The Story Behind Boomerang

The Story Begins 1958

Adventurer John E. Carr was searching for a better way to cook over his campfire

But JOHN CARR was an experienced outback traveller, living in the bush for months at a time, working his way as a miner across the Central Australian desert, up to the jungles of Kakadu & Mt Isa, across to Darwin and beyond . The post war demand for uranium meant there was an immediate requirement for more exploration. So he scored a job for Geosurveys Australia, and was fundamental in the early exploration activities in the outback of northern South Australia and Western Australia.

In the late 1960s, as demand for exploration waned, he started a job as an industrial field sales rep; it enabled him to continue his love of travelling in the outback. He was always in a different place each night, in transit to each new customer.

Back in those days, there were few roadside stops with all the frills, you had to be independent; often camping each night and cooking your own food. But he had a problem. His BBQ was too heavy to lug in and out of his car every night to cook his dinner. He didn't have room for it's awkward size either - so he set about designing a better solution for a traveller's BBQ.

Early life John Carr cropped
John Carr Celebrating his Inventors Prize for the CarrBQ 1979
He found a great solution in 1980

Leading to an Award Winning Invention

He got so frustrated with what he had to cook on every night, not to mention the mess that he had to pack up every morning. In all this time, in all his travels, he still couldn't believe there wasn't a great BBQ available. It got to the point, after trying everything, he thought he would have a go at it himself and set about creating his own great BBQ.

He wanted to create something better that was much lighter, flatter, and easier to clean. His other big issue was that he wanted to be able to control the cooking by easily adjusting the height. Most of the things on the market had screws and clamps, making it a syngeing process of burnt fingers just to raise the grill up and down. So after an few prototypes, he decided on one that ticked all the boxes.

He wanted other people to try it, so he thought he would have a go at submitting it on an Inventors show, where he might also get some TV publicity and possible offers to enable production. In 1980, John Carr won 1st place in the Australian TV show, "What'll They Think of Next" . 

So what happened to John Carr?

CarrBQ's sold through Australia, USA & South Africa

With the prize money he commercialised his great BBQ now known as the CarrBQ, selling more than 8000 of these original Carr BQ's sold throughout Australia, USA and South Africa. Along the way, he made minor modifications along the way, but the essential key element of it's award winning designed - the adjustable arm- still remained.

We, like most of you, had also got sick of the space struggle of trying to fit everything in our camper-van every time we prepared for a trip. It was always a stressful business, getting even worse when kids arrived on the scene ! Too many things to pack and not enough space. We were experienced campers and seasoned outback travellers, but still hadn't found a solution to the dirty and awkward things to pack - the BBQ !

It looked like we had finally found a BBQ solution in the CarrBQ, when we stumbled upon it at a Sydney Caravan and Camping Show in the mid 1990's. When we saw it at the Show it was so flat - fitting into a large envelope and weighing just under a couple of kilos, it had to be a winner for us to try.

And it was a winner! The CarrBQ soon became our favourite, dependable item that went on every camping trip - without a doubt - the most reliable, quality, flat & light, easy to clean, BBQ that we had ever had.

So... we wanted to share with all campers the opportunity to use a much better solution for a travelling BBQ. It started,  with all our  family and friends wanting to buy the CarrBBQ, and then over the years they suddenly discovered you couldn't buy the CarrBQ anymore. What had happened to John Carr?

Finally, we went in search for John Carr to see if the CarrBQ's were still in production. Eventually tracking him down to a place called Gwabaegar in regional NSW, Australia. At 82 years of age,  John had still been perfecting his design and initial conversations with him grew into an agreement to resurrect the CarrBQ back to the market, under the new name of the Boomerang BBQ.

The CarrBQ over a campfire, mid1990's
Boomerang BBQ flatpack portable BBQ camping
A new era of innovation

Boomerang BBQ

Even today, there is still nothing like the thrill of cooking over an open camp fire, a beach bonfire or a backyard fire pit. Food just develops an unbeatable smokey flavour that you can't replicate any other way. It blisters, roasts, caramelises, smokes, charrs and grills in all the right ways. Cooking with fire is exciting and primal. Even restaurants are making wood fire the gourmet, on-trend way to eat these days. The worldwide renaissance of open fire cooking is like the rebirth of caveman cooking. 

Today, the need for items that flat pack and are lightweight - are even more important when we travel and go touring. Since the days of the CarrBQ, it has been redesigned, evolving into the Boomerang BBQ ( patent pending) with many additional improvements and a more compact fold-down area. Now with an integrated, flat pack fire pit - it's become a versatile solution for travellers. 

At Boomerang BBQ, we are dedicated to delivering easy packable solutions for people who love the outdoors and enjoy open fire cooking. We are excited about developing additional products and accessories that make your travels easier.

Meet the Boomerang Team

Peter Schultz


Engineering Genius & Experienced Camper
Wendy Donovan


Marketing, Camp Cooker & Bottle Washer
John Carr


Inventor & Adventurer

Tried and tested in the Australian Outback

Find out More