Pre-Booking Northern Qld Campsites

Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2012 at 16:26
ThreadID: 95563 Views:2406 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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Ok, I have just completed booking our National Park campsites for our upcoming Cape York trip, 6th time up there but first time pre-booking campsites.
The Qld govt says it is a must do and dont allow people to just arrive on the day and expect a campsite.
So we have played the game and done the right thing.

It seems gone are the days where we could have been a little behind schedule or even ahead of schedule and slotted into a National Park campsite somewhere.

I will be interested to see whether our pre-booked campsites are really ours or whether we will have to still find somewhere else to camp because when we get there they will be taken by campers that dont give a crappy.

Or whether we will have to make room for unorganised latecomers that dont have to pay at all.

I can see this not working at all, but we have done the right thing.
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Reply By: Patrol22 - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 16:53

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 16:53
I've done the same thing for a convoy of 7 vehicles from my local 4WD Club for our forthcoming journey to Cape you we are hoping to be able to stick to schedule ( a lot can happen in 3500km from here to the Cape) and I also have the same misgivings as you irt someone guzzumping us on the real estate. You never know the rangers just might be on the ball with this stuff by mid-year.
AnswerID: 485801

Follow Up By: Been-Everywhereman - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 16:57

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 16:57
I hope so,
We are 7 vehicles also.
We are leaving from Adelaide.
Chilli Beach and Kalpowar are the only 2 I have booked but fingers crossed.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 17:13

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 17:13
We've booked Palmer Goldfields, Chilli Beach, Hann Crossing, and Elliot Falls. The one that concerns me a little is Elliot Falls as there are often quite a few backpackers in Juicy or Wicked, or their own $1000 campers.....but you never know.
FollowupID: 761051

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 17:44

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 17:44
I too am apprehensive about this booking scheme and I look forward to reading your experiences on this forum.

The Queensland Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing is Steve Dickson, the Member for Buderim. I know Steve and will take concerns to him but they need to be actual experiences not just misgivings. Of course, I will gain some personally on my next trip to the Cape.

For anyone that wishes to contact Steve directly, here is hiswebsite.


My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 485805

Reply By: Member - Graeme M (VIC) - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 19:14

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 19:14
We are also travelling to Cape York leaving Mt Carbine around the 17th June. Our trip leader has booked all camp-sites and like you I am dubious that it will be a smooth transition.
There are 6 vehicles in our group from our 4WD club.

See you on the track!
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Reply By: wjh41 - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 20:17

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 20:17
I cant see how this can work,what if your one day early or one day late.Who can plan there holidays that precise.Wally
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Reply By: Hoyks - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 20:20

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 20:20
Yep, certainly takes the spontaneity out of a trip.

I took the kids out this time last year and because we were trying to camp at NP's, but not really planning too far ahead, a few times we booked in while standing in the back of the ute using a smart phone. Probably not an option further up the cape though.

One thing we did find though was that 2 of the parks that we went to that were shown as booked solid on line, actually had quite a few free sites due to no-shows.

I see good and bad points; it stops the sites being over subscribed as people can gauge how busy it is going to be before they go, but it only works if people take notice of the booking system or it is enforced by a Ranger.
AnswerID: 485821

Follow Up By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:00

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:00
I've heard a lot of Rangers aren't fond of the system either.
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Reply By: Racey - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:52

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:52
The system is by no means fool proof. Last July we booked at Lake Tinaroo and the area we booked was so over crowded there was no way we could. Did the wrong thing and moved to the next area same thing. Fortunately a ranger appeared and also did the "wrong" thing and directed us to an area we he knew we would fit. It turned out to be a great location.

AnswerID: 485835

Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 06:24

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 06:24
I think the problem with this system arises from the likelihood that the sites are not marked 'reserved'. Someone turning up can pay their money at the gate and use a site. Possibly oblivious to the fact that others have also booked on line.

I don't think the system is well controlled inevitably leading to disappointment by those pre-booking. Mind you where the system does work is for the National Parks, they don't have to worry about collecting cash at park.

Good luck with for trip, enjoy.
AnswerID: 485851

Follow Up By: Been-Everywhereman - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 13:06

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 13:06
The whole idea the rangers tell me is that the honesty system is being taken away and isnt an option now.
So if someone has fallen into a prebooked spot then they have no right to be there.
But they may not even know they are doing the wrong thing if they havnt been keeping their ear to the ground.
FollowupID: 761103

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 15:11

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 15:11
I can see that they are moving the higher volume areas to this type of system. Issue still remains that many will just turn up. The problem for those pre-booking is what are you expected to do if there are no rangers' about to arbitrate over who is supposed to be there and who isn't?

No-one wants that type of confrontation...

It will be interesting to hear feedback over time.

FollowupID: 761118

Reply By: Stretchlizard2 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 12:56

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 12:56
I am now at Seisia, got here this morning. As this is my first trip up here by 4wd, I did not do any online prebooking. On the way North I was going to book at Heathlands Ranger Station for Eliot Falls as by then I knew when I would get there. The DERM website says there is a touchscreen booking point for use with your credit card there. We turned off the bypass road and went the 10km down the track and were p.....d off to find the gate was locked. So back to the main road and continued to Sailor Creek, left the van there and did the three falls with just the 4wd. I did not see any whiz bangers but it is still early in the season.

The good news is that the roads are in very good condition and crews are flat out flattening them before the rush.

Fuel prices (diesel):
Cairns. $1 .57
Lakeland. $1.62
Archer river. $2.20
Seisia. $2.15

A few showers today and a temp of about 27.

Safe travels.
AnswerID: 485873

Follow Up By: sweetwill - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 13:24

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 13:24
Hello Stretchlizard 2.
Thank you for the info, and also the fuel prises, cheers bill.
FollowupID: 761106

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