We’re back! Campers hit the road in South Australia

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Grey nomads back on the road in South Australia
Ginny Bell is happy to be back camping at the Para Wirra campground. PIC: Tom Huntley / Adelaide Advertiser

With regional travel restrictions being lifted in South Australia, it seems that caravanners and campers have seized the day and hit the road.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that many campsites around the state are booked out.

Tourism commission chief executive Rodney Harrex told the newspaper that the organisation was working to promote the ‘welcome back’ message to travellers.

“It’s about reminding South Australians of what is in their own backyard – and there is a lot of pent-up demand to get out of the house and enjoy some of those things now available to us, including road trips, cycling, camping, nature-based experiences, and outdoor dining,” Mr Harrex said. “We’ve heard from operators that their phones have been ringing off the hook, with some reporting 100% bookings for the next few weekends.

He said the response from people in the state who wanted to support local operators and small tourism businesses was ‘inspiring’.

Only about 11 per cent of the $8 billion spent in South Australia last year came from overseas or interstate travellers, so SA’s tourism industry was less vulnerable to border closures than other states.

With overseas travel likely a long way off for most Australians, industry groups are hoping to snare a large portion of the cash spent by overseas travellers for local businesses.

SA Tourism Association figures show South Australians spent about $3.3 billion on overseas trips last year.

Discovery Parks chief executive Grant Wilckens said the opportunity was clear.

“The good thing we see with the borders being closed is that $3.3 billion hopefully will be substituted back into domestic tourism,” he told the Advertiser.

He said bookings had been exploding at Discovery parks in the Barossa Valley, Clare, Robe and Lake Bonney in the Riverland.

“Lake Bonney has been the most popular, I think because people are trying to get up north, and the Riverland is perceived as a warmer destination,” he said.

  • Are you on the road somewhere in South Australia. Have you found the van parks and camping areas are pretty busy? Comment below.
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3 Responses to We’re back! Campers hit the road in South Australia

  1. Hence the phrase “Happy Camper”

  2. While I don’t live in SA I do hope that people now realise how important
    To local econemies travellers are and welcome them

  3. Have lived in SA my whole life & as an ex school bus & tour driver I’ve seen pretty much everything I care to see in SA more than a couple of times. I’ve been to the SE on a motor bike in winter, stood on windswept cliffs & tramped through soggy forests – 40yrs ago. With severe arthritis I won’t be going anywhere until the borders to anywhere warmer open & I can escape.

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