Improvements to coastal campgrounds

News article |

A three-year project focusing on improvements to environmental management at priority coastal campgrounds is now in its final phase with works at 10 sites either completed or underway.

The project – part of the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board’s Eyes on Eyre project partnership – was successful in receiving $710,000 of funding in early 2022 from the State Government Landscape Priority Fund.

Three expression of interest processes have since been undertaken for eligible local councils to apply for the funding to help manage popular camping spots in sensitive coastal environments. As a result, the City of Whyalla, District Council of Franklin Harbour, District Council of Cleve, District Council of Tumby Bay, Lower Eyre Council, District Council of Elliston and the District Council of Streaky Bay have all had successful applications and have started project delivery.

Activities undertaken already or taking place this year include:

  • Erection of fencing or rock structures to manage access to appropriate areas.
  • Revegetation of damaged areas.
  • Targeted control of pests and weeds.
  • Installation of regionally consistent signage.

Works have or will be undertaken at Fitzgerald Bay (north of Whyalla), Point Gibbon (just south of Cowell), Redbanks (just north of Arno Bay), Lipson Cove (just north of Tumby Bay) Farm Beach (near Wangary), Greenly Beach (near Coulta), Walkers Rock and Talia Caves (north of Elliston) as well as Speeds Point and Perlubie Beach near Streaky Bay.

Improvements to coastal campgrounds
Works undertaken at Greenly Beach in conjunction with Lower Eyre Coastcare and Lower Eyre Council, have defined access areas to help protect this fragile coastline area.

Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board Planning and Assessment Officer, Andrew Freeman has been involved with the Eyes on Eyre initiative since its inception several years ago, and has been managing this project.

“We’re really pleased that so many councils are helping to protect our amazing Eyre Peninsula coastline,” Mr Freeman says.

“We’ve seen the negative impact that visitors can have on our local environment– so we need to find a way to let people explore our coastal areas in a more environmentally-aware way.

“This funding is helping the community of Eyre Peninsula to look after our sensitive coastal environments while at the same time, improvements to infrastructure provide a better visitor experience.”

In addition to sites works, a successful regional online booking system –www.eyrepeninsula.com/camping – has been setup for staying at a multitude of campgrounds managed by local councils around the region with more than $540,000 collected from campers between December 2021 and December 2023.

Data collected by the online booking system for the council-run sites shows that interstate visitors are the major group using these sites.

Since inception, 10.1% of campers have been from overseas, 66.6% from interstate and 23.2% from SA. In the 2022-2023 financial year there were 14,000 bookings.

“The booking system is helping to manage visitation to ensure that sites aren’t over-crowded which is unsustainable,” Mr Freemans says.

Eyes on Eyre is an initiative between the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula, the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association and the Department for Environment and Water in conjunction with 11 local councils.

The project moved forward following the summer of 2020/21 which highlighted the need for greater environmentally-aware visitor experiences, as highlighted in the Eyes on Eyre Camping Impacts video (below).

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