Crazy people?

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 10:50
ThreadID: 86702 Views:2627 Replies:9 FollowUps:9
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Hi everyone.
I'm taking my young family from Gove to the Sunshine coast and back in about 7 weeks. I have a pretty laid back trip planned, aiming to do it it in about 10 days, camping in a tent, mostly in free sites (as the per Camps Australia book), with the odd van park when amenities are needed.

My father in-law said we should camp where there are other people, but this is what I was hoping to avoid, large crowds anyway. He was concerned about unsavoury people and like psychos etc giving us a hard time. Is this something I should be concerned about? We'll have our very old Border Collie with us and I'll likely have a fair stick under my pillow, but that's it... Your thoughts?

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Reply By: Mick O - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 11:00

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 11:00
The biggest problem you’ll have Josh is probably finding room to camp. I’ve always found that the nominated “free Camps” cop an absolute pounding from everyone else trying to save a buck. You’ll also find that a lot of people will have no hesitation setting up 5 metres from you and then pulling out their generator before retreating into their van (gross generalisation there but based on far too many real life incidents).

I’ve always preferred to find a spot away from the highly advertised free camps. Again it will also be influenced by your location and the time of the year. Peak travel times can mean chaos at free camps.

I’ve not had a problem in 30 years of outback travel. You’ll more likely encounter like minded individuals who’ll be a good source of info and/or company.

Get out there and enjoy it mate.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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AnswerID: 456138

Follow Up By: Joshuah - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 11:22

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 11:22
Thanks Mick O.
Yeah, that's happened to me once or twice. Some times it's hard to get a spot, but others have no sense of personal space - there goes the privacy and peace!

I grew up on Cape York, so when we went camping, we just picked a spot in the bush/beach/creek and made a go of it. After reading the info on this site of people coming unstuck, unwittingly staying on others' land and these 'free' spots swamped by fellow campers, it does leave me wondering about my camping limitations or accidentally trespassing.

As I said, it's a relaxed trip so I'll keep my eye out for other nice spots, hopefully devoid of crazy people!

FollowupID: 729134

Reply By: Rob! - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 12:09

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 12:09
School holidays are on in about seven weeks time so as said above, you will have no problems findng people.
AnswerID: 456141

Reply By: patsproule - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 12:54

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 12:54
The free camp site here in Wagga Wagga just about resembles a new suburb now. And yes, it is full of caravans with generators. I'd be avoiding them. In fact, I'd gues there might be a few empty caravan parks that might be attractive to you.

AnswerID: 456146

Follow Up By: SDG - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 18:07

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 18:07
Is that free permanetly, or did the council only allow this after the floods we had? Just wondering if the caravan parks are still cleaning up after the high waters? Especially the council one.
FollowupID: 729168

Follow Up By: Member - Josh- Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 20:41

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 20:41
SDG, we camped at the free spot just out of wagga 3-4 years ago. We were there for about 4 weeks. A fantastic spot near the river. One guy we met had been there about 4 1/2 months.

FollowupID: 729188

Follow Up By: SDG - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 21:44

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 21:44
Is this the spot at the North Wagga Flats, or is there another?
FollowupID: 729205

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 13:21

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 13:21
Ditto crowded nominated Free camps.
July 2007 I dropped into the weir at Barcaldine, prior to that I was last there in 1979 when in winter there was never anyone there. Now it was an overcrowded dirty place with toilet paper strewn everywhere.

I don't know what you would have called the "campers", to me they were an insult to Grey Nomads.
AnswerID: 456148

Reply By: Joshuah - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 14:07

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 14:07
Well thanks for the info. It doesn't sound good. If it's going to be that busy, I'll certainly have to revise my plan. I don't want the experience to put the wife and kids off the trip (mostly wife).

Caravan parks may be a better idea, and they're a great back-up, but it will defeat the purpose for me. I'm not camping because I'm cheap but for the experience of living and enjoying nature. I really want the family to see and experience some of the beauty away from civilization. I suppose the free camps listed are safer bet knowing you won't be stepping on the toes of the locals and landholders. It seems everyone has the same idea.

School holidays will, for the most part have ended when we hit the road. The close-quarters generators and toilet paper will be an issue though, I can assure you!

Looks like I'll have to do some more research, or just wing it.

AnswerID: 456150

Follow Up By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 14:57

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 14:57
I think wing it is a good idea, might find no probles at all, we certainly have very few here in the west (Unles your heading off Xmas or Easter. Also no problems with security/weirdoes on 30 years of camping, tending to think a lot of it is recycled stories that tend to get embelished around the camp fire
FollowupID: 729147

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 19:03

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 19:03
I agree just wing it and see how you go, it is all part of the adventure poking around and finding a nice camp spot and mix it up with odd van park for a touch of civilization with facilities etc so as not to burn the wife out too quick roughing it.
Just head off and make it up as you go
FollowupID: 729172

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 14:54

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 14:54
Hi Joshua,

I like to free camp and (if you are observant) will find a multitude of camping spots. I got the Camps 5 which is a great book. I use it not to find camping spots but to eliminate the ones that are listed in the book as it will be crowded. I like the solitude of having no one around.

Ive never felt uneasy about camping anywhere (except if I was in the cities) in Australia, but If I can see why some people say they don't like it, there is some feral s and freaks in the world.

It may pay to have a baseball bat next to your bed just in case ; )

Cheers Wilko

AnswerID: 456154

Follow Up By: Member - Damien L (Cairns) - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 16:03

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 16:03
Hi Wilco, I have the 6 and I use it to find the ones not very occupied as I don't like a mob either. I came down to Fletcher creek and it had I think twenty to thirty vans and tents, some looked like they lived there permanently. I had to stop as it was getting late so I kept driving past all the others and found a quiet place about a K away from them all.

Other nights I drive till around 4.30 to 5pm then find a place. Sometimes a rest stop listed or a PAD where Main Roads have a dump and camp there. I have not had anyone pull up to ask what I was doing or stayed to camp as well. I am really enjoying this trip. The other night I found a really good l place beside a river, not sure of its name as there were no sign posts (Boulia Shire, no signs anywhere).

Love the bush

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FollowupID: 729153

Reply By: Member - Allan K (NT) - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 15:23

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 15:23
Hi Joshuah,
It may not be a good idea to commit to any firm plans. The Central Arnhem highway is still cut in a couple of places (at the Goyder River and between Goyder and Gapuwiyak). It's not clear when the river will be passable, nor if the road will be open to traffic even if the river drops soon. Might be useful to work on plan "B" just in case.
Cheers, AllanK
AnswerID: 456155

Follow Up By: Joshuah - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 15:50

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 15:50
Totally agree, Allan K! My plan B is to put my leave back 1 week at a time until she opens.

I have heard lots of ETAs about the road opening ranging from 3 weeks to not at all, but the consensus seems to be around mid July. NLC said the same and the lake across the road near the Lake Evella turn off is not so much an obstacle as the Goyder. 'Apparently' the Goyder was chest deep last week. I'm actually tossing up whether to put a snorkel on the HiLux just for this crossing! If the road doesn't open, I'll then have to swallow a very bitter pill and shelve the last 7 months of planning and purchases. But it will open!

After the above input, I'll just use a combo approach to selecting camp sites, I think. If it looks too busy/filthy, I'll follow my nose elsewhere.

It's been great to get others' slant on it. I may look into 'security' be it through bigger stick, livelier dog or both. I dare say horrible back-packer mis-haps and the like, stick in the mind when they are so often recycled in the mass media...

FollowupID: 729152

Reply By: Bigfish - Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 17:57

Thursday, Jun 02, 2011 at 17:57
You will get across Goyder no worries in 2 weeks. Already know of an aboriginal chap in a troopy whose crossed. End of June the place will be well and truly busy with traffic. been here in gove 17 years and NEVER past June has road been shut.
cheers and enjoy the trip
AnswerID: 456165

Follow Up By: Joshuah - Friday, Jun 03, 2011 at 06:39

Friday, Jun 03, 2011 at 06:39
Good news Bigfish. I like. I caught my first Tuna for the season about 3-4 weeks ago too. It's decent dry so far. This no doubt helps the waters dry and recede.

FollowupID: 729225

Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, Jun 03, 2011 at 16:13

Friday, Jun 03, 2011 at 16:13
Well done Josh. Just letting you know that a mate drove in from Darwin today. Water at Goyder 600mm.

AnswerID: 456270

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