Is it really that busy out there?

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 08:57
ThreadID: 92834 Views:2694 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Been reading a couple of threads that might seem to suggest, that with use of the Camps 4/5/6 books, more and more sites are becoming overcrowded. I realise that dragging a van round limits where you can go for the quieter overnight stops but it's not that bad is it?

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Reply By: Member - Sonshine - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:09

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:09
G'day Ian,

We have done 24 trips over last two years using the Camps 5/6 sites. I would say none were what you would call Crowded. At many, we were the only campers, but on average 3 or 4 other campers were there during our stay.

School holidays folk tend to frequent the coastal areas or areas which are family friendly such as some national parks and sites near water for canoeing etc.

At Dunns Swamp, we were the one of about 4 in a huge site. This was a top site in our opinion.

We are about to head up the Centre and down through central QLD and NSW. Will let you know what we find. Might be good to establish a thread for Camps 5/6 experiences and recommendations?


AnswerID: 481582

Follow Up By: ncfc - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:31

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:31
Thanks mate, I think the thread below regarding the generators and people queueing up to camp is not overly attractive. Like many, when we hit the road we like the peace and quiet and not the hordes/masses.

FollowupID: 756931

Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:34

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:34
This is an issue I canvassed (in part) in a blog on this site sometime ago, the premise of which was ‘Free Camping - What is the real cost’.

I think free camping in Australia is one of the attractions of travelling, but the explosion of RV’s and caravans that are able to be self-sufficient for extended periods is now pressuring many of the free camp sites available around the country as people do not want to pay for the ability to occupy a piece of land. The free-camp books have exaggerated the problem, ensuring that many sites will experience overcrowding at various times, and this is an issue that in my opinion will only get worse, not better.

Many communities are now questioning the benefits of providing free camps, other communities are embracing it, but I think one thing is guaranteed that unless you are travelling to more remote areas then free camp sites are going to become more crowded and with this will come the associated problems of unregulated camping, noise pollution, garbage pollution, and intolerance towards the behaviour of others, whether justified or not...

There is another thread running at the moment on generators, which points towards this problem...

AnswerID: 481587

Follow Up By: Member - shane c5 - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:57

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:57
Have to agree about the noise pollution, garbage pollution and over use of toilets as well as wrong use of toilets. Mary's pool in the Kimberley can have up to 100 caravans overnight with some people staying for a week. The bins are overflowing, people put all kinds of things in the loos which make them stink and rank, generators powering tv's, cd players etc keep going until about 10am. Why they have these items when holidaying in the bush is beyond me. Leave them at home and "get away", don't drag the city into the bush, isn't this what it is all about. If you go to Ngumban cliff just outside Fitroy crossing, same problems. In fact it is a massive problem in the Kimberley, even up the Gibb with 4wd vans. People hide rubbish all over the place. If you carry it in, then carry it out. Once had to fish a massive garbage bag out of a loo.

Then if you try to get a site in Broome and haven't booked 1yr in advance, then forget going there.

It is getting crowded, especially in the Kimberley. I watch this all season and look forward to end of September and October when I can take my guests somewhere and be the only people there.

shane c5
FollowupID: 756939

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:25

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:25
The 'free' campsite just outside Longreach last terrorist season had at one stage over 100 separate vans and c/ts , this in an area supplied by ratepayers , watch the complaints flood in as council will NO longer tow you out when bogged or waste ratepayers $$$ on cleaning the toilet block 3 times a day for nil return to council coffers.
FollowupID: 756942

Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:47

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:47
Just about every time I have tried to get into a free camp it has been crowded and inhabited by "squatters" who spread their gear all over the place , maybe to keep spots for mates.

I recall Surat, whgere I looked at the bridge site and it was chokkers with about 30-40 vans and 2 toilets.
I then went into town and found the pub had a great little camping area for AFAIR $17 per night. I went past a free camp nearMareeba which was in an enormous field with not a tree and a couple of toilets at one side . there must have been 50 vans/motohomes etc.
I looked at most down the highway at the Pilbara and all were filthy.

I think That this "free camping" mania will be self limiting, as people will disappear in their own waste.

I much prefer a National park in Queensland with modest fees and maybe clean toilets , except of course on Cape York where the pressure at places like Twin Falls just overwhemes the facilities.
I recall Archer River where the commercial site is clean and tidy , but the free camp at the river had mountains of stubbies and who knows what else, yet there were people setting up among the glass mountains.
Regards Philip A

AnswerID: 481602

Reply By: Bomberz - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 17:49

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 17:49
Depends on where you go. White Womans Waterhole in S Gippsland between Christmas and New Year, one squatter (looked like they had been there for months) and one other van each night. Bass Valley Reserve, less than 100kms away (but still not near the beach), for March long weekend that was not all that large and never had less than 5 vans and busiest night (Sunday) had 16 and was very crowded for its size.
AnswerID: 481640

Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 18:47

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 18:47
In our experience, it really depends on where the campsite is located. For any site that is a roadside stop on a well-used popular thorough-fare (highway, byway, or iconic trek note) then within the peak season to be there, you'll get company at such camps.

If you are able to select campsites that are away from such areas then you have a much better chance of finding solitude. This applies anywhere in Australia, however generally the further off road you go (ie. remote, deserts, days from service-points) the better chance you have.

You statement below regarding your aim for travel being to seek solitude is why you'll fit in here - we're all cut from the same mold in that regards, so welcome and enjoy the throng.


David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!

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AnswerID: 481647

Reply By: Member - Cruiser74 - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 01:03

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 01:03
Getting away from everyone and everything is the main reason I finally bought a 4WD. The job is stressful and involves dealing with lots of different people and I need this break. I have always loved camping and up until recently made do with the Commodore Wagon, a tent, esky and enough supplies to last a few days. I have explored about 90% of the free camp sites in the SW and South of W.A that are accessible to 2WD vehicles and if you are selective about when you go (avoiding public/school holidays) and aren't afraid of a bit of cold during the cooler months then you can always find some solitude. One particular favourite down near Margaret River called Canebrake Pool my girlfriend and I had to ourselves for 3 days in Autumn last year.

Some of the places being described in this thread horrify me. I can not tolerate people who litter and are disrespectful to others and the environment. I intentionally give these types of places a wide berth to avoid confrontation and a spoiled holiday. I simply can not bite my tongue and end up getting in to trouble. One such occurence happened a couple of years back down near Esperance at Lucky Bay. The campsite was packed and it was only mid week outside of peak period. It was a zoo and within the first hour I was disappointed with the behaviour of others. As we had hired an offroad camper we elected to pack up and drive through the night further east. 4 hours later we found Jorndee Creek with not a soul in sight, a pristine beach to ourselves and a whole 5 days without seeing anyone.

It's a big country, if you have the means and the time there is always a place to call your own even if it is for a brief period of time. Look after it while you are there and treat it like it actually is yours! If you carry it in, carry it out. Simple.
AnswerID: 481697

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