DEC Campgrounds Online Booking System WA

Submitted: Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 18:41
ThreadID: 85220 Views:3145 Replies:2 FollowUps:3
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Hi all
We have had our attention drawn to an advert in the 'West Australian' on Wednesday 23rd March. It was posted by the DEC for a new online booking system for some of their camps here in WA.
If anyone is headed for Cape Range NP near Exmouth, Purnululu NP, Lane Poole Reserve or Beelu NP, you now need to book online prior to your trip or you may miss out on a camping spot.

See or ring them on 08 6467 5000.

Their aim is to do a trial of this system to 'prevent congestion and protect the environment.'

Enjoy your camping experience.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 18:55

Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 18:55
Well the Cape Range system certainly needed an overhaul, but part of the problem there is the relatively long stay allowed in an area that has high demand and a limited number of sites.

I'm not so sure that the Bungles need the same approach though? Most people only stay there for a few nights at most don't they.

Having a deadline to meet in the form of a campsite booking is a pain to be avoided if at all possible IMHO.


J and V
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 21:24

Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 21:24
"Having a deadline to meet in the form of a campsite booking is a pain to be avoided if at all possible IMHO."

Particularly in the Kimberley, where internet connection is sparse and time frames unpredictable.

I have been watching the development of the WA system and there is good reason for it in some areas.

I was put off by a similar system in Qld, and in most cases found somewhere else to stop to see some parks using the on line booking system rather than try and predict time frames and pay up front without seeing the site or knowing if we could get into it. We did use the system on two occasions, one being a popular park during school holidays, and we still organised to get there early in the day to ensure we fitted in which proved necessary. We also knew we were limited in time there because the park was fully booked by the weekend so could plan accordingly.


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Follow Up By: Member - Peter B2 (QLD) - Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 21:43

Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 21:43
You're right MH about not being able to access the internet in some remote areas. What can you do about booking then?

We'll be leaving the van and tenting it into the Bungles. We're already having to think about booking into van parks in Broome and Darwin which means holidaying to a schedule. Doing it in the NPs as well is a real pain in the rear.

We tend to meander around a bit and hate being tied to a schedule. Looks like our Kimberley/NT experience this year will need to be more regimented.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 22:43

Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 22:43
Hi Peter

We still don't book or have rigid schedules. If we think space will be tight, we get into town around 10 am as there is usually space as people leave between 9 and 10. Even ringing a day or two ahead should be enough to secure a place, and this will allow a reasonable amount of travel flexibility. When approaching a town that may be busy, i always look for a fall-back spot so if needed we can bush camp to get into town early.

We planned to do that and get in early for Darwin, but pulled into the lagoon on the way from Kakadu which had been listed as camping permitted, but signage was now no camping. We tried ringing our selected caravan park as we got closer to the Stuart Highway, but the signal kept dropping out (it turned out that was because the receptionist was out in the grounds with a cordless phone too far from its base station). We found nothing further suitable for an overnight stop so we went on to Darwin. We called in at the CP, and the receptionist found us a suitably roomy place (but as per previous thread on the topic, it is now closed). There seems to be a lot of small parks scattered around Darwin, and each directory you see has a different selection. From others we spoke to on the way, some of these don't take bookings, but can take a bit of finding.

I have not been to Broome for years.

If there is nothing available at all, call the Visitor Information Centre and explain your plight; they may have something for overflow parking listed. Even easier to find a place if you don't need power.

Darwin and Broome should be the only places you'll find it difficult during peak period in NT and WA (perhaps unless you plan to go to Coral Bay which seems overcrowded these days - "loved to death"). Outside of peak period there would be no problems.


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Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 22:39

Friday, Mar 25, 2011 at 22:39
I think that after a couple of years of thrashing out the system may well work well in the very busy places. It is not possible to book within around 48hrs of arrival date so there will be opportunities for the drop in people like myself.
Basically I see it as if you wish to certainly stay in a place it will be possible to pre-book. If it is full you will know before hand. Some camp grounds only have a proportion of bookable sites.

I reckon give it a go and see what happens. The camp hosts will certainly bring to DEC's attention if there are problems.

The majority of NP camp grounds will not have pre-bookings, well not for a long time anyhow.

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