Camping fees in Victorian national parks to be halved

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Grey nomads in national parks
The Grampians is one of Victoria's most popular national parks. PIC: Parks Victoria

While not all grey nomads will agree with all of its policies, the resounding victory of the Labor Government at last weekend’s Victorian election should be fantastic news for everyone who likes camping in the state.

During the campaign, Victorian Labor promised to spend $105 million on building 30 new campgrounds and upgrading 30 other facilities and tracks. The new campgrounds or upgrades will include improved walking trails, toilets and shower blocks. The new locations have not been identified and the Premier, Daniel Andrews, said they would be decided in consultation with outdoor groups.

Mr Andrew also said his Government would cut camping fees at state and national parks in half.

“Camping, getting out, spending time with loved ones, spending time in the natural environment, we want to make that as affordable and accessible as we possibly can,” Mr Andrews said.

After winning its first term in office a few years ago, Labor removed camping fees at 500 basic sites at 70 campgrounds in 19 parks across regional Victoria. However, earlier this year plans were unveiled to introduce fees and various other restrictions at popular camping spots along the Murray River.

The Age newspaper reports that Mr Andrews’ latest pledge on camping fees was cautiously welcomed by the Victorian National Parks Association.

“This investment package for facilities is welcome, but of concern is that park managers still need significantly more funding for core frontline capacity to deal with the many pressures placed on parks, particularly pest plants and animals,” Matt Ruchel, the association’s executive director, said.

In terms of upgrading 4Wd tracks, Labor says $10 million will be set aside to improve the ‘iconic 4WD adventure’ trails at Davies Plain Drive, Grampians Drive, Mallee Drive, Otways Drive, River Red Gum Drive, Snowy River Drive and Wonnangatta Drive.

And the Age reports that planning will also begin on a new sea-to-summit hiking trail in East Gippsland, aiming to create a multi-day walk modelled on the successful Grampians Peak Trail. Labor has committed $1.5 million to plan the 120-kilometre trail between the coastal town of Bemm River and the summit of Mount Ellery, extending the existing Wilderness Coast walk.

  • Will reduced national park camping fees persuade you to spend more time in Victoria? Comment below.

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2 Responses to Camping fees in Victorian national parks to be halved

  1. After a recent trip (early this year) to the Grampians we feel it is necessary to upgrade or relabel many of the walks and label them more appropriately. Many of the walks were labelled moderate or easy that were not safe or appropriate for unskilled and unfit hikers not carrying appropriate gear and survival packs. Also there needs to be clarity if the distance is one way or return so walkers can make safe and appropriate choices.

  2. I totally agree with Celia comments

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