Overnight booking system

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Overnight booking system

Postby wello » Fri 22 Oct, 2021 8:04 pm

Hi All,

My first post for quite a few years. I live in SA these days and had the pleasure of taking my kids to Tassie for the first time last month. We had great weather and they loved seeing snow for the first time at Cradle, turned the walk round the lake into 5 hours with their curiosity.

It was interesting to see the development at Cradle (new viewing structure where Dove Lake car park used to be). This sort of thing has been on going for quite a few years, and to be expected I suppose.

I've now found out about the overnight walk booking system. Is this a Covid 19 response or a more general control? Some of the numbers seemed odd; double the daily departures to Lake Rhona compared with Frenchman's Cap.

Overall, this approach seems to be a big change from when I did most of my walking in Tasmania in the 80's and 90's. Even more recently you could just turn up and do the walk you chose (except the Overland Track, which I think is fair enough).

What's the general feeling among the local bushwalking community about having to book (I still consider myself Tasmanian even though I left 25 years ago!)?
Are the limits actively inforced?
Is there any intel on limts coming off once Covid restrictions ease?

Cheers
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Re: Overnight booking system

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 23 Oct, 2021 4:37 am

Nothing to do with covid. That was just a convenient excuse for them to implement the booking system which has been in the pipeline for many years before covid existed (or was made up for our unvaccinated flat earthed friends)

There are a few saying oh well it's here we'll deal with it, but there is mostly opposition to it among local walkers.

With a good weather window and time off work or family obligations one of the joys was packing last minute and taking off deciding where to go last second. No longer possible.

I fear areas that have unofficial tracks or light pads are going to suffer badly due to this oversight.

Personally I rarely stay at designated sites so will continue to go through these area camping elsewhere without booking. Judge me as you will.
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Re: Overnight booking system

Postby doogs » Sat 23 Oct, 2021 11:39 am

I think that it's a bureaucrats solution to a complex problem.. Yes, the tracks have become quite crowded, particularly as more folk have become 'bushwalkers' during our current COVID times. It's great that more people are loving our parks and want to do these walks. However, to give people set departure days on tracks with significant hazards is downright stupidity. It will lead to people taking potentially fatal risks to go on their walk on a set day. If you think about the potential drowning danger of crossing the Gordon River to get to Lake Rhona, a fall on the Western Arthurs, Eastern Arthurs or Mount Anne circuit etc. People generally use common sense to reduce the risk of these by visiting in suitable conditons. Parks are removing this option.

If you are going to implement booking systems for these area, then you are going to have to start removing the hazards. Are we going start see the wilderness values of these areas reduced by the construction of bridges, chains etc? Most likely. The slow creep of this is starting to take place in some areas, much like the inevitable march of eucalypts into areas formerly dominated by pines and myrtles.

I don't know the solution, but the current iteration of the booking system is not the answer.
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Re: Overnight booking system

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sun 24 Oct, 2021 9:42 am

doogs wrote:I think that it's a bureaucrats solution to a complex problem...


Too many people trying to share a limited resource is more than just a bushwalking problem.
If you take away all the emotion and sentiments then its just a numbers game. There are too many of us on this planet at the moment !!
We can spin around in our own little orbits trying to solve issues like this but so long as world and corporate leaders regard growth as the only way forward we are fighting a losing battle.
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Overnight booking system

Postby headwerkn » Tue 26 Oct, 2021 2:38 pm

wello wrote:Is this a Covid 19 response or a more general control?


'Both' is the honest answer. It is/was requirement of social distancing protocols but broader limits on some walks, especially the Western Arthurs, have been needed for a while.

wello wrote:What's the general feeling among the local bushwalking community about having to book


https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=38611

I'm sure most locals despise any form of restriction on their activities ;-) In all honestly though it's simply the tip of a much broader issue regarding PWS funding and the existing trail network's capacity to cater for increasing numbers of "tourist bushwalkers" on safe, manageable, sustainable walking routes.

wello wrote:Are the limits actively inforced?


Apparently no. Which, with my cynical hat on, does rather make me wonder what if any real effect it'll have. The booking system was already in place for Frenchmans Cap this time last year, when COVID was actually a thing in Tas, and seemingly had zero affect on a seriously overcrowded Tahune Hut when we were there last. Most people we spoke to pleaded ignorance regarding bookings.

I don't really see this changing until there are rangers out there writing fines (or belting people with sticks etc.).

wello wrote:Is there any intel on limts coming off once Covid restrictions ease?


Don't count on it.

It might sound horrible, but as someone who's been researching into doing the John Muir Trail in however-many years' time and trying to nut out their crazy-competitive ballot system... well, let's just say, it could be far, far worse.
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