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.
Cheers - Phil

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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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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby weetbix456 » Tue 30 Aug, 2022 12:40 pm

Am I missing something or has PWS omitted Pine Valley, Scott-Kilvert and Pelion Hut from their registration page recently?
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Mark7260 » Thu 01 Sep, 2022 6:32 pm

Wetbix, registration no longer required, when Covid caps were lifted. I have it in an email from PWS.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby JimMcK » Sat 21 Jan, 2023 2:19 pm

Hi everyone,

what's the latest on the walk registration? Is it indeed voluntary? Or compulsory? I was thinking of doing Frenchman's this year but it's booked out for months in advance. While I accept there was a good rationale of Covid safety to limit numbers in the huts, with those limits being dropped everyone else in society, why have a limit of 10 for Frenchman's when the huts can easily hold 20, but more likely most of us will use our own tents anyway?

Is setting off without registering frowned upon by fellow walkers?
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby CBee » Sat 21 Jan, 2023 3:35 pm

Judging by the 25+ people at Cutting Camp plus the extra at Berchavaise, I suspect that less than half uses the voluntary registration platforms. Neither the log book at the trailhead.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Lostsoul » Sat 21 Jan, 2023 3:51 pm

CBee wrote:Judging by the 25+ people at Cutting Camp plus the extra at Berchavaise, I suspect that less than half uses the voluntary registration platforms. Neither the log book at the trailhead.

Have had mixed experiences.A couple of years ago we registered for Frenchman’s.Was easily 30+ people at Lake Vera hut.
Recently walked in Mt Anne circuit the reverse way,to climb Sarah Jane and Lot/Lots Wife with the view of just camping away from the desi sites as ii was supposedly booked out.Ended up camping at Lonely Tarns for two nights with only one other person camped there.Also only saw a handful of people on the circuit in 3 days.
Another recent trip to Federation,we booked 2 nights at Cutting.Carpatk had 18 cars in it but again only saw a handful of people in 3 days and one other group camped at Cutting for 2 nights.Both Anne and Federation were showing booked out on the website the nights I was there.
Just my take on the booking system over three trips on different places.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby bumpingbill » Sat 21 Jan, 2023 5:15 pm

I've been monitoring Frenchman's bookings very very closely over the last month, and if I was to reveal a trend I've found it would be that *some* people seem to cancel a day or two before the walk. For example, today around midday someone canceled for a 22nd Jan departure. It's gone now, but it was there.

Some other examples:

* On Jan 18 someone cancelled for a Jan 20 departure.
* On Jan 17 someone cancelled for a Jan 19 departure.
* On Jan 13 someone cancelled for a Jan 22 departure.
* On Jan 12 someone cancelled for a Jan 13 departure.

So on and so forth.

That said, I do think large numbers of people either don't know about the system or don't bother. Or they do and just don't go or cancel because there's no checks and nothing to lose
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Lostsoul » Sat 21 Jan, 2023 6:23 pm

bumpingbill wrote:I've been monitoring Frenchman's bookings very very closely over the last month, and if I was to reveal a trend I've found it would be that *some* people seem to cancel a day or two before the walk. For example, today around midday someone canceled for a 22nd Jan departure. It's gone now, but it was there.

Some other examples:

* On Jan 18 someone cancelled for a Jan 20 departure.
* On Jan 17 someone cancelled for a Jan 19 departure.
* On Jan 13 someone cancelled for a Jan 22 departure.
* On Jan 12 someone cancelled for a Jan 13 departure.

So on and so forth.

That said, I do think large numbers of people either don't know about the system or don't bother. Or they do and just don't go or cancel because there's no checks and nothing to lose

I’ve heard people are booking multiple dates with different email addresses just to get the perfect weather windows.Alternatively book every spot and you get the place to yourself.
I was really surprised on Anne at the lack of people when it was booked solid for a week and the weather was absolutely perfect.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby lc130 » Sat 18 Mar, 2023 9:09 am

It's a carryover/continuation from the post covid lock down, when numbers in huts were limited. Its not a legally enforceable or obligatory registration. Note the wording 'you need to register', not 'you must register'. The system is full of holes, so they can't fine you. It's just a sneaky way to keep numbers down in areas where campsites and hut space is limited. PWS know there will be a fairly high level of compliance so it will achieve their goal. There are no controls on it. On the website they ask 'please cancel' if you change your mind. Problem is people book multiple start dates and then go when the forecast looks right but don't cancel any booking, so it looks full but isn't. Once again, that achieves PWS goal of keeping numbers down without a formal booking system and fee like for the OLT. There are many cases where one arrives at a nearly empty place despite it being 'fully booked'. I know of this happening in FCap and Pine Valley.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby bumpingbill » Sun 28 Jan, 2024 1:03 pm

The registration system remains screwy - Frenchman's is currently "under maintenance"

The PWS website says: "Registration page under maintenance - check back first week of February 2024.​​ Frenchmans Cap is fully registered between 19 January and 4 May 2024"

We know for a fact that people drop spots at the last moment, which means they're currently unable to do so. On average one to two bookings are release per day.

Does anyone know why the page needs maintenance at the height of the bushwalking season?
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby tastrax » Sun 28 Jan, 2024 1:38 pm

Lake St Clair rangers would be the best folks to contact. Telephone (03) 6289 1172
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby TentPeg » Sun 28 Jan, 2024 6:10 pm

I had a booking for three people. One couldn't make it through injury. After a number of attempts I was able to delete the whole booking - couldn't reduce it. I then tried booking for two to find only one available. I booked that one. My other buddy pulled out for medical reasons. I couldn't delete my booking.
Great system for concerts. A sad and sorry dog of a system for walking.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Letstryagain » Wed 31 Jan, 2024 11:44 am

It was always a doomed effort of control from a doomed organization. The big walks will all be olt style booking only soon enough anyway
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby JamesMc » Thu 01 Feb, 2024 4:17 pm

TentPeg wrote:I had a booking for three people. One couldn't make it through injury. After a number of attempts I was able to delete the whole booking - couldn't reduce it. I then tried booking for two to find only one available. I booked that one. My other buddy pulled out for medical reasons. I couldn't delete my booking.


The Eventbrite page for your booking has a "Contact the organiser" button that allows you to write a message saying you want to down-size your party. Alternatively, email [email protected]. Parks Tas has living breathing (and friendly) humans who will sort your booking out whichever way you contact them.

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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby bumpingbill » Thu 01 Feb, 2024 5:58 pm

I realise you weren't replying to me directly but I'm hoping to book the spots people give up! Not sure parks want to help me there? :lol:

Sadly, without a booking system there, I can't.

Why is Frenchman's inactive while the rest are still there. Anyone have any ideas?
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby JamesMc » Thu 01 Feb, 2024 6:41 pm

bumpingbill wrote:I realise you weren't replying to me directly but I'm hoping to book the spots people give up! Not sure parks want to help me there? :lol:

Sadly, without a booking system there, I can't.

Why is Frenchman's inactive while the rest are still there. Anyone have any ideas?


Contact Parks. Unfortunately, their registration system is rubbish but I have always found their office staff to be really helpful. If there's a space, I'm sure they'll book you in. I've just looked at Mt Anne - it has 12 available dates in February not counting today. Lake Rhona has only five days booked out in February. I'd be surprised if there are no available dates at Frenchmans.

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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby headwerkn » Fri 02 Feb, 2024 1:29 pm

The system is far from perfect but interestingly the reports from various people within PWS is that the system has actually had a genuine effect on tempering numbers in certain hotspots, Lake Rhona to name one.

Still, dealing with cancellations and stopping opportunists from just booking everything and not showing up is still a concern. People will lose their mind at the thought, but a nominal booking fee would at least stop (most) people from booking three different walks and only showing up for the one that suits the weather etc. come time.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby lefroy » Fri 02 Feb, 2024 7:33 pm

Tend to agree. Went into the Frenchmans area to do Philps. Weather was great and there was one camping couple at Vera. The walk showed as booked out. We spent a nice peaceful night at the hut. Not a soul to be heard. Perfect system
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Last » Fri 02 Feb, 2024 8:47 pm

lefroy wrote:Tend to agree. Went into the Frenchmans area to do Philps. Weather was great and there was one camping couple at Vera. The walk showed as booked out. We spent a nice peaceful night at the hut. Not a soul to be heard. Perfect system

We were there last december, it wasn't as bad as that but there were only about half as many as were booked. Again, it was booked out and had been for weeks.
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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby JamesMc » Sat 03 Feb, 2024 3:40 pm

headwerkn wrote:The system is far from perfect but interestingly the reports from various people within PWS is that the system has actually had a genuine effect on tempering numbers in certain hotspots, Lake Rhona to name one.


This sounds unlikely based on the fact that the registration site for Lake Rhona currently shows bookings available for 23 of the remaining 26 days of February, with some days having as many as 20 vacancies which means zero bookings. It is conceivable that a drop off in numbers could simply reflect the end of a surge in numbers following the covid lockdowns.

I'd be interested in whether Parks has data that compares actual walker numbers in places that require registration with numbers in places that don't require registration. E.g. Southern Ranges, South Coast Track, South West Cape etc.

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Re: Voluntary Walker Registration

Postby Letstryagain » Sat 03 Feb, 2024 5:55 pm

JamesMc wrote:
headwerkn wrote:The system is far from perfect but interestingly the reports from various people within PWS is that the system has actually had a genuine effect on tempering numbers in certain hotspots, Lake Rhona to name one.


This sounds unlikely based on the fact that the registration site for Lake Rhona currently shows bookings available for 23 of the remaining 26 days of February, with some days having as many as 20 vacancies which means zero bookings. It is conceivable that a drop off in numbers could simply reflect the end of a surge in numbers following the covid lockdowns.

I'd be interested in whether Parks has data that compares actual walker numbers in places that require registration with numbers in places that don't require registration. E.g. Southern Ranges, South Coast Track, South West Cape etc.

JamesMc



It is possible that people are simply smart enough to ignore the booking system for Rhonda and just go when the weather is suitable?
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