Rangers armed to point campers in right direction
FREE camping - it not a popular term in some parts of the Lower Clarence, but rangers have found a way to put the 'happy' back into camping.
Rangers have been armed with a fold-out camping guide to issue to free campers that details more than 100 sites in the region which welcome camping.
The Clarence Valley Guide to Happy Camping features a range of paid options for campers in national parks and holiday parks, primitive sites including showgrounds, and tips on free bush camping in more than 40 state forests in the Clarence Valley.
The guide was produced as part of Clarence Valley Council's response to community concerns about the increase of free campers sleeping overnight in their vehicles in beach carparks.
Council also installed signs prohibiting parking between 12.30am and 5am at free camping hotspots in Yamba and Angourie.
Strategic planner Dave Morrison said the signs had successfully reduced the incidence of free camping in the targeted areas, but he admitted they were potentially just moving the campers elsewhere.
"That's where the Happy Camping guide has been helpful,” Mr Morrison said. "The rangers can hand the campers a map with over 100 places they can camp where they won't have to worry about being woken up during the night and moved on, or fined.”
The no parking signs were installed for a trial period that was set to end after Easter, when the project would be reviewed.
Mr Morrison said feedback from residents had generally been positive, particularly in Angourie.
Rangers will be patrolling the beach carparks over the next few weeks, and Mr Morrison warned residents to avoid parking their cars overnight in the no-parking zones.
Happy Campingguide also online http://bit.ly/2puSdxQ