Camping for the 2022 season

Balsta

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Ok im gonna ask a bunch of annoying questions that have probably already been answered but it might be handy for any other interstate person looking to camp in the NSW parks this ski season.

I'm from Vic and usually do a week camping in Island Bend every season. Obviously Covid stopped me the last 2 years and from my understanding I now have to book a site??

But I still have to pay NSW National Park Pass??

Why am I paying both??

I know no one has a crystal ball, but how likely is Island Bend to be full and what are the chances of the Ranger coming to check on me before 9am, and after 5pm??

This whole thing sounds like a shit show, im now considering not even bothering. I like to be flexible and spontaneous due to work and this now looks like I'll need to book months in advance.

I like to camp at the very bottom part where they advise not to camp but even if it's empty, it ruins the experience if at a moments notice someone could show up with a booking and boot me out. Or vice versa I drive all the way from Bairnsdale and i gotta boot some poor bloke out who has set up his big intricate snow camping set up.

I loved camping down there in those crazy kill storms, im spewing If this is going to be the end of it.

It’s pretty much already booked out for the season, may be the odd weekday or some late September days available but nothing else.

You’re not actually booking a specific site, so there will be no booting out needed. Although those of us with legit bookings might struggle to find a spot as it seems plenty of people are just going to show up without a booking.

Good chance Island bend will be a shit show this year IMO. Glad most of my bookings are mid week outside school holidays.
 

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
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The major problem is selfish dicks that prebook every winter weekend of the season for $6 in case they can get down to ski/board if it suits them.
NPWS needs funding to police and fine people who don’t show up but also need to designate numbered campsites to bookings.
If you just turn up you probably will be OK but maybe not. (be discreet)
Is frustrating.
 

iagreewithhim

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A very long way from everybody
The major problem is selfish dicks that prebook every winter weekend of the season for $6 in case they can get down to ski/board if it suits them.
NPWS needs funding to police and fine people who don’t show up but also need to designate numbered campsites to bookings.
If you just turn up you probably will be OK but maybe not. (be discreet)
Is frustrating.
On the bright side, it does mean that those of who do show up should find it not too crowded.
 

Billy_Buttons

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fenrir

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You won’t be booting or being booted, you don’t book a particular spot. You may turn up and have trouble finding a spot, the bottom bit has been very busy every time I’ve been.

It will be full, I believe weekends are booked right through winter already. Having said that, I have never been checked.

Booking fee is $6, per booking. Not per night or per person. $6 for a week, shouldn’t break the bank?
I'm pretty angry they haven't reverted to first come first served but it's not about money. It's about a lie being told that it's due to covid. There is a lot of that going around.
 

skichic

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I'm pretty angry they haven't reverted to first come first served but it's not about money. It's about a lie being told that it's due to covid. There is a lot of that going around.
It’s not unusual to need to book national parks camping. You do all down the coast and it’s per night and a lot more than $6.

If it wasn’t regulated the season long campers would move in LWE and there’d be nothing left for us weekenders.
 

plink01

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The $6 fee is the least of my dramas. $6 is so cheap I might has well have booked the whole season and showed up when I felt like.
Using Covid as an excuse now is complete bullshit. Im more likely to get covid on the ski lift than I am in Island Bend.
The website is showing availability but then says error message 'Cannot make group booking online'
What on earth is a group booking, im just trying to book 5 nights and it says it's available!
I'm gonna ring these bozo's tomorrow.

It should be first come first serve. I feel like it's booked out to all buggery, but in reality it'll be a ghost town, with no one giving a shit they lost their $6. It's a loss for the resorts as people won't be coming as they can't book, and it's a loss to the customer as they can't come as it's booked but in reality no one is there.

Everyone is loosing out.
 

plink01

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It’s not unusual to need to book national parks camping. You do all down the coast and it’s per night and a lot more than $6.

If it wasn’t regulated the season long campers would move in LWE and there’d be nothing left for us weekenders.

But that wasn't the case before it was regulated, there was heaps of spots whenever I went.
In reality how many season long campers is there?? It's pretty hardcore to be there any longer than a week, especially in a tent.
The bigger tents would make it possible but the winds have bulldozed those things everytime I've been there.
Living in a van for 3 months in the snow would also be pretty brutal. I really can't imagine that many people toughing it out.
 

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
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But that wasn't the case before it was regulated, there was heaps of spots whenever I went.
In reality how many season long campers is there?? It's pretty hardcore to be there any longer than a week, especially in a tent.
The bigger tents would make it possible but the winds have bulldozed those things everytime I've been there.
Living in a van for 3 months in the snow would also be pretty brutal. I really can't imagine that many people toughing it out.
2018/2919 it was a circus on weekends (Ngarigo and The Diggings)
Also permavans the whole season.
 

skichic

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But that wasn't the case before it was regulated, there was heaps of spots whenever I went.
In reality how many season long campers is there?? It's pretty hardcore to be there any longer than a week, especially in a tent.
The bigger tents would make it possible but the winds have bulldozed those things everytime I've been there.
Living in a van for 3 months in the snow would also be pretty brutal. I really can't imagine that many people toughing it out.
Accomodation in Jindabyne is not affordable or available. There are plenty of season long campers, there’s nowhere for workers to live. When were you last there? Things have changed considerably in the last few years.
 

skichic

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The $6 fee is the least of my dramas. $6 is so cheap I might has well have booked the whole season and showed up when I felt like.
Using Covid as an excuse now is complete bullshit. Im more likely to get covid on the ski lift than I am in Island Bend.
The website is showing availability but then says error message 'Cannot make group booking online'
What on earth is a group booking, im just trying to book 5 nights and it says it's available!
I'm gonna ring these bozo's tomorrow.

It should be first come first serve. I feel like it's booked out to all buggery, but in reality it'll be a ghost town, with no one giving a shit they lost their $6. It's a loss for the resorts as people won't be coming as they can't book, and it's a loss to the customer as they can't come as it's booked but in reality no one is there.

Everyone is loosing out.
Ghost town. LOL One can dream.
 

Myazma

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1) Is there a fine for camping with no booking if not just do it.
2) Plenty of places besides the 3 well known camp grounds to pitch a tent, ie the old camp sites over the road from the airstrip at IB, was ok until closed due to asbestos fears (pssst 3 mile camp grounds are full of it if you look closely).
 
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fenrir

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2018/2919 it was a circus on weekends (Ngarigo and The Diggings)
Also permavans the whole season.
I left my swag up I'm ngarigo for a couple of months and visited on weekends. There were a few people doing similar and a few season long campers. The only time things got squeezy were when there was an overload of caravans.
 

plink01

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The year before Covid was my last, so 2019 I spose.
Sorry I was only talking about Island Bend.
Ngarigo and Diggings are no doubt a shit show and yeah they probably do need a way of policing it better.
And yeah Jindabyne is full of all sorts of dodgy and illegal camping.

In my experience I've probably never seen Island Bend more than maybe half to 3/4 full. And everytime I've been there massive storms have ripped through the joint, obliterating any camp that wasn't a swag, snow tent or camper van, causing half the camp ground to leave.

I'm just frustrated with the system. $6 is neither here nor there. It's not expensive enough to hold people to their bookings. But at the same time I don't want it expensive as I've already paid for a National Park pass.
I spose if I can't get a booking over the phone ill just have to wait till next year and book the whole of July and August out like I have no doubt tons of other people are doing.

Ok rant over, I don't have any answers to any of this, but it needs to be done better!
 
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skull

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Ngarigo and Diggings are no doubt a shit show and yeah they probably do need a way of policing it better.

I didn’t think it was that bad. Last year and the year before were great. 2020 was our first year with the van. The previous years we were in a tent and still nearly always managed a great spot. Saturday nights might have gotten a few extra vans in but it wasn’t ever really crowded. Nothing like it gets during summer or Easter
 

Belly

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Interesting discussion this. As an occasional visitor I'm with @plink01 (the first year I car camped at IB was 2004).
I think it's safe to say that not all those that made the long run advance bookings will cancel every single booking. Either in entirety or let's say they've booked 3 nights but only stay 2.
Each night not returned is a night an impromptu can't visit.
Does sound like a system with no compliance.
And on the C19 pre/post rights side, some parallels with the AFL MCG/MCC loss of walk up rights discussion (of which I am effected by as well).
 
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Jacko4650

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I'm in a National Park on the Coast right now. I booked. The Rangers don't give a shit and despite the odd overnighter, I'm the only one here. The $6 goes in about a nanosecond to the extra staff they have employed to "manage" the bookings, so it's a pointless exercise. When rules are pointless, f%ck the rules. I'll be camping in the Kozi National Park at various times this winter. I can't get bookings as they are booked out. Ditto caravan parks in Jindy.
 

skifree

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I'm in a National Park on the Coast right now. I booked. The Rangers don't give a shit and despite the odd overnighter, I'm the only one here. The $6 goes in about a nanosecond to the extra staff they have employed to "manage" the bookings, so it's a pointless exercise. When rules are pointless, f%ck the rules. I'll be camping in the Kozi National Park at various times this winter. I can't get bookings as they are booked out. Ditto caravan parks in Jindy.

And so the great Camping Rebellion of 2022 begins.
 

telecrag

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The growth in long term campers became a problem, Covid was the lever.

Ironically the call out for staff would indicate that managing the situation would have been more beneficial to all.
 

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
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Another problem with the booking system is that it allows up to 6 people per site ( can be multiple tents) but only 1 vehicle whose licence plate must be registered on the booking form.
This was my experience in 2020 when I tried to register 2 vehicles for 1 spot, only to get an email stating that wasn’t allowed! Ridiculous as parking is not a problem if sites are booked to avoid overcrowding.
 

W0nkey D0nkey

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The year before Covid was my last, so 2019 I spose.
Sorry I was only talking about Island Bend.
Ngarigo and Diggings are no doubt a shit show and yeah they probably do need a way of policing it better.
And yeah Jindabyne is full of all sorts of dodgy and illegal camping.

In my experience I've probably never seen Island Bend more than maybe half to 3/4 full. And everytime I've been there massive storms have ripped through the joint, obliterating any camp that wasn't a swag, snow tent or camper van, causing half the camp ground to leave.

I'm just frustrated with the system. $6 is neither here nor there. It's not expensive enough to hold people to their bookings. But at the same time I don't want it expensive as I've already paid for a National Park pass.
I spose if I can't get a booking over the phone ill just have to wait till next year and book the whole of July and August out like I have no doubt tons of other people are doing.

Ok rant over, I don't have any answers to any of this, but it needs to be done better!
Don't worry about the booking, just go.
I'll be doing it most weekends at IB
I never seen a Parks Ranger at Island Bend.
Probably because I'm barely there in day time, skiing all day.
 

skifree

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Just because you cant see them, doesn't mean they aren't watching you.

And recording it, and selling it on the dark web.
The camera set up is a bit obvious, you'd think Parks would have at least painted it green.
 
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plink01

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Ok thanks for all the replies and opinions on the topic.
I tried booking from Sunday night through till Friday morning and it doesn't work online, even though it shows it as available. This happened no matter what week I tried.
I rang NPWS and tried to book over the phone. It was no dramas. She told me that the internet booking is useless, just ring up and book in.
So after all that I will be camping legally for 5 nights, which is a pretty good result considering how annoyed I was with it all last night!
I still think the system is bullshit and it should be first come first serve/early bird gets worm.
I'll report back once I've finished the week and I'll pay attention to how many people are about/camping.
If it's half empty ill go straight to the top and write Dom Perrottet an angry letter, im sure that'll fix it. Get your parks in order Dom you peanut!
 

Snow Blowey

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Well just had a mishap and now in doubt for hanging van ready in time for opening weekend. Hit a roo, bull bar wore the brunt of it but now cannot open bonnet
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Ouch. A bit better than mine. Another one for a strap and reverse gently. Try and pull it back so you can open the bonnet. This will let you keep driving it until you can get it fixed.
 
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Chookfooter

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Loosen the bolts holding it on, you will probably find the holes are deliberately elongated to allow that type of movement. It should just move forward again without any dramas.
 

skull

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Ouch. A bit better than mine. Another one for a strap and reverse gently. Try and pull it back so you can open the bonnet. This will let you keep driving it until you can get it fixed.
did you end up getting yours fixed?
 

GS

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Lucky, I can confirm that even at 45kph an unprotected VW will Commit suicide around a small roo. After two in a row I spent $3k on a bar, haven’t seen one since so I guess it works.
We were really lucky with our VW vs roo encounter, pretty big roo but me swerving and it changing course avoided frontal impact. It smacked into drivers side front quarter panel and door with such a thud I thought the side would be pushed right in. Only small dents though...in every panel down the right side :(. Was quite surprised how solid the side seems to be
 
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telecrag

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Ive hit 3, first one at about 100, was able to swerve a bit and get it on the front corner, did about $2.5K damage but could still drive. On way to snow late at night.

Second doing about 80, Alpine way, dead centre, $8.5K, cant drive.

One week after getting it back ^ in Canberra peak hour traffic, the faker somehow threads the other side, and even at 45kph I had no time, hits in front, $8.5K, cant drive.

Buy bar, never hit one again (I hope).
 
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