Hosts ensure happy campers at Yanchep National Park

Campground hosts Carole and Robin Barker have been welcoming the first campers, including a Swiss couple on their honeymoon. Pictures: Martin Kennealey         www.communitypix.com.au   d456494
Hosts ensure happy campers at Yanchep National Park
Hosts ensure happy campers at Yanchep National Park
Hosts ensure happy campers at Yanchep National Park
Campground hosts Carole and Robin Barker have been welcoming the first campers, including a Swiss couple on their honeymoon. Pictures: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d456494

A QUINNS Rocks couple have set up camp at Yanchep National Park to help welcome the first campers.

Robin and Carole Barker will be the volunteer campground hosts for at least the first month of the camping trial on Henry White Oval.

The couple said they took on the role with Department of Parks and Wildlife late last year, and their first base was at Cape Le Grand over Christmas.

“It was great – we met lots of international visitors,” Mrs Barker said.

Mr Barker said as hosts, they welcomed people as they arrived in campervans, or with caravans or tents, and pointed out facilities, such as the flushing toilets and hot showers at Yanchep, as well as attractions.

Although they have a house overlooking the ocean in Quinns Rocks, the couple said they were enjoying living in their caravan at Yanchep this week and hoped to entice fellow campers to try it out.

“There’s nowhere in the City of Wanneroo where they can camp anymore,” Mr Barker said.

“Now we can have friends come up.

“We really wanted to do this gig because it’s our park.”

The first visitors pulled in on Tuesday, including a Swiss couple, Nicole and Phil Baltensperger, who had arrived in Australia the day.

“It’s our honeymoon – we have three months to do the west coast and east coast,” Mrs Baltensperger said.

She said they decided to visit WA because it seemed to have fewer tourists than the east coast and lots of natural parks.

Dalyellup resident Rod Evers was the first to arrive with his caravan on Tuesday.

“We’ve just come up from Bunbury, just for a look around,” he said.

“This is probably one of the best that we’ve seen – it’s got a lot of potential.

“I will be coming back and I will tell some people down south.”

Mr Evers said the 20 camping sites at Yanchep were “not too close together” so they felt like they had more privacy.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said visited the site on Tuesday after announcing online bookings opened on July 1.

“I’m just really happy to see such a quick take-up already,” he said, with four groups setting up camp that day and another five bookings made for the school holidays.

Mr Jacob said there was a variety of people, from seasoned caravan campers to a father setting up a tent with his son for their first camping experience together.

“For them the attraction was flushing toilets and a hot shower,” he said.

The trial is part of the $21.05 million Parks for People Caravan and Camping initiative aimed at creating at least 450 affordable camping sites in Western Australia.

As the first new metropolitan campground, Mr Jacob said he hoped Yanchep would be a transition campground to introduce international, interstate visitors as well as local residents and migrants to camping.

“It’s a good way for them to get out and experience the WA bush,” he said.

Acting park manager Mark Varley said it was a positive initiative for the park and staff were excited to welcome the first campers.

The campsites are set up around the oval, with plans to revegetate the middle and boundaries to create more privacy.

Feedback during the trial will also help guide how it is developed.

Bookings can be made online through the Park Stay WA website or app.