NPWS camping facilities

Submitted: Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 13:43
ThreadID: 109507 Views:2400 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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We avoid camping in national parks where possible as we find ;

-they are usually placed in the least desirable part of an area
-after driving in vast remote country , they expect you to all huddle in one spot with a copper log divider between campers ( like a Woolies carpark)
-no campfires allowed, campfires are an integral part of camping life
-charge you for the experience

I have no issue paying and we recently did the Darling River run and stayed on a number of private stations and happily paid for the privilege.They were extremely well set up and spread out along the river bank providing all travellers with their own patch of paradise

I may be cynical but I can't help but think they do not want you there and are just offering token facilities

Am I in the minority or are others happy with the current status?

Interested to hear others view on the subject
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 14:44

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 14:44
what you experienced seems to be the norm these days when you go to a QLD or NSW nation park , very common .
Sad that things are going this way , Victoria is going that way also .
take your money an get bleep in return .
I,m sure that they would rather not have you in the Nat Parks they way wouldn,t
it would make their job easier , glad I have seen lots of our country before the beaurecats stuffed it up
AnswerID: 539114

Reply By: cookie1 - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 14:59

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 14:59
Totally agree, they are now making it harder to camp here in SA as they have followed Queensland's crazy system of pre-booking.

Personally I feel that they are deliberately trying to make it harder to justify closing areas due to insufficient usage

Tried complaining but got a template response back - it was the same as Les PK Ranger's email from them.

We all need to step up and speak out or we will lose our rights to stay in the parks

AnswerID: 539117

Reply By: Freshstart - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 15:23

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 15:23
You should try it with a roof top tent. They put bollards and the like around so you can't get to the "tent" area with the annex. Last time at Lawn Hill the rocks were horrible under the annex floor. The grand kids had to sleep in the car as it was too rough for their blow up mattresses. I wouldn't go there again. And when you complain the "lights upstairs" don't seem to be lit. The girl at parks hadn't any idea what was needed for a roof top tent
AnswerID: 539118

Reply By: Bazooka - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 18:01

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 18:01
Depends where you go Alby. Plenty of good NP campsites on the east coast where you can have a campfire "in season".
AnswerID: 539129

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 19:18

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 19:18
Yes I know there are some but for a large part you are still all crammed together in copper log apartments
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Reply By: lindsay - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 19:27

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 19:27
Yes ,some of these parks are getting a bit of a ripoff we had to buy a deserts pass @ 150 bucks to drive along the K 1 line. All of 125 K's. But we get a couple of maps and a book. But I ask how many books and maps does one need. Probably worse is Tallaringa on the Anne Beadel that is far less for your $150. And yes it lasts for 12 months, that might be ok if you live nearby but most of us don't.
AnswerID: 539136

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 20:44

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 20:44
I totally agree Alby,

I stayed out at Copeton Dam near Inverell NSW back in 1983 and I was speaking to the then manager Warren Herbert and he said State Parks are for people whereas National Parks are for Skippy.

He was spot on and it has only gotten worse in the intervening years.

I have stayed many times since 1983 at Copeton Waters State Park as it is now called and it remains one of our favourite spots.

About 12 months ago we stayed at Minnie Water just east of Grafton NSW. This is a National Park and the tarrif is about the same as Copeton but the facilities are crap. In fact I think the National Parks staff should hang their heads in shame at the sate of that place. Yes it is nice enough but the facilities need a big make over. The Loos are inadequate and there is no drinking water on site. The nearest tap is about 2 K away.

Inadequate, Mr National Parks!

Cheers, Bruce.
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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 539139

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 21:48

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 21:48
This tends to be a state thing.
In general, I've found NSW and Tasmanian parks to be the most disappointing.
I find NT, Vic and SA to be the best, with WA not far behind.
Can't comment about Qld, except for the far west, and that was fine.

And these National Parks are funded by the State Govts. Funding has progressively been screwed over the years, with a greater dependance on volunteers to get things done.
The money collected for camping etc is a pittance when compared to the cost of maintaining a park.
AnswerID: 539143

Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 23:17

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 23:17
I love camping in National Parks. Most have lovely scenery and walk trails to enjoy it. Some states are making them too expensive for camping, eg New South Wales where the entry fee is per day not per entry, and Victoria where they are putting the whole fee onto the campers with day visitors get to use the same facilities without paying any fees.

The bollards are really something else - and in many cases define campsites so larger caravans can't get in.


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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 06:24

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 06:24
Motherhen I have no issue with paying, happy to pay if I get what I want
We camped on a number of private stations and paid at least the same or usually more per night and were happy to do so
My beef is with the basic model in which these parks are set up on, they should look at the Likes of Trilby station etc to see what a quality setup looks like. They have not gone to anymore expense just exercised some common sense to provide an ideal campsite location

I don't want to drive thousands of kilometres to our remote desert locations only to be expected to camp shoulder to shoulder with fellow travellers
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 08:09

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 08:09

I think it is difficult to compare National Parks to places like Trilby.

Liz has set-up a (wonderful) tourism business, which is quite different to the reasons they set-up National Parks. National Parks are usually acquired and established to protect something in the area, whether it be flora and fauna, aboriginal heritage, water catchment, and perhaps many other things.

They aren’t a tourism enterprise and tourism is not the main game in National Parks. But they seem to integrate tourism in a minimalistic way to enable people to visit and enjoy the area.

And whilst I am hearing your concerns I’m sure there will be many that prefer it the way it currently is. Many who access these parks do so on foot and see vehicles as an imposition, not a view I share as for many this is the only way some people can escape to the bush. Although I spend a lot of time on foot in National Parks, most weekends in fact.

On deserts, I’ve found that in remote desert locations there are plenty of places to camp that are not cheek to jowl. Not long ago we spent 5-weeks across the Western Deserts and didn’t see anyone for days…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 08:51

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 08:51
I agree with you Baz and Liz has done a wonderful job at Trilby and that is my point
I don't think anyone could accuse them of any form of environmental vandalism of any kind but a perfect example of how the parks could be run, they have not invested any more money in their camping area infrastructure than what NPWS do but are certainly a much more inviting place to be.
I suspect it is because of the hardcore environmentalists on the political side if the area a as to why it is what it is
Speaking with aTibooburra local last week about this and she said the local National parks office tried to change things in the local area for the better but it was all squashed by head office in Sydney
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Follow Up By: Member - Munji - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 09:40

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 09:40
Maybe if we could have a form (complaints / good ideas) on line with a bunch of contact points for each state.
We could each then fill it in and send it off.
Im sure after some time someone will start recognising that there is a problem, once they start getting inundated with complaints.
The form could also be sent to our respective members for them to respond back to us.
If we all complain on this site only we will not get heard.
Just a thought.
FollowupID: 823766

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 10:02

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 10:02

I don’t think it is about environmental vandalism. Many parks are designed to protect eco-systems and the like for a variety of reason, mind you I don’t want to debate the merit for or against, but to highlight the aim isn’t necessarily tourism.

Trilby is a great example of what can be achieved, if that is the aim. But it can’t be compared to National Parks.

But talking about environmental vandalism, perhaps we can be our own worst enemy at times. On our recent tour we stopped off at the Minkie WH in the Innamincka Regional Reserve, a lovely spot by the Cooper River. Unfortunately it was littered with toilet paper and other rubbish; this will eventually find its way into the creek and downstream polluting this wonderful eco-system.

Despite it being a harsh environment, it is also fragile, so with access there is a responsibility, and unfortunately those who do not do the right thing provide basis for arguing against allowing people access to these areas.

Mind you, I don’t want to turn this into another “confetti in the outback” thread, but highlight issues that give rise to locking gates.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 11:22

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 11:22
Without leaning one way or the other, as this is a complex issue, we also recently visited Innamincka and were horrified to find toilet paper everywhere, even though long-drop toilets were provided. Campers had also hacked down branches of trees for firewood and the debris was everywhere around the site. I do think the authorities sometimes overstep the mark but we really don't do ourselves any favours with this ratbag behaviour. Awful.
FollowupID: 823771

Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 15:31

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 15:31
Couldn't agree more on almost every point Baz. NPs exist to preserve habitats, flora and fauna and having people and vehicles spread out willy nilly camping would be a nightmare to manage let alone resource. Mind you that's the scenario in places like Kinchega. Lovely to have a riverside vista and be away from others but it puts pressure on a much larger area of the environment.

One of the problems is that there are thousands more visitors/campers these days than even a decade ago. Many as we know have no understanding of or care for the environment they're visiting - hence the toilet habits, the rubbish, the indiscriminate purloining of anything that will burn, the destruction of tracks in the wet especially etc.

Mind you there are still plenty of places in NPs, state forests etc to get away from the madding crowds - just gotta pick the place and the time (if you can).
AnswerID: 539172

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 19:01

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 19:01
I agree with you in theory but let's get this in perspective. I am not talking above clearing vast areas of land I am saying rather than the camp spots being huddled up together there is perhaps 20 odd metres of natural bush land between smaller camping spaces. Sure have a policy of no burning of park firewood (bring your own firewood) and I am not saying either to make more camping areas to accommodate more people just manage the designated camping numbers in a better way

I hear the argument about toilet paper litter etc and agree we don't do ourselves any favours with this bad behaviour but that is a separate issue all together
FollowupID: 823798

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