Camping fees on way to popular Murray River spots

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Grey nomads camping at the Murray River
A happy camper at Boundary Bend on the Murray River. PIC: Schimmel Travel

Plans to introduce fees and various other restrictions at popular camping spots along the Murray River are expected to be in place by the end of this year.

The new changes have been recommended as part of Parks Victoria’s ‘River Red Gum Parks Draft Management Plan’ which was released late last year. Changes proposed in the draft plan included  banning camping in some areas and imposing fees at some of the areas closer to towns.

The document aims to link reserves into an overall ‘Murray River Park’, delineate sites, formalise campgrounds, and introduce bookable sites at numerous popular camping areas.

The Shepparton News reports that the proposed ‘Murray River Park’ is expected to encompass 37,000 hectares from Wodonga to the west of Mildura.

The plan suggests Stanton’s Bend near Corowa may be upgraded to a campground but could attract fees.  There is also a recommendation of a change to basic camping for Taylors Bend and Lumpys Bend. Free dispersed camping will remain in other areas.

The Lower Ovens, near Bundalong among others, are listed as potential sites for formalised campgrounds with some of Yarrawonga’s and Cobram’s most popular camping areas to be considered for campsite delineation.

The draft plan proposed camping initiatives including bookable campsites at Wills Bend, Farley Bend and Stanton Bend.

“The plan will ensure visitors and campers can continue to enjoy the parks in the River Red Gum landscape, while respecting the environment, culture and heritage, local communities, and other campers,” said Joshua Chikuse from Parks Victoria.  “We want people to keep enjoying camping in our River Red Gum landscape but our sole purpose is to ensure the safety of campers and the environment.”

The Shepparton News said the draft plan had identified that some  campers commandeered areas for extended periods, often setting up unoccupied camps for days or weeks before peak periods in order to exclude other campers. The problem of campsite ‘stakers’ and  ‘spreaders’ is not a new one.

Campfires along the Murray River are also an area coming under investigation as they are an important part of the camping experience but pose a number of risks.

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33 Responses to Camping fees on way to popular Murray River spots

  1. Then won’t be going to the river area anymore, seems that is what they want.

  2. just more nanny state restrictions created by a few miscreants turning our great country into more money making problems.

  3. People will not pay to stay, its ridiculous the amount the parks victoria usually charge to stay in these camp sites. Towns do suffer through loosing all of the campers, businesses do go bust as they rely on those visitors, campers to spend money. Look at other small towns where parks have started charging. $28 a night for winter $43 for peak. Some places are dearer. Families cant afford expensive holidays so they take their family camping, by charging families can no longer go on family holidays which does put a strain on things.

  4. if you put a little bridge back over murphys creek at the police paddocks there is about 1100 acres of land there that could be partly used for camping and other reserves could be rested for periods of time . just an idea ,

  5. And so it begins … money grab again !but it will be the nearby towns that suffer ! No doubt pushed by The brain dead greens who live in the inner city areas and never venture out into our beautiful country . They bloody well won’t stop me from camping around my campfire when i please !

  6. An exert from above what a load of rubbish…
    We want people to keep enjoying camping in our River Red Gum landscape but our sole purpose is to ensure the safety of campers and the environment.”
    This is just another money grabbing event that has failed through most of Victoria and to hide behind safety and environment. Please we are adults don’t treat us like we are idiots. Your bank account is low and you want us the public to fill them again…

  7. Just got to spoil everything, if the parks are so intent on fees being charged then maybe they best make sure there are some facilities. They’ve had it pretty good. And how are we supposed to see our great country and get the kids out and interested in nature and doing things when we can’t do the things that make up a good camping experience. There is very little that families on lower incomes can afford, camping was a bonus for all. Don’t even get me going on cubs and scouts…….

  8. What about stopping farmers taking all the water and rapeing the land first.

  9. Just come back from 8 day on the murray had a great time whent into town most days and had coffee may be lunch and of course we had to buy some momentums of our trip.if they start to charge then that money will
    not make it into town and we wont stay as long as for what they might charge l will not pay $40 for a long drop

  10. what happened to FREE camping ???

  11. We gotta stop this!!
    I agree that some people wreck it for the majority but to punish them all is bad. Why not enforce the stakers and spreaders and kick them out.
    Been up river a few times this year and Mr Ranger never got out of his car.

  12. Campers go and set up caravans and flag off spots for months before holidays and no one can get the spots about time they stopped it only going to upset them this will be
    fair for everyone I live near the murray see it every year it’s not first in gets the spot anymore

  13. I do understand why when people stay for a 3+ weeks it’s to long a one spot should be 3 days max as it’s for everyone not just the people that want to hog a free camp Have no problem paying $10 per night max

  14. I went camping in nsw Bourke it was crap. Along the darling you have to pay for campsites that have no river frontage along side other campers. So I didnt stay very long or spend much money. Went back south camping along the murray, camped by ourselves on the murray and spent heaps of money

  15. looks like we will be glamping if we are going to be charged. might as well pay for electricity and showers in a caravan park. the other option is to go back to cheap destinations overseas which is what we used to do before we discovered the murray and all the local communities we used to buy supplies in. Good job parks Victoria.

  16. State election due in November for Victorians. If you are registered as a voter in Victoria find the name of your local MP now and also who will be sitting against him and start lobbying. Not enough to complain after the event. Voters in Victoria need to let the representatives or potential representatives what they think.

  17. If fees and registered sites are coming in, then i would expect to see somthing for it,. Iike bins at registered sites. Some toilet facilities would be good too. This would help stop people leaving rubbish at the site and shallow holes with toilet paper in them wouldnt be a problem if toilets were available. If people have to pay fees thats fine,,, but use that money to protect our beautiful river.

  18. Just bought a lovely motorhome with solar etc & was planning on free camping as often as I can. Seems it’s getting harder & harder especially in Vic. I refuse to pay their ridiculous camping fees. Would rather support a small family owned caravan park.

  19. Do they know how many people a grey nomads talks to in a day especially around a big fire or happy hour.What do they think we talk about, we talk about were we have been what it cost and the places to stay away.What is that old story about having the customers but drove them away and then had to spend big bucks to get them back. Trouble is most of us older nomads have long memories and we are usually once bitten and thats it. Cheers Stevo

  20. The booking system is a farce. It is done in other states, you book then arrive to find your booked site is taken so you request a refund and it is denied. The authorities do not police their own rules and make the non bookers move on. It simply does not work. And yes I agree t is really only a money grab.

  21. Think this is disgusting. Let people enjoy a sense of freedom to enjoy our country. People will simply move on which will bring a loss of money to towns when dining out or purchasing groceries. Must we constantly be dictated too. The Mighty Murray is my second home and most people love the land. For what it will solve on one evaluation it will create new issues on the other.

  22. Get used to the charging of fees in many places. The more the Australian population grows, the more charges that will be applied and the less freedoms you will have. Lets have a big Australia with a population of 100 million is the calls of big Australia groups but the sad truth is the more people the less freedom.

  23. Stayed at Mannum SA beside the Murray council had two sites by the river &-10.00 pp night toilets beautiful had money machine next to loos pay by card or cash . Caravan park on other side of river came over each day to clean collect money also they addressed any problems while . Could stay 5 days what a wonderful place we live tweed nt nsw wish it was closer. Miss it great people in that town also.

    • We also stayed at Mannum beside the murray river. It is a great spot we met some good people too.

    • Would you believe the area is run by the caravan park ! Excellent location able to have a fire & watch the river boats cruise by. We loved it.

  24. Western Australia already has small town councils charging for beach parking.
    The fact of the matter is greedy councillers cant hand over our money fast enough to their mates.
    Millions lost in dodgy investment funds renowned for fee kickbacks lost by councils.
    We have seen rapid monetisation of these places. Little wonder the tourism has already died in WA.
    Greedy caravan park owners and greenies trying to lock people out.

  25. They will NEVER understand!!!!Most of us who travel are on a pension. We have to buy fuel which is SO expensive. We shop in the local town we go to. We cannot afford to stay, we must be allowed to free camp! It is not because we are mean, it is because by the time we pay for fuel and buy food we cannot afford. We cannot pay to stay. Councils are becoming greedy, just cashing in on our money. It is very unfair, very. Please do not start charging fees consider us oleass

  26. So we will have to book ahead? What if non-booked campers take your “booked” spot? You arrive and there is no room for you? Who ya gunna call? Local Rangers will not respond (immediately) and will probably not want to take on the “Sheriff” role. You probably have no phone reception anyway. Is there going to be a “call in case of dispute” phone number posted at each camp site – with a “Sheriff” on immediate stand-by?

  27. We spend as little time as possible in NSW and NSW parks because of their obscene fees. Looks like we will be avoiding Victoria as well soon.
    Come on Victoria, not everyone can afford to pay and pay and pay. As for booking ahead, have a look at the Qld system of booking ahead, been an absolute disaster.

  28. Im not a Murray river camper..mostly a northender. But I reckon in this era we should consider outselves lucky for what and how we can see and do in this big country of ours.
    In years to come because of population increase, big pressure on the envoirnment and camping areas, many more nomads, caravanners, backpackers and other travellers there will be many more restrictions to follow. If you look back twenty years there have been a lot more restrictions implemented. Ive noticed it a lot in northern Australia. When I came back up last year every little known back tracks, camping spots, gravel scrapes were full of vans and camper trailers. These spots were not known of and were always vacant years ago.
    Today there are not many places in the bush where where you wont find human crap, toilet paper, nappies cans and rubbish. Something has to be done and the minority are spoiling it for everyone. Cheers and safe travels.

  29. I started camping on the murray yarrawonga when i was 15 hardly no one around we made tracks that are still there .we respected the river and land .why carnt our children children’s enjoy the life and memories we have im now 58 and still love it with my children/grandchildren around us
    I remember camping at the pines at elidon wear when i was very young and having so much fun then they started charging. Did not work thats when we went to yarrawonga.

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