CAMPERS could be banned from some of the far north’s remote beauty spots ahead of a major season for Cape York tourism.
A major upheaval could hinder access to destinations on the bucket list, as indigenous guides in some cases exclude visitors or impose fees for property access.
The pent-up demand for the COVID-19 biosecurity lockouts last year has resulted in thousands of travelers looking forward to a dream trip to Tip counting on the Easter break and declaring the Peninsula Development Road open.
Despite being in state-managed national parks, campsites like Bathurst Heads, Janie Creek, and Vrilya Point are not expected to open at the onset of the dry season.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Environment and Science said the lockout was due to « road closures by local authorities ».
It is believed that the owners’ traditional frustration with « people doing wrong » is behind the lockouts.
Long-time Bamaga resident and Cape York travel guide author Tracy Sands said she had contacted the Hope Vale, Mapoon and Northern Peninsula authorities.
« I went up (to tip) last year and there were idiots fishing naked and the (travelers who stuck) badges on top of the cliffs.
« The people up here are the most amazing people, but they can only take so much before they shut things up. »
Ms. Sands said that while the state could control access to Cape Town’s national parks, indigenous property claims to land exceeded state authority.
Pajinka traditional owner Michael Solomon was concerned about the number of visitors using the unsanitary Tip Walk Track car park and a general « lack of respect » on Gudang / Yadhaykenu Aboriginal Corporation land.
« They make new tracks and (go) fishing naked, there are a lot of problems up here, they cross the (Jardine) ferry and go everywhere.
« My concern is the toilet, and when tourists come, they go into the bush and throw away rubbish. »
A proposal to charge for access to campsites on land north of the Jardine River should be discussed at a traditional owners meeting on Monday.
Leichhardt MP Warren Ent feared the potential impact of closings on local business and called for Cape York National Parks to be open to the Easter rush.
« The bloody state government needs to extract its digit and open the bloody national parks. It’s not just the campers who are going to miss it, and these are the people who have supported small businesses for so long, » he said.
« They are delaying the opening of the parks for longer and longer periods of time, closing them off and giving nothing. »
A DES spokesman said that visitors who do the wrong thing could close parks « if their actions have deteriorated the environment or unsafe the park infrastructure, » but would not comment on the management of land by traditional owners.
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