A van parked at Noosa Junction bowls club.
A van parked at Noosa Junction bowls club. Amber Macpherson

Travellers take advantage of 'free camping' spot

BACKPACKERS and travellers are parking illegally in the now defunct Noosa Bowls Club and staying overnight for free.

The Noosa Junction property is privately owned by Coles, as Noosa Council jurisdiction only has control over public areas.

A concerned resident living near the car park said the backpackers caused a racket at night time, left rubbish and lived in unhygienic conditions.

"(There was) five kombis there (last week) and you can hear them partying at night - either in the park or in the club,” the resident said.

"They are there in the car park with their kombis which obviously don't have toilets, showers... Councils make us pick-up after dogs. Wish they could make them do the same.

"They leave rubbish and make a mess.”

In a statement to the Noosa News, Noosa Council local laws co-ordinator Phil Amson admits there is little Noosa Council can do.

"Council's jurisdiction doesn't extend to private property,” Mr Amson said.

"We simply don't have the legislative power to take action on privately owned land with respect to parking laws.

"So we refer to police any complaints about illegal camping on private land.

"This is just what we've done following complaints about people camping in the car park of the former bowls club site at Noosa Junction.

"We have informed police and we have also contacted the owner.

"Thankfully the majority of self-drive visitors make use of Noosa's designated camping sites.”

A traveller who stayed at the car park said the backpackers usually only stayed for a short amount of time as there was limited camping options near Noosa Heads.

"Normally they only stay for one or two nights and then they leave,” he said.

"You have to drive 20 minutes out to find a camping spot.”

The traveller said he would happily move on if the property owner spoke to them, but so far no one had made contact.

"People have said, because you're here for free, you have to give some money to the community,” he said.

"I'm wondering why haven't the property owners come and spoke to us and said guys, you have to move on?”

Coles Property Queensland spokeswoman Kate Wicks said she was unaware of the illegal parkers but would investigate the issue.

"We will be looking into it in the near future,” she said.