Free camping delivers financial boost to Kimba

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Kimba silo art
The silo art is another reason grey nomads enjoy visiting Kimba.

Country towns looking to find out if offering free camping really can deliver an economic  boost will draw immense encouragement from the experience of a small community on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The free camping area at the Kimba recreation reserve has grown in popularity in the past financial year, with campers donating $11,000 for the year, well above the council’s forecast of $7000.

Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson told the Eyre Peninsula Tribune that having modern, free camping had a direct flow-on effect.

“More than 40 vehicles are regularly setting up at the Kimba Recreation Reserve each night, which means more people spending their money with local businesses,” he said. “Anecdotal evidence suggests that the overall economic benefit to Kimba as a result of offering free camping facilities far outweighs the minimal forecast cost to council to maintain the new area.”

The area will get a new amenities block in the 2018-19 financial year with funding from the council and the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Community Benefit Program.

 “Those travelling in caravans and motorhomes are incredibly well connected and we know they share their experiences, good and bad, via social media and word of mouth,” Mr Johnson said. “The feedback elected members and council staff are getting is that Kimba is quickly becoming known as a must-stay location on the Eyre Peninsula, based in part to the fantastic free camping facilities we offer.”

 A survey late last year revealed that travellers had nothing but praise for Kimba’s camping facilities, and particularly the fact that there is no compulsory fee.

“We’ve found that people are usually willing to give a voluntary contribution of $5-$10 per person a night in return for the nice facilities offered,” said council’s Tourism Officer, Georgie Shirley. “Like other small agricultural towns we are mindful of encouraging industry and economic growth that is not reliant on the rainfall, and we saw the opportunity to capitalise on the passing traffic.”

While there are actually three free camping sites within the Kimba township, the Recreation Reserve Campground is the one best set up for caravans and motorhomes, offering a dump point, coin-operated shower, toilet facilities, and a free barbecue.

  • Have you stayed at Kimba recently? Would you recommend it to fellow grey nomads? Comment below.

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5 Responses to Free camping delivers financial boost to Kimba

  1. We stayed tyhere twice in 2015 definitely the best free camp we saw !!!

  2. a great free/donation campsite along side the football oval. the shower was so good the following night we decided to double up on the time payable , and could not believe how little time you need to wash all your parts

  3. We enjoyed a two night stay in Kimba last August. The town is so friendly.
    We visited the museum, took a drive up to the lookout where the view was beautiful. Bought some bargains at the Op shop and enjoyed a lovely meal at the pub. The painted silos are amazing. Nice to know you can park the van, sightsee and all is good. Well done Kimba.

  4. Have not been yet, but will certainly support them in the future. Also more than happy to put $5 -$10 a night in the tin,and spend in the town.Good on you Kimba. Cheers Stevo.

  5. Heading down that way next .onth. will certainly put Kimba on our stay list.

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