Caravan sites row: 'Return to successful arrangement'


The NT Government should adequately fund the running of Blatherskite Park, which it owns, to avoid the need for the show grounds to operate as a caravan park “to the detriment” of privately owned facilities.
Planning Minister Eva Lawler last year allowed the show grounds to operate permanently as a caravan park. The park is now allowed to accommodate caravaners and campers on up to 30 sites.
But Brendan Heenan, speaking as the president of the NT Caravan Park Association, says he has observed many more vans than that at Blatherskite Park, when there were vacancies at the town’s private parks.
“This affects all the parks in Alice Springs,” he says.
Mr Heenan, the owner of the MacDonnell Range Holiday Park, says the earlier arrangement provided for travellers to camp at the show grounds only when all of the town’s caravan parks are full.
The routine provided for the association to request Blatherskite Park to accommodate the overflow, when required. Mr Heenan says this would occur mostly when major events are under way, such as the Red Centre NATS: “We don’t want people to leave.”
“This arrangement worked well,” says Mr Heenan.
He rejects arguments that the privately owned are unable to accommodate large rigs and he says some caravan parks allow pets.
He said Blatherskite Park, as a property of the government, does not have many of the cost incurred by the private parks, such as council rates.
IMAGE: Show Society advertises caravan accommodation on its website.


  1. Two adults, two kids, no pets unpowered site for seven nights at Big4 in mid August, over $65 per night. Government have a duty to bring in tourists and have them support the township.

  2. Statement from the Board of Trustees in response your article: Blatherskite Park was in overflow at the time of your article as all caravan parks in and around Alice Springs were full.
    Blatherskite Park were advised by a representative of one of Alice Springs caravan parks on May 25 that caravan parks were full and they were redirecting campers to the park.
    Blatherskite Park have been inundated by 100s of calls from tourists unable to secure camping in Alice Springs since the Finke Desert Race weekend.
    Travellers are advising Blatherskite Park staff that the local caravan parks are not advising them of an alternative to camp at the show ground.
    Tourism Central Australia have been directing travellers to Blatherskite Park as they are aware there are no spaces available in caravan parks.
    Blatherskite Park management call daily the two caravan parks that take pets and remain updated with the availability of powered sites.
    Travellers are voicing their frustration and threatening bypassing Alice Springs. This is due to the finite number of powered sites in caravan parks. People especially effected are those travelling with animals.
    Blatherskite Park is closed to general campers from June 30 to July 9 due to the Alice Springs Show.
    The show stall holders, traders and Showman’s Guild are currently camping at Blatherskite Park. They arrived at Blatherskite Park on June 24 as Mt Isa Show finished on June 22.
    Blatherskite Park has provided camping for travellers at peak periods for decades and will continue to do so to meet this ever-growing need in Alice Springs.


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