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Changes to camping and accommodation fees

Camping and accommodation fees in Victoria’s parks

Following a review, from 18 December changes to some camping fees in Victoria will be introduced.

Fees for campsites classified in the ‘mid’ range are reduced from $38.90 to $28 per site in peak season. This change affects 48 campgrounds around the state, such as Borough Huts and Jimmy Creek in the Grampians National Park, and popular sites in the Great Otway National Park including Johanna Beach, Blanket Bay and Aire River West, and Bear Gully at Cape Liptrap Coastal Park. 

In addition, fees for campsites at the popular boat based campgrounds at Bunga Arm in Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park will be reduced from $38.90 per site to $21 per site.

A full list of parks where fees have changed can be found here. (PDF)

In total, there are 55 campgrounds around the state where fees have been reduced.

These changes follow the removal of fees at 70 basic campgrounds in 19 parks around the state earlier this year.

Existing discounts of 10% for concession card holders and 10% for school groups will remain in place.

Fees vary according to the facilities provided at the site. Fees vary according to peak, shoulder or off peak periods. To calculate the fees payable for your chosen stay check the bookings screens on www.parks.vic.gov.au/stay

Download the full revised fee structure for 2015-16.

 

Why the changes?

In April 2015 the Andrews Labor Government removed the $13 per night basic camping fee that was introduced in July 2014 by the previous government. Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, asked Parks Victoria to review all other camping fees to make sure the balance was right between affordable holidays and funding for new facilities. 

Parks Victoria, with assistance from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has reviewed all feedback received from visitors and stakeholders and has benchmarked against other camping service providers across Victoria. This further reduction in camping fees is a result of that review.


What are the benefits of these changes?

The fee for camping at a mid-level campsite has been reduced from $38.90 to $28 per site in peak season. The fee change will make these campsites more affordable.

Camping is a very popular activity and it’s a great way for people to get outdoors and connect with nature and enjoy all the benefits that are associated with being outdoors. 

Each year, Victoria’s parks play host to an estimated 2 million overnight stays, with families making up the largest user group of campers in parks. 

Camping also contributes to local communities. Victoria’s parks generate an estimated $1.4 billion a year in visitor spending, and support 14,000 jobs. (Source: Valuing Victoria’s Parks)

Camping is a popular activity, and there are now are 564 campgrounds in Victoria’s parks where no fees apply. Camping fees now apply in just 116 (17%) of campgrounds in 29 parks.

What are the fee categories?

Fees for camping have been standardised across the state according to the level of facilities and services  provided at each site. There are three  permit fee categories, plus special fees for special products such as overnight hikes and roofed accommodation.

 

                                                                                                     
Fee categories

Permit fee category

Description of typical services

Examples

Fees from 1 July 2015 per site (Peak)

Very high

Hot showers, fully serviced, full time
      ranger presence, sewer toilets, designated campsites, booking service, treated drinking water, laundry facilities, unique location

Unpowered site –
      Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory NP

$60.80 (non-
      powered site) for up to 8 people

High

Some showers, partially serviced, regular ranger patrols, mostly septic/sewer toilets, mostly designated sites, booking service, some drinking water, unique location

Mt Buffalo NP, Lake Eildon NP, Mt Eccles

$50.00 up 6 people

Mid

No showers, partially serviced, infrequent
      ranger patrols, booking service, pit/composting toilet, mostly undesignated sites


 Brisbane Ranges NP, Great Otway NP, Cathedral Range SP

$28.00 up to
      6 people


Are there places where I don’t have to pay to camp?

Yes, there are many places where there is no fee to camp. Fees only apply in 116 (17%) of the 680 campgrounds in parks across the state. To check where you can camp visit the camping page.

 

If I want to camp in a park, how do I book?

All of the sites where fees apply can be booked online at www.parks.vic.gov.au/stay, or by calling Parks Victoria’s Information Centre on 13 1963. A camping permit is issued as booking confirmation.

 

What are the peak/off peak and shoulder periods for camping?

  • Peak period fees apply for all weekends (Fri/Sat) commencing Melbourne Cup weekend to the end of February, Melbourne Cup long weekend, December/January school holidays, Labour Day weekend, Easter school holidays, and Anzac Day long weekend (when applicable).
  • Shoulder period fees apply on weekdays November to the end of April, weekdays and weekends from 1 March to the end of April (except for Easter school holidays), and September school holidays.
  • Off-peak period fees apply from 1 May to the start of the Melbourne Cup weekend  (except for September school holidays).

Are there any discounts? 

There is a 5% discount for the shoulder period and a 10% discount for the off peak period for camping. Concessions also apply.

What are the peak/off peak and shoulder periods for accommodation?

  • Peak period rates apply for the December/January school holiday period, Labour Day weekend and Easter public holiday weekend.
  • Shoulder period rates apply from 1 September to 30 April, except for December/January school holidays, Labour Day and Easter school holiday period (except for the 4 day Easter public holiday weekend), Queen’s Birthday weekend and July school holidays.
  • Off-peak rates apply from 1 May to 31 August, (except for Queens Birthday weekend and July school holidays).

Is there a discount for school groups?

Camping fees include special pricing for school groups which applies to primary and secondary school group bookings.


What other concessions apply?

  • A 10% per cent discount off the seasonal price for campsites is available to holders of eligible means-tested concession cards. Eligible cards are as follows:
  •  
    • Centrelink Health Care Card
    • Centrelink Pensioner Concession card
    • Veterans Affairs Gold Card for All Conditions
    • Veterans Affairs Gold Card War Widow
    • Veterans Affairs Gold Card TPI
    • Veterans Affairs Gold card POW & EDA 
         
  • To claim the concession discount the concession card holder must be the permit holder of the campsite. For group bookings the concession discount only applies to the campsite occupied by the concession card holder.
  • Customers requesting concession rates must be able to produce a valid concession card upon request.

Can I book by phone?

  • Bookings for camping and accommodation can be made by calling the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963. The Information Centre is staffed 7 days a week between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm on Monday to Friday, and from 9 am – 5 pm on weekends.
  • When booking special camping sites and overnight hikes by phone, a  phone booking fee will apply.
  • There is no phone booking fee for means tested concession card holders and  Victorian Seniors Card holders.
  • There is no charge for phone bookings for standard camping or roofed  accommodation.

What if I need to change my booking?

  • A $10 administration fee applies for phone assisted amendments for roofed accommodation only.
  • Means tested concession card holders and Victorian Seniors card holders are exempt from this additional administration charge.
  • Please refer to the terms and conditions for further information about booking changes.

Are there any changes to the current ballot systems?

Ballots for the popular Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory National Park and Cape Conran Coastal Park will continue unchanged.

Some small sites have moved to online bookings on a first in, first served basis. These changes will mean that visitors will know instantly whether they have successfully secured a camping site, rather than having to wait for their ballot application to be processed, which takes between 4-8 weeks.

The following parks have changed to a first in first served online and phone booking system:

  • Croajingolong National Park: Wingan Inlet, Shipwreck Creek
  • Great Otway National Park: Blanket Bay
  • Corringle Foreshore Reserve
  • Peachtree Creek Reserve
  • Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

Bookings for these sites at peak periods will open on specific dates. Advance bookings for these sites will be opened to the public on the same date as ballots opened in previous years. 

Ballots and advance peak season details and release dates

 

How do these changes apply to Traditional Owners?

Traditional owners who have recognised native title rights or traditional owner rights which include the right to camp are exempt from paying camping fees in national and state parks within their agreement areas. In these areas, Traditional Owners will still need to book to reserve their campsite where bookings  are required.