The Parks Victoria online campsite booking system remains offline after it crashed on its first day following an upgrade.
In a new post in its website, Parks Victoria says bookings for the 2023-24 season have been paused as it works with its booking system supplier to ensure system issues are managed.
“Following a thorough investigation made by the booking system supplier, we are aware that a very small number of users were able to see other people’s booking details – there has been no evidence that sensitive information such as credit card details and driver’s licence numbers were shared,” it said. “We apologise for the inconvenience and ask you to be patient as we work with our supplier on a solution for the future to enable the release of bookings as soon as possible.”
Parks Victoria says that while its booking system is not operating, it will not be charging for camping at unpowered sites.
“Standard practice for the majority of our sites will operate as normal and will be available on a first in, first served basis – subject to availability,” it said. “Powered sites at Wilson’s Promontory and Buchan Caves Reserve will continue to require payment for booking.”
The long-heralded booking system upgrade which was launched a week ago crashed almost immediately.
The South Gippsland Sentinel Times reported that Victoria’s opposition Liberal party was quick to criticise the way the upgrade had been handled.
“With Parks Victoria’s booking system shutting down on its first day, it turns out it is easier to get a Taylor Swift ticket than book a campsite in Victoria,” said Shadow Minister for Environment, James Newbury.
Mr Newbury also told 3AW radio that, while he supported the move to an online system, users had a right to expected it to work properly.
Parks Victoria says it will keep would-be campers updated when further information becomes available about future booking releases.
“Our priority is to get the booking system back up and running with improved monitoring and performance,” it said.
* Have you been frustrated by online booking systems for national park camping? Do you think it’s time for a radical re-think about the way bookings are handled? Comment below.