Caravan park bookings

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:43
ThreadID: 31790 Views:2320 Replies:14 FollowUps:2
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We are well on the way to booking caravan parks around OZ for our big trip.

2 Questions. Is there a need to book ahead for the smaller towns in between major tourist destinations? ie cloncurry camooweal tennant creek etc

Also, we tried to book a park in Broome, but was told that they only take bookings from Friday to Friday. We arrive on a tuesday and would have to pay for the time from the previous friday. This is the first time we have encountered this type of inflexibility. It is a major operator in Broome. Anyone else had the same problem?


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Reply By: Ron173 - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:27

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:27

yes we have experienced this greedy tactic from Caravn parks, sadly its becoming more commonplace. Often told 'we dont do single night weekends, its 4 days or nothing'

AnswerID: 160861

Follow Up By: brian - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:47

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:47
We have also found the same in popular times xmas,etc ,but generally we have not booked ahead in smaller towns,in fact in some small places first two nights are offered free eg near greenvale in qld and offered free camping at back of hotel in windorah etc.happy travels...wish it was me travelling....
FollowupID: 415616

Reply By: Jarse - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:49

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:49
It's an increasing problem. Thank God for competition. I won't waste my money on these greedy b@st@rds. I just find somewhere else or free camp. IMHO it's better for them to get one night's occupancy, than 4 without. Particularly in low season. I can't understand the business logic.

On my last trip (mostly east coast), most parks said I didn't need to book. Being school hols, I thought it was best to....
AnswerID: 160866

Reply By: Atropos - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:54

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:54
Hi Folks,

After booking and paying in advance, some places have turned out to be well below the expected standard, I'm afraid I wont book in advance.
I want to look at the place before I decide if I want to stay there.

If they wont let you have a look-see before you pay, then I would advise not staying.

AnswerID: 160869

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:58

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:58
We are off on a a big trip ourselves soon. The only places we have booked are Broome, Cape Leveque and Middle Lagoon. Other than that we don't expect any problems and will 'free camp' as much as possible.

At Broome, we found that they would only book in weekly blocks, but did not come across the Fri to Fri issue. We have booked the Cable Beach CP arriving on a Monday if that helps.

Fortunately in most of the smaller places you won't have that trouble. They are actually glad to see you and help as much as possible. Some of the bigger places are getting a bit arrogant I think. One of the reasons we normally don't use them.
AnswerID: 160870

Reply By: Wizard1 - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:16

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:16
I wouldn't bother with some of the smaller towns. I would also get a copy of Camps 3 and plan some free camping as well as it saves a few bucks.

We sometimes travel at peak times and have never had a problem getting a site for the night. The earlier you pull up the better, but as I say have a free camp option as a back up.

When are you visiting Broome? That sort of arrangement not only sounds a little strange but I would see it being a little illegal. Appears they are taking an unecessary advantage of travellers. It could require a call to consumer affairs or fair trading in WA to check if they can do that.

We stayed there a few years ago around mid April and had no problems getting in and only paying for the time we were there. That was the Broome Caravan Park which is 5km east of the town so it isn't as trendy and we could have our dogs there.

It took us 4 years to finish the big lap. My job kept moving us around every couple of years. Conveniently for us in a clockwise direction around the coast. I want to do it again....good luck.

Gold Coast
AnswerID: 160873

Follow Up By: briggzee (WA) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 18:35

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 18:35
Wizard, By "camps three", do you mean "Camps Australia wide 3" as listed in the exploroz shop? If so how good is it for thr Qld coast between Bundaburg and Cairns, and also in the gulf area? Thanks Craig
FollowupID: 415706

Reply By: Member - Martin- Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:36

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:36
If you really want to stay around Broome book into Barn Hill Station it is about an and hour south of Broome so you can still do day trips to Broome and other spots and if you are into fishing and a friendly place to stay Barn Hill is just paradise.

Here are the phone numbers: (08)9192-4925 or (08)9192-4387.
AnswerID: 160876

Reply By: PK Eildon (VIC) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 11:49

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 11:49
Perhaps a logic for the actions when you think about it is, if they take pre-bookings on a single or couple of nights (pre-booking being the operative word) they are in danger of having some nights booked out with short stayers and if others ring or lob for a week stay they cannot be accommodated.
If the demand exceeds the supply (too many grey brigade) this is the logical result. For single night stays you will probably find vacancies if you lob in most circumstances.
AnswerID: 160897

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:31

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:31
G'day Blooms,

The park in town on the water (name just escapes me) does have this attitude and it is off puting but it is the best location in Broome. I don't get it either but bit my bottom lip and decided to stay anyway. Turned out to be a most pleasant stay - just how hard would it be to be pleasant as well from the beginning.

The bottom line is that they are popular and can be as arrogant as they like, they know this and we know they know this, so it is the old supply and demand equation for prospective visitors.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 160907

Reply By: Member - Brian (WA) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:58

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:58
With Broome it's take that or you will not get in. Broome gets packed out especily
at race or festival time. Take the week there you will not be sorry. cheers
AnswerID: 160918

Reply By: micknjoan - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 13:24

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 13:24
Spent 15 months going around Aus and never once booked ahead and had virtually no problems. We freecamped quite a bit, but that was more by choice than necessity. Why commit yourself to an itinerary? Stayed at Cable Beach CP in Broome in August 05. Rang from Derby in the AM to be told that if we could be there by 1.00 PM there was a site.They don't even have a computer, just a white board to record who's where. Why would you bother administering a booking system when the holding yards are full of tourists waiting to get in? Even the overflow spots are OK so just relax & enjoy. Cheers. Mick.
AnswerID: 160921

Reply By: Mr Fawlty - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 18:36

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 18:36
Yep Broome is noted for it's Vanning rip offs... Ususally you can park on the sports ground while awaiting a site & get water etc from the local SES & Fire brigade vollunteers....I did a 16 week trip last year & booked at all the places we stayed at during the "winter rush". I wouldn't bother staying at Tennant creek , go the extra 100km further south & stay at Wycliffe Well, top notch service, no crowds, no crime & you may make friends with some extra terrestrials. We booked everything before we left and even then at some popular spots the van park management had to do some adjustments to get us in. We did change our intinerary en route but managed to always get a site. The coast of FNQ gets very crowded as do all the larger places, Cairns, Darwin, Katherine & Alice. Roadhouses I found don't generally take bookings, first come first served. I wonder if the hike in fuel prices will have any effect on the numbers of Vanners travelling this winter?
AnswerID: 160984

Reply By: eerfree - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 22:38

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 22:38
Alittle off topic but answering your question Camps Australia 3 is ideal, it has most of the free camps and Pay type camps up to about $18.00 per night.
AnswerID: 161041

Reply By: OLDMAGPIE - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 23:24

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 23:24
to everyone tavelling oz do not book ahead, this will cause a fall in tourist numbers & the parks will panic & stabilize their prices lol. cheers
AnswerID: 161051

Reply By: ellen m - Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 20:39

Friday, Mar 17, 2006 at 20:39
We travelled oz for 2 years and never had any problem getting into any parks with the exception of Broome. In some areas where to was tourist season and things were busy, we booked a few days in advanced. Other than that, we just rocked up. this also allowed us to have a look 1st. some places are not quite seem in the photos.

Broome is a whole different story. Stayed there twice in july 2001. Cant remember the name of the van park, think it was near the race track. Only one we could get into for 2 - 3 night stay. Sites so small that we couldnt put up annex on CT, showers cold, 3 hour wait for washing machine, no room on clothes lines and NO Clothes lines at site - or big trouble. not the best stay and i REALLY wanted a hot shower with running waterafter 3 weeks bush camping.

good luck

AnswerID: 161224

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