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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Coastal Tourism - A Manual for Sustainable Development

Based on a draft paper prepared by Southern Cross University
Portfolio Marine Group, Environment Australia, 1997
ISBN 0 642 27129 1

Tidal River Camp Ground


Wilson's Promontory National Park, Victoria


480 camping sites, 236 beds for visitors, school camps and groups in lodges, cabins and huts, cafe/store, outdoor cinema, day visitor facilities, electric barbeques, numerous walking tracks, outstation camp sites, and seasonal on-site medical facilities

Key features of this development

Management plan
Visitor control and education
Water and energy conservation
Regeneration period

Management of the Tidal River Camp Ground is guided by a comprehensive plan of management for the entire national park - which contains a number of sub-plans, including a conservation strategy, a fire control plan and the master plan for the camping ground.

The camp ground has a manager to oversee the business operations and financial aspects of management. National park rangers provide information about environmental management and, in particular, conservation procedures, but also address the enforcement issues and any non-compliance of visitor behaviour.

The camp ground is a very heavily visited site, particularly during peak holiday periods, such as Christmas and Easter breaks and long weekends. A balloting system (which visitors must apply for six months in advance) is used to control the numbers of visitors, and to allocate places equitably at Christmas. Booking periods operate over Easter and some long weekends.

Fees are charged on entry to the site, and campers are given a leaflet containing some educational and site information (for example, the on-site recycling program is explained). Fires are banned within the national park, and electric barbecues are provided for visitors to help prevent the degradation of vegetation. Walkers are encouraged to remain on designated paths and not create additional tracks. Solar powered 'people counters' and markers measuring compaction, erosion and wear on walking tracks monitor visitor impacts.

The camp ground management recognises that several other areas require further visitor control and education. For example, there is the issue of visitors feeding wildlife, particularly rosellas. National park management authorities are attempting to prevent the camp ground shop from selling birdseed, which tends to encourage this practice. The feeding has contributed to health and safety risks, particularly to birds which cannot fly when overfed.

The camp ground encourages water conservation by using timers for the showers and only placing flushing toilets near facilities with an adequate water supply (that is, walk-in camping areas tend to have pit toilets, although these will be replaced with composting toilets in the near future).

The new cabins are part of the effort to 'win back the landscape' at Tidal River, and depart from years of ad hoc planning and building. The cabins feature passive solar design principles and are designed to maximise solar yield. They have solar hot water heating and energy-efficient lighting. A demonstration cabin features solar power supply, composting toilet and waste disposal, and self-contained water supply.

On-site diesel- and gas-powered generators provide electricity, and most lighting systems involve energy-efficient lamps and technology. However, a recent energy audit has identified that changing to gas and using the diesel system as a reserve power supply will promote more efficient energy use.

The nearest waste disposal site (for park refuse and rubbish) is 60 kilometres from the camp ground and is closing in the near future. This has provided an incentive to encourage recycling of wastes. However, the collection costs associated with removing recycled materials are also fairly restrictive. Sewage and sullage is disposed of using on-site settling ponds. These sites and the surrounding areas are subject to mandatory monitoring requirements due to associated health and safety risks.

More than 14 000 plants, propagated from seeds collected on site, have been planted in the cabin area as part of an ongoing program to replace invasive exotic grasses.

Every winter, half of the camp ground is closed to allow the area to regenerate from intensive periods of use and to reduce the maintenance work associated with these areas.

The Tidal River Camp Ground shows that it is important to:


The Manager
Ph: (03) 5680 9555; Fax: (03) 5680 9516