Just arrived from a well desired trip to the TIP.
Just me and my trip leader, my 4 yo son.
We both loved it but it left a sour taste from witnessing what the Government and National Parks are doing to what is OURS....NOT THEIRS.
Now to stay on any camping ground on Qld National Parks we have to “CONVENIENTLY PRE-BOOK “ . It’s part of the “SMART QUEENSLAND” idea to keep us out of national parks as much as possible, but who does the National Parks belong to ????
While I was tripping around on the Cape York, everyone I met was disgusted by this system. Camp Grounds fully booked but hardly anyone in them, because people overbooked sites not knowing which day they would be turning up. (It’s impossible to predict exactly when you’re going to be at a particularly place).
At Iron Range NP (Chilli Beach) a guy tried to make a booking over the phone, only to be asked where the NP was (the person on the other side of the phone couldn't find it), they didn’t know of such NP. This guy handed the phone to the ranger that was in front of him while this was going on.
With virtually no phone reception across most of the Cape, no self registration at the Campgrounds, Rangers not taking bookings and the all system of Touch Screens out of action, it's a fine example of incompetent bureaucrats in a main office not having the slightest regard for the tax payer that pays their wages and to whom the National Parks belong to.
I spoke to a ranger there that confirmed my suspicion that keeping people out of National Parks is one of the main reasons this new system was introduced. I have to say it’s the only thing they’ve been good at.
Right now, people are booking more days then they need to make sure they secure a place in each campground, so the Government is getting a good revenue from fully booked campgrounds even at a time when there isn’t enough people around.
While this is happening everyone is getting frustrated by not being able to book a site on the spot on a virtually empty campground.
People that are strongly supportive of this system are the Moreton Telegraph Station. They are the official booking agent for the NP on the Cape (so they proudly told me). These guys are happy of course, it’s a sure way of getting extra business.
These where the only people I met that where strongly defending it......
Queensland is now the most unfriendly State to Travel within Australia, I was told by several people (Grey Nomads).
On top of it all, they are certainly succeeding to stuff up the Tourism in Queensland.