Wow! Fees to be slashed at two Queensland campsites

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Campsite fees at Mackay reduced
Down, down ... campsite fees really could be coming down!

In what can only be described as a stunning development, the fees at two popular camping grounds in northern Queensland are set to slashed.

Mackay Regional Council will meet later today to decide whether to cut the camping charges at both its St Helens Beach and Ball Bay sites by a whopping 44%.

Council officers have recommended the approval of the proposals, which will see nightly fees cut from $27 to $15, and weekly fees from $156 to $87.

The plan is to attract more grey nomads and others campers to the area as the council seeks to secure a larger slice of an annual $10 billion tourism market.

The Daily Mercury reports that the move comes after a series of site assessments and stakeholder discussions, as well as listening to visitor feedback, analysing trends, and comparing fees at other Queensland councils’ campsites.

It was found that only about three in 10 campers found the two sites good value for money compared to eight in 10 rating the Mirani Caravan Park as good value and just over half scoring Seaforth the same.

“Both Mirani and Seaforth offer comprehensive facilities (toilets, hot showers, kitchen, dump point, playground, office) with a caretaker / manager on site during business hours,” council documents said. “St Helens Beach and Ball Bay Camping Reserves however, are classified as ‘basic campsites’, only offering an ablutions block (toilets, cold showers) and a sheltered picnic area with (barbecues).”

The council papers conclude that, if the price structure doesn’t reflect the value of the services offered, the potential to attract visitors significantly decreases.

The council reportedly collected $6884 in revenue for the Ball Bay site in 2019 and $6433 for St Helens Beach, compared to respective maintenance costs during the same period of $2406 and $27,571.

“By reducing the site fees, the Ball Bay and St Helens Beach camping reserves become attractive to the low-cost RV market and the potential expansion for significant growth in both visitor numbers and increase in length of stay at each site are expected,” documents stated.

  • Do you think this could be the beginning of a wider change? Do you feel you are often ‘over-charged’ when you camp at spots with basic facilities? Comment below.
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16 Responses to Wow! Fees to be slashed at two Queensland campsites

  1. Definitely interested in lower prices for basic facilities as we are fully self contained and just need access to water and dump points and occasionally power,.

  2. When we can cross borders safely will put this on our list of places to visit

  3. Mackay council and community could make a nice profit by reopening showground to camping. Right opposite the huge shopping centre.

  4. If this in fact comes to be passed then it would also pay other regions throughout our great country to follow suit. The market is expanding at a rapid rate and the said benefits are there for the taking.
    We are avid bush-style campers because we detest the “sardine” C.Parks.

    • Hi John,Same this side.Have 4wd Drive and camper trailer only go station stays in W.A at moment.
      Last August stayed at stationSPOTLESS facuiltys,donkey for hot water,
      no power,only 10dollars night.Cp. get too full for me,open fire at night

  5. now watch the council ban all free camping sites in the area.

    • Are there any free camping sites in the area

  6. Brilliant incentive to stay

  7. That will be excellent if that happens I will surely visit these camps in the future

  8. Hi.
    We are about to go walkabout.
    Looking at the prices you would think that the parks think that we are the making of there future to make a killing,
    A fare price for a stay.
    Remember we have all SUFFERD.
    Travel and play SAFE.

  9. Free sites are one thing, but if council wish to charge some token fee for services (?) (?) May I suggest they factor in the cost of bin maintenance. Otherwise they will either remove them, ignore them or bitch about them and close the area down. So the whole sorry mess repeats itself as we have witnessed so often.

  10. A great idea and I would like to see other CP’s that have basic amenities drop their prices. I think $20 a night with showers and a dump point is a reasonable fee.

  11. A good considered approach. The proposed fees seem far more in line with GN expectations and I agree that this proposal should see numbers increase and remain in situ longer. Let’s hope more councils follow suite..

  12. There needs to be a rate for single person on unpowered site.

  13. I felt the Seaforth Park at $27 unpowered a bit much even tho it did have t/showering facilities. Laundry was be done by hand as no washing machines..

  14. Kudos to Mackay Council. Now if we could get other Council’s to emulate this proposal what a wonderful outcome it could be for Councils Australia-wide and the travelling public! 🙂

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