730, 8pm so my little one is falling asleep and like clock work “do,do,do da ding dang dooo”…. And my boy is up from bed and at the window : ) Im sure the icecream snacks are close to the same in both countries, it runs 2$,4$, or 6$ for the haagen dazs. but I do agree we end up doing the Mc,D’s icecream more ofter. (i’ve got a guilty pleasure when it cones to a strawberry sundey…ummmmm)

  • Melinda February 12, 2012, 5:01 am |

    When I was growing up in Australia we had the Mr. Whippy vans come around, then we had those and the Home Ice Cream vans come around, while, after a while the Mr. Whippy didn’t come around as often. Then they eventually stopped coming around altogether. I’ve seen them near the beach and at fairs. I haven’t seen any ice cream vans since moving to England in December, but it might be the area I’m living in.

    Now I want a Mr. Whippy ice cream haha.

  • Max February 11, 2012, 10:14 pm |

    I live in Gloucestershire and I see ice cream vans roaming the streets every Weekend.

  • Sara February 11, 2012, 11:21 am |

    We live in Windsor and an ice cream van comes every friday here. It dosen’t have the soft ice cream but the kind you can keep in your freezer. The cost and the quality are both good. Thats their website:
    Last week we were not fast enough and we missed the van. My son (he is two years old) cried for nearly half an hour:(

  • nerissa singh February 11, 2012, 3:54 am |

    ice cream vans are a dying breed the world over. they were very popular while i was growing up in south africa but are now very scarce and even if you do happen to see one and purchase from it, the ice cream quality is now also poor.

    what a pity that our kids will never know about the ice cream vans, they are becoming extinct!

  • Emma February 10, 2012, 9:24 pm |

    I live in Scotland and I heard the ice cream van two nights ago! It isn’t snowing where I am but it is still absolutely freezing! I must admit a part of me did really want a mr whippy with a flake haha 🙂

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