Strict limitations have been introduced at some Eyre Peninsula camping beaches this summer after visitors inundated the sites following pandemic lockdowns.
- An online booking system for popular Eyre Peninsula camping beaches will go live from Friday
- The new restrictions will cap the number of camper vans allowed on sites like Perlubie Beach after growing in popularity during the pandemic
- Campers will now have to pay to stay the night at the beaches.
The online booking system for Perlubie Beach and Tractor Beach campsites will go online from Friday and will display new limits on the number of people able to camp on the beaches.
Following a meeting in November, the Streaky Bay District Council introduced the restrictions at Perlubie Beach, capping the number of vans able to camp on the beach to 20 a night.
A further 10 sites have been allocated at Perlubie Beach during peak periods for locals only, and campers are now only allowed on the beach for a maximum of five nights.
Vans will be charged $20 a night.
Mayor of the District Council of Streaky Bay Travis Barber, said the region was discovered during COVID when people were encouraged to travel locally.
“One of our most popular beaches that would normally have 10-15 vans on it at an Easter or Christmas blew out to 160 vans,” Cr Barber said.
“Averaging this week, we’ve probably got 40-50 vans that have been [at Perlubie Beach].
“There’s never been a limit before because we’ve never needed one … it’s too popular [now].”
The Perlubie Beach Management Committee was formed in recent months and includes locals and elected council members informing the new restrictions.
A survey of locals also assisted in forming the new rules.
The rules are slightly different for Tractor Beach, where just 15 camper vans are allowed with a $15 fee per night.
Pristine beaches under threat
Some campers were cutting fences and emptying their camper toilets behind the sand dunes during peak periods, Cr Barber said.
“They’d pull the little sachets out of the back of their van after a few days, and instead of taking it to town to the dump point, they’d walk over the back and empty it into the dunes,” he said.
“We had to do something.”
No black or grey water is to be discharged on the beach dune, and all campers must also bring with them a suitable toilet and black water facility according to the new rules.
“We just need to cap the numbers otherwise, it will get ruined, and it won’t be the beach that we all know it is,” Cr Barber said.