WA ‘boost camping’ plan starts to make a difference

Published: May 25, 2015

The West Australian Government’s attempts to encourage more nature-based caravanning and camping in the state is starting to make a difference on the ground.

Changes to the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Regulations 1997 scrapped regulations preventing this sort of activity within 50 kilometres of caravan parks, and more affordable options are set to spring up.

WA has more than 20 licensed nature-based parks and Local Government Minister, Tony Simpson,  wants more.

“Operators wishing to establish a nature-based park will now have to submit a plan detailing how the park will be designed and managed and the facilities available ,” he told the West Australian newspaper. “There will be more surety about what to expect from these parks, and this is better for all concerned.”

It’s all part of the west’s Parks for People Caravan and Camping  initiative which is designed to transform the camping options for travelling grey nomads and families  alike.

Back in 2013, the State Government  announced it was to spend $21 million in Royalties for Regions money to encourage more caravanners and motorhomers to explore the state. As part of the four-year plan, eight new campgrounds are being established and a further nine expanded and upgraded. Work at some sites has already been completed and new facilities in use.

The West Australian reports that the new campgrounds included in the program include ones at the Francois National Park, Karara former pastoral lease, Moresby Ranges, Dryandra Woodland, Credo Conservation Park, Logue Brook, and Leewin-Naruraliste National Park.

* Have you noticed improvements to camping options in WA? Do you applaud the initiative? Comment below.

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john hanley
7 years ago

Great initiative, better still if Victorian government had the same foresight.

Kevin Browes
7 years ago
Reply to  john hanley

Minister Simpson is pulling a snow job, what the changes to the Caravan And Camping Act really means is that their is absolutely no free camping in Western Australia. All camping will be controlled and camping will be limited to 28 days from the original three months. Every camp area must be designated or a fine will be imposed. Local authorities are encouraged by the Minister to increase their fees on nature based camping to bring it into line with parks and wildlife (CALM) sites, this means costs are increasing to a minimum of about $15 per night for no facilities! In WA you can go to a Caravan Park for $90 per night (Roebuck Bay, Broome) or find one for $45 to $55 per night! Like many other Grey Nomads there is going to be an exodus out of WA during future seasons. It is already having a negative affect on WA tourism with a lot not opting to travel to the normal destinations. Don’t worry the Minister has another plan!, just let Calm build their Safari Eco tents for international tourist and rent them at $450 per night, that’s the finally strategy to the Ministers Plan! By the way Minister Simpson is als Minister for Seniors, does anyone see a conflict of interest here!!

7 years ago

We are currently at 40 mile beach about 40 Km south of Karratha where the price has increased from $7 per day or $45 weekly to $10 daily $60 weekly. The same as at Cleaverville. the only extra amenities is one long drop toilet at 40 mile. No water or power and 40 Km from nearest retail outlet. Cleverville the same. Both these sites have always been available for 3 month stays between 1 May to 30 September in the past, now they are both restricted to maximum 28 days.
We have been told by others that Carnarvon shire has also made changes to their prices and length of stay in similar areas, where there are no or very little amenities. but we have yet to travel through that area..

7 years ago

The only park worth visiting north of Perth in my opinion is Karajini. Been there once never to return from the eastern seaboard. Fuel and park prices and conditions will deter many from the eastern states heading to the west and from my point of view the cost and lack of water plus the boring long drive north of Perth with little worth investigating is just not worth the trouble. Give me SA and the eastern states any day plus Tasmania.

Eva Angel
7 years ago

Great initiative…good idea ………it will be amazing for us those who loves travel and nature……

Steve Cox
7 years ago

Too little, too late, IMHO Western Australia is by far the unfriendliest State in Australia for Freedom Camping. Local shires around the state still apply the state legislation restricting camping on private land (with owners permission) to a MAXIMUM of 2 days. That’s right folks, if you are visiting family or friends here in WA you can only camp on their property for 2 Days, beyound that you must go to a Caravan Park. Too bad if your like us and have a dog traveling with you, try finding an affordable, clean Caravan Park in Perth that takes dogs. Currently travelling North, looking forward to leaving the state.

kevin browes
7 years ago

Minister Simpson is doing a snow job on grey nomads. Nature based camping is no longer free at any location in WA and in particular there is no free camping or access to the Wa coast unless you are in a authorised camping area. The length of time in which you may camp has been reduced to 28 days from the previous three months and in many cases camping fees will double as is the case at 40 mile Karratha from July 1, 2015. You can stay in Roebuck Bay Caravan Park for $90 per night or pay $45 to $55 per night as an average! Bye the way Minister Simpson is also Minister for Seniors could be conflict of interest here!

Kathy cruickshank
6 years ago

Travelled to Cleaverville in Karratha to find we could only stay for 28 days. Just wish we had a $ for every comment of “never coming back” from people visiting from other States and WA residents, then perhaps we could afford to stay in a caravan park. Karratha shop owners, and other towns must have noticed a loss in earnings due to the 28 day stay, people who enjoy Nature Based Camping generally will not stay in caravan parks and will not be forced to do so. Plus the average Pensioner cannot afford the unreasonable high prices charged, particularly when they have gone to great expense to set themselves up to be self efficient.

Sonja Daniels
6 years ago

Camping in England is managed by the Caravan Association who inspects and authorises camp sites. Local government is not involved. A farmer on 8 acres with just a tap to supply water and a black water dump point can be approved to have 7 caravans stay in his field, and allowed to have rallys (club meet) twice a year where many more caravans can stay.
England also has large caravan parks and both these types of accommodation coexist. Why can’t we having similar in Australia? Nature based camping is becoming too expensive. $10 per night per van is enough, but $25 per nignt is becoming common. $175 per week for little or no amenities just to enjoy a holiday outdoors is ridiculous. Caravan parks have their placè, but every other choice should not be measured in dollar terms to prop up their industry. Let the market decide and keep out vested local government interests and the nanny state type of legislatioñ. And why does a local government authority with caravan park owners on council, have a right to determine who, how and where the public access the coastline? Open up more coastline to free or cheap camping.. in WA we have one third the coastline of Australia…. it does not belong to the residents only of the local authorities and who appear to be pressuring State govt into more legislation benefitting caravan park owners,


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