The roll out of an online booking system for South Australia’s national parks has been occurring since August 2014 and remaining parks – including those in the SA Arid Lands region – will come online from 1 June.
Under the new arrangements, visitors will need to book online before they travel for camping, accommodation and entrance fees for the following parks:
- Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Innamincka Regional Reserve
Malkumba-Coongie Lakes National Park
Witjira National Park
Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park
- Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park, including Grindell’s Hut, Nudlamutana Hut and the Balcanoona Shearers Quarters
Self-registration stations (also known as iron rangers), which have continually been subjected to vandalism and theft, will no longer be in use and cash payments will no longer be accepted.
For many people the new online booking system will be a more convenient experience.
It will allow visitors to plan and book ahead from the comfort of their home, and they won’t have to carry the correct amount of cash. They will also be able to book their favourite campsites up to 12 months in advance of a planned visit which will be particularly convenient during peak periods when some camping areas are in high demand.
Do I still need a Desert Parks Pass? And what about the Simpson Desert?
The online booking system will not apply to the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Simpson Desert Conservation Park. A Desert Parks Pass will still be which will cover entry and camping fees and holders can camp in designated areas on arrival.
The Desert Parks Pass is also available for Witjira National Park, Innamincka Regional Reserve, Malkumba-Coongie Lakes National Park and Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park and is often a more cost-effective option for travel in the region. Desert Parks pass holders will still need to book their campsite through the booking system; it will ask if you have a Desert Parks Pass so you will not have to pay twice. Casual day entry and camping permits to these parks will also be sold through the online booking system.
How do I make an online booking?
Visit www.parks.sa.gov.au from 1 June.
But there’s limited mobile phone coverage, I don’t have access to a device for booking and/or I can’t always plan ahead.
We recognise that there is limited mobile phone coverage in the region, sometimes it’s not practical to book ahead, and not everyone has access to the Internet or portable devices. A number of businesses in strategic, remote locations have become agents. They will have signage that online payment is available before you drive out to the park and can assist you.
These arrangements are currently being finalised; agents can be found at www.parks.sa.gov.au or on the individual parks pages from 1 June.
We acknowledge that there will be confusion for some visitors as we move to the new online booking system. Other States have had similar systems in place and as word gets around we expect these to reduce in time.