Campground design - Finchley - Yengo NP

Submitted: Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:12
ThreadID: 19144 Views:3646 Replies:10 FollowUps:9
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Need advice on user needs for camp sites ! Finchley camping area in Yengo NP is a small partially sloping camp ground which is dusty and barren and needs an upgrade. Toilet is a Pit loo; there are 3 standard NPWS wood BBQ's & a display shelter.

We would like to upgrade this area providing level areas for tent sites and also provide for camper trailers. We have to control vehicle access in some form so vehicles don't continue to push deeper into the bush and remove what little grass we have left.
The main issue is what size area does a camper trailer need - with awnings etc. Is it alright to have reverse in and drive out camp sites & also do the sites have to be absolutely flat ?
Provison of a communal fire place - is this a good idea rather than have people build a larger fire on top of the BBQ's or build their own. What about Gas BBQ's ?
If you have visited Finchley please comment.
PS. No we cannot provide hot showers; maybe a composting loo though.
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Reply By: Member - Landie - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:24

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:24

I think reverse in/drive out is fine. Doesn't need to be completely level.

The set-up in Ben Boyd National Park for Camper Trailers is quite good and addresses the problem of encroaching further into the bush, whilst providing good access for trailers, eg no bollards.

AnswerID: 91768

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:19

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:19
Landie, how do Ben Boyd prevent access back into the bush ! Bollards while NPWS use them a lot - there are a couple of versions 1) logs along ground (people move them); 2) logs raised slightly off ground & bolted to stumps (concern lack of pedestrian access, but are good seats); 3) bollards stumps - sticking straight out of ground ( these provide good pedestrian access); 4) bollards & cable ( another method though I think these are a trip hazard). Wondering which bollard type people prefer ?
FollowupID: 350704

Follow Up By: Member - Landie - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 08:57

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 08:57
Hi Jeff

They have specific sites for Camper Trailers that are fenced off. Own fire place and you reverse into the site.

The tent camping area has bollards to prevent vehicle access.

I though it was well set up.

FollowupID: 350937

Reply By: Kiwi Ray - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:28

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:28
Hi Beddo
Things I look for in a camp site
Clean toilets
Clean water ( drinkable )
Gass BBQ's good
Showers ( cold is OK ) saves water
Flat areas for tents and swags, grassed if possible ( log barriers to stop people killing the grass )

AnswerID: 91769

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:29

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:29
Ray, this will be an upgrade on a shoe string budget (situation normal), showers will not happen - water is scarce out here & getting a tanker out there is an effort in itself; if we get funding for a composting loo a water tank will be provided to catch rainwater off the roof - this will probably be only suitable for washing hands though. Shelter - I wood love to be able to provide a shelter shed / kitchen type area - but we won't get a go ahead with that. Clean loos - pit loos ??? hold ya nose - this pit loo is getting full will replace with composting type loo.
FollowupID: 350706

Reply By: 3.0turbob - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:48

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 13:48
Hi Jeff,
Are you involved in the NPWS ?
I agree, Finchley needs an upgrade urgently, not very attractive in its present state.
Having a camper trailer myself and 2 young girls, (+SWMBO) I do like a fairly flat area to park the trailer and fold out the tent section, so the total area would probably need to be about 7 x4 meters,( I suppose it depends on the trailer type and size.): reverse in and drive out is fine. A communal fire place sounds good but some people prefer to have their own fire place (and their own space) as well. I think most campers come prepared with their own gas stoves and bottles so I'm not sure about providing gas BBQ, I think that would take away the "bush" experience.
Look forward to reading about the final upgrade plans.
AnswerID: 91771

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:39

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:39
Kind of involved - I'm the ranger for Yengo. The area is fairly small in size - so we are limited in what we can provide. Just wondering how many have people / cars have you seen camping here ?
Communal fire would be provided so that large groups would use this instead - rather than building a large fire on top of the NPWS BBQ and wrecking it. So we would still provide the smaller fires aswell. We plan to provide a wood bin also, so that the surrounding environment does not get hacked at by axes etc.
Gas BBQ - uses less wood - better for environment & some people just cruising thru just want a quick stop and the gas BBQ provides for this, along with the ability to use them on a total fire ban.
We are going to come up with some concepts for the camping area and post them up at the campground, a feedback box will also be provided for comments.
FollowupID: 350711

Reply By: Vince NSW - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 15:14

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 15:14
Happy New Year Jeff,
What's this ? National Sparks & Wildfires asking what we need. Great.
Back in / drive out is great.
As to size, it depends on the config of the camper, Mine folds out to the side, but others to the rear.
For mine, that is trailer, foldout tent and anex, I would need a min 6.5 mt x 4.0 mt.
That would be plenty of room.
Gas BBQ has the advantage of safety for the bush fire problem but that about all.
Keep up the good work.
Hope to catch up with you again when we get a chance to go back to Big Yango.
AnswerID: 91783

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:46

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 09:46
Vince, thanks for letting me know that some fold out to the side, I will have to cater for that. Just at present trying to work out how many sites we need here as we don't really have an idea on visitor numbers. Presently there really is only 3 sites - but you get a lot more campers here at times; we will provide for tents where you walk a metres away from the vehicle and we will provide the camper trailer setup aswell, probably only looking at 2 or 3 sites, limited room. Do camper trailers need to be provided with a BBQ ?
We try to ask what the community wants !
FollowupID: 350714

Reply By: Member - John (Bathurst) - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 15:56

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 15:56
Hi Jeff,

Can I start by saying that my wife and I spend a lot of time camping in National Parks and we really appreciate you taking the time and trouble to seek our opinions re Finchley which by the way is looking a bit weary.

Our camper trailer is the flip over type which measures, when open and awning up, about 6.5 metres long by say 4 metres wide. So we would probably fit in Rob's 7 x 4 metres but manouvering might be a problem. We like the way Dunns Swamp is set up. Large open areas for camper trailers and seperate bollarded areas for tents. Reverse in drive out is fine provided theres room to manouver.

Never been to a site anywhere that was absolutely flat so close enough is good enough for us.

Pit toilet is no problem but would have thought NPWS would prefer to put a composting loo in if they could.

Mate, gotta say a gas BBQ is a must along with a couple of picnic tables. There are times when a camp fire should not be lit and when ever we see a gas BBQ at times like that we know we can still have the barby and not be doing the wrong thing by lighting the fire. Never seen a gas BBQ yet that wasn't used extensively.)

Don't think a communal fire will work. You can bet the fire will be hogged by one particular group to the exclusion of others. Sorry but I think individual fireplaces are the way to go. (incidently, what are the chances of NPWS coming up with a fireplace that will accommodate the use of a camp oven more easily as well as the traditional BBQ). We've always used the BBQ fire place as the fire to sit around at night.

Kind regards.

AnswerID: 91788

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:30

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:30
John, yes I agree that Finchley looks sad at present - we have looked at alternative sites for the camp ground but in effect they are too far off the main tourist loops and not near that great view from finchley lookout.
Will keep the individual fires aswell.
One thing I have learnt from this is that we have under estimated the amount of room a camper trailer needs.
Will also try and provide buffer zones between campers but it will be difficult with the limited area.
BBQ's will there is another issue - accommodating camp ovens - we do have a BBQ which sit off the ground slight & is bowl shaped though rectangular if you know what I mean. It has a a post on one side with a bar that swings out for a billy to hang off - but no hot plate - would I guess be good for a camp oven; but what about the steaks. Perhaps this should be another forum question - what would be a good design, that would not get destroyed easily.
Picinic tables there will be & a composting loo when funds allow.
Thanks for the feedback.
FollowupID: 350723

Reply By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 16:28

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 16:28
I too am very impressed by the fact the question is even being asked. Thanks Jeff.

Haven't been to Finchley so cannot offer direct feedback.

We have a flip over type camper which would be at least 6m-7m long when open. About 2.5m wide without extra canvas and 5m wide with all canvas on. But we usually only setup the full canvas if we are staying more than 3 nights.

Our flip over job doesn't require a super flat surface but of course the soft floor campers and tents are obviously better on a flat spot. A gentle slope to the back of the camping spot is good in wet conditions.

We always have our own water, toilet, and cooking facilities. But a campfire is always a great addition. The communal one sounds OK but we find often the first group can kinda commandere the fire place. So smaller fire places I think are better.

Thanks again for asking for feed back. Hopefully we will get up there some day.
AnswerID: 91796

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:15

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:15
Gary, we will still provide the standard NPWS BBQ along with a communal one.
Because of the sloping ground we are planning to build up a few level areas & have some raised areas to keep runoff water away. Presently the sites are just rough - try and find a flat smooth area to pitch a tent (good luck); our aim is to have set sites that are flat for tents & away from water.
Thanks for the feedback.
FollowupID: 350718

Reply By: Member - Anni M (SA) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 00:23

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 00:23
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for asking for our feedback. We loved Yengo when we were there, but you are right Finchley doesn't reflect how nice a park it really is. We have a campertrailer which would fit the space that has already been mentioned here, BUT, I'm not all that fond of being right on top of other campers so I would appreciate a bit more space. We have a soft floored campertrailer, but can cope without an absolutely flat site. The showering is no problem (we carry our own), but a composting loo is a great idea. (The best of those we have come across was in the Aroona Valley in Flinders Ranges NP) I think that a communal fireplace is probably unnecessary, but the gas BBQ idea is a good one. Water would be good too. The dust issue needs to be fixed, it was the first thing that struck me at Finchley - I'm not sure how you do that, but possibly grassed sites. I would suggest using screening plants to prevent people encroaching into the bush, and might also be an attractive way to divide sites.

Hope all this is of help to you. Keep up the good work
AnswerID: 91879

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:43

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:43
Anni, grassed sites that's a big call, providing some form of grass that would not invade or that could cope with the severe lack of rain at Finchley, I think it is impossible. I think we will provide some level sites & some built up sites with a base that is durable but not too hard to put a tent peg in.
Buffer zones and screening plants - good idea, the large dusty area in the middle of the camp ground we would like to reveg a bit as this area has been trampled by vehicles etc - it will require a bit of loosening up, mulching & planting with native grass & trees. Will plan for division between camp sites, though some will be grouped for those wanting to share sites.
Limited space, sloping & rocky ground is our limiting factor.
If you want space - I know a spot - Big Yango approx 30mins drive past Finchley - heaps of grass & you can get away from everyone.
Thanks for the feedback.
FollowupID: 350724

Reply By: GazzaS (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:38

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:38
Hi Jeff

I echo the thanks of everyone else for asking the question. good to see.

We are new to "bush" camping but have already picked up some tips form recent trips. We are tenters so cannot comment on the camper side. Following our 2 cents worth based on camping in SA Nat parks....

a couple of sites we saw near Robe had designated sites off a central common. each site designated by bollards (in ground posts) and each site had large tan bark or wood chips on the ground - I guess this helps drainage.

In Katarapko NP (near Berri) some sites were also designated same as above whilst others were open. Some had individual fireplaces - steel circle with post and swing grill and hot plate - very nice. here saw the best toilet design ever. was a long drop but with a large roof, concrete floor and extra large cubicle - to suit wheelchair access. each toilet also had a water tank (fed from roof) and a external hand basin. Looks pretty expensive but I was impressed. I am going to recommend this design to our Vic parks service.

On stopping entry to places we should not be going. saw many types but best seemed to be large rocks placed in the way in ranks, ie mulitiple one behind the other. Also saw piles of dirt in same manner with short space between.

Good Luck

AnswerID: 91910

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:51

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:51
GazzaS, the external hand basin being fed from a tank is what we will eventuately end up with; the BBQ sound interesting. BBQ's always get trashed - I would like to see what are good examples of BBQ's out there.
FollowupID: 350725

Reply By: Charlie - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 00:08

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 00:08
I havn't personally visited this site but may main complaint is tent sites where it's almost impossible to drive in a tent peg.I know it's hard to bring in dirt but a campsite needs some dirt, some sites are mainly crushed rock and they might be flat but thats all.
Regards Charlie
AnswerID: 92105

Reply By: TheUndertaker - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 09:51

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 09:51
Would sugest a minimum area of 40ft x 40ft per campertrailer space, when set up fully ours is 18ft x16ft under canvas alone ,drawbar,guyropes,window awnings ect take up more room still .
AnswerID: 92135

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