Illegal Camping in our Shire

It’s no secret Augusta-Margaret River is one the best places in the world. As a bucket list travel destination, tourism is putting pressure on our facilities and increasing the amount of illegal camping.

With Easter just around the corner, and an influx of visitors expected, we wanted to let the community know how the Shire is addressing this issue.

What’s the Shire doing?

Over Easter, our Rangers will be working across the weekend and public holidays, starting early, and finishing late at night to enforce rules and issue infringements.  In addition to morning patrols, our Rangers visit high profile sites every afternoon to let travellers know it is illegal to stay overnight.   This includes popular coastal areas as well as sites such as the Barret Street Weir.

Long-term, addressing illegal camping is a priority. Over winter we’ll be exploring all possible solutions. We want to thoroughly research the issue, because while we recognise there is a problem, we know not all illegal campers are the same.  

Some are free campers with no interest in paying for accommodation, while others are seasonal workers providing vital support to our hospitality and viticulture industries, unable to secure accommodation.  Additionally, there are some people who’ve been impacted by the rental and cost of living crisis.

Will the Shire create overflow camping?

It's been incorrectly reported by the media that the Shire rejected the idea of an overflow camping area. This is not true.  What we said is: the solution to illegal camping isn’t as simple as creating an overflow camping area.

To ensure we invest ratepayer funds wisely and determine how to lobby the State and Federal Government we’ll be looking at all possible solutions, including establishing overflow camping areas.

How to enjoy Easter in the Shire 

Whether you’re lucky enough to call the Shire home, or here on holidays, you can expect things to be busy over Easter.  To enjoy your time on Wadandi Boodja, please remember 

  1. Book your accommodation before you arrive. Camping in residential streets, beach carparks, national parks, nature reserves, or on Crown land, is against the law and fines will be issued.
  2. If you’re planning to camp, see the list of campgrounds on our website or go to for other accomodation options. 
  3. No Campfires are allowed as we're in a prohibited burn period.
  4. Parking spots around town and at the beach will be scarce! You might need to park further away and get a few steps in, or even ride your bike or carpool! 
  5. There’s no time limit on parking spots in the Shire, so staying in a car park for an extended time during the day, is not illegal camping.
  6. Be patient with hospitality staff, especially juniors and backpackers who are playing a vital role for our local businesses.
  7. Please respect the rules, if you don't want a fine.
  8. Smile – remember we are lucky to be living and visiting here.
15 Mar 2024 Topic Type
General News
Augusta, Cowaramup, Gracetown, Karridale and Kurdardup, Margaret River, Prevelly and Gnarabup, Scott River, Witchcliffe
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