No camping: Nomads to snub Callide Dam

SPENDING IN TOWN: Regulars campers from Callide Dam cannot believe SunWater won't allow free camps on the dam foreshore any more.
SPENDING IN TOWN: Regulars campers from Callide Dam cannot believe SunWater won't allow free camps on the dam foreshore any more. Vanessa Jarrett

THE No Camping signs SunWater erected at Callide Dam last week have caused a stir among locals, business owners and the Grey Nomads and campers who travel all over Australia and visit the dam each year.

When the Central Telegraph met some grey nomads last weekend they said the most frustrating part of the ban was that it was young people giving the camping area a bad name.

"We don't want to be causing any issues to the locals because some of them are good but some others ruin it," a camper said.

"Last weekend, for example, a group of people came out at about 5pm and they lit a fire.

"They left at 9pm and left the fire going. It was still going at 4am.

"And in wet weather the locals come out on their bikes and quads and rip up all the grass and create mud.

"And we pick up after everyone else but we still get the blame."

READ | CQ town creates 'bush oasis' holiday to capture thousands


SunWater have begun evicting campers at Callide Dam.
SunWater have begun evicting campers at Callide Dam. Vanessa Jarrett

Some campers travel from areas as far as Western Australia, Phillip Island, Sunshine Coast Port Macquarie, Young and Orange.

"You will find most of us are responsible campers," the camper said.

"We are fully self- contained, we empty our waste, we have our own toilets and showers.

"Most of us have $50,000 to $60,000 in assets sitting here so we aren't going to let a fire get out of control."

The campers said they would not be "forced to go to a caravan park".

"There are people who do caravan parks and free camps and we are free campers, we won't do caravan parks where we have to pay," they said.

"They are going to force us to go down there and we won't, we will just keep passing by and find another free camp to go.

"The people that free camp spend money in the town because they aren't spending money on a site each night.

"And by the time you set up your vehicle, it isn't a free camp, you have paid

for it.

"You might get fish for dinner one night that you caught but that isn't free once you count all the rods, equipment and the boat."

Moving on to find another free camp, the campers said Biloela would lose out.

"If we were kicked out of here, we are going to go somewhere else and that is a lot of money that is going to go with us," they said.

"They say we are worth $100 per couple per day to a community so Biloela is going to lose a lot of money - the laundromats, the butchers, the restaurants, IGA, Foodworks, the chemist, petrol stations - we we fill one car it is over $100.

"Take last Sunday for example: 11 of us went to

the RSL for lunch and that's just our group of people

we know.

I personally spent $70 because I got takeaways as well but most people probably spent $30-$40 each."

Some campers have stayed at the dam for a few days, some a couple of weeks and one camper i has been there for five weeks.

Settled and enjoying their waterfront views, the campers said they hoped they did not have to move on.

"We like Biloela, we don't want to leave," they said.

"If they want us to go, we will."

Topics:  business callide dawson camping economy grey nomads sunwater tourism travel

Businessman goes from Zika virus to Rocky courtroom

Bernie Gribble at The Fitzroy Hotel.

Sentence for Bernard Gribble after pleading guilty to choking ex

'Plane enthusiasts' dream': Massive military aircraft in Rocky right now

The Antonov 124-100, one of the largest aircraft in the world, lands at the Rockhampton Airport.

See one of eight of the incredible aircrafts operating in the world

BREAKING: Brazen CQ teen recaptured after dramatic escape

MAN HUNT: Police are still searching for a 17-year-old man who escaped custody in Emerald on Tuesday night.

The handcuffed 17 year old allegedly stole a car and sped away

Local Partners

Queensland's Sausage King the newest kid on Rocky block

New kid on the butcher's block snags coveted award just months after opening his business.

Get Set for Summer

Win One of Ten Prize Packs
Learn More

Painting a brighter future for koalas

WORTH SAVING: The Queensland Koala Crusaders' Community Crowdfunding Campaign aims to raise $30,000 towards the cost of planting 10,000 trees for koalas.

Queensland Koala Crusaders have launched a crowdfunding campaign

CQ animal rescue group struggle with abandoned pet surge

Thatcher the dog is the face up Capricorn Animal Aid's upcoming fundraiser ball. He is pictured with his foster carer Lailah Hinds and Capricorn Animal Aid's Juanita Peoples ahead of the major event.

Major fundraiser the only hope for hundreds of animals in need

MOVE REVIEW: Tower's too steep a climb for this fan

A POPULAR novel series has finally made it to the screen but it's not exactly the King of movies, according to reviewer Matthew Pearce

'Carnival of chaos': Mega Rocky event you can't miss

A massive night of entertainment is lined up for the Rockhampton Showgrounds next month.

Massive response to release of tickets for next month's spectacular

The Project will now be on six nights a week

The Project presenters Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar.

The Project is expanding with a Sunday night edition and a new host.

Click your fingers, tap your toes

Helen Peters, Elisabeth Wallis-Gaedtke, Evalee Sharples and Kemal Avunduk rehearse for Fascinating Rhythm, Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir's performance of hot jazz, sizzling samba, Latin beats and smooth swing sounds at Lake Kawana Community Centre on August 26-27.

Libby to set beat for Fascinating Rhythm this weekend

Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in London

Margot, is that really you?

MARGOT Robbie looks completely unrecognisable as Queen Elizabeth I.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 finale predictions

Emilia Clarke in a scene from season 7 of Game of Thrones.

JON and Daenerys finally met. But what happens next?

Reese Witherspoon on being a ‘has-been’ at 36

Witherspoon’s career has never looked better but that didn’t stop people declaring her a “has-been”.

Reese on the ‘brutal’ article that called her a has-been at 36.

You'll be Sold On what's in this 72-page property magazine

Sold On

The ultimate guide to the world of real estate in our region.

Residents fear sand mine sell out by State Minister

Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.Cou

Further testing undertaken on site, despite claims of significance

Investors quick to snap up property in key growth corridor

High-profile commercial site sells at auction for $4.920m

Rocky in top-10 fastest growing areas for residential units

CBD FRAMEWORK: Artist impression of the $14 million combined residential and commercial high-rise on the corner of William and Bolsover streets, Rockhampton.

Development approvals align with bold inner-city living vision