SA Desert Parks Pass - Value for Money or not

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 973 Views:6544 Replies:10 FollowUps:10
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I've just passed through the Innaminka region
where much of the land is protected by National
Parks.

Now, this is a great idea, but I have issue with
the pricing of permits to visit and camp. $36 for
each night's camping at Coongie Lake. Where is
this money going? The Parks office at Innaminka
is one of the best buildings in the area. Why not
use cheaper builings and charge less.

The Desert Parks Pass is $80 for a year - great
value if you use the area alot but expensive for
a single trip to the area.

What do people think - Value for Money or an expensive rip off - maybe somewhere in between?



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Reply By: Bob - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
Probably good value if you use it several times a year, but if you only transit a park once you still pay full freight. Like a lot a lot of monopolies they charge it because they can. It is not as if there are several park areas competing for your custom. Monopolies do this and governments do this. The people who set the fee don't pay of course.
AnswerID: 2899

Reply By: Mike - Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00
Sandy, for once I must come to the defence of the SA parks. I also only visit the desert parks once a year, although for a week in the actual park, at a time. However, afterseeing the work done by the rangers at Innamincka, especially after the floods 2 years ago, I believe it's good value for money. As for flash buildings, the facts are, the former Australian inland Mission building was restored by the national tr
AnswerID: 2923

Reply By: Mike - Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00
Sandy, for once I must come to the defence of the SA parks. I also only visit the desert parks once a year, although for a week in the actual park, at a time. However, after seeing the work done by the rangers at Innamincka, especially after the floods 2 years ago, I believe it's good value for money. As for flash buildings, the facts are, the former Australian inland Mission building was restored by the national trust some years back, as a major historic building. I could not think of a better use for it than to house the park rangers, who do this great job under otherwise tough conditions. By the way, if you are too miserable to support this great work, then it is free to camp on the town common, or to just drive through. Keep up the brilliant work, SA Desert Parks Rangers!
Happy trails, Mike.
AnswerID: 2924

Reply By: Steve - Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00
Sandy: the $80 is the best value in Australia.. a set of maps for all the Parks, info to boggle the mind and a standard of preparation unmatched in any other State that we have visited... have a look at the set up at Dalhousie and check out the attention that this camping area gets from its local Ranger... it is outstanding and the man is a credit to the Tourist Industry... as previously mentioned miserable people probably won't enjoy visiting these areas and as fuel and beer prices are generally at least 50% higher than in the cities, you will save a fortune by staying at home

Steve
AnswerID: 2941

Reply By: Robert - Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00
Sandy, I agree, this is just a absolute rip off, what are we paying our taxes for? its a system where we pay and then
pay again and again, as to those who think the charges are okay how about sparing some thought to those who are not as
financially well off as you, for a lot of families camping is a means to actually afford a holiday not just a cheap holiday, I mean to
say $36 to camp per night, definately a money making scam.
In a lot of cases these area's are only being over developed by the govt anyway, which I'm sure they do as an excuse to say
they have to charge the public, to those of us who prefer bush camping these govt developed area's have about as much
attraction as camping at a caravan park, and unfortunately the govt as well as do most of the public these days can't see the
value in area's unless there are developed. I'm not saying that these area's don't need managing to protect them but they don't
all need to be developed to such an extent.
I think what the bottom line is - that the govt want's to prevent people camping unless they can't make revenue out it.

AnswerID: 2946

Follow Up By: Mike - Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00
Sorry Robert, if you are that poor, how can you afford to get there in the first place! Once again, having been to these places several times and seen the great work the Rangers do, I am happy to buy a desert parks pass again this year. Now if you feel that strongly about it, just don't go! That will teach them a lesson, (and leave more space for us) As for being well off, a trip to the outback is a large investment which must be saved for for a long time, a desert parks pass is a valid cost of the trip.
Happy trails, Mike.
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FollowupID: 1145

Follow Up By: Robert - Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00
Mike,

Firstly I didn't say whether I could afford it or not, I was talking about HAVING CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS in regard to considering whether the prices charged are fair or not , secondly you say "a trip to the outback is a large
investment which must be saved for a long time" which is no wonder if your slugged with a $36 dollar per night camping fee (at spots that your taxes have paid for in the first place). Also you don't have to travel far from the urban area's to find spots where you are charged to camp.
Thirdly I was making the point that it would nice to have some spots left reasonably free of man made ammenties etc instead of them all being developed so the govt can charge and make revenue.
And lastly where did I mention anything about the rangers , I was having a say about the govt policy.

I think Mike that you forget that this is PUBLIC LAND - ie. it belongs to the people and as such should not be used as a means of generating revenue.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 1147

Follow Up By: Robyn - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
I hope you are the Robert who e-mailed me directly.Maybe if you were to have lived in some of the places I have you could judge whether one truly knows the true meaning of the bush.
As I said in my first answer-maybe you should not get involoved if you don't know what you're talking about and you clearly don't. Have you ever been to Innamincka? If you had and if you looked into the Desert Pass and worked out what information is contained therein and the monetry value of the maps etc even you would realise that it is worth the money. And for the record-as stated previously-the Pass covers ALL fees-that means that once you have the Pass you DON'T HAVE ANY MORE FEES TO PAY. Also, I said I lived in Innamicka for ten years (working for 7 years as a volunteer- the other 3 years I was paid for 24 weeks in the season the rest of the year was voluntery - however I was there for 10 years) and the accommodation was NOT good, however, I did enjoy my time there, thankyou.
All I can say is that maybe you should take the advice of the others and show the lot of them and stay away from places like Innamincka - PLEASE.
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Follow Up By: Robert - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Whether I or all the other people who think the fees are a rip-off have been to, or will in the future go to these area's is irrelevant, the point which I think you don't understand ( or perhaps too arrogant to consider ) is that our taxes also go towards paying for the management of these area's and therefore we are entitled to comment on fees charged. These area's are after all public land not your own private reserves, is this is why you are keen for me never to visit and are so supportive of the rip off fee's because you want to dissuade more people visiting these area's i.e. you want to keep it to yourself. Sorry if I've upset you Robyn but I am entitled to have my say as much as you are.
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FollowupID: 1193

Reply By: Kev - Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00
Hi guys,it seems we've opened another hornets nest. I have a parks pass and would not complain for a second about the price as a few years ago they were $120 now only $80 and $50 for a renewal BUT CAMPING FEES are frig'en rediculous!!!! I think these fees are to keep people out to try and minimise human impact on our enviroment. in some places this is a good idea but in other places there is absolutely no need for excessive management by overeducated greenies. we already fund NPW with our tax why should we have to pay again???
AnswerID: 2952

Follow Up By: Weddy - Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00
I agree, the Parks Pass, at $80-, is quite good value if you are going to stay in the parks for more than two or three nights. However, I also agree that the per night camping fee of $36- seems ridiculous in comparison to an unpowered sight on a lawned area in a Caravan Park with full facilities which generally costs much less than that. Sure you haven't got the atmosphere of the bush, but I don't remember the Government having much input into creation of the scrub and the sky.
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Reply By: Robyn - Saturday, Apr 20, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 20, 2002 at 00:00
Good on you Mike at least there is someone who appreciates the true bush.
Firstly if you haven't been to Innamincka maybe you shouldn't get on the band wagon. It is ALL bush camping (no over development) - long drop toilets (due to demand and to save the environment from the scurge of the toilet paper that some campers find too difficult to burn and bury).
Secondly, the restoration of the AIM building was instigated by Dick Smith with donations from Australian Geographic subscribers and other donations. Until that time the Reserve was run from VERY humble accommodation Sandy - the "Skid" shacks out the back of the AIM was where I lived for ten years and for seven of those years my partner and I voluntered for the Department, it was also the "office".
The buying of the Desert Park Pass entitles you to camping in any of the designated camping areas including Coongie but it also covers you for any of the other Desert Parks in SA and like some have said it has a wealth of information included.
AnswerID: 2960

Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00
Robyn you've got a funny idea of what the true bush is or is your meaning of true bush that it is an area where you get
charged $36 dollars per night for a camping spot on top of having already paid an access permit .
In regard to the over development that I mentioned in my original response I was referring to parks across all Australia.
As to the desert park pass being a wealth of information , is this why the permit costs so much?, if so can I pass on the info and
get a cheaper permit or is that the information is included to make people think they are getting something for their money?? ,
and what next? - permit needed to take a trailer into these area's I suppose.
It would be nice to be able to enjoy the real outdoors without permits needed for this and that.

P.S Robyn accommodation couldn't have been too bad if you volunteered for 7 years, the truth is you must have really have
enjoyed it.

Cheers
Robert
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FollowupID: 1171

Reply By: John R. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00
No argument. It's great value. It's not a license to make money as some would have us believe - it costs money just to maintain such areas. If we want these areas to be accessible for future generations we must be prepared to pay the price today. So get out there, get a life and stop bitching. As someone suggested earlier, you can save money by staying at home....
AnswerID: 2982

Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00
John R,

I guess you would probably think if the local councils starting implementing a scheme where parents have to pay a permit before their children can play at the local playgrounds it would also be great value! and oh don't tell me you also support the fees that banks are charging these days.
How the politicians must love people like you.



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FollowupID: 1170

Reply By: Michelle - ExplorOz - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Sandy for raising this one and wow what interesting responses we are getting. I must admit I've toyed with all the same thoughts at various time but the facts are that things have changed in the outback... those who have been travelling for many years/decades will appreciate this. There is no doubt that access to many areas has become easier. You no longer have to be a 'outback legend" like the Leylands or Troy Dan to get into the bush/desert/outback. This is due to the popularity of 4WD vehicles, the availability of equip and info, and therefore the ease of access to the "outback" to a broader crosssection of the community. Unfortunately this includes people who just have no idea (they're the ones on a mission, the ones who leave the toilet paper strewn about, and bleep in the same place every day for 3 weeks so it stinks for the next camper etc. They are also the ones who steal the trail markers on the Simpson Desert for souvenirs. They are also the ones who insist on dragging their trailers through the mud with no care to the ruts and the traffic load that will then crush it down into bulldust and cause mayhem for others etc and the reason that road grading is required)etc. Unfortunately, everyone now pays the price of someone having to clean up after us because we aren't doing a good enough job ...enter the government. $36 is a lot to pay for one night regardless of the reasons and maybe its done for a reason. Is it thought that those that would ruin the area wouldn't pay, so setting a high price would keep them out? I think not. But lets see what response I can get from the DEH for you on this.
AnswerID: 3049

Follow Up By: Sandy - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle and many others.

Many thanks for the follow ups - they made good
reading and shows there is a wide range of
opinion. My mistake - yes, the building was restored by the Australian Geographic Soc. not the
SA Parks dept.

My humble opinion is that the DPPass is expensive
for me - I will only visit the area infrequently and I already had all the maps and loads of info on just about all of Australia before I set off.
The DPP is $80 - up from $50 just a few years ago.

Michelle - if you are enquiring - it would be good to get the facts on funding for the parks - where _does_ the money come from? And how is it spent?

Suggestion for the website - how about an opinion poll for the various states' Parks departements and how people rate them on on Cost, Value, Strategy, Attitudes to the public etc?

Now that we are touring in Queensland - I am impressed by the quality of service that the Parks are providing here - Canarvon Park was excellent at ~$3.80 a night - great value!

For the record, I think that Dalhousie is a dusty tip but the space age toilet block is great. There are far nicer places to camp but a dip in the springs is great!
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FollowupID: 1205

Follow Up By: Michelle - Exploroz - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Sandy the poll's a fantastic idea. Everyone be nice to David and he'll create one for us! And yes, I am asking the DEH those qns.
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Reply By: Michelle - ExplorOz - Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00
OK everyone - the facts are that up until a few years ago you had to have a DPP pass ($80) even just to visit Coongie Lakes for a day. This created a lot of complaints and so a reduced permit was created for people that wanted to visit Coongie but didn't need to visit anywhere else. You do not need a DPP to visit Coongie but you can either pay a day permit to visit at $18 or purchase a Coongie Pass that will give you 2 days and 1 night for $36 and a pass containing a wetlands bird guide, a WestPrint Innamincka and Coongie Lakes map and other info. This pass is only sold in Innamincka. Has there been some misunderstanding on this?
AnswerID: 3132

Follow Up By: Sandy - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2002 at 00:00
No Misunderstanding - this was my original point.
$36 for a night's camping seems a bit steep to me.
Maps and bird book a nice touch - but I already
have a map (this duplicated the info board) and
loads of bird books. There is only a toilet to maintain - but now I'm getting picky - I prefer
not to have loads of facilities!

Looking forwrd to the poll - thanks Michelle.
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