Camping to be allowed again at Stockton Beach

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Stockton beach camping
Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management is launching the ‘Ganyamalbaa Camping Trial’. PIC: Newcastle Herald

Many local authorities have been struggling in recent years with the challenge of deciding where to allow camping and where to ban it in order to protect the natural environment.

On the one hand, most communities are eager to encourage tourism; while, on the other, they have an obligation to prevent damage to the natural beauty of sensitive locations.

Increasingly, compromises are being found.

A case in point is Stockton Beach near Newcastle in New South Wales. Camping on the beach has been banned since 2012 after significant damage occurred to the dune system following a massive storm.

However, camping is now to be re-introduced on a trial basis. Unlike the previous arrangement where camping was free and unrestricted, the  ‘Ganyamalbaa Camping Trial’ will initially be restricted to 15 campsites accommodating up to eight campers per site. Each site includes a firepit. Campers must be self-sufficient, bringing with them water, firewood and a camp toilet.

The number of camp sites may be expanded to 26 if the trial is successful.

The Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management wants to make the beach a sustainable eco-tourism asset and says camping will be introduced in stages as a ‘trial’ to allow the board to monitor impacts and adapt their camping plan as needed.

The trial is designed around sustainability and ensuring new campers do not inflict “devastating” impacts to cultural sites, dunes as was apparently experienced in previous times when camping was free and unrestricted.

Rangers will assess daily how things are going and will look at issues including vandalism, pollution and visitor behaviour. The condition of cultural sites, the frontal dune and vegetation will also be closely monitored.

“Monitoring and adapting the approach to camping will give it the best chance of becoming a sustainable long-term visitor experience,” an information brochure about the trial says.

Online bookings are now open and camping will start from February 15.

Fees to camp at Ganyamalbaa will be $33 for two adults.

Beach vehicle permits are required for vehicle entry to the Worimi Conservation Lands and are not included in the camping fee.

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12 Responses to Camping to be allowed again at Stockton Beach

  1. $33 per night AND all I get is a fire pit?…. I DON’T THINK SO… not when free camping is FREE and I can dig my own firepit!

  2. Shouldn’t let people know this but Starvation Bay in West Australia is a bring the lot in and they have a good number of camp sites. East of Hopetoun which is south of Ravensthorpe which is west of Esperance. There are toilets and a dump point and some have fire pits. Cost is $10.00 per site, (don’t let the internet tell you it is $10 per person). Beautiful, clean, fresh, well maintained wonderful, quiet, idyllic, slice of paradise. $33.00 for 2 people? I think not.

  3. Too expensive!!!

  4. Even at $50 per night you’ll still be lucky to get a site…in fact they are probably already booked out…so by all means go to Starvation Bay, but if you live near Port Stevens, Newcastle or Sydney, and only have a few days to camp, then Stockton is great..but with 15…maybe 26 campsites, good luck getting a spot…and even then you can bet that some of the best old camping spots are now gone due to the extensive sand mining activities.

  5. $33 what’s free about that!!! I can pay that in a beachside caravan park and get full amenities

  6. To expensive for no facilities

  7. Book on line!! Sounds like they’ve already seen you coming.

  8. Pure greed! Soo sad that the life on the road lifesryle is getring toooo trendy..air is free, ocean is free understand there’s upkeep but $33 a nights worth???? Not for me thanks,zPLENTY more amazing places to sray!

  9. Too expensive for what it is.

  10. It doesn’t say it is free.

  11. Johanna in vic is the same , total bs paying that much , take a wide berth

  12. Rip off. This price will just encourage people to break the rules.

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