Yanchep kicks off Parks for People

When visitors are allowed to start camping in Yanchep National Park in July koalas will be one of the many attractions. Picture: Anita McInnes

By Ingrid Jacobson

YANCHEP National Park will be opened up to campers and caravaners in July during a trial aimed at encouraging city folk and tourists to connect with nature.

The trial is part of the State Government’s $21.5 million Parks for People policy designed to boost the number of affordable camping choices in WA’s national parks.

It is also being used to judge demand for this type of camping and will be used as a benchmark for future facilities.

WA Environment minister Albert Jacob announced the plan to Yanchep News Online this week.

“It’s exciting that people can now experience camping so close to Perth in such as beautiful environment,” he said.

“Yanchep is among the most popular parks in the state, receiving over 320,000 visitors annually.

“With historic buildings, limestone caves, coastal woodland and a 240m boardwalk in a koala compound, there are activities to suit campers of all ages.”

Yanchep in particular is being viewed by the State Government as easily accessible to urban dwellers, some of whom have never camped before, to get a taste of life in the great outdoors without the added cost and inconvenience of travelling further afar.

With the park being just under one hour’s drive from the city centre, it is the closest national park to Perth of those included in the plan, which spans from Exmouth through to the South-West.

Two small walk-in camps are already set up in the north-west section of Yanchep National Park.

The Yanchep camp site will be located on Henry White Oval where an existing ablution block has been upgraded for campers’ use.

Automatic camp site entry and exit gates have recently been installed to cater for after-hours arrivals.

Camping will be short-term with an initial maximum stay of seven nights.

Bookings will be taken through the Parks and Wildlife online system.

Mr Jacob said the camping site had been identified as needing revitalisation and that extensive revegetation, including tuart trees, would be done as part of the site works.

“This will improve the amenity of the site and provide habitat to native animals,” he said.

“The camp site will be accessed from existing roads and be managed by Yanchep National Park staff with help from volunteer parks and wildlife camp hosts.

“The initiative is also consistent with the Parks and Reserves of Yanchep and Neerabup Management Plan 2012.”

The Parks for People policy was released in 2013 and is funded through Royalties for Regions.