Voluntary Walker Registration

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Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby tastrax » Thu 30 Sep, 2021 6:29 pm

It seems PWS have increased the number of locations now requiring voluntary, free registration to try and manage impacts

https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-pa ... gistration

Lets hope it also comes with a wider walker education campaign.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Nuts » Fri 01 Oct, 2021 8:39 am

Be great to see an expanded voluntary booking system to limit impacts and make for a better experience. Tough to make it work effectively, easy to find excuses to make it mandatory, then paid etc etc.

Seems fair they could make a system mandatory for commercial tour operators to register and transport operators to check off at least.

Maybe technology can help more broadly at trail heads to indicate check ins?
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 01 Oct, 2021 9:46 am

I understand the desire to control numbers but this comes with lots of issues.

I'm hearing already walks are booked out. Where does this leave local walkers? Personally I'd just go as normal and avoid the designated camp sites. I wonder how PWS feel about this?
Surely it'll just push more people into off track areas when they can't go on the walk of their choice when time or weather suits?

I just don't like the thought of all this.

Why isn't freycinet included in this yet?
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Lostsoul » Fri 01 Oct, 2021 9:51 am

Probably won’t work!We recently camped at lake Vera hut and did the right thing and booked our times there,by 7.30 pm that night there were 27 people in the hut with a supposed booking limit of 10 people per night due to Covid.We we’re camping on the platforms anyway but obviously a lot just turned up without booking.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Nuts » Fri 01 Oct, 2021 12:37 pm

Sadly, the alternative is a similar 'policed' booking system, with ticket inspectors everywhere and several 00 $ to pay. Then, of course, when the quota is met, places remaining in the private lodges that have now been made a viable proposition. And fast tracking walkers to other places, including those who would have just went anyway and camped away from sites.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby L_Cham_67 » Fri 01 Oct, 2021 12:40 pm

It will be interesting to see if the system remains in place post COVID, which was the initial reason for implementing it.
It's all a bit of a shemozzle to me though - why does Farmhouse Creek require registration, but the more popular SCT and Freycinet Circuits don't? You have to register to head up to Pelion via the Arm River, but what about via Lees Paddocks?
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 01 Oct, 2021 12:56 pm

Lee's paddocks are private property not in a NP.
The SCT is going to be included. They're just working out the logistics with par avion I believe.

Don't understand freycinet though.

Yes this will remain after covid. It's about controlliing numbers. Nothing more.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby farefam » Thu 21 Oct, 2021 5:44 pm

Just noticed the voluntary system in the course of planning my next series of adventures.

Glad I have already done most of what I wanted to do before all of this sort of stuff came in. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to go fully down the New Zealand model of Great Walk restrictions. Looks like the Frenchmans Cap track has already taken the Milford Track approach it seems (thou must move on regardless of the weather).

I recognise and generally approve of the need to restrict numbers in popular alpine zones though. Fairly obvious it will drive more people into exploring the lesser known parts of the state as a side effect though.

It is a difficult quandry over how to best manage our parks in a needlessly increasingly overpopulated world......
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Nuts » Fri 22 Oct, 2021 12:27 pm

Some have concerns, others are full steam ahead to industrialise our parks. New negligence is an open bog hole, no wifi, no map or track notes or glossy expose'! No place for such oversights in the wilderness concept for future generations.

For all the concern and effort and focus of sharp minds we still end up a slave to economy. At least participants, wallets on legs.. inevitably sorted by order of discretionary income

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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby headwerkn » Fri 22 Oct, 2021 1:54 pm

Any kind of restriction of free moment on public lands obviously isn't ideal, but managing/limiting numbers on more walks was always inevitable and necessary. Arguably, it should have happened sooner.

Three Capes and Overland Track spots over the peak season now sell out months in advance, though I wonder how many are half hearted bookings that end up no-shows. This factor, plus ongoing COVID restrictions in Walls and Frenchmans and the continuing closure of the Mt Anne Circuit are pushing visiting bushwalkers onto other, once less-popular walks that are neither recommended nor set up infrastructure-wise for increased numbers of relatively inexperienced walkers.

January on the Western Arthurs was a real eye opener. Not only the numbers of walkers generally - particularly at Lake Oberon, where lots of people were sensibly in-out-ing from Scotts Peak Dam - but also the numbers who were doing it as their first Tassie bushwalk because they simply couldn't get into Frenchmans, WoJ, OLT or TCW during their visit.

Yeah, maybe tourists should research their trips properly, you can argue... but still, watching group after group quietly freaking out as the challenges rolled out from Mt Pegasus onwards was a little distressing to watch. Lack of tent platform space was a minor annoyance in comparison (though something that PWS needs to address... apparently it is happening).

By all accounts the Lake Rhona area is suffering from the much the same problem of heavy visitation, and I'm sure the Tyndalls could be added to that equation... though absent from PWS's registration list, interestingly. Ideally the Mt Anne Circuit reopening in the coming months would help spread the load, but no doubt will be negated by opening state borders and the return of interstate and international visitors back to more typical levels. Same for Eastern Arthurs.

I think anything that helps spread out walker demand across the state is a step in the right direction. Concentrating visitation on the same half-dozen walks was never going to be sustainable... particularly for the Arthurs, Rhona et. al. where no one wants see massively increased infrastructure and trackwork to contain the environmental impact ever increasing numbers will ultimately require.

Of course the real concern is that these "other" walks - most of which haven't seen any meaningful track work in decades, if at all - will suddenly see increased usage, thus increased wear/erosion and human-based waste/pollution, and thus require extensive works with funds that just don't exist currently in PWS's budget.

The other issue is... and I'm probably showing my own mountain-bias/single-mindedness here... but exactly how many other reasonably tracked, non-delicate-alpine-environment, newb/intermediate suitable, multiday walks are there in the state? Maria Island? Penguin-Cradle Trail? Narawntupu? Maybe Douglas-Aspley?

We really need more 3-6 day coastal walks where less-experienced walkers can enjoy manageable, durable trails and basic facilities (tent platforms, toilets, maybe basic huts to facilitate water tanks) without risking themselves to alpine weather, nor contributing to unmanageable erosion, nor having to pay $500 for the privilege.

I have nothing against Three Capes - it's not my idea of bushwalking, but clearly it is to many people - but for another $30M I'd rather see a half-dozen tracks around the state developed up to a more basic, sustainable level, and punters charged only $50 or so for use. The West Coast especially should be pushing for something around Climies Track, for example.

As a state we've slowly but surely pushed our economy away from primary industry and towards nature-based tourism for a few decades now. That effort has unsurprisingly resulted in ever-increasing numbers of visitors who - shock, horror - want to go bush and get a taste of it for themselves. Nothing wrong with that - could be way worse things they want to do. We just need our Parks and Reserves system to be properly funded like the tourism-generating asset that it is, rather than an afterthought.

Ironically the powers that be recognised this 20 years ago, and Tourism Tasmania did their all to squash the idea. But that's another story...
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