National park camp area to close due to ‘under-use’

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Alligator Creek
The area is popular with bushwalkers. PIC: Sunbird Motel

A popular national park camping ground near Townsville is to be permanently closed due to perceived under-use.

The Alligator Creek site is in the Mount Elliot section of Bowling Green National Park. Although it was recommended only for tents and campervans, it was a place many grey nomads will be familiar with.

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science says that day use at Alligator Creek has been increasing in recent years, while camper numbers have stayed low.

As part of a $1.3 million investment, the Townsville Bulletin reports that the campground will be scrapped entirely and the day iuse area will be expanded.

“During weekend patrols over the past four to five years, rangers have regularly observed all car parks in the day use and camping areas full, despite the low number of campers, with vehicles parked along the side of the access road,” the Department said. “The average annual camper nights (the number of campers times the number of nights camped) for this campground over the five-year period, 2016 to 2020, totalled 2174 … this is considered low considering the campground’s proximity to Townsville.”

The Bulletin reports that the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will now be carrying out major works to increase car parks, expand the day use area, improve facilities, and make the area more accessible for people with disabilities.

A new track, boardwalks, bridges, seating and viewing decks will provide quality access for mobility-impaired visitors to Alligator Creek’s popular Sandy Beach.

The Bulletin reports that works are expected to be completed by late July, with the works timed around the wet season to minimise the amount of time the day use area is closed.

  • Have you stayed at Alligator Creek? What memories do you have? Comment below.
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13 Responses to National park camp area to close due to ‘under-use’

  1. I’ve stayed there and if I have the right place, you drive all the way in and think yes this looks great but there is no service to book in for the night thru parks so you have to drive all the way back out to the main road to call up book in and then return. maybe that is what stops people staying, maybe they move on after a swim

    • Thats the same with so many NSW Ntional Parks as well

    • It’s the same with many Qld NP’s. Ridiculous booking system if there is no internet reception.

  2. We stayed in Alligator Ck, for 2 weeks, the first time on the way up, and 4 weeks the second time on the way back, in 82′. We have fond memories of the place, especially with the resident ranger, and kangaroo, Rudi, that liked to fight you. The las t time we stayed we went thru a cyclone one night, and I stayed outside the tent for 3 hours in the blinding rain just to hold it down. It was brutal. Hoped to go back there in 2022, but this is not possible anymore.

  3. I wished Parks would’ve consulted with the community before making such a drastic decision. They’ll fine people if they decide to camp now, which is ridiculous. QLD is already a poor state when it comes to camping ground offers. I usually stand by Parks decisions, but this one is small minded in my opinion. Leave the option there: if it’s not used and it’s not affecting the day visitors, why rip it all off?

  4. QUeensland Parks & Wildlife are useless. They made it so it was impossible to camp there with bollards & fencing, that is why nobody camped there. Some fool who sits behind a desk thought it would be a good. They should have consulted the people who would actually use it. They really need to go & get some lessons from their West Australian counterparts, they do everything to encourage people to come, Queensland dies everything they can to turn them away so they don’t upset the minorities in the south east corner who think the city of Brisbane, the Gold & Sunshine Coasts are all there is to Queensland.

    • Well said,100pc right.
      Too many YES MINISTERS around,

  5. I have only retired recently and looking forward to camping in out of the way places like this. It is sad to see them disappear for future generations of Grey Nomads! Why do all the rural attractions have to be made like Queen Street?

  6. I first stayed there when Nev Abby was the ranger starting this park up I was driving for a tour company in Perth and over that way looking for a good nights camp for my group of 30 people so went in to here Nev could not believe that somebody from WA had found this secret gem of a camp saying even the locals did not no it existed
    Can’t believe they are closing the camp ground area shame

  7. I find the parks department is not user friendly. They need to get their act together

  8. These days it seems to be the aim of most National Parks organisations to make themselves user unfriendly, possibly to reduce their running costs.

  9. We would have loved to stay in this campground last year but signage showed only tents and campervans allowed. Our off road van would easily have fitted on most of the sites. Only 2 or 3 other camps there at the time. Go figure!!

  10. That averages one and a bit campers there EVERY day for the ‘5 years’ come rain hail or shine, so how it’s being under-utilised is nothing more than a cop out to not maintain a simple service.

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