Lake Bonney camping area to be given massive facelift

Published: March 11, 2021

After years of neglect, a popular South Australian lakeside destination is to be given a major facelift, complete with new campsites, picnic facilities and revegetation.

The proposal will see Lake Bonney near Barmera in the Riverland region get 22 walk-in campsites, 39 large drive-in sites and 12 small multi-use sites, as well as upgraded car tracks, a new trail and shelters, fire pits, barbecues and picnic tables.

It also includes revegetation work, signage, closing unauthorised tracks and potentially installing a composting toilet and bins.

Berri Barmera Council will spending about $1.32m on the works which it hopes will encourage people to camp in new designated places and protect the environment and Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that the project comes after regional councils have raised concerns about campers flocking to holiday spots and leaving rubbish.

Project manager Myles Fauser told the newspaper that the work – which received state and federal government funding – would establish sustainable camping after decades of unfettered access.

“Over the holiday period, it’s pretty much packed the whole way around,” he said of Lake Bonney,” he said. “People can now just go wherever they want and at whatever density they want, which is not really sustainable.”

Problems have included environmental degradation, people disturbing Aboriginal middens and burial sites, littering and felling trees for firewood.

“We’ve just finished … fencing the perimeter of the lake where people were able to drive in and access areas freely, even where it’s quite boggy and there’s culturally sensitive sites,” Mr Fauser said.

Back in January, concerns were raised about campers trashing holiday spots, including parts of Kangaroo Island, the Coorong and Eyre Peninsula.

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