‘No camping’ signs, ranger patrols … summer’s here!

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Gravel pit camping
Angourie is a popular place with travellers. PIC: VisitNSW

With the peak camping season approaching, many coastal communities in particular are gearing up for an annual influx of free campers … some of them welcome, some of them not.

In the Clarence Valley in New South Wales, there was a general feeling a couple of years ago that the area was becoming too popular for its own good … and measures were taken to combat the ‘problem’.

Grant Jennings from the Angourie Ratepayers and Residents group, said there were times when areas like Green Point and the Angourie headland were getting ‘well over 100 people a night’.

“The mess, you can imagine the refuse that was left,” he told the Daily Examiner newspaper.

However, a series of measures has since seen camping numbers at these hotspots fall back significantly.

“No parking signs were put up and that alleviated the pressure,” said Mr Jennings. “We have got it fairly well controlled … the council has been really proactive.”

However, Mr Jennings told the Daily Examiner that some campers were not easily deterred and areas of Back Beach and a place known locally as the ‘gravel pit’ had become more popular.

“It was a council gravel pit and can have anywhere between five and 15 people a night,” he said.

The Examiner said there are thousands of so-called ‘gravel pits’ listed across the country which can serve as the perfect place for grey nomads and other travellers to camp up for the night.

Clarence Valley council manager of environment, development and strategic planning, Adam Cameron, said it appreciated the community’s patience during the busy holiday period and “encourage them to contact us if they have any concerns”.

“Council Rangers will soon commence pre-dawn patrols in the coastal illegal camping hotspots like Angourie and Yamba to coincide with the upcoming holiday season in the Clarence Valley,” he said. “Activities like illegal camping will be targeted as part of these patrols.”

• Do you look for gravel pits to camp at? Have you ever been ‘nabbed’ by a pre-dawn ranger patrol? Comment below

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2 Responses to ‘No camping’ signs, ranger patrols … summer’s here!

  1. Not sure if it’s always the “mess” left behind by these residents but a thing if not wanting to share their piece of paradise. Maybe they can get the rangers to police the visitors that stay to ensure rubbish is not left. If they can afford to police the “no standing, no camping” rules, surely they can afford “rubbish police”. We all own this land not just residents of coastal areas

    • Sorry, but if it’s like the south coast where we live, we see a good many travellers staying in the car parks of our beach, using the free showers, cooking their breakfast and dinners on the council provided BBQs and then leaving a mess behind. Many of us locals clean up behind them. They are usually the young people who leave a mess from our casual observations, not the grey nomads (which we are as well when we travel!) We have camped in National Parks and seen the same thing and cleaned up their messes.Sadly a few spoil it for all…

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