Pre-paid and online bookings for camping sites.

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 10:57
ThreadID: 139953 Views:7440 Replies:22 FollowUps:19
This Thread has been Archived
I am doing some research on Pre-paid and online bookings for camping sites.

I am looking for pros and cons on the topic.

Thanks in advance for you responses.
Back Expand Un-Read 1 Moderator

Reply By: Gustle - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 11:44

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 11:44
Interesting topic.
On a long trip last year with some friends, we found out that we are definitely in the "do not book ahead" camp of people, while our companions on the trip could not have thought of anything more unsettling. Some people need the security of knowing where they are staying the night while others love the adventure that comes with not knowing where the day gets you. In fact, depending who you travel with, not knowing where to sleep at night can ruin a perfectly good day, through anxiety, for some people.
Sometimes, the romance of bush camping is very alluring but the reality is very scary for some.
There are obvious advantages for booking ahead, the main one being having a booking in place during busy holiday times around major tourist attractions or during school holidays.
We try and arrange our trips to avoid being tied to a booking as much as we can. For us, it destroys the adventure and spontaneity that comes with travel.
AnswerID: 631260

Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 12:00

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 12:00
The system in Queensland is a shambles - compulsory to book online for national parks sites, even when you have no idea of your rate or progress and travel dates in remote areas (Cape York for example). Then you find you have no signal to make or amend a booking while you are travelling remotely, or in the absence of a ranger no means of resolving a dispute if you arrive at your destination to find someone else has taken your booked site.
2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
Black Wolf 210 tent

My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 631261

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 12:45

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 12:45
Yeah, Steve, Wildmax has summed up my feelings about on-line bookings, so no need for me to repeat in a new post. Just add me to the count.

And it's not just the Qld system. I've had the same issues in Vic and NSW as well as Qld.

It's good to have a bloke who works in the field ask about this, as distinct from the shiney-bums in city offices who devised the pestilence and never go beyond a city park to experience the outdoors.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 907223

Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 13:07

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 13:07
The system is partly for the "shiny bums" who want to book their camping in holiday time, and don't want to take their chances.

I think that the pre booking should only be for school holiday time, and the rest of the time just book in when you get there.

I understand that the Parks rangers don't want to do it ........ waste of their time.

We just arrive and then book ..... if we can.

"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

"No road is long with good company." Traditional

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 907224

Follow Up By: Ken O3 - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 16:00

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 16:00
X3 as far as on-line booking. An absolute shambles as the examples so far have no supervision of the sites which results in 'booked' sites being occupied by non bookers when you get there. It is a great management tool [not] which seeks to avoid having parks staff in the field thus avoiding costs but hopeless in practice.
Hope you're not planning to implement this old mate.
FollowupID: 907226

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 16:14

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 16:14
Hi Steve,
We travel extensively & NEVER book online or prior.
Reasons already stated & because of my Wildflower photography & wifes birdwatching we don't travel to an itenery. We stop LOTS. :-)
No mobile service at most parks & I won't use credit card online.
What really gets us upset is Day trippers get to use all the facilities & pay nothing in most parks & campers have to pay just to put their head down on their own bed.
Thanks for the oportunity to put our points forward.
AnswerID: 631265

Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 17:03

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 17:03
Have to commend Steve for doing his research, cos in other places I think the problem has been that the booking system has been designed by head office people who never get out in the bush to see how it really works......and then there are staff cutbacks in the parks, so no one on the ground to implement the policy.
2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
Black Wolf 210 tent

My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 631269

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 18:21

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 18:21
We have used the Qld on line system and arrived to find people already on our site in Lakefield NP who took some convincing to move. I have a friend who is Ranger in Charge on a very remote Qld NP who said he doesn't get involved with these disputes, but fortunately for him, his NP has relatively low visitation and has considerable camping areas.
To me it doesn't free up Rangers time (if they aren't going to be involved in disputes) and if free loaders know Rangers don't bother, they don't pay anyway, so no increase in Government Income.
You just wind up with frustrated travellers who have done the right thing.
It is convenient to be able to book on line, but to me the downside mentioned above outweigh this as it results in Government thinking they can devote less resources to NP, unless you are going to have some enforceable "policing" during peak times. Being a Parking Inspector isn't great I know!
I know many of these issues could still arise with existing manual or over the phone booking systems, but I don't think to the same extent

Comments have been previously made on this web site that when faced with long haul trips with uncertain arrival/ departure dates that people book for days either side, just in case they need it, when the camp fees are relatively low. So sites aren't utilised in peak season

Hope to meet you in a few years when I retire and get "bushed from the yards"

AnswerID: 631272

Reply By: wbsl - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 18:21

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 18:21
Have to agree with the comments above about the problems caused when not travelling with an itinerary and no phone coverage at most camps sites.

Have also had problems on a few occasions when arriving at the camp and someone else is using my pre-booked site. On a few occasions this has happened the other people have moved, at other times I have camped on an unoccupied site. Fortunately this hasn't caused any flow on problems.
AnswerID: 631273

Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 21:17

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 21:17
Thanks guys, this is the sort of thing I am after.
Please keep the comment coming, don’t let an opportunity pass.

AnswerID: 631280

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 21:53

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 21:53
With a big rig that is not easy to turn in tight spaces, we try not to go to parks that we can't inspect sites before booking, aside from our unknown schedules, but we have needed to a couple of times. That has worked out OK, although for Girraween NP, where we had to book as it was filling fast for a long weekend, so we stayed close by the night before to get into the caravan (open) section first. Lucky choice - it got packed out. As it was, we could only stay two nights not three due to weekend bookings. When we and the group around us leave we all had to leave at the same time to get out in a congo line.

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 631281

Follow Up By: Member - Gary T4 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 12:33

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 12:33
Motherhen raises a very relevant point. We 'try' to book the NP in advance and did so last year when we were visiting Karijini. Our van is a 19'6" Lotus and when we arrived at our booked site - we literally could not get onto it. Also - the sites next to ours was big enough for 4 vans our size and there was one tent on it!

We went back to the office - a bit of a walk - and was told that we were full so we simply had to leave. It also happened a few other times.
FollowupID: 907252

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 22:49

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 22:49
Totally unfair I know, but I get the feeling sometimes that park administrators (as opposed to Rangers) think that parks are better off without the public and that any policy that makes it too hard and causes them to stay away, has to be a good one.
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 631285

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 23:00

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 at 23:00
Years ago I had a conversation with a head ranger about "improvements" being done in a favourite national park campground that had the effect of halving the the area available for campers.

During that conversation he said that he understood that some of the park had to be sacrificed to campers.

I think his choice of the word "sacrificed" was quite revealing.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 907242

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 13:17

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 13:17
Riff Raff Sam "the riffiest riff that ever riffed a raff"

Who's been leaving footy prints all over my park !
FollowupID: 907256

Reply By: nick g1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 00:24

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 00:24
You asked for it!
On line booking is the single most stupid unworkable concept that N P have come up with ever!
Examples that have happened to us-
1 Have rang a N P Area office and asked about a camp ground. Been told it first in first served. Got there and parked our small van on a vacant site and drove off to do a bit of local exploring. Got back to find a small tent set up on a level below us and a car parked next to our van. We asked them why and they said this is our site and we booked it online! 2 mins later we have a camp host appear and abuse us for putting our van in the car park of that persons camp site! Chaos! !! First we get told no on line booking then we find someone has! Then no sign to say any camp host at the campground. Then nothing to say that was a car park for a camp site ( it was big enough for 4 cars). We wern't moving at that time of the day (dusk) and thats exactly what l told the camp host! We stayed and made do and the camp host came back later and sort of apologized and said he was leaving the next day and we could have his site. All the other sites where full so we couldn't have moved if we wanted to anyway. I was so upset it was a very sleepless night. This was in W A
2 Qld N P. Bòoked "a site" Not numbered on the N P website. Got there and parked in one sutable for our van. Had two good days there then on the 3rd day two motor homes pulled up and said you are on our site! Turns out they had booked at the local visitor Centre and the visitor centre had told them the site that we where on was the best for motor homes! Instead of being reasonable and picking another site, they parked half a metre beside us! More chaos!
3 Get to camp sites and it says have to book on line. But no reception!
4 Bòok a site and have no idea if it is suitable for the rig you have or better ones avalable but you don't know if they have been booked already!
-As others have said, you don't always have a schedule and need to be flexable.
-The website doesn't work sometimes and if there is a phone No. to ring the people have no idea about the layout or sometimes even where it is as there just a call centre!
End of rave for now!
AnswerID: 631287

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 08:19

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 08:19
G'day Nick,
All the above reasons given by everyone & myself were part of our reason for buying a self contained slideon camper.
Can just go down any track & set up then 5 mins later having a coffee! Because the footprint is just slightly longer than the vehicle can just stop in the middle of the track & setting up in the afternoon 99% of the time no one comes along but if they do no drama to move out the way. Found many better places than been packed into poorly designed camp sites with no privacy.
Of course I get that isn't for everybody.
FollowupID: 907246

Reply By: nick g1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 11:39

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 11:39
Stu. We had come from a ròoftop tent on a well set up 4by before we retired and bought the small van to become full time travellers. Have done exactly what you decribe and more many times.Love the freedom of choosing your own place to camp. Still doing it now,sometimes,when possible,with the van and always with our newer 4by.
The OP was about online bòoking experiences hence my rant.
AnswerID: 631290

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 12:42

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 12:42
G'day Nick,
Yea we are retired as well. Had a camper trailer prior.
Looked at a rooftop tent but did not fancy climbing down the ladder in the night & getting dressed in confined space hence the Slideon with standing room at the end.
Online booking system is terrible. A few Parks in Vic just dropped it a while ago & went back to free. Guess it wasn't worth their while running it with no rangers to check up anyway.
Also like I said earlier there are many Parks free to Day users & we have to pay to sleep in our own bed while they use all the facilities FOC! I had an issue getting into a NP campsite because a large group of day trippers were using all the facilities & had to wait for them pack up their lunch BBQ before I could get into our site.
Caught up with the ranger the next day & he said there was nothing they could do about it.

FollowupID: 907255

Reply By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 11:52

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 11:52
This topic is a very sore point with many, if not all of us and has been covered before. This topic was very comprehensively covered three years ago in thread Thread 134128. It is worth a read if you have not already done so.

I have written to the Queensland Parks on this issue and got a reply written by some greenie sitting in a ivory tower in Brisbane. Michelle Martin has also written to Queensland Parks and the reply Michelle got is identical to the reply I got. I also know of others who have got similar replies. I found Michelle's copy before my own as it is posted in thread 134128, and here is its reference.

This booking system works quite well for the popular parks where there are rangers present all the time. It caters for families and school holidays very well. It becomes a nightmare in the more remote parks which can be defined as having no permanent and resident ranger. The revenue from the parks with rangers probably amounts to over 90% of total revenue so they do not really care about the non-ranger parks but they do not want two systems.

The answer is simple. Have the current system for ranger controlled parks, for all other parks have monthly and yearly passes and camping site occupation by first in best dressed. An example that works well is the SA Desert Pass.

With half the world running around like chooks with their heads cut off over what is seen as a climate crisis and convid-19 pandemic, don't expect such a simple thing as booking a camp site in a remote part of Australia to be solved by any sort of sane rational thought any time soon.

I need a Bex and a lie down.

What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 631291

Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 14:46

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 14:46
Yep Chris,
I wrote to the Queensland Premier of the day (Newman) when we first encountered this problem on Cape York. Got the same sort of standard reply, no doubt drafted by some turkey in head office who had never been further than Noosa!!
2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
Black Wolf 210 tent

My Profile  Send Message

FollowupID: 907258

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 17:18

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 17:18
Stressing about camping problems while waving away far bigger and very real worldwide issues like climate change and covid-19 - which as far as I can see is only a con to an ignorant and self-interested minority - seems more than a little odd to me. Just sayin'.
FollowupID: 907277

Follow Up By: Banjo (WA) - Friday, May 01, 2020 at 06:23

Friday, May 01, 2020 at 06:23
What a goose.

Do you really think that Climate change and Covid should stop any debate about everything else?
Or are you just stirring?

Camping site bookings is an important topic that has created much angst for tourists in Australia. As it seems that there will be much more travel by Aussies within Australia then the question is very valid. Encouraging, rather than putting obstacles in the way of the travellers is to be applauded.

Just sayin'

FollowupID: 907282

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Friday, May 01, 2020 at 08:12

Friday, May 01, 2020 at 08:12
I think Steve should be commended for asking for peoples opinions. Too many management decisions are made without asking those "on the coal face".
We would be a miserable lot if we just sat at home thinking about Covid 19 & nothing else.

FollowupID: 907283

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Friday, May 01, 2020 at 15:23

Friday, May 01, 2020 at 15:23
Don't know why you'd jump to conclusions like that Banjo, as obviously this is a good time to be discussing many things. My comment was specifically targeted, which might have been clear had you read the post I replied to. I've responded to Steve's query below. Anyway, what exactly do you have against geese? :-)
FollowupID: 907292

Follow Up By: Banjo (WA) - Saturday, May 02, 2020 at 08:53

Saturday, May 02, 2020 at 08:53
Apologies Bazooka if I misunderstood your reply. It seemed to me be to be saying that camping issues were unimportant due to other matters. I have re-read Chris's and your writings and perhaps see that you were being a bit sarcastic re the concern some people have over 'pandemics' and 'Global warming', make that 'Climate change', no try 'Climate emergency'. Some of my best friends are geese, so all is good.
FollowupID: 907300

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 12:07

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 12:07
Hi Steve

When anyone goes on extended holidays, timetables are out the window, so it would be hard to say to an exact date when you are going to be at a particular place.

We witnessed first hand at Lawn Hill a few years ago what a complete joke it is.and total shame on National Parks for expection people to pre book, then have no rangers there to police it.

One morning a guy and his camper rocks up at the Lawn Hill campsite, which has limited numbers. He drives to his pre booked and paid sire and other campers were there.

A very heated argument then took place, with the camper basically telling the people that had booked that site, they were there first and they were not shifting and get stuffed.

Typical fashion, no Rangers onsite to stop it escalating . It was very heated, but lucky it did not turn violent .

The guy then drove back to Adels Grove where we were staying and he set up there.

Another one of our friends also booked a site up in the Cape, right on the beach. Again when they got they someone else was they, so they had to set up away from the beach and back in the Forrest. Graham said in the end it did not matter, as it blow like hell and the Forrest gave him protection from the wind.

These are just two example of how stupid national parks are, expecting people to pre book, and then when you get there your pre paid site take by some selfish person
Smile like a Crocodile

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 631294

Reply By: nick g1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 13:07

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 13:07
So steve have you got the picture well and truely now?
Dont do it in the N T! Or we won't CU in the NT!
Having been to Kakadu twice, once in the 90s and again in 2007 l have to say l was dissapoined in the difference. Some points
Why was the beautiful shady camp site at the crossing going from Jim Jim Falls to Twin Falls closed and made into a day use area? Why was the campsite at Gumlon falls moved from below the falls up to a dusty paddock.
My overall impression of the facilaties in your park when comparing the two visits was that they seemed run down and in need of some TLC.
Other than that fantastic park and will be visiting again in 2022. Sorry if this is a bit off topic.
AnswerID: 631295

Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 14:46

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 14:46
Not off topic, hence my question.

We are about to spend a huge amount of money in the park, and Gunlom campground is on the agenda, Gunlom fall in my district and I knew that these answers would come up ,this just gives me something to pass onto anyone that may want to do the online thing.

I only started down here in January after my holiday, and I have already started to get rid of all the old crap lying around and out of place. We are locked in for a few months yet and we have all been going around fixing things up and getting it ready and looking new for next year. So I hope when you return you will see a different park.

As for the old Jim Jim crossing camping spot. Unfortunately with all the traffic over the years the tree roots were getting hammered and the trees we starting to die and large branches were starting to fall. So the decided to move it to the other place and formalize thing a bit. But yes it was one of my favorite camp spots, I used to camp there every night I was on tour from 93 through to when they moved it.

FollowupID: 907259

Follow Up By: nick g1 - Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 01:54

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 01:54
Thanks for your reply. Good to get a reply from someone on the ground doing things. Hope all the money is well spent. I urge you to look at improvements from us the customers point of view. Just from time to time as you drive in act as if its your first time and ask yourself things like, does that sign make it clear where l have to go, can l back in a van into that spot, etc.
Thanks for explaining the reason for moving the Jim Jim camp site. Some other questions but will see for myself when we get there in the next few yrs.
Maybe we will meet you.!
FollowupID: 907267

Follow Up By: Pepper - Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 02:21

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 02:21
Steve thankyou for asking the question..

I have a hard floor camper trailer that opens out to the rear..when i prebook i have no idea of how level or inlevel the site maybe.. if i am allocated a site that is hogher at the rear than the front (say 6 inches or so ) i cannot properly set up the camper ,if it falls to the front i can. But i have no way of knowing that when booking online.

An example is depot beach nsw there are a number of sites there i cannot use so i dont go there anymore..
FollowupID: 907268

Reply By: Candace S. - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 13:26

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 13:26
My only experience with "book your campsite ahead online" is in SA.

IMHO, not a good system for reasons already pointed out above.

If you're on an extended trip, it's difficult to predict when you will reach that Park or particular campground. You might be delayed by weather or a vehicle problem.

Even without such delays, bookings force you to follow an itinerary. Which precludes spending a little more time somewhere along the way. There might be something you didn't know of on your route. An historic site, a town with a museum, a natural attraction, etc. Maybe you'd like to spend a few hours or a day checking it out. But no, you have to stick to your itinerary in order to be at the campground you booked.

If you wait until you're already on your way or arrive at the Park before making bookings, you might find you've already left mobile phone service areas.

And if it happens to be busy, a "squatter" might be on your reserved site.

As suggested above, online bookings might be okay in the Parks where a ranger will be around to police things. Or maybe it's needed during known busy periods, e.g. school holidays.
AnswerID: 631296

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 15:49

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 15:49
Best of luck Steve.
However... This "pre book and pay online" scheme first came in years (decades?) ago.
From the first moment, the users (and in many cases we are also the owners) of these parks expressed their feelings and described the failures and have continued to do so loudly ever since.
The only effect those complaints have had is for other States to adopt the same system.
It is clear that Parks management across Australia don't listen and don't give a hoot about their customers. They operate a monopoly "business" and their response to service and customer concerns reflects that.
They have actually forgotten the purpose of "National Parks" (as opposed to Conservation Parks).

I suggest that this lousy system is a direct cause of many people cheating the system and that something that worked to the satisfaction of the customers would in fact bring in better revenue. Convince the management of that and you may get some response.

I have used "pay and display" machines in council camping grounds on Kangaroo Island. First in, best dressed. They accepted credit cards or cash. You entered the dates you wished to stay, the camp site number, powered or unpowered and it presented the fee. They were smart enough to know if a site was vacant, or not. Needed a data connection for the credit card but that is pretty easy these days and they could easily be solar powered.
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 631298

Reply By: Member - Warren H - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 16:08

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 16:08
If National Park campgrounds were to offer pre-booked sites and first come first served sites it would suit all travellers but I fear its only about cost cutting.
NT Pajero
2007 Goldstream Crown

My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 631299

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 17:09

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 17:09
Hi Steve,
One positive in regards to Kakadu camping.
We like the options available.
Being self sufficient all we require is a pit toilet & thats it.
We like that if you want all the facilities you can pay more, or less if you only want a low key site.
Kakadu also charge for day trippers which is fair that the camping fees are not subsidising the facilities for non paying day users.
Give you the example of Wilsons Prom. Government made a song & dance about dropping all the day use fees then crank up the camp fees to compensate. Either side of $60.00 for the night depending on season!
Thanks for asking for our opinions.

AnswerID: 631301

Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 18:21

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 18:21
Thanks everyone for your replies, I will certainly pass this on if needed.
AnswerID: 631302

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 18:26

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020 at 18:26
Cut it off at the pass, Steve. Pass it on now.

I was going to say LOL, but no, it's not a laughing matter.

Your call mate. Thanks for surveying our opinion.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 907264

Reply By: Pepper - Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 02:30

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 02:30
Steve my experience on fraser island is the same as the others .

The island is divided into 5 camping zones that you must prebook soght unseen.
So if say you book a site in zone 1 and get there to find no suitable sites for a multitude of reasons including weather ,storm damage and the most recent areas being closed off "for regeneration" you then have to try and phone nat parks to try and rebook to another area....there is very little phone coverage on the island..

So for my last 3 visits to fraser i have hired a cottage that is privately national parks rules or restrictions then.

I no longer stay in any nat park anywhere that has this system as there are many other alternatives station camp etc.
AnswerID: 631303

Reply By: cookie1 - Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 07:14

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 07:14
I took a "new Australian" camping late last year and stopped at Mungerannie first night, then Innaminka, paid a fee at the Store and found a spot - worked well. Camped off the side of the road the next night between Cameron Corner & Merty Merty - very nice peaceful night.

I then decided, whilst driving during a conversation with him, to take him to the Flinders as he was intending to take his wife first time camping, got to the Aroona Valley and thought we wouldn't get in as it was School holidays and this normally had the place full, the place was deserted so went back to pay but found the Iron Ranger missing and you had to pay online - a bit hard given the location. Being one to do the right thing I used my Sat Phone to call my son who booked and paid online for 2 nights - the night we arrived and the following night. I noticed that the camp sites seemed to have doubled so effectively you would be parked on top of each other a bit like new suburbs.

The next day we had a Volunteer Parks Ranger approach us and started to seemingly exercise his authority, he said the Iron Rangers kept getting stolen so they had to go online, now I have been to the Flinders regularly for well over 20 years, before you had to pay, but once the Iron Rangers, made of >5mm plate steel, were installed I never ever seen them go missing from there or anywhere else. He proceeded to tell me I was only paid for that night so already his information was incorrect as we stayed there the night before - he actually argued with me that I wasn't, maybe he needed to go to Specsavers - go figure.

In short the Flinders component was extremely disappointing and my friend took his wife to Rawnsley Park instead so reduced numbers in the Flinders.

I think most of us want to do the right thing but if you make it impossible for people to comply then people will just camp anyway or leave and pass on what an unfriendly place to visit it is. If you pre-book then a ranger should go out once a day and put a tag on the site, but give people an option to pay once they are there.
AnswerID: 631304

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Friday, May 01, 2020 at 17:34

Friday, May 01, 2020 at 17:34
Nothing like officious officials to give you the sheets Cookie. A group of us dropped in at Geikie Gorge NP many moons ago and the commandant there told us everything we couldn't do in this "wilderness" area as we booked in. Next day we did a tag-along tour in our boat and got another taste of his acerbic tongue, via megaphone no less, because we were too far behind, and then too close to the official tour boat. That afternoon we were swimming in a waterhole along with our kids and another young fella who was a bit lonesome, and someone mentioned the grouchy ranger. Kid pipes up and says 'yeh that's my dad. He's been coming up here for years and hates it so gets cranky at visitors.' We all laughed, including him.
FollowupID: 907294

Reply By: Bazooka - Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 17:34

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 at 17:34
Like most Steve I think it's a horses for courses situation. Where Rangers are present and organised, and camping permits checked I have no problems with pre-paid or online bookings (should be no different to booking a hut or room if it's properly managed). Elsewhere it's unworkable so I'm in the first in best dressed camp. Ideally ALL popular NP camping grounds would have a "walk-up" area but I guess that's just another pipe-dream.
AnswerID: 631307

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)