Travel Stories

WIDESPREAD illegal camping and a lack of information in the industry prompted one man to start a website listing every caravan park and camp site in Australia.

Partnering with camping directory, Camps Australia Wide, Jethro Batts co-founded Park My Van, which features more than 5000 caravan, camping, national and free parks across the country.

“A primary problem for campervanners is finding acc-ommodation options,” he said.

“Often the cost of hiring a van, plus the cost of a campsite for the evening surpasses alternative options.

“For this reason, people often park or camp illegally.”

Of the 1086 sites listed in Queensland, 30 lie within a 30km radius of Cairns CBD.

Mr Batts said councils needed to employ innovative strategies to attract the “vanpacker” and “grey dollar” and the emphasis should be on low-cost and private options rather than offering sites for free.

“The grey nomad community is a vocal one,” he said.

“If a council is perceived to be unfriendly to the industry, word spreads very quickly.

“If a town makes itself more appealing to the tourist dollar, the money will come.”

Mr Batts said average weekly expenditure for a grey nomad on the road was close to $600 a week and slightly less for backpackers.

To read the article online @CairnsPost click here.

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