Rural community seeks to trial short-stay camping

Published: January 12, 2022

Another country community looks set to trial short-stay camping as a way to boost the local economy.

At a recent meeting, Victoria’s Bass Shire Council agreed that it would implement a strategic review of camping needs, and to investigate trialling a campsite at Dalyston Recreation Reserve, near the Bass Highway south of Melbourne.

The Dalyston Football Ground Committee of Management had proposed the trial, arguing that the service would address the needs of self-contained caravan owners looking for a couple of nights’ accommodation with none of the extras and costs associated with family orientated parks.

It suggested a fee of $20 per night which would supplement the budget of the committee.

Camping for grey nomads at the Dalyston Recreation Reserve.

“There is also a suggested flow on to the local economy with tourist spending at the Football Club and local venues for food and drinks,” Cr Bruce Kent said in his submission to the council. “This proposal is in no way suggesting that they would be competing against local parks.”

He said he believed a review would support the vision of the Dalyston Football Ground Committee, as well as supporting other communities within Bass Coast who have a similar idea of boosting the local economy and highlighting the beautiful environment.

“There is compelling evidence that this proposal would aid the local economy in its Covid recovery,” said Cr Kent. “Due to issues raised over compliance and lack of consultation with the community, it has been recommended that the council fast track a strategic review of the camping and caravan needs within our community.”

Speaking afterwards, local grey nomad Mervyn Trott was highly supportive of the trial at Dalyston and said the shire was severely lacking in RV-friendly sites.

Mr Trott told the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times that short stays were also incredibly beneficial for community groups and help bring tourism into small towns.

“People go shopping and they support the local areas,” he said. “It gives the clubs more options and more venues, and most of these community facilities are struggling and need funds.”

Mr Trott told the Sentinel-Times that many RV and caravan owners were either retired or semi-retired, and couldn’t afford to stay at caravan parks when only needing an overnight stop.

“We travel north every year for four to five months,” he said. “We stay at caravan parks along the coast, but on the way if we’re just driving up, we don’t want to spend $40-plus a night, we just need to park the bus somewhere.”

Victoria’s Bass Shire Council officers will now conduct a strategic review of camping needs in the area as part of a broader piece of work considering the demand for short-stay accommodation within the municipality.

They will report back to the council in June.

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Jenny Mays
8 days ago

great idea but $20 probably too much for an overnight stay. If its an honesty box system most people will happily pay $10. A majority of travellers these days don’t need power or showers , just a clean toilet.

Suse Melville
8 days ago
Reply to  Jenny Mays

I agree, great idea but $20 is a bit steep, $10 is plenty.

Peter McGaw
6 days ago
Reply to  Jenny Mays

Great idea and will support small businesses. Reviews conducted on Honesty Boxes showed we aren’t very honest. Fees need to be collected.

8 days ago

The above proposal is well worth considering. It’s not only grey nomads who appreciate low cost camping in local communities. We are grey nomads and often see younger couples/families using these facilities and it is a pleasure to see them doing so. Good luck with this venture – there is every possibility it will bring more people and thus more money into your community.

8 days ago

They shut it before Covid , seems they need money now ,amassing how times have changed peoples views

8 days ago

If it’s going to be $20 a night, it needs to be powered..

Michele Halsall
8 days ago

would be great, I live in Morwell and would come down that way to explore the area more. Therefore spending money in the community also. We love sporting/recreation grounds camping.

Malcolm Nelson Jeffries
7 days ago

I agree with Jenny $20 is a bit steep.

6 days ago

$20 a Night is definitely too much unless there are both Shower AND Toilet Facilities.

Wendy Abraham
6 days ago

The ‘Woolarama Oval in Wagin, WA charges $10 per night & it includes power & water!! 72 hour limit. Walking distance to town for cafes & hotels. Very friendly town.

Chris Thaler
5 days ago

Dalyston WINS, Margaret River LOSES !!! Vote with your wallet.

5 days ago

$10 per night is prefered. The other $10 would be spent in the local community. If it was $10 I would stay a few nights.
Money by volume of stays. Jack the price up people will not stay. They would stay at caravan park and pay the price for a powered site.

5 days ago

We parked for 7 days in a beautiful little town of Greenoch, SA. Based around a cricket field, and close to Nooriupta, the cricket club president, said that over the 12 months since installing a new toilet block, water tap and donation box, the club had reaped $78,000. That paid for all the amenities and a new grass cricket pitch, watering and gardens. A beautiful little town, close to the Clare Valley, Tanunda and only 20 minutes to Gawler.

Other sporting clubs such as Mannum Golf Club, Kimba Sports Grounds and plenty more, have increased their town’s income and investment, and saved local businesses – simply because travellers DO NOT want to spend $40+ per night in caravan parks. These are ALL “Donation Camps” – not fixed payments!!

Regional councils who “bow down” to their local caravan park owners, are doing the local businesses a disservice! There are over 100,000+ full-time travellers on the roads of Australia, and we vote with our steering wheels!

Last edited 5 days ago by Seriosdude
Rosey Ekin
5 days ago

Definitely needed, there isn’t any affordable place to stay in that area. Agree with others if you want people to spend money in your town, you have to be realistic about fees. Self contained visitors won’t pay $20, but will give up to $10.

86GTS (@86gts)
5 days ago

Dalyston doesn’t really have much to offer. We live about an hour & a halves drive away from there.
Very close to Dalyston there is a caravan park with magnificent ocean views at Kilcunda & around 5 minutes away another lovely scenic reasonably priced pet friendly caravan park at the Mouth of the Powlett River.

Screenshot 2022-01-15 at 13-17-50 Dalyston · Victoria 3992 (2).jpg
Joe Phillips
4 days ago

Yes, great idea, having travelled the big lap, my observations are that the price will influence the volume of campers, facilities such as power, water, dump point, toilets? Similar overnight stay venues such as show grounds are well supported nightly when the price is reasonable. Most of us are on pensions and it does matter. $10 unpowered, $15 power and water, the word soon gets around and it will be very popular. Advice is a camp host is a good idea, and ask campers to keep receipts for goods and deposit them in a box, it will amaze you how much we spend in your town.
Pay for 3 stay for 4 is also a great drawcard.


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