WARRNAMBOOL has been included on a list rating Australia’s worst free camping regions.
The nationally circulated Caravan and Motorhome magazine has Warrnambool at number three on its list of the worst areas for free camping.
The magazine said the stance of Warrnambool City Council to not allow free camping doesn’t look like budging.
“The only place RVers can camp without being fined is at caravan parks where you’re charged anywhere from $32 to $42 per night for couples in low season,” the magazine said.
“There’s no point paying premium prices for jumping castles and swimming pools when we can relax at a riverside camp for free.”
Warrnambool couple Brian and Margaret Dunne have just returned from a trip to the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. They also regularly travel to New South Wales and Queensland in their self-sufficient caravan.
Mrs Dunne said Warrnambool’s reputation has taken a hit due to the city’s no free camping policy.
“We stay at free camping places wherever we go,” Mrs Dunne said.
“Some of the places we stay might have showers and toilets and some power, which you make a small donation for, and others don’t have anything.
“We have our own personal insurance and we leave everything as we found it.
“We have met a lot of people on our travels that just by-pass Warrnambool because there is no free camping.
“The town loses out on a lot of money. Wherever we stay we buy our meat and vegetables fresh every day and other groceries. It might be free camping but money comes into the towns in other ways. Hopefully the council will change its mind and let free camping happen in Warrnambool.”
A spokesman for Warrnambool City Council said strong views have been expressed for and against free camping.
“Council’s current position on camping is that visitors to the city must stay at registered accommodation places,” he said.