Maryborough talks the free camping talk … again!

Published: September 24, 2015
Grey nomads want free camping in Maryborough

Another major Queensland town has woken up to the fact that it is not to doing enough to attract grey nomads, and is therefore potentially missing out on the economic benefits they bring.

Not for the first time, Maryborough on the Fraser Coast appears to be determined to do something about it.

State MP Bruce Saunders says the city is missing out on tens of millions of dollars a year as grey nomads choose to bypass it on the Bruce Highway in favour of Gympie and Bundaberg

“We are missing out – they just bypass us,” Mr Saunders told the Fraser Coast Chronicle. “It’s a perfect location – there’s so much in Maryborough.”

Mr Saunders said he wanted to join with council and push to build an RV park somewhere in Kent Street. But this is a concept that has been floated in the past and has provoked strong criticism from many commercial caravan park operators. As far back as 2009, a trial of the free parking trial idea on Kent Street was rejected by councillors.

It is not clear whether the latest calls for action in this regard will be any more successful. Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell says a recently adopted camping strategy already shows that the council is determined to bring more caravanners and motorhomers into the area.

“We have well and truly rolled out the welcome mat,” Cr O’Connell said.

However, the Fraser Coast Chronicle spoke to RV owners Alan and Nan Ott who said travellers were still actively avoiding the region as it was known that there were no free sites.

Mrs Ott said that if grey nomads and other travellers were given more encouragement to come to the region, there would be a flow-on benefit for the whole Fraser Coast She said the gains would be felt by everyone from auto-electricians needed to do running repairs, to visitors doing whale watching tours in Hervey Bay.

She said Maryborough had an incredible amount of potential to be a grey nomad hot spot thanks to its markets, theatre, good shopping, heritage buildings, and pleasant riverside walks.

  • What do you think if Maryborough as a grey nomad destination? Where do you stay when in the area? What would make you linger longer? Comment below.
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6 years ago

it would nice to camp there, but its also easy to drive on, if we are not welcome

Sally McIntyre
6 years ago

Also have to accept that Hervey Bay has what is generally the most expensive petrol ,diesel and gas on the East coast , this is not encouraging to travellers of any persuasion.

Corinne Dolling
6 years ago

We recently stayed at the new Cheery Nomad farm stay as it was cheap and found Maryborough a good place to stop and day trip to Hervey Bay where the fuel and caravan parks are expensive. A free camp would be great perhaps on the Hervey Bay road.

John B. Rodgers
6 years ago

Maryborough has a hell of a lot of historical buildings and stories to tell and see. As a typical grey nomad it is not possible to drive from a close by camp and discover the pearls of this great regional city.
Top marks to the Cities authorities for at least being proactive and thinking of their total community rather than one … shall we say…. unnamed segment.
We certainly will visit this famous regional Queensland town more often if and when this initiative should come to fruition.
John Rodgers

Kev Pearce
6 years ago

Maryborough is certainly one of the more visitor (Grey Nomad) friendly places we have visited. It also boasts possibly the best caravan park we have stayed at (Wallaces’). We have twice stopped over and stayed in Maryborough and enjoyed the experience. Don’t know about bypassing that city for Gympie, where there seems to be only one caravan park which is rather “hilly”.

Robyn Davies
6 years ago

Yes please, Maryborough. Great historical town. Not too far from the now very expensive Hervey Bay area. While the Mary river can flood, they should concentrate on free camping around the river. If they can provide cheaper fuel, gas and other incentives to stay there, I am sure it will attract grey nomads.

J. Long
5 years ago

Caravan Parks are beginning to price themselves out of existence. During the winter months it is very hard to find accommodation at caravan parks and people are struggling with monetary problems, so a cheaper alternative is needed. A small charge for use of facilities at some of the proposed sites would be advantageous and people do spend money in the towns they visit. A benefit to all.

steve matthews
4 years ago

I hear the old airport is a free camp is that true as I go though marybrough to inskip point it would b nice to stay over but the caravan parks are too dear regards s matthews


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