A popular low-cost campground south of Adelaide could be under threat with the local council seeking advice on a legal letter it has received pushing for it to be closed.

Key points:

  • The Rapid Bay campground has grown in popularity
  • A local resident wants it closed
  • The local progress association wants to keep it as it is

The management agreement over the Rapid Bay campground ends in September, sparking consultation from the District Council of Yankalilla over the future of the beachside site.

The campground has become particularly popular over the past few years with the rise of influencers posting beautiful photos from the town and nearby Second Valley, about 90 kilometres south of Adelaide’s CBD.

It was closed for some of last year because of coronavirus restrictions, but has resurged in popularity over summer with Australians mostly barred from travelling overseas.

A beach with a hill behind

Rapid Bay is a former mining town that has become a tourism hot spot.(

Instagram: @antstagram_sa


The Yankalilla council voted on Tuesday to look into the pros and cons of closing the campground.

A report to the meeting said a “legal letter” had been received “requesting that the management agreement is not renewed, and the campground is closed”.

It did not explain what concerns the letter writer had, although elsewhere in the report it said some Rapid Bay residents preferred the site be used as public open space.

Council chief executive Nigel Morris said it had engaged a lawyer to respond. 

“I always want to resolve these things without lawyers — they come with an extensive cost,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“I hope we can resolve it without going any further.

“I have been working with the residents of Rapid Bay for quite some time and that will continue.

“Hopefully, it doesn’t have to be solved by legal matters.”

A woman sitting in a rockpool with seawater in it

Belle Miller relaxes in a rockpool at Rapid Bay.(

Instagram: @velma_the_volks


Business group wants campground saved

Cape Jervis Progress Association chairwoman Lauren Barrington has started an online petition opposing closing the campground.

She said similar issues would be created to when the campground was closed last year during coronavirus restrictions.

A woman holding a bird

Lauren Barrington is leading the campaign to keep the campground open.(



“I think it would encourage illegal camping,” she said.

“The impact to local businesses would be great — and to the environment.”

Mark Tyck travelled to Rapid Bay with his family earlier this month.

“We wish there were more places like this, along this beautiful coastline,” he said.

“Closing this campground would be a step backwards and discourage local spending from families like us.”

one child standing and another doing a handstand inside a cave with the beach behind

Children play in a cave near the beach at Rapid Bay.(

Instagram: @aussie.van.adventures


Dave Mooney and Belle Miller, who run an Instagram account featuring their Kombi van, said it was “too nice of a place to close the campsite”.

The council did not provide any details on the resident who was pushing for the closure, apart from that the person lived in a nearby street to the campground.

The site is Crown land under the custodianship of the council and is zoned for camping and recreation.

Campsite popular with influencers at risk of closure after legal push
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