Country grey nomad fired up by campsite disrespect

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‘It’s not enough to bring your own firewood in ... you also have to guard it!’ PIC: Al-Ko, Without a Hitch

Born and bred in Queensland’s extreme south west, Geoff Geary holds the rural values and country courtesy instilled into him as a youngster in high regard … but he has found that not everyone on the open road shares his approach.

Indeed, the lack of consideration for others, and the lack of respect for the land, shown by some of his fellow travellers has left Geoff shaking his head in despair.

Living in the Warrego in his youth, he spent many nights sitting by campfires out on the stock routes with flocks of sheep, and where the only light was carbide lamps or kerosene lanterns. Geoff remembers a hard but happy life and he took the lessons he learned in the bush with him when he moved to the coast for health reasons.

“I am now lucky enough to own a campervan and get away to ‘enjoy’ nature with hundreds of others along beaches and fishing spots,” he said. “However, I am blown away at the numbers of dumb … make that bloody stupid … campers that you come across.”

Geoff says he commonly refers to this thoughtless breed of traveller as ‘Queen Street campers’.

“You can be on a nice stretch of river bank and have a fire pit banked up in the open with plenty of room for several chairs or swags and a nice supply of firewood for the night and a billy simmering when a couple of Queen Streeters pull up,” he said. “The majority start setting up and marking out their ‘spot’ while ignoring a friendly wave and ‘billy’s boiling’ greeting while Dad cracks a stubbie and watches the kids scooting around braking down branches or piling up store-bought firewood.”

He says this burst of activity is generally followed by a raging fire that pumps sparks and smoke into the atmosphere, ‘usually through a nice leafy canopy or someone’s camp’.

“I usually retire early to hopefully sleep through a quiet night unless someone friendly has a few stories to share over a rum-laced coffee,” said Geoff. “But I then awake to find the unburnt fire wood I needed for cooking my breakfast has been ‘borrowed’ by a scavenger who needed it more than myself and now I become the scavenger as I have to find a fire and ask if I may share it to boil my billy and toast my bread.”

Geoff says he has learned that the moral of the story is that it pays to keep heading further and further west and to avoid ‘hotspots like Inskip Point over the school holidays!’

  • Have you found many of your fellow travellers to be discourteous or disrespectful? Comment below.


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12 Responses to Country grey nomad fired up by campsite disrespect

  1. Well it is nice to be friendly and offer help if its needed but not everyone has the need to be touchy feeley. Some people escape the rat race to have some alone time . And as for Fires ,I just cant understand the need for one all the time. Out in the bush on your own once in a while yes but not every day for goodness sakes… think of the planet …

  2. Yep. Dont go away on school holidays. If we are away it will be in a deep dark place to avoid the crowards. I run a generator. To let fellow would be campers know this i put out the bright red cover for all to see but stil i get complaints. Queen stret campers complain about noise but they are up at crack of dawn, streo on motor bikes bing tuned for the days ride or the 4x bing tuned for the days destruction. No we like our space and WILL let would be neighbours know.

  3. Geoff I agree 100% it is heartbreaking to arrive at a beautiful camp spot to find that the beauty has been hidden under plastic bags, beer bottles, nappies etc etc you’ve seen to for yourself. What I find the hardest is communicating with the selective english Queen Street Campers who walk past a toilet block head to the national park with a roll of toilet paper and then say” we allowed to” when you say” there’s a toilet right there.” Then when nicely advised that because of the bush turkeys I recommend that you put your rubbish in the bin before retiring they drive away in the morning leaving kites of plastic bags etc and loud musical instruments made from rolling empty cans not withstanding the bird pecking extravaganza using used nappies and vegie peelings.

  4. If you want a fire, you should carry your own fuel.
    Pet hate is people breaking down (live) trees that don’t burn properly anyway. During this current drought we are experiencing it is particularly not good to destroy any living bush or tree, the animals need the habitat.

  5. YES! Travelling for the last 20 months we have met some really fantastic people; we have also met some real idiots that don’t think. Some have no respect for your air space, they think because they are in the great outdoors there aren’t any boundaries around anothers camp; just walk right on through, help yourself. Plus WE DON’T WANT TO LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC! My husband would love to punch some of them out. I tell him, you can’t do that! No he says but it’s going to make me feel a whole lot better teaching them a lesson.

    • Love it Barb lol, tell hubby to keep playing his music, so long as it’s not too loud, if they don’t like it they can move camp. That’s part of camping, a bit of country ( l presume) music to have beer or wine with. CH

  6. Geoff, WOW….ouch…..Not sure how long you have been on the road but…..Myself, having travelled 28,000 km around this great country of ours I must admit most of the fellow grey nomad travellers I have come across are a cheerful, courteous, deligent lot. Alway up for a friendly chat and a cheerful wave where ever I’ve been.

    However holidays & young families with small children are a different kettle of fish. So as you say it is best to set a few ground rules…..
    1. .’Keep away from popular camping spots ESPECIALLY on
    school holidays’. Stay on the roads less travelled!
    2. Do not pull up, or expect a good nights sleep at any free camp
    within a half an hours drive from a township. The local hoons
    head there for a bit of skylarking and mayhem until wee hours
    of the morning. (usually with loud music, allalcohol related)

    Take care and welcome Geoff to the next exciting stage in life in what I refer to as ‘the bump and feel, learn as you go show!’ Lol …. Gwynnie

  7. It is a big country but you are right that not only does city dwellers when driving into the country side, they do not respect road rules nor camping and noice rules. What can we do ? Just ignoring or continiously axepting their polusion all day in an out.

  8. you need to go west to experience real courtesy in the outdoors. Just back from the darling downs, free camps pub camps, show grounds west of the divide are full of friendly and respectful travellers. Even during the school holidays

  9. Yep, have seen such campers, call them “weekenders”. Don’t see them too often west of the great divide, thankfully. Essentially, avoid the coast completely now days… Too many hassles. Generally avoid anywhere with fishing rivers/dams/lakes, unless they’re in the middle of nowhere or at least 300km from any coast line. Also avoid camp grounds during holidays and long weekends, free or otherwise, especially if they’re close to a major town. Again, with all, the further away from the coast, the less of an issue. There’s nothing there for them(no fancy shops or takeaways or tourist attractions). I can’t speak for caravan parks, don’t patronise them… They’re too much like sardine cans!

  10. Pulled into 24hour stop 20 others also late evening a car load of non English hoons arrived sort firewood and loud music until 2.30 am 5.30 am karma started my car and played my music yes. Loud yes l accidentally woke them up l felt terrible not really karma yes

  11. I carry I set of pick up Yong’s and clean up the rubbish around where I camp so grey nomads do not get the blame, with regard to fire wood that is a mongrel act, store it under the van, have sensor light come on if people come near your site, but the people you meet at camps are generally the nicest people around, except for the wiz banging door types. If you are out there and play an instrument pull it out I would love to jam with you.

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