IT is already one of the most popular recreational areas in Orange, but Gosling Creek Reserve could have even more visitors if it was opened up for camping and motorhomes.
Pat Tilston and his wife Val are keen travellers, taking their motorhome with them all over Australia.
But they say for visitors to Orange the closest free camping area is at Macquarie Woods or on the side of Molong Road on Orange’s outskirts, meaning the city is missing out on extra money from the tourist trade.
With public toilets, a picnic and barbecue area and playground already overlooking the Gosling Creek reservoir, Mr Tilston believes it would not take much for the area to be opened up to overnight visitors.
“There is a lot of vacant land so there is heaps of room for caravans,” he said.
Mr Tilston said a camping area at Gosling Creek would be great for visitors to the hospital, with Western Care Lodge catering only for radiotherapy patients.
He said the couple had stayed at many low cost or free camping areas around the country.
“Some have boom gates and you ring a number and they take your [vehicle] registration number,” he said.
“There are others where the council has a sign up that says it’s a $250 fine if you don’t put the $10 [per night fee] into the box.”
The camping areas are usually monitored by council rangers who take down the vehicle registration numbers, Mr Tilston feels its a system that would work well for Gosling Creek and most visitors would be happy to pay up to $10 to camp overnight for the money to go towards the area’s upkeep.
Although a sewerage dump point could be an option to make the area more attractive to motorhome owners in the future, Mr Tilston said only minimal work was needed to make the area campervan friendly with powered sites and showers not necessities for most motorhome and campervan owners.
“All you need is toilets and a covered in shed ... and maybe a camp kitchen,” he said.
“The more you put there, the more it costs.”
He does not believe opening the area would impact the trade of caravan parks in Orange.
“Generally people that free camp will not stay in caravan parks,” he said.
“You won’t stop people with families staying at caravan parks ... all we’re doing in Orange is people who free camp drive through and stay somewhere else.