Anyone understand the new camping fees in Vic

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 08:26
ThreadID: 108848 Views:2283 Replies:9 FollowUps:24
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Cause Parks Victoria have no idea.

I am trying to find out how much if anything our wonderful Vic government wants per night for the Alpine National Park. Most sites with drop toilets seem to be $34 per night per car!!! However I can not find where you book for the Alpine Nat park.

A call to Parks Vic told me that you definitely have to pay $6.50 per person for very basic sites ( no facilities at all) or$18.90 per person per night for mid sites ( drop toilets and infrequently visited by rangers) in the Alpine National Park and I can book online.

However the fees page mentions the Alpine National Park for hiking at $30 per night for up to 3 people specifically on the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing - Plus $10 booking fee. No mention of anything else, and the booking page has the Alpine National park as an option but says it is full - in winter!

Has anyone deciphered the conflicting information. Its a mess as well as a complete ripoff.

Hmm $34 per night for a drop toilet that is rarely serviced or $32 at the Lorne Caravan Park with hot showers and flush toilets and near a pub.
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Reply By: OBJ - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 08:42

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 08:42
Queensland is no better. Up there they expect you to book ahead before you arrive. But as Qld has virtually NO phone coverage you cannot call and book. So you are supposed to plan your trip to the minute, arrive on the day you said you would, leave on time, or cop a fine. In one park I came across a ranger and offered to pay him and he said he could not accept the money, and drove my 10km to his office to use his phone. Clever????

I am just back from a trip up there. Qld is now on my 'don't bother' list. Most of their Nat Parks are not worth the trouble. Even my son said 'Qld is shyte after you come out of the Territory'.

In the NT they seem to welcome visitors to their parks whereas Queensland want to keep it just for the Rangers. They can have them as far as I am concerned.

OBJ
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Follow Up By: baznpud (tassie) - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 09:52

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 09:52
You forgot to add, that you have to tell them what site you will be on, how the hell are you to know that when half the time, if not more, you have never been to that National Park before.
baz
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Follow Up By: Member - mechpete - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 09:55

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 09:55
hi
after reading the info on booking your sites I was more confused than ever .if they think people are gunna pay $34 night ,there
dreaming . I actually thought the $34 was for a week , I for one won,t be using there parks
mechpete
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 11:17

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 11:17
or do the right thing - book on the phone - pay money - turn up at the anointed time and find the campsite full with opportunists and no bloody ranger present..

Welcome to Lawn Hill.
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Follow Up By: Member - John N (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 14:25

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 14:25
Our experience was exactly that at Chili Beach Scott. It was the first year of the new QLD system and although we had booked well in advance, the squatters were there to stay - they had erected a large shelter and "were not going to pull it down for anybody". Of course no Ranger available then or the next day. Sorry to see other states going the same way.

Since our FNQ experience, our subsequent trips have been planned around stations stays and we have avoided National Parks for camping altogether. I know that can't work for everyone, but it has for us so far.

I sometimes feel though that I am falling for a hidden Govt agenda in relation to National Parks - or is that just unwarranted cynicism.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 17:20

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 17:20
OBJ,

"................whereas Queensland want to keep it just for the Rangers."

Funny you say that, because after living next to a park for about 15 years, I began to feel the same thing.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 22:05

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 22:05
At least the camping fees in Queensland are still quite reasonable, unlike Victoria's new schedule.
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Follow Up By: dazza62 - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 07:12

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 07:12
Has the Ranger at Lawn Hill gone walkabout again?



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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:27

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:27
Dazz, was when we were there ..... after driving around the camp-site 6 times and banging on the door of the ranger station 3 times ... we gave up and wound up driving on to the tent area and set up.

A number of other campers came up and protested vigorously that we couldn't park there ... "fine" we said "then show us your camping pass to prove you're not in our spot ..... we've got one..." - funny thing - they all skulked off and left us alone after that.

Seems like it was being run on a 1st in basis - total effing shambles.... we booked a week in advance over the phone and paid over the phone for 2 nights.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 12:03

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 12:03
When we went to Lawn Hill, we opted to go straight the Adels Grove as we would not book without seeing if we could get into sites. We walked past the camp ground while there and thought, thank goodness, as even for the bigger sites we would not have been able to manoeuvre our rig into them.

The campground was quite full too, whereas being a little later than peak season, Adeles had relatively few campers. Generators were allowed in the top section and being a shady campground we thought we might need to use ours, but we didn't.

Mh

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 12:10

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 12:10
Mh, in hind-sight we probably should have done that.

However it's not unreasonable to expect that if you book in advance, receive a booking/permit number, and pay for the service to actually have the service provided. In a number of cases, we've had NP happily take money and then not live up to their end of the bargain. Doesn't matter if you're a commercial provider, government, semi-govt agency, if you take money for a service, you're obliged to provide a service. Sometimes I think NP&W think they're exempt from that.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 13:24

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 13:24
The South Australians have seen all the criticism of the Queensland system Scott, and will not base their system on that example.

Meanwhile the Victorian Parks have probably priced themselves out of the market - while the parks remain free for day visitors to use the same facilities.

Mh
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Follow Up By: dazza62 - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 20:46

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 20:46
Not sure that you were there the same night that we were Scott unless the name "Wayne" means anything. We gave up on the Ranger and called QLD Police. Whilst they were a little bit helpful it was still the worst night in the bush I have ever put in. Suffice to say that "Wayne" is lucky we left the guns at home. In fairness we did stay another two nights and we understand that "Wayne" copped a hiding from his Community.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 00:22

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 00:22
dazza, we didn't see a ranger full-stop in two days there - makes you wonder why you pay.

Mind you, your story has my curiosity piqued ........ pray tell.
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Follow Up By: dazza62 - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:41

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:41
Very long story Scott and best not discussed on a Public Forum. If we ever meet on the road around a campfire would be more than happy to tell you about "The night of Wayne"
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:50

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:50
I feel in such a case of opportunists taking camping spots and no spot remaining for someone with a permit . . . take pics showing sites and regos (or just large area shots and note regos down), get by best you can, and after the trip email QLD Parks and demand a full refund on fees paid for unavailable site.

If they refuse, send complaint with same evidence to Consumer / Biz Affairs office.

It just isn't good enough taking your $$$ and not ensuring they provide the service, and people demanding refunds might be the only way they will know how extensive the problem is.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 11:56

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 11:56
Les, agree - however at the time it wasn't about the money. It was Q-NP's website that advised to book ahead to 'guarantee' a spot. We knew we'd be coming in after a long drove (came up from around Dajarra / Duchess) and lobbed in very tired around 3-4pm at least feeling secure in knowledge that we'd booked well in advance from Longreach. At that stage we weren't in the position to go somewhere else.

Apart from the lack of spaces, and lack of ranger, our mood wasn't improved by a number of those short, chip on shoulder, smart-arses coming across to advise us we couldn't park there and threatening to fetch the rangers onto us.

Our response was "fine - happy if you can find a ranger then we'll sort out which of you lot is here without a permit and is camping in our spot - oh and by the way, here's our permit number - do you have one ????" - they all gave us a wide berth after that. Suspect half the bikkie-dippers there didn't have a camping permit.
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 12:24

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 12:24
Yeah, I know Scott, such a total PITA I can imagine, and for anyone non confrontational (most of us) it can be a real damper on such travelling.
I'm just left wondering, did anyone that has been in this situation actually do as per my post 2 up ?

If that doesn't happen, then I can imagine QLD parks don't know / think it's a problem.
Besides the fees refund trouble / time / associated costs for them to make the refund, they should want to stop this happening . . . they would get a better picture of how much of an issue this is.

The fees (whatever cost and the fact the time booking and payment has been made by someone) aren't the entire reason to request a refund, it's the principle and fix of the problem in the short / medium / long term that needs to be addressed.

Cheers Scott, hopefully on future trips you don't have this happen to you again.
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Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:00

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:00
You might have already seen this, but these are the new fees for various locations in Vic.
Victoria camping / access fees

I am all for user pays, but after being free access for so long, and coming out of general revenue, it is a hit to many people that like free camping, love the bush, and are can't afford higher costs for holidays.

Will GOVCO lower taxes, will they employ more Rangers, improve facilities or park access ?
Dubious.
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Follow Up By: baznpud (tassie) - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:13

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:13
Having just flicked through the above access fees, by the time you had found the camping area in the lloonngg list, worked out what fees you had to pay, it would be the next morning, and you would have moved on.
baz
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Reply By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:10

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:10
Don't bother with those 'other' states come and spend some time in SA, you can get a multi parks pass with all the camping you want for a year ( and some sites like Mambray Creek actually have hot showers and flushing toilets ) for about $160 per vehicle for a senior and only a few bucks more for non seniors.
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 17:20

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 17:20
Wicket SA is about to bring in a system the same as Qld, initially with Mambray crk and Innes but you can bet it will spread!
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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 10:10

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 10:10
bloody great !!
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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:16

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:16
Boobook

Haven't you heard! the "gumment" are allowing developers to build resorts etc in National Parks and so the Hot showers,toilets, and Pub, WILL be close by the expensive site.

See, problem solved.. What foresight Eh? It is called Futures Planning.
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Reply By: Member - KBAD - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:32

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:32
Report it to the ACCC if that has no joy send in a clip to FU tube for the checkout.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 19:26

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 19:26
I wonder if these Nat Parks people learnt their booking system from Ticketek!!

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Reply By: Dave Trees - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 19:35

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 at 19:35
Hi Boobook

Not all of the parks now have camping fees - and the fees are set for each campground, not by Park.

No point looking up what the camping fees are for the Alpine National Park, for example - you need to look at which campground you want to book a site at.

If a campground is not listed, that means it's still free.

In many (even most ?) of the Parks across the State, dispersed camping is still free - where it is allowed.

(re the ANP - the bookings are for that particular hike, which is by permit only to control numbers & keep track of how many people are on it ... a similar system applies to some of the walking tracks & associated campsites at Wilsons Prom).

Hope that helps !

cheers

Dave

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Reply By: Nutta - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 19:19

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 19:19
At some of the prices they want now its pretty obvious the greenies don't want people in them full stop..

One day if we're lucky and petrol engines aren't banned we might be able to fly over NPs in helicopters going ooh and aah!

They can shove their parks afaic!
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Follow Up By: Dave Trees - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 21:12

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 21:12
What have "the greenies" ... whoever they are .... got to do with it ?

It wasn't a decision made by or within (or even, I suspect, supported by) Parks Victoria - it's an imposed policy decision by the current Victorian government to put the campgrounds onto a "user pays" basis, because that's their ideology on how things should be.

I think we can expect more of this (including in State Forests, eventually) while there is a "conservative" government in power.

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 00:10

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 00:10
You're obviously a new chum Dave. After a while you'll understand that a few people on here blame "greenies" for everything from the taste of their beer to the smell of their socks after week in the bush.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 00:20

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 00:20
Bazooka, it's either greenies or a gubberment conspiracy.

Seriously though Dave, the problem I have with user pays is we're already supposed to be paying through our taxes.
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Reply By: Top End Az - Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 21:53

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 at 21:53
Perhaps an Australian National Parks pass would suit. For an annual fee you can enter and camp at any NP. No pass, no camp. First in first served. No booking system as the qld system has proved that doesn't work.
Just an idea for consideration. What do you think? Australia is frequented by interstate travellers. Ridiculous that people have to be across multiple state govt and territory terms and conditions and booking systems/ regulations.
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:54

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:54
Best idea.
Most bushwalkers are for that, pay say $150 to $200 a year, no issues with access or camping in all NPs, CPs, other GOVCO reserves open to such activities in Australia.
First in best dressed, which is fair then.

Or police the paid sites with rangers, and act on free camping opportunists taking a paid persons sites !
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