Grey Nomad Survey … is campsite ‘spreading’ and ‘staking’ on the rise?

LAST WEEK’S SURVEY: Should interstate travellers have to pay a ‘tourist tax’? Click here to see results.

As the popularity of campsites goes up, so too it seems does the thoughtless behaviour of some campers.

Our recent survey on the issue, revealed 87% of respondents said they had seen fellow travellers ‘staking out’ spots for others who had yet to arrive, or excessively spreading out to stop others from camping near them.

And most people were far from impressed.

messy campsites

“In a caravan park near Yeppoon our neighbours parked in our parking spot beside our caravan and refused to move their car,” said David H. “The park management was loathe to force this person to move his car as he was so aggressive … at $40 a night we were not amused!

David said the ‘intruder’ even complained that it was hard for him to get in to the space he had commandeered unless he reversed!

“I’ve been travelling for over 60 years and never come across this type of behaviour before,” said David.

Charles T was also aghast at what some people got up to.

“I’ve seen this in the UK and in New Zealand, as well!” he said. “These idiots are going to be responsible for no more wild or free camping … it’ll be campsites only soon.”

Mick A said he didn’t think is was right for people to ‘save’ spots for others.

“It should be first in, best dressed,” he said.

Stew R recalls spending three nights at the Dyandra Woodlands in WA recently.

“There was a site set up with tables and chairs and the bays on either side of it were at least 20/30 metres away,” he said. “The guy that it was held for turned up after dark … talk about selfish!”

Michael H said the issue was  prolific on New South Wales north coast beach spots, and it even extended to the national parks.

Jean F agreed that it was a growing issue.

“I have also heard and seen it happening at free camps,” she said.

Craig and Karen had little time for ‘stakers’ and ‘spreaders’.

“It seems very disrespectful of fellow campers,” they said. “A very selfish practice.”

Boppa though is happy to confess that he has been responsible for some of the renegade behaviour.

“I tend to be a ‘spreader’ these days, simply to stop people parking so bloomin’ close to me!” he said. “I spent the night at a free camp in northern NSW and was quite put out when, although there was plenty of room around, another van decided to park right on top of me … and by ‘on top’, I mean so close I couldn’t open my side window without the glass touching their van!”

Don T said that during a recent stay at Goomeri in Queensland, he saw a ‘spreader’ with their outlet hoses into the site next door.

“We pulled into that site not realising the hoses were there.,” he said. “As I got out of our car I noticed the hoses and the huge pool of water in the site on which we were going to set up for the night!”

Don says he hopped back in the car and told his partner to move elsewhere.

“What we should have done is parked our wheels on the hoses!’ he laughed. “But, no, we wouldn’t do that, but very inconsiderate travellers, though … I think they were doing their weekly washing!”

Chris W insisted he would not stake out an area under any circumstances.

“And I would encourage the ‘spreaders’ to think about others,” he said. “Particularly when the extra turf may not be required!”

The question is, with borders now full open and many Australians still wary about travelling overseas, will the prospect of more crowded campsites result in even more ‘spreading’ and staking’ behaviour.


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