‘I suppose it’s a holiday … but it’s not a patch on Bali’

Published: August 24, 2021
Grey nomads not all happy in the Outback

The boom in caravanning and camping has seen an extraordinary amount of travellers hit the dry and dusty road for the first time … and not all of them are liking what they are finding!

Outback businesses are reporting that some novice travellers simply aren’t prepared for corrugated tracks, patchy internet coverage, and a shortage of fresh food.

Jodie Newman, who manages the Mt Barnett Roadhouse on the Gibb River Road in northern Western Australia, told the ABC that there were definitely a lot more inexperienced travellers arriving this year.

“A lot of people don’t realise how remote it is and haven’t done their research in regards to internet coverage and things like that,” she said. “So they are getting shocks along the way and are a bit uneasy about not having the level of service and comfort that they’re use to and not having things like mobile phone range.”

The Mt Barnett Roadhouse is one of only two fuel stops on the Gibb River Road and does not have mobile phone coverage.

The ABC reports that fresh food is delivered once a week and is more expensive due to unavoidable freight and refrigeration costs.

Ms Newman said she has had to intervene when staff have been faced with unhappy travellers.

There have even been issues in the comparative metropolises of Broome and Kununurra where supermarkets have been struggling to keep up with demand for fresh produce.

Kununurra businesswoman Kalyn Fletcher told the ABC that she had experienced the wrath of holidaymakers while trying to source fresh food for her family’s Ord Hoochery restaurant.

“One day in Coles, literally all that was for sale was a $9 bag of organic Brussels sprouts, and there were a couple of tourists really complaining,” she said. “I just said to them, ‘Look, this is Kununurra, you can’t just go to the next Coles in the next suburb’.”

  • Have you noticed more ‘novices’ on the road this year? Do you remember being ‘caught out’ by how different things were the first time you truly went out into remote country? Comment below.
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Rick Avey
4 months ago

The sooner these idiots bugger off back to Bali the better’

4 months ago
Reply to  Rick Avey

Agree and they are more than welcome to it. But me thinks it may be some years before that happens.

Paul Leonard
4 months ago
Reply to  Rick Avey

Yes I agree. We are recently retired and itching to start travelling more with the van and I’m beginning to worry if everything will be full of people that want to go overseas (to Bali) and can’t due to COVID related restrictions.

4 months ago
Reply to  Rick Avey

I agree if they think that the world revolves around them they seem the type that don’t want to support their own fellow Australians.

Rob J
4 months ago
Reply to  Rick Avey

Wish I made that statement it’s a rippa

Phil Evans
4 months ago
Reply to  Rick Avey

It is just not only Bali bogans. Many “Cruise Ship refugees” expect the same service in the outback. Precious and entitled sums them up. We have just returned to WA after 14 weeks over East and have found the same attitudes everywhere from travelers and caravan parks. They are at their wits end with the crowds and the stupid demands and expectations of certain elements

John Eller
4 months ago

Send them back to Bali. I have a boogie board they can take back for me for when I go over.

Brian Dirou
4 months ago

It sounds like a lot of retailers are not overly proficient at stock control. Surely more sales are good ? You’re in the wrong game if you consistently run out.

Linda Johnston
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian Dirou

Surely you are joking? Some areas are reporting an almost 50% increase in visitors. No amount of “stock management” can keep up with such a large increase in visitors.

4 months ago

Not going back to WA till they open up the international borders. You cannot get a booking at a caravan park if you have not done months before.

Also most caravan parks just do not answer the phone.I found they just don’t care attitude in wa a lot. They are so busy stuffing their pocket with coin that their attitude is take it or leave it.

Loved WA but not doing that again if covid is around.

Never had problems in Kununurra or Broome, people telling us selves empty, but we found most supermarkets shelves packed with goods.This was in july 2021. The prices not much more than our local. The coles in Broome was huge!…

I don’t know were all these grumpy people are. Most people understood it was busy and enjoyed what we could get.Never saw any arguments at the supermarkets.

Enjoy your travels people, live too short to whine and bitch about everything!..

4 months ago
Reply to  mixo

Have to agree having almot completed 9wks in WA, lots of “don’t care”
attitude. Great state, but they think we all work in the mining industry. Wont hurry back, I think there are plenty of othe places in Aust that will appriciate my dollar. Not the friendliest of people also we found

4 months ago

Not a patch on Bali? Bali has been spoilt by Australians. Bali isn’t a patch on what it used to be. Wayback. Before hordes of Australians invaded.


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