Council delivers on pledge to slash fees at campsites

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Ball Bay camping ground for grey nomads
It’s suddenly a lot cheaper to camp at Ball Bay Camping Ground. PIC: The Mackay Region

As had been widely expected, Mackay Regional Council has voted to slash the cost of camping at two of its campsites.

Fees for staying overnight at Ball Bay and St Helens Beach camping reserves have been reduced from $27 per night to $15 per night, with the weekly fee dropping from $156 to $87 … a fall of 44%.

Mayor Greg Williamson said council hoped that the reduction in fees would encourage more locals and visitors to enjoy the facilities and get back to nature.

“In 2016 council introduced a reduced fee structure for self-contained RVs at Mirani Caravan Park for a 12-month period, which proved so successful in attracting visitors that it was adopted permanently,” he said. “We hope to achieve a similar result at Ball Bay and St Helens Beach camping reserves.”

The Mirani Caravan Park trial included six non-powered RV sites bookable for a total cost of $10 per night for up to two people for a maximum of two nights.

“It is important that visitors see the sites as great value for money and the reduced fee structure will help the sites become more attractive options with the low-cost RV market, while also encouraging longer stays,” Mayor Williamson said. “The camping industry injects more than $10 billion into the Australian economy annually and there is a real opportunity to capture a greater share of this market.”

The existing prices to stay at Seaforth and Mirani camping reserves will not change as they offer a superior range of facilities such as hot showers, kitchens, dump points, playgrounds and on-site camp managers.

A council report submitted prior to the adoption of the new fee schedule at Ball Bay and St Helen’s Beach concluded that there was rising demand for non-commercial campsites.

“There appears to be a clear trend of camping visitors wanting to spend less money for their overnight stay,” the report said. “It is expected that a reduction in fees will increase visitor satisfaction, create positive word-of-mouth recommendations/online reviews, and ultimately increase visitor numbers and return visitation.”

The report noted that even with higher visitation levels, it was not expected revenue from camping fees would cover maintenance cost at the sites.

“The benefit of Mackay Regional Council operating these campsites lies within the increased overnight visitor expenditure disbursed in surrounding areas, supporting the economy,” the report said. “By reducing the site fees, the Ball Bay and St Helens Beach Camping Reserves become attractive to the low-cost RV market and the potential expansion for significant growth in both visitor numbers and an increase in length of stay at each site are expected.”

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3 Responses to Council delivers on pledge to slash fees at campsites

  1. I would be more than happy to pay $10-15 per night for a non powered site at a caravan park. If CP operators can allocate a small area down the back of there park I’m sure that they would get bookings

  2. This is a more manageable cost for grey nomads on a pension. It’s a realistic figure we’d expect to pay.

  3. Clever council
    Of course the trend is people don’t want to spend 20.25.30 or upwards for an overnight stay when they are fully self contained. It is an absolute waste of cash that can be spent on day trips, meals or purchases
    Vehicles fridges solar power more efficient appliances led lights Rigs theses days are made to be away from all the town conviniences

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