When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

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When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Pteropus » Thu 28 Feb, 2019 9:32 pm

Calls to close the Figure Eight Pool in the Royal National Park because its ‘Instafamous’ status is leading to deaths and injury -> https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-28/ ... s/10853854

Is this an overreaction, similar to the NSW Government’s ‘war’ on Festivals over drug deaths and pill testing? Is it a nanny state solution or a sensible idea?

I grew up in Sydney and the Royal National Park was one of my favourite playgrounds. I used to joke I knew the place like the back of my hand, though I know I don’t know it that well. From the late 90s till I moved away from Sydney in the late 2000s, I did, however, spend many many days walking down from Garrawarra Farm, past Burning Palms and exploring the Palm Jungle section of the park. It is without a doubt my most favourite section of my most favourite National Park.

Knowing the area so well I of course would occasionally walk into the Figure Eight rock pool. If I ever saw anyone down there, it was usually a rock fisherman or two, but rarely other bushwalkers and never crowds. Then a couple of years ago, when I was living back in Sydney for a year, I took myself for a walk out to the area, and I could not believe how many people were down there. The Garrawarra Farm car park was chock-a-block full, clearly more than the numbers I used to see from the hut owners, and there were many groups of people as I walked down with accents from all over the world (mostly Europeans), and then when I got to the rock platform there were so many people.

Figure 8.jpg
No hoards at the Figure Eight Pool around 2005ish.
Figure 8.jpg (71.98 KiB) Viewed 1569 times

Now, of course I know the Nasho is popular, and crowds picnicking at Wattamolla are nothing new, but I was shocked at how many people had discovered the Figure Eight Pool. It was clear the location was promoted to the masses, especially back packers. Nearby a precarious track that wound up the cliff from the pools into a nearby gully was being heavily used, causing new erosion. I think there have been several accidents here with people taking the short cut, including several cases of spinal injuries.

043 Figure eight pool.JPG
Figure Eight Pool sometime around 2010ish. Before it was Instafamous...

On another day in 2016 I spent time reacquainting myself with the Palm Jungle, and when I walked out via Burning Palms and up onto the Burgh Ridge that leads to Garrawarra Farm, there was a ranger there counting walkers and asking them a few questions for a simple survey. She and I spoke for a bit, because I was one of the few people she’d met that day who was not going to Burning Palms and/or the Figure of Eight pools. If I recall correctly, part of her survey was about how prepared people were, how much water they carried, additional clothing etc, and she took great interest in my PLB, because I was clearly more prepared to be in the bush than most she’d spoken to that day (and to think I used to walk in with some lunch and water and maybe a rainjacket!). She indicated that many of the people coming down to that section of the National Park were ignorant of surf conditions, tides, or had inadequate footwear, or little water or food.

004 Burning Palms.JPG
Burning Palms Beach leading to the rock platform around to Figure Eight Pool below the second headland. Note people are walking out along the rock platform.

This was around the time people were taking selfies at other locations, such as the Wedding Cake Rock, and at least one person falling from the cliff there, prompting NPWS to put in a fence (I think, I haven’t walked that section in many years).

This conversation has been had many times before, on this forum and in other places, every time a remote place becomes popular and potentially loved to death, and even when deaths begin to occur in these places, maybe because these are high profile.

What is the answer? We all visit places we heard about from other people or books or magazines (I first learnt of the Figure Eight Pool in an publication from the 1970s, and walked all over the park looking for the places in that book). Then, like the fisherman who’s protective of ‘their’ spot, or the surfer protective of ‘their’ break, we get upset when the hoards discover these locations. Partly, or mostly, because these hordes appear to disrespect the locations.

Should people be banned from these places? It could happen. I used to mountain bike, way back in the day, including the Royal Nasho Park. Then all of a sudden it seemed we were banned from all the tracks except fire trails. And part of the ban was because many in the Mountain Bike community were causing erosion on many existing tracks, and as bikes became increasingly sturdy with huge amounts of travel, and some rider’s skills were beyond normal, people began building illegal tracks through the bush with ramps and huge drop offs. In one local bush park near where I grew up and mountain biked in with my school mates since my early teens, new tracks were blazed through the scrub, with rocks moved to build jumps, and tracks went over cliffs, with clearing of most vegetation. Within a short period mountain biking was banned in the park, and in all honesty, I completely agreed with the ban in some locations because people couldn’t look after their environment. Afterwards the Mountain Biking community became more involved with track maintenance after that, negotiating for areas they could ride.

Will this happen to bushwalking, with the permanent closure of some popular locations because they are being loved to death, and/or attracting certain people who aren't experienced or prepared enough or respectful enough to be there?
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Thu 28 Feb, 2019 10:53 pm

Thoughtful questions. Despite intentions of the visitors, everyone has the right to visit, yeah? Current resource management options could result in park/region/area closures, user pays etc. This may keep away the less committed. I anticipate an increase in stealth camping and people exercising their constitutional right of freedom of passage. Hard core hiker, young families, 4wd guys, day tripper, instabangers, or activewear enthusiasts, we all have equal right to access these areas. Managing ingress/egress vs managing social media - hard gig. What would forum mbrs suggest?
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby wayno » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 3:53 am

dont geotag and dont make photos public on social media.... more places than you can count that have gone viral on social media in NZ. thers usually a queue on roys people in summer to take your photo.. numerous places getting busy beyond belief and people going unprepared because they have no idea how dangerous some places can be esp in bad weather.
years ago i put photos up of one of my trips, i had 100,000 hits on the page.... i dont publish my photos after that.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby ribuck » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 7:30 am

wayno wrote:dont geotag and dont make photos public on social media

I go the other way, Wayno: geotag freely and make photos public (but mention any non-obvious dangers too).

If it inspires people to get out into the outdoors, it's good for society. It lowers stress, reduces obesity, reduces demands on the health system, reduces resource consumption, etc. And if some people injure or kill themselves, well they're usually the same people who would be killing themselves in road accidents or with party drugs if they weren't out in the bush.

Encouraging lots of people into the outdoors is going to put some wear-and-tear on the bush. But the bush is resilient, and the long-term outlook is good. The birthrate trend is downwards in every developed country, and the undeveloped countries are (overall) increasing their state of development, so in 50 or 100 years after the world's population has peaked it will be good times for people and their environment.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby wayno » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 7:50 am

ribuck wrote:
wayno wrote:dont geotag and dont make photos public on social media

I go the other way, Wayno: geotag freely and make photos public (but mention any non-obvious dangers too).

If it inspires people to get out into the outdoors, it's good for society. It lowers stress, reduces obesity, reduces demands on the health system, reduces resource consumption, etc. And if some people injure or kill themselves, well they're usually the same people who would be killing themselves in road accidents or with party drugs if they weren't out in the bush.

Encouraging lots of people into the outdoors is going to put some wear-and-tear on the bush. But the bush is resilient, and the long-term outlook is good. The birthrate trend is downwards in every developed country, and the undeveloped countries are (overall) increasing their state of development, so in 50 or 100 years after the world's population has peaked it will be good times for people and their environment.


IMO being caught up in crowds doesnt lower my stress, seeing good tracks get covered in human litter because of those crowds and human feces raises my stress, the most scenic places are being done to death, and the growing crowds are becoming a problem... i go outdoors for peace and quite and more and more i have to listen to people talking loudly non stop or carrying loud speakers blaring music...
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 8:57 am

I agree with ribuck somewhat. Encourage people to enjoy the outdoors, however it is incumbent on us to educate and lead with best practice. Education will address the litter, bt speakers, poor toileting and antisocial behaviours. Teach good drills and skills, tolerance and thoughtfulness. Online info is impossible to control, even this forum has 'where is it' game and gallery full of amazing, sensitive areas identified and named. Those in the know can educate in leave no trace/minimum impact walking incl sustainable purchasing behaviours. Better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby wayno » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 9:06 am

education doesnt entirely address the litter, the more people who go outdoors the higher chance there will be more rubbish...
people are going into the outdoors now for selfies, a lot dont actually care about conservation, they just want their selfie and they dont care about the mess they leave behind... the tongariro crossing gets around 100,000 people a year on it, one cleanup picked up 7 bucket fulls of rubbish and excrement. theres no shortage of toilets on the 20k walk. they are in no less than 6 different locations,
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Pteropus » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 10:03 am

My post was a kind of brain dump without too much thought to solutions to the issues. Even if there are any. I tend to agree with most of what has been said in the replies so far, and clearly the issue is complex. I realise the issues are nothing new, but again i'm just adding to my brain dump here…

Obviously populations have grown and the internet has given people a broader scope with how they can entertain themselves. And it’s great people are getting out into the great outdoors and they should and can and absolutely have the right to do so. In many ways these people are rediscovering places that used to be popular back in the days when people didn’t sit around in their houses on computers or TVs all day.

And absolutely, everyone has the right to go to these places. I like to argue that National Parks are some of the least locked up land there is, especially when so many argue how NPs lock land up from development or activities such as four wheel driving etc. Everyone has access, but with access comes responsibility. National Parks are not just for our use but are conservation areas, and reckless over-use or misuse can lead to sections being closed off, even if simply for rehabilitation. The term ‘loving a place to death’ comes to mind.

Though I enjoy photography I’m not into Instagram and have no interest in the self-promotion that goes with it. I do know people who are Instagramers and perhaps rarely thought of going to see these wilder places before now, but are exploring now to get that photo of somewhere special. It's great in many respects, but from a photographic point of view, as has been written by a few photographers, photos in the internet are all beginning to look more similar, with few taking the original angle, because people are taking photos of the same thing. And of course many are not even taking photos beyond a selfie to show they’ve been somewhere they’ve seen on the internet. Tourism bodies actually use Instagram photos to encourage people to visit these places. And these places get trampled and used and abused. Like killing the goose that lays the golden egg, so to speak.

Educating these people is a great idea, in theory, but how many would listen? It’s like a movement needs to start, where every Instagram post of somewhere pretty needs a leave no trace message. Still, would people adhere? How many of us have been to some remote wilderness and come across camp rubbish, or fire scars in fuel stove only areas, or even graffiti on rocks, and wonder why someone who made the effort to go into such a remote location couldn’t be more respectful?

And obviously there’s the safety issue, where people who don’t usually do these activities suddenly do them on their own, or with similarly inexperienced companions. I’m not sure how they could police these activities, but after a spate of accidents like in the Royal National Park, these places could become less accessible because of the unprepared or inexperienced few. Or how long does it take till they harden the tracks in, put up board walks along the rock shelves, with viewing platforms to keep these places safe from people, and people safe from themselves? Reasonable ideas to protect the environment, but not everyone wants to see this type of infrastructure in their wild places.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby johnw » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 10:24 am

Great thread Andrew, thanks for starting it. I'll come back with some considered comments when I have time. While it's a broader discussion, as you know RNP is also close to me geographically and emotionally. I have also experienced in recent times the very same issues of concern that you raise. That said I can relate to both ribuck and wayno's side of the argument and will give it further thought before I comment.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby michael_p » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 11:46 am

I am all for getting more people out into places like the RNP...BUT.

Instafamous places like Wedding Cake Rock (WCR) and Figure Eight Pool (FEP) are a problem. Not only are ill-prepared people venturing out but it has also required significant additional spending to erect fencing and those awful boardwalks. These are funds that could have been used somewhere else like the poor condition of tracks in other parks. I have to admit that the above mentioned sections of the Coastal Track have become my least favourite parts of the RNP.

Some of the interesting things I have seen:
- Walking past people in dress pants and ladies in court shoes heading for WCR from Bundeena was an eye opener.
- Idiots that jump the fence at WCR...just thinking about this is getting me angry.
- The guy who stopped me at the Garrawarra Farm car park and in very broken English wanted to know how to get to Helensburgh station. He and his companions didn't look like bushwalkers so I politely advised that it would be easier (and safer) for them to return to Otford to get the train back to Sydney.
- People that head out to FEP even after reading the signs and seeing the waves crashing over the rocks.
- Massive increase in traffic at places like Bundeena. Beachcomber Ave is now one long car park.
Seriously I could go on.

These areas are being abused in my humble opinion but I would hate to see fences go up everywhere. So I am really not sure what the solution is.

Michael.

P.S. I am pro natural selection. :D
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Zapruda » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 12:32 pm

Valid points from everyone.

As someone who actually uses Instagram, I thought it would be worthwhile participating in the discussion.

I don’t think Instagram is solely to blame. Google the Castle, and flickr albums still appear. Google Blue Gum Forest, and David Nobles brilliant website pops up. I think it is just the internet and social media as a whole.

I never geotag my posts and only make vague and general references to where the photo was taken in the description.
I have had MANY people contact me over the years asking where some photos were taken and I generally ask a few questions back to ascertain their actual interest. When they find out how difficult a place is to reach they stop asking and I never hear from them again.

I have helped MANY people through Instagram to plan walks and connect them to the bushwalking community at large. There are a few people on this forum who can attest to that. Some of them hadn’t walked in the bush for 30 years. This is where Instagram has its merits. It’s not all negative. If I can get some keen, up and coming bushwalkers out into these areas then that’s a good thing. They will be the people who care for and look after these spots.

I have been afforded some great opportunities because of Instagram and have connected with people I would never have dreamed of connecting with. It’s a great medium for building community.

I do agree that places are becoming more and more busy. The Main Range loop can feel like Bourke Street on some days. 10 years ago, it wasn’t nearly as busy. I have seen an increasing amount of rubbish all over Kosciuszko sadly. I think people are better than they used to be about rubbish, It’s just now there are more of us. It seems like every rock crack I look in to there are old rusty cans and bottles from years gone by. Rubbish has always been an issue.

I think anyone who post on social media needs to understand their impact on the environment, and realise their posts, pictures and blogs may lead to more traffic, rubbish and damage in particular areas. They do have a responsibility to maintain some anonymity to locations.

Is Instagram to blame? No, I don’t think so. I think people desperately want others to believe they live these exciting adventurous lives and do everything they can to tick off all these boxes and snap all these pics to prove it. These aren’t the kinds of people who will go walking in Jagungal or actually go down to the Blue Gum forest. They will get out of their cars at Govetts and snap away. It’s their way of showing and feeling like they don’t live these exceedingly comfortable and statics lives.

As for people who aren't prepared. Leave them be. If I stopped every person leaving Charlotte Pass in jeans and a tshirt I would never make it past the Snowy river. Lets all remember that for a very long time we didn't have the luxurious gear we have today. People did things in what they had just like they do now. Not everyone is going to go out and buy a $150 dollar pair of synthetic pants for one walk. Its a bit elitist of us to sit here and say "they shouldn't walk in those dress pants" or believe you should only have access to an area because you look like a bushwalker.

My Instagram is below \/ if any wishes to scrutinise it. :)
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 11:01 pm

So is it fair to suggest that although these problems exist, any activities addressing the issues don't work? Sounds like - too bad, so sad. Walk more remote, avoid popular areas, clean up after others, people.dont listen. Are there any forum members who are willing to undertake action? I'd support a call to arms from this forum's members to begin a campaign to formulate a user-led approach addressing these very issues. Yeah I understand you cant educate all, not everyone listens, surely there is some good that can come from a collaborative effort of those who care. Criticism is easy and instant gratification. It'd be a shame to read the same whinges and whines 12 mths, 2 yrs, 5 yrs down the track on this forum without any actual activity. Im wondering best to contribute my time to these ends.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby wayno » Sat 02 Mar, 2019 4:11 am

you need someone in authority on the ground with the power to issue infringements that carry a fine.
in the states, some of the rangers are effectively police and can issue fines. rangers in nz often get laughed at and ignored, people wont even pay hut fees and the rangers cant do anything. the govt are looking at increasing their authority.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby ribuck » Sat 02 Mar, 2019 6:54 am

Careful what you ask for, wayno. An adversarial relationship between users and the authorities doesn't foster respect, and without respect it sooner or later goes downhill.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby wayno » Sat 02 Mar, 2019 6:59 am

ribuck wrote:Careful what you ask for, wayno. An adversarial relationship between users and the authorities doesn't foster respect, and without respect it sooner or later goes downhill.


It's not adversarial if people follow the rules, its only adversarial when they dont follow the rules, you cant run society without the police.
A lot of people who go into the outdoors already have no respect and it will take authority to get them into line.... have you walked a track where you come across multiple human excrement in a day? i have.
some backpackers take to NZ huts to save money, they arent really hikers and don't care about the outdoors they just want somewhere free to stay where they can get away without paying hut fees...
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby michael_p » Sat 02 Mar, 2019 10:38 am

Less than a month ago: https://www.reddit.com/r/sydney/comment ... cake_rock/
(It is much easier to jump the fence at the southern end.)

Police have been called in to help with fence jumpers: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-31/ ... k/10050618
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby rcaffin » Sun 03 Mar, 2019 4:17 pm

in general we try to avoid those very 'popular' places, and I do NOT post any photos on any media site anyhow.

NPWS said it was currently reviewing options for the [Wedding Cake Rock] site "in direct response to continued risk-taking visitor behaviour". ABC News
The answer is very simple. Just copy the European situation. They have been dealing with tourists in the mountains, and hard-core climbers too, for well over 100 years. They have a very hard line: you go at your own risk, and you have zero rights to sue if you get hurt. For sure, the Guides Associations may make best-effort attempts at rescue, but that is a volunteer effort.

People get killed in the mountains in Europe, but that is their 'right', and the media barely mention the deaths. Frankly, I think that is a very healthy attitude, of personal responsibility. The NPWS have erected a big fence and a warning sign at Wedding Cake Rock: they should now just stand back.

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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Warin » Sun 03 Mar, 2019 4:47 pm

rcaffin wrote:The answer is very simple. Just copy the European situation. They have been dealing with tourists in the mountains, and hard-core climbers too, for well over 100 years. They have a very hard line: [i]you go at your own risk[/i


Yep.
Motoring in the alps .. nice day, great scenery, good road. Oh what is that down there? It is a plane flying over that village ... and there is no guard rail between me and the edge ... result ... err, I slow down somewhat - not that I was going fast but. There are concrete post every ~ 100 metres ... probably to mark the edge when it snows.

The kiwis have a similar approach.

If necessary state the risk - undercut cliff for example.. and let people get on with it.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Zapruda » Sun 03 Mar, 2019 7:07 pm

rcaffin wrote:People get killed in the mountains in Europe, but that is their 'right', and the media barely mention the deaths. Frankly, I think that is a very healthy attitude, of personal responsibility.
Roger


Agreed and well said.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sun 03 Mar, 2019 7:24 pm

This maybe an outsiders perspective, and I acknowledge that I'm using a very broad brush, so please excuse, also a little scattered in my thoughts.

There starts off with the good aussie "She'll be right" attitude. But she isn't always right, and people get hurt. Be it jobsites, the wilderness, wherever, Aussies are independent in a weird way. They want rules for everyone else, but not themselves. There is plenty of looking after each other after something goes wrong, but little beforehand, and that is odd to me. So while I agree with the Euro method, or even what's common practice in some places in Canada "help's not coming" that is sort of antithetical to Aussies. How could you not help? So we have this pull back and forth, and that means bandaid responses because we don't want people to die due to their own stupidity. So fences, signs, warnings. Also Australia wants to be tourist friendly, but doesn't quite know how to go about that when it comes to the wilderness. So its a learning curve. Right near me there is a very delicate ecosystem which will probably end up getting ruined by the tour companies, but its popular, so we shouldn't restrict access. But once the dunes are gone, the high-rise can go in, it will make a good retirement home for old surfers.

Another thing that may also be part of the problem. When it comes to the Alps or the Canadian Rockies, the bar for entry past the tourist zone is quite high, the habitat is quite robust and thus what little traffic does get out there is there on purpose. Australia seems to have the combined curse of delicate ecosystems in really inaccessible places which necessarily bottlenecks the traffic. But the bar for entry into many places here is really not that high (the risks are there, but the getting there is not super hard) Where as there are plenty of places to go in Canada that I would like to see but are minimum 10 day unsupported and untracked trips. I know that doesn't seem like a stretch to many here, but those areas are accessible in a much narrower window of the year.

While traveling in Ireland a couple years ago we found all sorts of "at your own risk" signage that was well reasoned. But it was also backed up with well maintained infrastructure where needed. For example the only "fence" at one cliff was a low single chain between posts. There were signs advising the edge was unstable, and large steel grates were over areas where chimneys were, and were likely. But apart from that, there was not major rules. In fact the area we found that in had more signs about the dangers of the possibly grazing sheep than the cliff edge. In England we found a museum which had a sign saying "there is one way in and out of this museum, it is 27 very steep stairs. In the event of a fire, you will be expected to evacuate under your own power" or something like that. Here that would be closed, but complained about by all the locals, since it would not have been maintained and would have been legitimately dangerous, like many of QLDs fire towers. Or like the climbing cliff near me that has a fence high enough you have to climb, not strong enough to anchor off of, but between the carpark and the bolted anchors. The cliff edge is maybe two meters from the fence.... Yeah, really well thought out.

Another factor that bears mentioning is that despite the name, I cannot understand why you guys call them national parks. In Canada there are provincial and and national parks. They have different rules, and thus different uses. Many provincial parks even allow firewood collection to reduce ground cover (although that means its rare to find a campsite with trees in it as people seem to think cutting down green stuff is good for fires...) This also manages some of the tourist v local, as well as rookie v explorer problems. The federal parks can charge more for more services, where as the provincial parks are managed by the rangers in charge, and can lease areas to private companies for campgrounds. So it becomes a best of both worlds in a lot of ways.

Ultimately I think education is the only way out. There are going to be costs to pay, and people will need to want to pay them. Be it in dollars for more staff in busy parks, or in volunteer cleanup hours. But if no one is going, then instead of walking in parks, all there will be are forestry areas and mines. Because without education, that will remain the prevailing view of the land's value.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby ribuck » Mon 04 Mar, 2019 7:39 am

The more the authorities "protect" people, the more strongly people expect to be completely protected. It's an accelerating spiral.

Take down the fence around Wedding Cake Rock, and let Darwin do his job.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby rcaffin » Mon 04 Mar, 2019 6:44 pm

Provincial Parks - possibly equals State Forests here.

'Looking after' is fine. I am objecting to the (American) idea that if anything goes wrong I should sue the NPWS instead of recognising my own stupidity.

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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 04 Mar, 2019 9:26 pm

I guess the point of the NDIS is to go in the opposite direction to America. Ie, living in affluent society, if you have a serious accident in a NP you won't face the choice between suing parks and financial ruin.

There seems to be cycles to these things. Children's playground were greatly sanatised not that long ago due to fears about liability but the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction recently with a lot of academic talk of the need for kids to negotiate risk built into newer playgrounds.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby DavidB » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 1:11 pm

Best thing for Wedding Cake Rock in Royal NP is to get the experts in and blow it up. It's going to fall into the sea at some point.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby north-north-west » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 1:14 pm

The problem is people.
Get rid of all the people*, and there will no longer be a problem.

(*except me of course. And maybe you. Maybe...)
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby beardless » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 2:39 pm

It is not just instagram. Here is the cover of Australian Photography (September 2017) with a shot of Figure Eight Pools by Matt Donovan.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Warin » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 3:02 pm

north-north-west wrote:The problem is people.
Get rid of all the people*, and there will no longer be a problem.

(*except me of course. And maybe you. Maybe...)


1 person per 10 sq kilometers...
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby north-north-west » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 3:12 pm

Warin wrote:
north-north-west wrote:The problem is people.
Get rid of all the people*, and there will no longer be a problem.

(*except me of course. And maybe you. Maybe...)


1 person per 10 sq kilometers...


Irrelevant statistic.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 6:18 pm

rcaffin wrote:Provincial Parks - possibly equals State Forests here.

'Looking after' is fine. I am objecting to the (American) idea that if anything goes wrong I should sue the NPWS instead of recognising my own stupidity.

Cheers
Roger

Its an easy goal to kick, but while the bar is low in many states to file a suit, its often much harder to win. Many suits have been misreported over the years and so it creates this urban legend of the "american" frivolous lawsuit, but I hear about them just as often here. Someone suing over bad salad at a pot luck. I can bet there is more to all of the stories than makes the news. And yes, there are many out for a quick buck, and many litigation lawyers who will take a case, but the "no win/no fee" stuff is things that they know they can win. Why gamble?
As much as litigation catches a bad rap, its sort of the only equalizer between a big organization and the average Joe. I don't know, its a complex thing. I like parks, camping next to an oil derrick sucks.
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Re: When our favourite bush spots become ‘Instafamous’

Postby Pteropus » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 9:57 pm

Honestly, I don’t know what the attraction is with the Figure Eight Pool. It’s an interesting feature, and though I’ve visited it on several occasions back in the day, apart from its semi-unique shape, it’s like any other rock pool along the coast there, and definitely not the most accessible around Sydney by a long shot. If the area became victim to its popularity and hardened tracks went in with a boardwalk and fence for viewing it, I don’t think it’d remain all that popular. Well, that’s my guess, sure, but it seems people want to be photographed in or with the pool itself rather than admire it. Seems odd to me, but then again, I like taking photos of trees and flowers and animals and waterfalls…

Speaking of waterfalls, there is a popular walking track in Hobart, on the side of Mt Wellington, I’m sure many on this forum will know, with a pretty little waterfall in the gully beside the track, maybe a metre or two high. It’s known as Secret Falls because it can't be seen from the track, though now it’s the not so secret falls, and in the past there have been similar discussions about it's popularity on a Facebook page, Waterfalls of Tasmania. The location is easily accessible and many people must have seen it on social media (I didn’t intend to single out Instagram in my original post, but it does seem to be one site that has major influence and promotion, but facebook is another source), and began to visit the falls in increasing numbers, trampling vegetation and causing erosion into the gully. I've been there, I confess, and I'd like to think I was fairly respectful to the environment, at least in the sense of making sure I didn't trample any of the ferns or cause major erosion, which is how i try to treat the bush when i'm out there. But I too am part of the problem if that's the case. It's how these things roll.

Of course it’s not hard to find these locations, but occasionally someone will ask where a location is, and sometimes the original poster has declined to give the location, and sometimes an internet argument has ensued, with people arguing that the original poster should give the location because the place is accessible to everyone, or conversely, supporting the OP because some locations could become loved to death. It's like the bw.com rule and occasional discussion about posting details of sensitive off-track destinations.

And we all know too well that loved to death is what happens to all our special locations, whether by you, me, others, etc, each with our/their own reason for wanting to see a place. Take Mt Wellington and its pretty gully with its Secret Falls I mentioned for example, and its many more secrets and lovely spots too, which is about to suffer worse than a few photographers, and about to be given to private enterprise and backed by the state government, who want to modify that landscape with cable car infrastructure, some of which they want on the edges of that very gully, in the name of getting more people into nature (<-where is the strikethrough option?), cough, I mean up to the high-end restaurant and viewing platform they wish to build on a sensitive boulder-field above some astonishing and prominent cliffs…loved to death indeed…but i've digressed…

johnw wrote:...as you know RNP is also close to me geographically and emotionally. I have also experienced in recent times the very same issues of concern that you raise. ...

John, yes, I'm waiting to hear about the Nasho! I haven't been back for quite some time.
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