Camping fee and system changes at Victorian parks – 1st July 2014

Hi All,

I thought I should remind everyone that as of 1st July, 2014 the camping fee system which includes the new prices and the online booking for sites will be implemented. For Mt Arapiles Tooan State Park this means that you can no longer pay your fees via the fee box. You will need to book a site online.

Fees for Arapiles will continue to be $5 a night with campers free to choose where they wish to camp within the designated campground area, but you will need to do this online.

The signs have been installed and the fee box will be removed soon. See the pictures below.

As yet, I have no official communication to get you any further info. I will post this as soon as it comes to hand. If if people want to make direct enquiries or give feedback then either call 131963 or email

Here is the link to the DEPI which contains the original information

For other parks though, the fees won’t be staying the same. Hefty hikes. Online booking system will also be go for obtaining a camp site

The post which the original proposal

photofee sign

Access & Environment Report(s) November, (Sept & Oct)

My apologies. It has been a seriously busy couple of months at the Access officer desk. Whilst I have been getting all information needed out via social media platforms such as Facebook and forums, I have neglected to post the monthly report. So this is a bumper post that includes my regular report that gets published in Argus

Posted latest report to the earliest, this is mainly for reference purpose and some of the issues have now changed status so will update in a new post shortly. Hmm, if I could just have a few more hours in the day….

It has taken a while, but for the most part, many of the climbing areas previously out of bounds because of the Victoria Range fires are now accessible. Much of the access did hinge on the roads being closed and the listed roads below are now open which means that any of the cliffs accessible from them are open for climbing. Red Rock Road is still closed while it undergoes some final work but hopefully reopening shouldn’t be too far off. You are still able to access the cliffs along that road though by walking in from the Anderson Road intersection.

The cliffs in the Camp of the Emu Foot track area are still out of bounds. This particular area was burnt the worst and the ground really needs time to recover before it is opened to any kind of foot traffic. These cliffs include Eureka Wall, Lost World, Red Sail, Weirs Creek.

Rather than listing every single cliff that is open, the roads and walking tracks below will govern what is open for climbing. If you are not sure, drop me a line and I will let you know

The following roads, walking tracks and visitor sites are now open:
Harrops Track
Billywing Road
Syphon Road
Northern end of Sawmill Track
Victoria Range Track
Goat Track
Buandik Camping Ground and Picnic area
Fortress walking track
Ingleton Springs Picnic area
Glenelg River Road
Chimney Pots Walking Track

The following walking tracks and roads will remain closed until further works are completed:
Billimina walking track
Red Rock Road (you can access cliffs on Red Rock road by parking and walking in from Andersons Road)
Matthews Track
Strachans Campground
Manja Walking track

Just in before Argus sent to printers so have no time or space to add anything further. Keep an eye on the CliffCare and VCC site but please read up and send your comments in. If this goes through, it will mean paying a lot more for camping. In my opinion excessively so! NOTE: Information on this will be added to a new post in the next day or two but PLEASE read up and make your comment submission if you are able to as soon as possible. We really need as many people responding as possible.

Victorian National Parks Camping and Accommodation Fees – Regulatory Impact Statement.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) has released a proposal for a user-pays approach to charges for camping and roofed accommodation in parks and reserves managed by Parks Victoria. The new approach is designed to help fund ongoing maintenance and services to ensure that people can continue to enjoy these special places well into the future. Victorians are invited to provide comment on the regulatory impact statement by 22 November 2013.

For more information go to


CLIFFCARE – 2012/2013 AGM Report

The last year has been an eventful but progressive and successful year for CliffCare.
Onground projects:
Working Bees –
Pharos Gully Repair Project – 5
You Yangs Boneseed Rip it Up day -1
Grampians Vic Range Fire Recovery – 5 attempts and 1 working bee for multiple areas.
Climbing Area Access Negotiations
You Yangs – After discussions with Parks Victoria at the You Yangs, a number of changes to restrictions were implented:
The Sunday closure to climbers on Big Rock has been removed.
The permanent seasonal closure of sites on the east of Flinders Peak from August to November was removed.
Particularly exciting though was the reopening of The Lookout at the You Yangs which had been closed to climbing for approximately 25 years.
Arapiles – Camp fee dispute, negotiations and successful outcome
Summerday Valley Repair Project – $
Arapiles Climbing Forum Display – $1,100
A successful partnership with the Banff and Radical Reels film festival running the bar as a fundraising and promotional exposure event. This is a partnership that will be continuing and goes a long way to help fund the projects and costs of CliffCare. It provides a great opportunity for the community to learn more about CliffCare, how it is run and the importance of it for continued access to the cliffs.
New CliffCare logo. Took a little while to get off the ground but CliffCare now has it’s own logo which will hopefully spread the word further out into the climbing community.
Future and Ongoing projects:
Arapiles 50th Anniversary Climbing Forum – Nati Frinj/Cup weekend 2013
Commercial climbing and the community – Bridging the Divide
Summerday Valley Repair Project


Following a very successful workday in the Victoria Range on the 24th August, I am pleased to let everyone know that we are able to access a few of the areas. First up, though, I must thank the 26 people that rocked up on a perfect working bee weather day. (This was about the 5th attempt to get this day off the ground). We had a great selection of people with the local Halls Gap crew, Nati crew, Melbourne and Warrnambool volunteers. Big thanks also to Ross and Simon from Vertical Life/Adventure Types for getting the word out in their circles and helping with providing info. The team I work with at Parks Victoria and Claire being there on the day once again proved the great working relationship we have with them. Please remember that these areas have been impacted by fire. While they may have been the least damaged of the climbing areas, there are sections that have still been quite badly burnt, so extra care really does need to be taken. Don’t go in with large groups, really keep an eye on the track markings such as tape, cairns and delineation. Just be a little more vigilant about keeping to the one track. The teams have assessed each area and for the most part, tracks are the same but there have been some realignments. These are the better, more sustainable options with what we have to work with. Please don’t decide otherwise by creating new tracks and new cairns. Some follow up work will be done on these tracks in another couple of months when more regrowth has been established. Point to note: The Victoria Range has a strong indigenous cultural heritage content and all visitors should be aware of this and take due care and respect when visiting the area.

Due to the recent weather and rainfall, unfortunately much of the planned works by PV for the roads hasn’t eventuated and some of the roads and tracks are definitely bogworthy, so at this present time, roads are still closed. A small extra walk is all that is needed to access a couple of the cliffs. Others require a bit more motivation.

NOTE: In the case of Red Rocks, this access is the new access approach that was established before the fire. Do not cross the paddock – this is private property and no longer allowed. TEMPORARY (Due to road closures)- From the Henty Highway, take Andersons Road. Follow this all the way through to where it intersects with Red Rock Road. Park up here on Andersons Road not Red Rock Rd. This is closed so please respect this closure even though it may seem super easy to just park on it or drive a little way down. We are trying to establish some kind of road access but for now it is not possible.

Red Rocks Pinnacles
Mt Fox
Hollywood Bowl

Turn left and walk a short distance (150m) to a sandy track on the right. This track leads you to all of the above climbing areas and is the permanent access track after the road closures finish. Follow this track for approximately 500m to the intersection. Turn right. Another 70m will get you to the Mt Fox track(cairned) and a further 450m along will get you to the access track to Red Rocks area.
Emu Rock/Emu Cave
Muline and environs is as before (some track realignment) but will require a longer walk from Andersons road to get to the start of the access track.
Gallery/Buandik area – Track here has been cleared and re-established (no foot bridge) but with the road closures, you are going to need to be keen, as access at the current time is only by foot. A big walk. This area can be accessed by the Tower but this area is very wet and boggy at the moment, and we couldn’t get in to assess the track. Once road closures are lifted, I will provide further info on areas such as The Fortress, Chimney Pots and environs. Cliffs around the Camp of the Emu Foot Track will remain closed even after road closures are lifted. These areas were really badly burnt and need to recover. Please respect this.
Cheers, Tracey



Mt Arapiles Campground Fees

fees sign new

Well it’s been 5 months since the camp fees increased from the $2.00 per person per night to $4.00. Discussions at the time advised that patrolling and enforcing would eventuate, but in the early days of change, campers were given the opportunity to get used to the new fee structure.

Some recent research at the campgrounds does tend to point toward the fact that many of the people who weren’t paying before, probably still aren’t paying. Lots of tents with no payment receipts. Two bucks was cheap, 4 bucks is still cheap and 5 months is a reasonable amount of time to get used to the new fee structure. Lots of people, climbers and campers included, backed this and put effort into this favourable outcome.

Easter is always a particularly busy time at Araps and this will mean there are more patrols and ranger presence due to visitor numbers and workload. With  fines for non payment of fees being a real possibility, there could be some unhappy campers. It would be a shame to see something that we worked for and viewed as successful, leaving a nasty taste in the mouth. Let your friends know.

Camping Fees at Mt Arapiles

Many in the climbing community have been following the recent changes in camping fee structure at Mt Arapiles. From the usual $2 per person per night structure, the fees jumped to the $15 per car structure that is in place in many other campgrounds such as in the Grampians.
Thanks to everyone  who jumped in and put their feelings about the new fee structure at the campground out there and onto paper. After some discussions with PV, the good news is that it has all been taken on board and the fee structure will return to a pay by individual user basis. There has been a fee increase per person, in line with the yearly camp fee increase as of 1 November, but considering that Araps hasn’t had any camp fee increases since 1999 – unlike other campgrounds – I think it’s a fair call. The new price is $4.00 per person per night. Still a pretty cheap camping option I think. Thanks also, to the forward thinking people at PV who have been working hard and quickly on this. It’s great to see that a blanket approach hasn’t been taken and the conditions and demographic of Araps have been considered. New signs are planned to be in place by the weekend explaining the fee structure.

The following is the wording from PV that will be at the park explaining the new fee situation:

Camping in Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park

Parks Victoria has adjusted camping fees at Centenary Park Campground at Mount Arapiles to match the regulated statewide fee structure followed at other parks in Victoria.
Under the approved structure, camp fees at Mount Arapiles will be applied on a per person rate.
The rate is $4 per person per night.
In establishing the new charge Parks Victoria took into account feedback from the climbing community and other users of the site to retain a per person approach.
Prices at Mount Arapiles have not increased since 1999 and are now being brought into line with a statewide increase which came into effect on 1 November 2012 for parks across Victoria.  Any future changes in fees will be clearly communicated.