I have been following the ongoing dispute between grey nomads and local councils over the closure free camps sites and rest areas along the east coast of Australia with interest over the past months. These councils are being lobbied by members of the powerful Caravan Park Owners Association.
These same caravan park owners were not at all concerned when they filled their parks with en-suite cabins and drove many of the local motels and hotels out of business a few years ago. The reasoning behind the closures is usually the high cost to up keep the primitive facilities and the need to provide a sustainable alternative.
The desicions to close many of the sites is exacerbated by the fact that some backpackers just don’t get that it is not OK to wash your dishes in the public toilet sink or throw your rubbish in the bush if there is no bin. Let alone when you crap in the bush you need to dig a hole and bury it.
How do we educate our visitors to adhere to these simple principles of Leave No Trace?
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Always leave a camp site cleaner that you found it
- Leave what you find
- Minimise campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate to landowners and other visitors