BUNBURY City Council in WA is already feeling the benefits of throwing
down the welcome mat for caravanners and other grey nomads.
Within weeks of opening three new experimental overnight camping spots for
RV travellers, the tills at local businesses have been ringing merrily.
According to reports, scores of nomads have already taken advantage of the
rest areas at Wyalup Rocky Point car park, Ocean Drive car park near Scott
Street and the Maidens Reserve car park, also on Ocean Drive.
The council says the travellers have spent over $15,000 in the port
city south of Perth.
Local Mayor Gary Brennan is delighted with the results.
"When we made the decision to do this trial I received emails from
caravanners based on the east coast saying this is a wonderful thing
word gets around very rapidly," he said.
"Statistics have shown that 16 percent of RV owners will never stay in
commercial overnight accommodation, which means
we are missing out on this market who will then go elsewhere to spend
"It is hoped that when stopping for one or two nights the travellers
will either decide to stay longer and move onto one of our fantastic
caravan parks or they will make a note to come back to Bunbury for their
The trial at the new rest areas, located close to Bunbury's iconic beaches
and the CBD plus other shopping and dining options, will last for two
Only travellers in self-contained RVs are allowed to stay at the
sites, which are patrolled by city officers to
ensure the rule is complied with.
Camping in tents or sleeping in cars is not permitted.
Overnight campers will need a permit which can be collected from the
Bunbury Visitor Centre.
They will receive a welcome pack including information about Bunbury such
as maps and tourist guides.
City officers will patrol the sites to ensure the areas are only
used by fully self-contained vehicles.
After 12 months the council will consult with
users and the community to assess any social impacts before doing a final
review at the two-year mark.