Just a passing observation.

Submitted: Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 17:47
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Last year we drove to Cape York via the Anne Beadell highway, great trip, it was quite interesting to find on the WA side every couple of hundred kms or so there was an rest area with a roof, water tank bbq ring and some had toilets, which could be enjoyed by all for free, over the Border in SA after the purchase of the Desert Parks Pass, there are no facilities of any kind apart from a roof at Emu, on our arrival at Coober Pedy we were greeted by one of the local Indigenous Chappies quietly enjoying a Bowell movement by the side of the road. We didn't really think much of it at the time, but after driving the Eyre Highway and noticing once again rest areas with toilets and other facilities in addition to the Roadhouses on the WA side. However, in South Australia plenty of rest areas with nothing but a rubbish bin, and Human waste and toilet paper decorating the Rest stops perimeter. A real shame that the Road side stops in SA are not adequately equipped. After the first experience in Coober Pedy last year, perhaps you can Sh*t Anywhere and if that doesn't work for you Stay Away. Just a Kanga's first impressions of SA.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 18:14

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 18:14
Hi Kanga,
They were my observations also in the small amount of touring we have done in SA on the 2 occassions we visited.
As I have said before, SA is a terrific place to tour but they need to lift their game a bit I think.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Member - Jack - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 19:31

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 19:31
Me three. Wife and I usually stay in caravan parks, but thought we'd try the rest stop experience. On two such nights in SA we pulled in and found the areas festooned with loo paper, complete with skid marks. On the first night, with a pointy stick I thought I might tidy it up a bit and burn it, but the task was too great. In fact, there was that much that had I stacked it and lit it you could have seen it burning from the moon. We were disappointed. Our experience in WA was the same as yours.


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Reply By: KevinE - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 20:49

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 20:49
Me four unfortunately! As a South Aussie, I'm embarrassed by the lack of suitable facilities for travelers within SA. That lookout on the Stuart Hwy looking west just south of Lake Heart is a disgusting, filthy mess. Even at Lake Heart there aren't any toilets, just a shaded area & some info plaques.

We have found the facilities in the NT & WA to be great for over 20 years now!

If Tourism SA really want to attract more tourists, as they continually bleat about, they need to lift their game!



(We're at Rawnsley Park on Sunday, then on the Oodnadatta track this coming week if anyone wants to catch up?)
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Reply By: mfewster - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 21:02

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 21:02
Speaking as a new South Australian, I can only agree. We made the same observation on our last trip up and over the borders.
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Follow Up By: Nickywoop - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 22:17

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 22:17
Another Sth. Aussie here,

The country areas in SA are not being funded by the Govt. sadly.

The Govt. has screwed that up many times by miss management of priorities, they now can only afford to spend where the votes are,
inAdelaide & the immediate adjoining vote grabbing areas area.

Sad, a beautiful place, but if travelling avoid the city & surrounds, stick to the Pennisulas, Limestone Coast & North of Crystal Brook.

You will have a ball in the country SA , with great people.

Happy travels
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 21:10

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 21:10
Hi Kanga. I can't comment on the state of the SA formal roadsite stops as we always find a bush camp instead. However, re the attitude of the SA authorities generally, I penned the following after our 2011 trip through the Simpson - you'll get the drift...

"Dear Minister.

I reside in Perth WA.

Last month my wife and I travelled from Birdsville to Alice Springs via the Simpson Desert. We were in the Simpson and Witjira National Parks for a total of four days/three nights.

For this we were required to purchase a Twelve Months Desert Parks Pass at a cost of $125.

We consider this cost to be ‘way over the top’. This is because, being interstate tourists, we will not be able to avail of the twelve months access.

What would have been fair (and comparable to Western Australian parks charges) was for us to be required to purchase a ‘Holiday Pass’ at $36. However that pass excludes desert parks access.

We could be persuaded that the $125 price was fair if there was clear evidence of extensive Parks presence in the Simpson. However, we saw no evidence of ‘improvements’ and interpretive facilities and it is clear that the tracks are not maintained in any sense (we prefer it this way in any case).

So, respectfully, could you please explain to us the basis for such a high price for a ‘once only’ access by an interstate tourist.

Thank you".
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 22:55

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 22:55
Gday John,
If you "saw no evidence of ‘improvements’ and interpretive facilities" then you must have crossed the desert with your eyes closed!
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 23:23

Friday, Oct 05, 2012 at 23:23
Hi Phil.

We used the French Line. There was a big detour for the Creek and it had not been signed. If we hadn't had good mapping we wouldn't have been very confident of the general route - just no signage at all...

The track was pretty cut up; no evidence at all of any $'ss going in anywhere. (note, I don't mind that - it's just that if I pay an exorbitant fee then I expect to see evidence that it's being spent on something other than keeping a couple of punters employed in Birdsville who weren't particularly useful in anything other than providing advice on joyflights).

There were some markers placed at intervals that guided the visitor as to how far down the track they were but these weren't put in by Gov't. There was signage at some key places like the Corner, admittedly.

All in all, compared to prices for access in WA, the DPP price is a total rip-off.

So...pls let me know what I missed in the ‘improvements and interpretive facilities' department. I am dead keen to make sure I don't miss them next time I get ripped.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 00:00
Agree with you John - did you get a reply back?

I went across the French line in late 2005. These days I don't think your even allowed at that time as it is too "dangerous".

Unlike you I only stayed in the area for 1 night and 1 day - I don't think I even went to the toilet (bush toilet) and I took all my rubbish out with me. The fee then was $90 from memory and was a total rip-off though I payed it.

Can't really comment on Phils post as I did my own research and didn't really need any signs to tell me where I am anyway.

The permit came with all these high quality maps and info that I didn't need and to this day sit at the bottom of my map-box unused.


PS - Your probably right Kanga though lack of road stop facilities wouldn't affect my decision to visit SA. At least the road-stops are clean.

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 06:48

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 06:48
I too am keen to hear if they replied back, maybe we should all send the same letter in, it may create a Movement.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 08:18

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 08:18
Gday John,

last time I looked Birdsville is in Qld and has nothing to do with the SA Desert Parks Pass.

Like it or not, for a simple tourist trip the user pays.

When I travel in WA, I don't whinge when I pay $100 for track access for 2 weeks on the CSR. If I go back again it's another $100.

When I travel in the NT - Hay River, I don't whinge when I pay $200 to travel down the Hay River

When in NSW, I don't whinge when I pay $38 per night for a bush campsite with no showers in Ben Boyd National Park

When it comes to desert trips, for some people it's all about the driving but these days for me its all about the destination. If you only want to spend 3 nights in the desert, that's your choice.

I hope you weren't suggesting they should maintain the tracks in the Simpson Desert!


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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 11:25

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 11:25
Hi Phil.

I definitely wasn't suggesting that the authorities should do track maintenance but better signage wouls be a plus; I note you haven't responded to my request that you provide some examples of effective expenditure on the track...

I mentioned Birdsville 9it was the Tourist Centre) because that is where they insisted I pay for a pass; coming from the east to return to WA, B'ville is where the issuing authority is... I expect that the SA gov't pays them for the 'service'.

You can't compare the PPP with the CSR fees. The former is a bureacratic revenue raiser for the SA Gov't; the latter is a fee levied by Traditional Owners for the right to pass through Aboriginal lands and the fee is administered by a relevant voluntary organisation - ANFWDA.

I can't coimment on the other fees you mention as I haven't been to those sites.

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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 11:27

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 11:27
Hi Alan and Bonz.

I did get a response and I have been trying to exhume it from the archives. If I find it I'll put it up.

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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 13:58

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 13:58
Here 'tis; hope it works.

And...Alan...yes, those dinky packaged maps are also at the bottom of my maps drawer; they're actually not too bad but are not as good as the HEMA series I already had

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Reply By: Priscilla G - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 10:53

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 10:53
As a South Aussie ,I can understand how visitors to SA feel must feel as these stops are a disgrace. I,m not sure of who is supposed to look after them,but probably the state transport & roads dept.Would be great if some of you could air your thoughts & experiences to them. Try this mob...forinfrastructure....dpti.sa.gov.au.coordinator-general ORinfrastructure.sa.gov.au .Please do .
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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 17:14

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 17:14
Thanks Priscilla for your constructive comment and relevant people to send information too, we will most definately send an email to the people you have suggested, I'm sure they would be horrified if they stopped in at a few to make a Jam Sammy. It is good to see the sides of the road in general very tidy of rubbish (cans bottles etc) Just a real shame about the lack of facilities for " calls of nature" at roadside rest stops. Thanks again< Kanga. ( Perhaps they could supply a Shovel for the 2 wheel drivers).
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Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 14:51

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 14:51
I think everyone has missed the point on this one.
In remote areas individuals need to take personal responsibility for cleaning up after themselves instead of leaving crap everywhere & blaming the government, council or local community for not supplying facilities.

Cheers Craig...........
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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 16:58

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 16:58
Hi Crackles, I couldn't agree more, in remote areas individuals should take responsibility for their waste tidy up. Generally we find the bush to be one of the best places to be regarding this issue. Wouldn't have thought the Eyre highway was all that remote and we didn't notice any cars other than 4WD's with shovels on their roofs for clean-ups. Bottom line is, I am a tourist in this State, and first impressions do have an affect on opinions. Cheers, Kanga.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 17:29

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 17:29
OK first up I am from WA.
I do tend to agree with Craig on the matter of the outright pigs that seem to think that it is acceptable to treat roadside stops and anywhere else the mood takes them as their personal rubbish tip and toilet. Not sure the Eyre Highway could be considered remote as Kanga observed, more like a main arterial highway.
I know on WA's main roads there are crews continually patrolling, cleaning up rubbish and emptying rubbish bins even at stops hundreds of kilometers from a town. Now all of this I believe is the responsibility of Main Roads WA and I suspect comes at a pretty high cost. This no doubt comes out of state coffers and here in WA the state government have a few pretty good cash cows to milk, and I mean apart from the long suffering rate payers like me. The royalties from our booming mining industry contribute literally billions to "consolidated revinue". My point being that AFAIK SA does not have quite so generous a revinue source and also the Eyre Highway is probably used more as a route to get from WA to the eastern states and vice versa. Certainly for heavy transport. If they do not already do so maybe the federal government should loosen the purse strings a little for a state like SA, and before you jump all over me I don't mean that to sound condersending in any way.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 18:32

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 18:32
Hey Crackles, I was not talking about remote areas. I was talking about the main tourist routes between Adelaide and the Flinders and back down to Whyalla. Tar roads mate.

We actually asked the people in the Craddock Hotel if we could park in their carpark for the night as it was very late afternoon and we were in unfamiliar territory. Luckily for us they allowed us to do so.

Perhaps more such establishments could do that but I suppose the authorities would have some bylaw which would probably by contravened.

Admittedly many rest stops in NSW leave much to be desired in many places but they are there for the traveler to use, and sometimes abuse.

Back in the Seventies Queensland was way out in front in this regard utilising the sections of tar roads where bends had been straightened out. They set up the redundant section of road for overnight camping with picinic type shelters and even cold showers in some instances. Back in those days NSW was still providing concrete fireplaces and nothing else. A bit like SA today. But that's 40 years ago.

SA is a great place with plenty of things to see and do but travellers need some basic facilities if they are going to keep coming otherwise SA is going to be known as the cesspit of Australia.

It does not cost much to place an old 44 gallon drum at these sites and a pit toilet is a fairly inexpensive facility. Cleaning and maintenance are about the only ongoing costs so SA authorities are standing on some pretty shaky legs as far as I can see.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 21:28

Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 at 21:28
G'day Kanga,

Unfortunately grubs are not just found in SA and neither is that state alone in not providing adequate facilities. I think it is a state of mind that most people will do the right thing but some will just not even think about what they are doing and just wreck something for no obvious reason. Sometimes these people are aided and abetted by the authorities. Just a few days ago I was at Gregory Downs, nice spot down on the Gregory River, the Burke Shire sign there said that it promoted "low impact camping" and it provides garbage bins but no toilet! It is permitted to camp there and spend the whole day there picnicking or whatever BUT NO TOILET. The interesting twist for me was that vans and were not allowed (even though they have their own toilet). The camping/parking area opposite the pub was the worst pig sty I have ever seen again no toilet but there was one about 200 meters away but the place was an open sewer.

I've come to the conclusion that some of these grubs don't care about the consequences. We will never be able to control the grubs they are not interested either in the bush or city but I can make sure that I do the right thing up to a point. I cannot tolerate poor government and some of their decisions so I may not always agree with that.

Kind regards
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