Hi thought people should be warned about some of things that can happen on Kangaroo Island if you camp at the wrong time.Our family had our Christmas holidays on Kangaroo Island ruined when we were run off Kangaroo Island by aggressive redneck Kingscote locals camping at Vivonne Bay Council Camping Ground. Despite two phone conversations requesting police assistance (000) as we feared we would be assaulted the police did not attend. We heard from other locals that this behaviour of intimidation to move people on occurs every year so I would advise that you do not camp there if there is any chance local will be camping there (Christmas until end of January, long weekends, Easter etc.) unless you are prepared to fend (fight) for yourself or put up with selfish bogan locals that give a fantastic holiday destination a bad name. Note : an official police complaint has also been lodged.
My family, wife and two children 9 & 11had been staying at the Vivonne Bay council campsite since 26th December 2011.
After we’d spent four hours setting up Vivonne Bay locals had told us when we arrived that Kingscote locals would be coming soon for swimming lessons on January 4th 2012 and we should consider moving somewhere else. We had assumed this was because of crowding but because we had gone to such an effort to get a good campsite (driving all the way from Melbourne on Christmas day) we thought we’d be able put up with any inconvenience.
When the Kingscote locals arrived (approximately 30th December 2011) Redhead, the ringleader , a stocky balding mid 40 year old man who strutted around the camping ground with a stubby in his hand (always) like a rooster immediately came over and asked my wife when we were leaving. From that time on there was little verbal or eye contact from him and most of the Kingscote locals who clearly wanted us to move from the best site.
On Saturday morning (1.15am), 7th January 2012, I went across to adjoining two campsites (one of whose was Redhead’s) to ask campers to reduce noise level as I had trouble sleeping because of their noise.
These campsites had been consistently making noise up until 11:00pm on most nights for the previous week. On Tuesday 3rd January at 12 midnight (ie Wednesday morning) I had also asked them to quite down . Eventually after another half an hour they had.
However on Saturday morning four (Kingscote locals camping on the grounds) became verbally abusive and behaving in a very aggressive manner.
At this time I immediately retreated to inside my camper with my family as their behaviour was clearly leading toward physical violence.
Immediately after, we began hearing people walking around our campsite in a threatening manner and making animal noises. It escalated when rocks were hurled on the top of our camper with all of us inside. We felt in danger. At this point I decided that it was dangerous to stay.
Because phone coverage was poor I got out the camper and walked the 30metres (to where reception was OK) and dialled 000.
I asked for the police to attend and then returned to the campsite to pack up.
For the next hour and a half, with intermittent verbal harassment from Redheads campsite intended to provoke me and my wife, we continued to quietly pack up under the assumption that the police would arrive from Kingscote (60kms away) at anytime.
The police did not show. We received a phone call from 000 asking us if the situation was ongoing and did we require assistance to which I replied “Yes”.
I could not answer the next two calls from an unknown caller as the signal kept dropping put and I dare not leave my family for too long alone especially given that we could not rely on police protection.
At approx 4:30 we had finished packing. As we drove out Redhead retired to his tent. Still feeling at risk especially now as we had realised we could not rely on the police, we drove immediately to Kingscote tired and exhausted and slept in the safety of our locked vehicle. As we justifiably had no confidence in the Kangaroo Island police force, we cut our holiday short and took the first ferry available off Kangaroo Island. It was only when we reached the mainland that we felt safe.
* Redhead – A Kangaroo Island local (probably Kingscote) driving a white late model ute with and logo of a well known in Australian agricultural corporation . It was his campsite that the three other aggressive men sat in, although silent himself he made no effort to moderate their behaviour or language.
Redhead campsite was in middle of camping grounds and not a designated camping site. He ran a extension power at height of approximately 8 feet through trees, across an area where vehicles travelled. My wife overheard him having a conversation with the cleaner about camping arrangements an he said he knew the person in the council managing the area quote “very well……very well….”.
Two people were the most aggressive.
By far the worst was a shortish, man, black beard who was called “Cory”
The other was a larger man with curly black hair.
Camping area was overcrowded. The Kingscote locals had slowly taken over most of the camping sites as others vacated enabling them to form a enclave (U shaped) with Redhead in the middle at the base of the U. Within this U their children could ride their bikes and play cricket.
The other campers were then crammed in the rest of the sites and had to regularly ask Kingscote locals to move their cars (often two per site) to move out of the way so they could get their own car out.
Each day you would see four or five of their young children (under six years old) return in the back of a utlility from the beach some 2kms. away where they had their powerboat moored.
I have travelled a lot throughout areas considered risky internationally and have camped in the outback throughout a lot of Australia, including spots were the locals are pretty wild but I can say have never experienced such an unrestricted naked hostility and threat of violence to my family as I did at Vivonne Bay. I can only assume they were pretty confident that they would get away with their behaviour .