There’s not much worse than arriving at a camp site to see it covered in toilet paper and rubbish, or bollards ripped out of the ground for firewood, and we spend a fair bit of time undoing people’s feral behaviour on our lap of Australia.
Toilet paper has become fairly common in different camp sites, and more often than not its women who pee, wipe and then just drop the paper. It’s not hard to put it in a zip lock bag and to dispose of it thoughtfully; step it up.
However, pulling into camp on the Yorke Peninsula at Burners Beach recently had me fuming, and it took a little while to piece it all together. We’d driven from Port Vincent, and arrived fairly late in the afternoon to a nice camp site on a semi grassed area, protected for the wind. After unhooking the camper, it didn’t take long to find a heap of beer bottles laying around in the bushes, in the fire pit and on the grass.
I picked them all up and put them in a bin bag, and noticed 3 massive nails in the fire pit, which I thought was a bit strange. Sarah noticed a heap of dog poo on the ground too, which I flicked away, and noticed later on that two neighbouring vans were letting their dog roam around and poop everywhere. If you have a dog, and you don’t have it on a leash, or watch it all the time, you aren’t doing your duty of care. It’s that simple.
Anyway, back to the big nails in the fire pit; I was kicking back in my camp chair the next afternoon when I noticed that there was a green tinge to the fire pit, where something had been burnt (and I’d removed some melted glass beer bottles the day before). I looked around, and then noticed that a big pine bollard in a U shape was missing on the edge of our site, and wandered over. Sure enough, there were two fresh holes, and the two uprights, and one horizontal beam were missing.
The morons has knocked it out, and burnt the treated pine, resulting in the nails left over, and the green tinge in the fire. Treated pine is not what you want to be burning, and breathing it in is not going to do you any favours, and that’s without considering the vandalism and senseless behaviour.
A few days later, we arrived at a magic camp site at Gym Beach in the Innes National Park, and I noticed quite a few tree’s nearby had cut marks, branches missing or just general damage, and assumed it was from people foolishly looking for firewood.
However, the next day my Dad walked back from the bush behind our camper trailer, and said have you seen the tree’s cut down, and damaged back here? I hadn’t, and when I looked later, I was absolutely horrified.
A huge number of big trees had been damaged, with plenty of logs left just sitting there on the ground. Dad was assuming they’d left the logs for a later visit, but these trees are rare enough in a harsh coastal environment like Gym Beach that cutting them down would obliterate decades of growth.
People can really be idiots, and we need to step up our care of camp sites, locations and attractions or we’ll face far more management and closures.
I’ve lost count of how many bottle tops, cable ties and general bits of rubbish that we’ve picked up on our travels around Australia already, and we’ve only just begun. Step it up!