Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Mr Orangutan » Fri 13 Nov, 2020 7:20 pm

As per the new draft park management plan dispersed camping is going to be banned in the Grampians. A couple of informal campsites are going to become formal and PV are going to have some more campsites on the GPT, although not for free of course.

A review of camping has been undertaken as part of the preparation of this plan. As a result, camping will
only be permitted in designated camping areas only within Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and Black
Range State Park (see Table 5.1 and Table 5.3).
Some of the more popular dispersed camping areas will be retained and managed as official designated
camping areas while others will be rehabilitated (see Table 5.1). In addition, a number of new hike-in
campgrounds are being developed as part of the Grampians Peaks Trail. In summary:
 Thirty-one existing campgrounds and camping areas will be maintained in Grampians (Gariwerd)
National Park. Of these:
- twelve are associated with the Grampians Peaks Trail (to be completed by summer 2021)
- two huts (roofed accommodation) developed at Grampians Peaks Trail – Gar and Werdug – are
under construction. Further, six sites may be investigated for potential development of huts in the
future.
 Zumsteins overflow carpark (also known as the old RSL Cottages) will be considered for development
as a campground catering for Recreational Vehicle- style camping.
 Five popular ‘dispersed’ camping areas in the planning area will be managed as designated camping
areas: Red Gum Lease, Serra Road, Moora Moora, Old Lodge and Burunj.
 Two designated camping areas will be established in Black Range State Park at either end of the
escarpment – one adjacent to the helipad west of Mudadgadjin Picnic Area and one at the east end of
Muirfoot Track.
 Options for serviced camping and accommodation will be investigated as part of the future Traditional
Owner operation of the Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre.
 Three existing designated camping areas in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park will be closed and
rehabilitated. These are:
- Oasis (Deep Creek) Hiker Camp, which is within a culturally sensitive area.
- First Wannon Hiker Camp, which is to be superseded by Grampians Peaks Trail camping areas.
- Boreang camping areas, which will be superseded by the development of new designated camping
areas around Moora Moora Reservoir.

Traditional Owners have expressed the need for areas for cultural gatherings and activities (see Section 3.6
– Cultural renewal and strengthening). This may mean that some sites would be unavailable to other visitors
during cultural activities and may include preferential booking of camping areas and campgrounds.


https://s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com ... ow-Res.pdf
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby CraigVIC » Fri 13 Nov, 2020 9:51 pm

We reap what we sow, it's a disaster for everyone involved. Imagine if we could go back in time? Militant Howard, militant response.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby north-north-west » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 6:06 am

Blech. So much for Gariwerd. Fair enough that the traditional custodians need exclusive access at certain times and places, but the rest sucks.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 7:30 am

Maybe less campsites, or lock it up to all access. 'National Parks are, by definition, primarily for conservation and protection of landscapes and ecosystems.'
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 10:34 am

What about places like the Victoria Range, the Fortress, Bundaleer, and the Mount Difficult Range? These places have long had semi-formal and wild camping, like near Briggs Bluff and The Arch north of The Fortress. If these sort of places are no longer allowed as campsites then overnight walks are very much compromised. There are quite a few car campsites used by climbers that may be no longer allowed, making it hard to go to climbs. Most of us have camped at such places all over Australia with no trace.

I'm unable to see how a few people causing minimal impact is a problem. It will be interesting to see the response of conservation and bushwalking entities.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby CraigVIC » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 10:44 am

Can't see Bushwalking Victoria getting involved. They already oppose off track walking don't they?
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby commando » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 11:22 am

Its to stop the rockclimbers sleeping in the cave at Bundaleer etc, etc,
If the rockclimbers used traditional climbing methods instead of the practice of adding bolts, chains and abseil brackets
which has caught the attention of the guardians and prompted a response, it may be different.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby CBee » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 12:12 pm

I don't see how rock climbers can be seen as the enemy here. Above all sports, rock climbers are generally the one who have an important connection with the rock and the least impact to the environment. Even if they drill in few bolts, where trad is not an option, I don't see how climbing can be disrespectful or harmful. Compared to other outdoor activities... but if you haven't climbed at Taipan Wall you have non idea...
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Mr Orangutan » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 1:55 pm

commando wrote:Its to stop the rockclimbers sleeping in the cave at Bundaleer etc, etc,
If the rockclimbers used traditional climbing methods instead of the practice of adding bolts, chains and abseil brackets
which has caught the attention of the guardians and prompted a response, it may be different.


I'm a climber and while they've closed a couple of dispersed camping sites used by climbers most of these sites have nothing to do with climbing. Also there have been closures at Arapiles were trad gear is used, but yes climbers do have impacts no coubt. I get the strong impressions this is to funnel people on to the Grampians Peak Trail and generate jobs and income. I was a bit shocked by it really as I imagine most bushwalkers have a very low impact and are very conscientious about leaving no trace and looking after the environment. There is a bit of noise about informal tracks but really I struggle to understand this.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby neilmny » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 2:22 pm

Mr Orangutan wrote:....... I get the strong impressions this is to funnel people on to the Grampians Peak Trail and generate jobs and income. I was a bit shocked by it really as I imagine most bushwalkers have a very low impact and are very conscientious about leaving no trace and looking after the environment..............


I believe you've hit the nail on the head. Apart from identified "sacred" sites which are rightly being protected, the unspoken purpose is undoubtedly to force people to pay.
We can't have non paying unwashed bushwalkers crossing paths with the GPT clientelle.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 3:35 pm

When I started rock climbing in 1971 I had pitons and a very basic set of nuts - that was all we had then. Hexentrics came later, as did many other jamming devices. I may have placed a handful of pegs. Since the mid-1970s, protection and belaying have become more sophisticated, with minimal need for pegs or bolts. Most routes are now like bushwalks - leave no trace, chalk excluded. There may be gear left on a route, like a cam that refused to come out. After about 20 metres it's very hard to see such things from the ground. Rap chains have minimal impact, and are often hard to see from the ground. Bundaleer is a lovely camping spot, minimal impact. It's very atmospheric in the mist, and good when it's raining. Climbers have an impact, but not much.

Except at Araps and The Prom I've never paid to camp or walk in remote or semi-remote places in Victoria. The Parks Victoria platforms cost, but it's easy - go 100 metres away. I've done this at Cope Hut and Dibbins Hut. Like others I camp where I want and leave no trace. How can Parks Victoria enforce a ban? Will we be required to register for all walks?

A book that has been with me for a long time is Freedom of the hills.
https://www.mountaineers.org/books/book ... -edition-1
If there is too much heavy-handed government oversight, much of the appeal ceases.

My concern is that if dispersed camping is proscribed then a great many walks will no longer be possible.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby commando » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 6:13 pm

For at least 20 years the cliff at Staughton Vale has been to book it in advance, the cliff is then reserved
for use only to one who books it. kinda weird when many others turn up to climb a free cliff in a National park.
The modus operandi i dont believe is to have a user pays system i reckon its appeasement in a politically correct
environment and just another Ayers Rock sacred ground scenario.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby CraigVIC » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 7:00 pm

I can't credit that it's about making money. Bugiga is booked solid most of the time, the peaks trail is going to be fine. They were always going to ban distributed camping along the GPT route for obvious reasons. I have my views as to what it's about but stopping someone walking overnight off track in the Victoria range isn't about making the Grampians profitable.

I'm not aware of any Parks Vic location being self sustaining let alone profitable?

Perhaps blowing up gorges and cutting down ancient trees isn't helping and there's not much bushwalkers can do about that.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby bigkev » Mon 16 Nov, 2020 6:48 am

I'm hoping that this ban is a case of over reach by Parks Vic and the traditional owners and that it may get walked back a little... Parks Vic can do that sometimes as public opinion builds or governments and policies change ...we'll see?

On a more prctical note, how will they police it? The only way they will find you is from your vehicle... once you are off-piste and in the scrub it's needle in a haystack stuff.

I suspect that so long as we are fairly descreet (no big group, LNT principles, etc) we might be OK... although I've been wrong before!

I've been wrestling with this for awhile as I've always wanted to spend the night on Redman Bluff for the sunset/sunrise, however dispersed camping is banned on the Mt William Range as far as I know. The thing I've alaways struggled with is the differance in laying a ground sheet down to have lunch or dinner and that of laying a bivy bag down to spend the night ... the environmental footprint must be almost the same.

Cheers
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 16 Nov, 2020 7:36 am

I wonder if it's a bit like lockdown/mask rules. Make the rule for the worst case scenario (someone leaving a heap of rubbish, taking dumps in the creek, etc)?
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby neilmny » Mon 16 Nov, 2020 7:46 am

Baeng72 wrote:I wonder if it's a bit like lockdown/mask rules. Make the rule for the worst case scenario (someone leaving a heap of rubbish, taking dumps in the creek, etc)?


I think it would be based on something like you say. As with all bush travel/camping the people who do the right thing get caught up in the need to stop the moronic yobbos.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 7:20 am

I have never camped on the user pays platforms at Dibbin's hut or at Cope hut. I cannot see how the powers that be can enforce a ban on NO BUSH camping away from the Grampians peaks Trail cash cow glamping route.
I would like to see them try. The area around The Fortress is amazing and I will return and camp somewhere out there again one day. I will leave only footprints and take only photos.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 12:04 pm

One way that PV could enforce the apparent no camping rule in the Grampians is to find cars at track head, like Deep Creek and Hut Creek. If the car is overnight, ergo the people in the car are camped in the wilds. This would be very messy to prosecute. In that region there are a number of excellent spots for car camping away from the formal places, big clearings, flat, good water, and minimal impact. Others may camp at such places, but they are rare. I've only seen two other cars, one at each of two spots.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby neilmny » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 1:27 pm

Who is to say that the car doesn't belong to someone who has walked all night. Ban on night walking next?
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby bernieq » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 4:02 pm

This has been coming for years. I commented in 2018 and had been talking about it for quite a few years before that.
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=27179&p=342258&hilit=Grampians#p342258

It seemed a pretty clear longer term objective (but not explicitly stated) in the 1st draft plan of the North South Track development. Still, it's shocking to see it in print.

We are responsible for the health of the planet - not it for ours
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 7:03 am

It will only take one major bushfire to obliterate all of the infrastructure on the Grampians Peaks cash cow glamping track.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Eremophila » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 11:47 am

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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby slparker » Fri 20 Nov, 2020 5:37 pm

It's the most visited NP in Vic, I believe due to its proximity to Melbourne.

Melbourne's population has increased by 1.5 million in the last 20 years. Sure, not all are campers and bushwalkers but the population pressure on our NPs is getting huge.

is it any wonder that NPs are becoming more infrastructure dependent and less tolerant of wild campers?
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby ribuck » Fri 20 Nov, 2020 8:29 pm

slparker wrote:NPs are becoming more infrastructure dependent and less tolerant of wild campers?

The wild campers are reducing the load on their overstretched infrastructure.

Oh wait, could it be that the authorities prefer to build up their empires? Wild campers don't help them towards that goal.

I think we as a society have forgotten who is supposed to be serving whom.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 21 Nov, 2020 1:03 pm

Very few places in the Grampians have not been subjected to endless hand rails, steps, warning signs and back side covering track access closures. Only one spot I can think of it is the way it was when I first went there in the early 90's.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby CraigVIC » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 7:03 pm

slparker wrote:It's the most visited NP in Vic, I believe due to its proximity to Melbourne.

Melbourne's population has increased by 1.5 million in the last 20 years. Sure, not all are campers and bushwalkers but the population pressure on our NPs is getting huge.

is it any wonder that NPs are becoming more infrastructure dependent and less tolerant of wild campers?


A permit system could be used to both cap numbers and engage walkers about the expectations regarding fires, LNT, cultural artefacts etc.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Bill P » Thu 26 Nov, 2020 7:06 pm

While off track walking will still be permitted, camping outside of designated camp sites will be prohibited. This would severly limit off track walking opportunities in the Grampians.

For example, a classic multiday skyline traverse of the Serra Ra would require walkers to descend off the ridge each night and make their way to Jimmy Ck or Borough Huts.

The report equates the impact of hike in distributed camping, with that of vehicle based distributed camping. Both the same according to the report (p97). Ive never seen hike in camping in the Gramps with chainsaws, slabs of beer, yobbos and doof doof music, but maybe I should get out more.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 01 Dec, 2020 9:49 pm

It's often helpful that a number of brands offer their tents in drab olive green.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby beardless » Sun 13 Dec, 2020 2:50 pm

"Three existing designated camping areas in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park will be closed and
rehabilitated. These are:

Oasis (Deep Creek) Hiker Camp, which is within a culturally sensitive area...."

This was a great campsite with water and a rock overhang providing some shelter. I respect the traditional owners yet I am also somewhat sad if it will no longer be accessible to camp as part of the current Fortress and Mt Thakeray circuit which is a really great area for bushwalking.
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Re: Dispersed Camping to be banned in Grampians

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 12 Jan, 2021 9:30 am

A month or more ago I asked PV for details about overnight walks in remote areas. No reply. Does anyone have an update on this or any other aspects?
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