SA’s Rapid Bay campsite will not be forced to close

Published: October 3, 2021
Rapid Bay campground

To the relief of many grey nomads and other keen campers, South Australia’s much-loved Rapid Bay Campground is to remain open.

Back in May, Yankalilla Council received a legal letter from a nearby resident asking the council to ‘immediately refrain from causing suffering or permitting the use of the subject land for a public access camping and caravan ground’.

The council then asked for a report on the pros and cons of keeping the site open, before deciding on its long-term future.

Questions over the campsite’s future prompted Cape Jervis Progress Association chairwoman Lauren Barrington to launch a petition calling for the campsite to remain open.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that the petition has since amassed almost 9000 signatures.

Yankalilla Council has now voted to keep the campsite open and strike an agreement for a campsite manager to look after the property for the next two to three years.

Yankalilla Council chief executive Nigel Morris said the council had not heard back from the ratepayer after responding to their legal letter in May.

“If it’s not a campground I believe that it would just be used for illegal camping and it would probably cause more issues than it was before,” Mr Morris said. “That’s what happened when it was closed during Covid – people were leaving their rubbish there.”

Apart from potentially encouraging illegal camping, the Adelaide Advertiser reports that Mr Morris warned that closing the site would leave people with nowhere to stay if they travelled to the area.

While the closure of the campsite might save the council money, a report to the council said it would negatively affect local businesses.

Lauren Barrington from the Cape Jervis Progress Association said the decision to keep the campsite open was great news.

“The local businesses will be stoked – they were very concerned about losing income,” she said. “People shop at the local Foodland and might stop at the bakery and spend money in local eateries – the concern was across the board.”

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Jean Winterfield
3 months ago

Thank goodness sensibility prevailed.. undoubtedly it’s good for the community and travellers alike. Great news. All the best

Derek Morris
3 months ago

One of the nicest places to stay in the area, sensibility prevailed, was not expecting it with a council

Ah Hee
1 day ago
Reply to  Derek Morris

Derek, please remember it was a sole local ratepayer who complained as is their right and yes Council did the right thing by not closing down the “worst kept “secret” camping spot in Australia.
People have to stop talking about this place.

Nobby
3 months ago

Stayed there early July, before us poor Vics went into the famous “quick and short’ lock-down.
We were told that the land is all privately owned. Is this correct?.
Also Rapid Bay was listed as a ‘Free camping’ area, but it obviously is not. Some fellow wanted to charge us $20 PER NIGHT, with no facilities, apart from the toilet block.
Nice beach, though.

Gary Weir
3 months ago
Reply to  Nobby

Did you pay it ?

Ah Hee
1 day ago
Reply to  Nobby

The cost to stay at the Rapid Bay Camping ground is $7 per person.
*Cost to stay is now (April 2020) $9 per adult and $4.50 per child 5 and older.

Update December 2020: Cost to stay is now $12.50 per adult & 7.50 per child aged 8-17yrs with a peak rate for long weekends of $15 per adult and $7.50 per child.

Update October 2021:
There is now a Family rate for 2 adults and 2 children of $30 per night.

Gary Weir
3 months ago

Did you pay it ? I reakon it is a top place but not worth $20 a night though.

Ian COLLINS
3 months ago
Reply to  Gary Weir

Especially when absolutely no facilities are provided

Guy Williams
3 months ago

I bet that the camping ground was there before the rate payer arrived.

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