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GoSee meets Tasmanian dump points as CMCA drives leave no trace initiative

May 04, 2010
GoSee meets Tasmanian dump points as CMCA drives leave no trace initiative

GoSee advanced its practical knowledge of dump points on the recent Tow Around Tasmanian Tour in March. We saw and used great, good, bad and ugly examples.

High ferry costs means that GoSee recommends that to get value at least a month be spent on the island. Three months would be better as this helps negate the cost of the ferry trip and allows a complete Tasmanian experience.

But more people enjoying extended camping means more pressure on services both in and out of caravan parks.

GoSee found freedom camping has many faces in Tasmania and protection of Tasmania's natural beauty from too much people pressure is essential.

Road tourism travellers can help by leaving no trace as we enjoy the country. If we don't then over-regulation could restrict an Australian freedom we have enjoyed for generations.

The Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) is on the case.

Phillip Berry Manager Projects and Member Benefits Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd says the CMCA supplies Dump-Ezy unit to councils under the CMCA subsidy schemes.

GoSee used and appreciated the Dump-Ezy design at caravan parks we visited in Tasmania.

Any unit given by CMCA has a plaque attached, Phillip Berry said.

Whenever we are contacted by a caravan park asking what is the best unit for them to install, we always recommend these units he said.

We have agreed to give new units to Bicheno, Swansea and Triabunna, and all three of these towns are now going through the process of being assessed to become RV Friendly Towns, Phillip Berry said.

Under the Agreement that we have with a council when we give them a unit, it must be installed in a location that allows rigs up to 19.5 metres access, it must be open during normal daylight hours every day of the year, and it must be free to all who use it, he said.

We also supply them with the information needed to install the unit correctly, Phillip Berry said.

He said disposal of waste water by RV travellers causes CMCA more grief with Councils than any other issue.

Unless you are given permission to do so by the controlling authority, never discharge your grey waste onto the ground, especially if you are parked on bitumen.

Wherever possible all grey and black water waste should be discharged into a dump point, he said.

We acknowledge that this is not always possible, so in extreme cases it will need to be buried in the bush.

Choose a site at least 100m away from any campsite and any watercourse. Bury waste at least 15cm (6 inches) deep, mixing the waste with soil to help decomposition.

CMCA member motorhome joins Triabunna Cabin  and Caravan Park group
CMCA member motorhome joins Triabunna Cabin and Caravan Park group

In snow, dig down into the soil, otherwise the waste will be exposed when the snow melts.

Do not discharge the waste directly onto the ground surface. This is nothing less than environmental vandalism, and can create serious health issues.

Please do not flush grey and black water holding tanks or their hoses with a hose attached to a potable water outlet.

This can cause contamination, not just for your water, but for others using the outlet after you, Phillip Berry said.

It is not hard for RV tourist to do the right thing. We acknowledge that some people may be finding it economically difficult at the present time, but to abuse staff, to abuse Council officers, and to try and avoid paying your way is not helping this industry, he said.

We have lost rest areas due to waste being dumped on the ground. We have lost the support of some organisations due to the abusive nature of a few, Phillip Berry said.

As this mobile tourist industry continues to grow, and it is the fastest growing segment of tourism in this country, we will find that we will lose rest areas and access to some wonderful campgrounds, all because a minority of people abused the privilege provided to them.

To enjoy this wonderful lifestyle, and to ensure that we all continue to do so, please do the right thing, Phillip Berry said.

Drive-in dump point Triabunna Cabin  and Caravan Park
Drive-in dump point Triabunna Cabin and Caravan Park

As we said earlier Freedom camping has many faces in Tasmania.

GoSee understands that as some caravan parks replace powered sites with cabins. Powered site space will be harder to find in peak periods.

This will be compounded in peak periods as many more Australians adopt the popular road touring lifestyle.

GoSee understands that in the popular Tasmanian touring destination of Strahan on the island's West Coast there are now about 40 powered sites available. Cabins have replaced many of the powered sites. Booking ahead in peak periods if a powered site is required is now essential.

Freedom camping is available throughout Tasmania. Often it is provided by local councils. State Parks options are many and varied. Usually thesefacilities are basic with drop toilets and a water tank. But the location of some of these options is idylic by any standards, particularly on the East Coast of Tasmanian.

Generally the price of a powered site in Tasmanian caravan parks is low by Mainland standards.

Many RV owners are traveling with their pets. For example the good word from Groovy Gran who attended the CMCA rally at Carrick, Tasmania in March is that there were 120 dogs at the rally.

GoSee talks to freedom campers near the Tamar Bridge
GoSee talks to freedom campers near the Tamar Bridge

GoSee includes at righta picture of the 1000 or so CMCA member RV's at the rally.

The GoSee Tows Around Tas Info Articles on the Home Page are about Tasmanian Tourist Parks most of which are pet friendly. This generally applies to powered and camping sites NOT cabins.

CMCA members travelled Tassie roads before and after the Carrick rally. GoSee found them in the caravan parks we visited doing their bit for the tourism economy all over the island.

Yes there is a lot of freedom camping in Tasmania but it is not all one-way traffic.

Councils are in on the act too and they often charge. Free camping has many faces in Tassie.

At Hamilton the council undercuts the nearby Wayatinah Caravan Park with a $15 for three nights charge.

GoSee was told they did this after agreeing to charge at the same rates as the caravan park. The council did not tell the park operator about their lower charge. We hope the council has public risk and health and safety issues covered.

At Strahan we found powered sites at a premium. To such a degree that overflow motorhomes were sent up to the local golf club to park at $7 a night.

A section of the CMCA gathering at Carrick Tasmania
A section of the CMCA gathering at Carrick Tasmania

GoSee thinks that Tasmania is unique in many tourism respects, including free camping.

Ten of the 11 Tasmanian Tourist Parks we visited make pets welcome with a pets policy. Look for the GoSee Pet Friendly logo in the GoSee listing of participating caravan parks throughout Australia.

The ferry trip from Melbourne to Devonport on Tasmania's north coast is not cheap. GoSee paid $1434 return for two adults and our light 7 metre Jayco Discover pop-top caravantowed by a 5 metre Captiva auto diesel.

We chose the day crossing. It took 10 hours including quarantine checks at both ends. Gas cylinders must be declared. GoSee did not take a cabin or lounge chair.

We headed to the top 10th deck. There are chairs, tables, power and good internet connection for most of the trip. The 10th deck has a bar, snacks and live music. Travellers on Day Tickets on daytime crossings are not allocated a specific seat. But they have full access to all public areas on Deck 7 through to Deck 10.

GoSee has a choice of tow vehicles which include two Toyota Land Cruisers and a diesel manual Rodeo.

We went with the auto diesel Captiva because we knew it would do the job well with the 1400kg loaded Jayco Discovery and it was shorter at 5 metres than the other GoSee tow tugs. The ferry's set loading length limits cost us an extra $68 per metreover 10 metres.

For the $1434 on the ferry our Tassie trip cost we would want real value and would not revisit Tasmanian as a holiday unless we had time to stay at least a month.

Strahan Holiday Park powered sites
Strahan Holiday Park powered sites

Road tourists please knock Tasmania in the Multi-Search at the top right of the GoSee Home Page. Click Info Articles and Forumson the drop-down arrow and then click search.

There is a lot to help road tourism in the free GoSee Information Articles and in the GoSee Forums. There are also links within the free features to the Tourism Tasmania web-site and the helpful Information centres.

Four weeks will allow road tourists to see a lot of the real Tasmania. Three months would be better.

Travel is slower because while the roads are good they are often serpentine. This is good because it forces drivers to slow down and they see more.

Don't think that because some people regard Tasmania as small it can be seen quickly. There is more to see in Tasmania than anyone could cover in a lifetime.

TASMANIAN QUARANTINE REGULATIONS:

Both vehicles and luggage are liable for inspection by Department of Agriculture Inspectors on arrival in Tasmania.

Be aware that fruit, vegetables, plants and seafood cannot be brought into Tasmania. It must be declared or you could face severe penalties.

10th deck was GoSee office
10th deck was GoSee office

Exemption Certificates are available from the Department of Agriculture.

For more information please contact Quarantine Tasmania on: Telephone (03) 6233 3352 Fax: (03) 6233 3307 Email: qtas@aqis.gov.au

TRAVELLING WITH PETS:

Pets must be booked into a kennel. The ferry kennel trolley is RSPCA approved. Water is supplied and pets checked regularly throughout the voyage. Provision of bedding and other requirements are the responsibilityof the owner.

RSPCA recommends pets be well exercised before being put in kennels.

Owners are not permitted access to their pet during the voyage.

The ferry operators recommend pets be vaccinated against domestic pet related diseases.

All dogs entering Tasmania must have documentary proof of hydatid tapeworm treatment.

Call Dogs to Tasmania (24 Hrs) on 1800 684 215.

Quarantine check Devonport
Quarantine check Devonport

The RSPCA recommends owners not give pets solid food before or during the sea voyage; and RSPCA suggests pets be placed in a kennel that enables the animal to stand up but not turn around.

JERRY CANS AND BOAT FUEL CONTAINERS:

Jerry cans used for carrying petrol or diesel must meet the following conditions or they will be confiscated and disposed of by TT-Line:

The jerry can or container must be fully welded at the seams (plastic or metal).

They must not be greater than 25 litre capacity.

The sealing cap must have locking side arms or screwed cap with an effective rubber seal and must be carried empty and dry of residual fuel or be filled with water before embarkation.

Boat fuel tanks may be carried with fuel provided they comply with Australian Standards, have welded seams and are fitted with screw caps with rubber seal and a pressure release valve.

Editors Note: Also see:

Motorhomes queue for ferry Devonport
Motorhomes queue for ferry Devonport
CMCA member pulls into Triabunna Cabin and Caravan Park
CMCA member pulls into Triabunna Cabin and Caravan Park
Dump point Launceston Holiday Park
Dump point Launceston Holiday Park
Dump Point White Beach Port Arthur
Dump Point White Beach Port Arthur
How to use a dump point Seven Mile Beach Cabin and Caravan Park near Hobart
How to use a dump point Seven Mile Beach Cabin and Caravan Park near Hobart
Strahan Golf Club overflow parking March 2010
Strahan Golf Club overflow parking March 2010
Strahan Golf Club RV overflow parking March 2010
Strahan Golf Club RV overflow parking March 2010
Triabunna dump point. Splish splash on the Triabunna  waterfront
Triabunna dump point. Splish splash on the Triabunna waterfront
Motorhome on site Wayatinah Lakeside Caravan Park
Motorhome on site Wayatinah Lakeside Caravan Park