DUBBED “the Uber of camping”, self-contained caravans and motorhomes pitching camp at Wilks Park each day inject invaluable money into the town they would otherwise bypass.
The sentiments from a former tourism guru sit well with Townsville pair, John Carlton and Chris Penketh, who have returned to Wilks Park in their self-contained caravan for the second time.
“We’re all for it,” Ms Penketh said.
“(But) there are some people who will never, ever free camp. If towns make you feel welcome, you go out for dinner, buy your groceries and fill up.”
The couple, who have stayed in Wagga caravan parks numerous times before turning to free camping three years ago, say they will bypass towns that don’t cater for their self-contained lifestyle.
While some caravan parks claim council’s 72-hour limit on stays at the park, open only to self-contained accommodation, is costing them business, the free camping fraternity maintain money is still being injected into town.
Mr Carlton cites “money and space” as drawcards to free camping, adding there would always be a need for caravan parks “because some people love them and won’t stay anywhere else”.
It is an idea backed by the former chair of a council tourism promotion committee, Michael Maher, who described Wilks Park as “the Uber of camping”.
“Without Wilks Park, this ever growing, switched-on group (of self-contained campers) will just pass Wagga and we will miss the tremendous social interaction and the income.”
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