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Coast a hot spot for 'Airbnb for the great outdoors'

Just one of the many Sunshine Coast properties listed on Youcamp.com.
Just one of the many Sunshine Coast properties listed on Youcamp.com. Youcamp.com with permission

FARMERS across the Sunshine Coast are hiring out their patch of grass in a set up that's billed as "Airbnb for the great outdoors".

James and Prue Woodford started Youcamp.com in 2013 with their own property in New South Wales.

Now they have more than 5000 camp sites listed across 400 properties and the number continues to grow.

The Sunshine Coast is "one of the most popular areas".

Mr Woodford said there were about "150 properties listed within a 100 kilometre radius on the Sunshine Coast".

 

A  snapshot of the number of available properties on the Coast where you can pitch your tent.
A snapshot of the number of available properties on the Coast where you can pitch your tent. Youcamp.com with permission

The idea is similar to Airbnb in that property owners list their outdoor space on the website for people to book to come and pitch their tent on.

"We call it Airbnb for the great outdoors," he said.

Mr Woodford said the Sunshine Coast was proving to be very successful as there had been a "big issue with people staying in public places illegally".

"The councils had been grappling to find ways to give a solution," he said.

"This works and it benefits landholders as they are making extra cash."

He hoped it would branch out even further where home-owners might rent out their driveway for self-contained travellers.

 

A lovely water hole at Long Timber, a Sunshine Coast property listed on Youcamp.com.
A lovely water hole at Long Timber, a Sunshine Coast property listed on Youcamp.com. Youcamp.com with permission

"A lot of travellers are in fully self-contained campers that and all they are looking for is a safe place to park," he said.

"We would love to see more of those kind of properties become available."

He said some home-owners were renting out their patch of grass in their suburban homes, but there weren't many of these on the Sunshine Coast as there were restrictions in doing this properly.

Mr Woodford said the concept was also motivating landowners to keep their properties well-maintained.

"No one wants to come visit degraded sites. This gives them a reason to make sure the property is well-maintained."

Third generation cattle farmer Wal Breton is just one of the many Sunshine Coast farmers listed on Youcamp.

His 80-acre cattle farm in Peachester called Long Timber is already proven popular with visitors and has a four-star rating.

 

One of the Coast properties listed on the website.
One of the Coast properties listed on the website. Youcamp.com with permission

Mr Breton said he had only recently listed his property and only catered for "experienced campers who were fully equipped".

It was providing the farmer, who's family started in the area in 1889, a welcome extra source of income.

"It certainly does bring in a little big income and the idea of going through Youcamp is you don't have to touch the money," he said.

"It is all done above board and you meet everyone that comes in."

Like Airbnb, home-owners list their property on Youcamp, which takes a percentage of the booking fee.

At the moment home-owners are liable for their own insurance, but Mr Woodford was working on making some "imminent announcements about a special insurance policy".

Topics:  airbnb camping editors picks farmers sunshine coast travelling


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