Lawn Hill - Booking system in disarray!!

 
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:08 am    Post subject: Lawn Hill - Booking system in disarray!! Reply with quote

We had booked into Lawn Hill Gorge National Park, in September after Winton, on our way home to Townsville.

Have been to Lawn Hill for last 2 years and have a favourite drive thru site which was booked last month. Qld national parks have a booking system which enables you to book and pay for a particular numbered site.

Have just been advised by a friend and confirmed by a 'Park Alert' on park's website that site numbers have been dispensed with and you take pot luck on arrival that firstly there is a site and secondly there is a site suitable for a caravan, not a small camper trailer site.

It beggars belief that now you can still book a suitable site on the parks website and pay the fee but on arrival find a backpacker or other in your site on arrival and there not be another suitable site or even a site at all.

Will be contacting Nat Parks first thing tomorrow.
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Grumblebum and the Dragon



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are spot on Grumpy - it is a shambles in Qld and some other states that have followed with the same.

Is it not lunacy that you have to book by phone or internet and yet many location we visit have no phone or internet.

We have heard many of the same stories - booking ahead for a large site only to arrive and find it is far too small for the Bt. The Rangers also have no authority to collect fees - and have no connection with the booking service or so I am reliably informed. Just leave it to the 'Shiny Bums' in the major centres - they are sure to bugger it up.

I usually bypass such parks now. I think WA has the best system of using volunteer hosts.
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Bushtrek



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Grumpy,

I have already sent a missive. Will advise if they ever get back to me!
..........................................................................................................
These words have been posted to your Park Alerts page for Boodjamulla National Park, (Lawn Hill) camping area.

"Please note that numbers are no longer assigned to camp sites at the Lawn Hill Gorge camping area at Boodjamulla National Park. Once a booking has been made campers are able to camp at their preferred vacant suitable site (caravan/trailer or tent).

Last updated
13 June 2016"

What are you actually saying here, as the wording can be read two different ways.
Firstly it reads as though you are saying there are no site numbers allocated now, so campers who have paid a booking fee can camp anywhere there is a vacant space.

Alternately you are saying that there are no site numbers , but booking a campsite requires the nomination of a specific (as in preferred) site.

I have booked site 7 for 4 nights from 10 July 2016. I have a receipt and a contract with the QPWS therefore exists.
Can I expect the site to be available when I arrive on Sunday 10 July, or will anyone who happens to like that site be allowed to move in beforehand.

Appreciate your early advice.
..........................................................................................................
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Graham, the reading is ambiguous to say the least . Will be ringing today and speaking to higher authority to get a satisfactory outcome.

And my thoughts also is that we have a legal contract with our prepaid booking.
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Have been contacted by National Parks person responsible for the change in policy, based in Charters Towers. Their response for the change in arrangements was that they were having complaints from clients who wanted to extend their stays and they were having to move because someone may have booked the site previously.

How ridiculous! This was what the booking system was introduced for as the Parks website says:

"This allows QPWS to:
- ensure campers get the spot they booked
- respond to severe weather events, cyclones and other natural disasters where campers may need to be warned or evacuated
prevent overcrowding, which can be detrimental to the enjoyment of visitors and to the environment

About the Queensland National Parks Booking Service:

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) have improved the camping booking system so that increasing demand for camping can be better managed and to help provide park visitors with better camping experiences."

Any way the wrap up seems to be that anyone who has booked a site pre the park alert change will retain that site booking.

This is the 3rd year in a row we have camped at the Lawn Hill National Park and found previous booking system worked well and on arrival there was always a printout on the notice board with names and site allocated, posted by the Rangers.

We found staying at the park to be excellent with water only a few metres away, showers and flushing toilets, also phone and Internet which has only been available at Adels Grove since late last year.

Why any one who goes to a National Park would want to stay at a private caravan park outside escapes me?
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Bushtrek



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Grumpy,
I received a "Have moved it from my desk to Western Division QPWS desk reply from a lady at QPWS Customer Service" by email.

I want to get something in writing as there will need to be a follow on from this to the leadership at QWPS. Will wait and see what happens when we arrive.
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Bushtrek



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We received this reply from the Charters Towers Office of QPWS this afternoon
********************************************************
Thank you for contacting us with your concerns regarding your camping arrangements at Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park.

There are 20 sites at Lawn Hill Gorge camping area comprising 14 multi use (caravan/trailer) sites and 6 tent sites. The 20 sites are clearly marked as being caravan/trailer or tent sites.

At the time of booking you would have booked a site appropriate to your needs and that booking still remains. Your site is the site you choose.

All campers require a valid camping permit and there can only be 20 valid permits at any given time so you can certainly expect a site to be available when you arrive on Sunday 10 July.

Rangers patrol the camping area every afternoon (if not more frequently), checking permits and ensuring people are camped in an appropriate site.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further enquiries.

Safe travels and I hope you enjoy the park.

Kind regards,
Sarah
*************************************************************

Not sure what that Park Alert really means now.
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graeme,

similar email a friend of ours received who will be at Lawn Hill with us, after they raised their concerns with NP. Hope all works out. Please keep us informed on our things turnout in July.

When I spoke to her after she phoned me on Tuesday (after I had gone thru Brisbane and they requested she return call) this is the response she initially gave me, going on to say we will put you in the commercial area ie. Where buses and tour groups go, if there is no site available.

I argued the point saying we had booked a suitable site, one of the 3 drive thru sites we have previously stayed in, under the booking system at the time and expected to have that site available on arrival. I have the Permit and receipt which nominates that site.
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Bushtrek



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grumpy,
I will have a chat with the Rangers who do the afternoon patrol when we are there and let you know what they are thinking/saying
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Mobi Condo



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bushtrek wrote:
Grumpy,
I will have a chat with the Rangers who do the afternoon patrol when we are there and let you know what they are thinking/saying

A most interesting thread here. Is there any chance to our two bits worth to the ranger as well?
This is:
What happened to the booking and paying system we experience at Chilli(SP?) Beach 2009? A Self Registration point with the usual (then) form to leave in the locked bin and a copy for the vehicle which had VISA card payment facilities, thus they had our details AND payment, should we not have the correct change.

Mind you it was some 6 months later that I got a ph call at work to ask if it was OK to use the card to pay it!
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krisandkev



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just gone through this stupid system in Cape York National Parks. Spoke to ranger and he said they hate the system but it will never go back as the number of rangers has been reduced and they could just not manage it. He also said it is well know that due to the cheap cost people will book and pay for sites for a longer period and then get there when they like. So camp sites will show full when in fact they are empty. The system is designed for those who like to plan their dates from home, not for travellers on the road. So we just have to get use to it...... Kevin
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simple to fix issue of booking for extended period and not using!

Just do what SA do and limit stay to 5 days

Obviously Parks don't get it
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Bushtrek



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we arrived here today about noon to find our booked site already occupied , the character claiming he could set up where he likes as there is no site
numbers any more.

We chose another spot and listened to the arguments all around us as people arrived to find someone in their booked/preferred site.

Clearly Sarah Jess the ranger in Charters Towers who responded (above) to my initial enquiry lied to me when she said my preferred site would be available.

Her words were "Your site is the site you choose"at the time of booking.

She well knows there is now no enforcement of site bookings so her choice of words is a blatant lie.

The rangers haven't turned up to check sites for at least 5 days now according to those who have been here that long. The last one who showed up was inundated with complaints.
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Graeme and Chris,

Very disappointed to hear this, I also have been promised that our site will be available. Below is copy of contents of an email that a friend received who will be camping with us in Sept. after Muster -

" Thank you for your telling us about your concerns regarding camping at Lawn Hill Gorge at Boodjamulla National Park.

I discussed this matter with your traveling companion, Warrick Baxter, yesterday. (That's me)

There are 20 sites at Lawn Hill Gorge camping area comprising 14 multi use (caravan/trailer) sites and 6 tent sites. This has not changed.

The 20 sites are clearly marked as being caravan/trailer or tent sites. This has not changed.

At the time of booking you would have booked an appropriate site and that booking still remains. Your site is the site you choose.

All campers require a valid camping permit and there can only be 20 valid permits at any given time. This has not changed.

Rangers patrol the camping area every afternoon (if not more frequently), checking permits and ensuring people are camped in an appropriate site.

Therefore the site “THAT WE BOOKED AND PAID FOR” will be there when you arrive.

Kind regards,
Sarah."

From this you can see that she has promised us our preferred and booked site.

I think you should take this further. There are rangers on site and I would be asking to speak to Sarah's manager in Charters Towers, if not satisfied.

I will be trying to contact him/her asap to relate your experience and determine if Sarah was having a lend of us.

Cheers
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Muddy1



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's something from the NPWS website re numbering system changes:

Park alerts
Find a park or forest
Experience parks
Commercial tourism on parks
Managing protected areas
Parks permits and policies
Home
Topics
Park alerts
Changes to camp site numbering at Lawn Hill Gorge camping area
This alert applies to the following parks:

Lawn Hill Gorge, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park
Please note that numbers are no longer assigned to camp sites at the Lawn Hill Gorge camping area at Boodjamulla National Park. Campers are able to camp at their preferred vacant suitable site (caravan/trailer or tent).

Last updated
6 July 2016
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Grumpy



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Muddy, this is what kicked off this topic.

We and others had booked our preferred sites prior to the park alert.

Check out my first post at top.

Cheers
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