How safe is free camping?

One question we get asked repeatedly from people wanting to know more about motorhoming and particularly free camping is how safe is it. I have to say that in all the years we have been camping and mostly free camping we have never felt unsafe. That is until last night!

We were camped at a gorgeous spot right on the Murray River at Yarrawonga Common. This is a free camp provided by the local council. It is a loop road along the bank of the river and there are many campsites all the way along. There are no facilities so you must be self contained. There were no signs to say how long you could stay but it is a lovely spot for a few days. You can walk into town from there. Camp fires are permitted so we made use of that and got our little fire pit out and cooked our dinner on our Bidgee BBQ.

It was a lovely spot with fabulous views of the river. On the opposite bank is a golf course and we could occasionally see golfers as they made their way around the course.

We met some lovely people who were camped next to us along the river bank in their motorhome and they came over after dinner and joined us around the camp fire. This is one of the most enjoyable things about camping….meeting new people. We had a most enjoyable evening with lots of laughs and good conversation.

The only thing that spoilt this great spot was a camper further along the river who was either on drugs, had serious mental health issues or was very drunk. He has set up his camp and looks like he’s been there for a long time. Late at night when it was very dark he started yelling and oh my gosh! The language was very colourful. It was a bit scary listening to the rantings of this man, who sounded a little crazy, so we decided to call it a night and retreat to the safety of inside our motorhome.

We made sure we packed up everything outside and then locked ourselves safely inside. We have never felt the need to do this before so it was very disappointing that the actions of one person can affect so many. I’m sure all the other campers felt that same as we did.

The local ranger did a drive around the loop road just on dusk so they must be aware of this long term camper. It’s time they did something about him and moved him on so people can once again enjoy this lovely scenic spot.


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