Campers andlovers who want to go on some of the ‘s (Australia) most stunning multi-day hikes waited for hours to reserve slots after glitches hampered the long-awaited booking system on its launch.
According to a report, some users reported that their booking profile location automatically changed from Alice Springs to Alabama in the United States.
Some were directed to thenational parks website via an email with a confirmation of reservation.
Parks and Wildlife Commission Executive Director Sally Egan apologized for the website’s issues.
“We are currently experiencing teething issues that go with introducing new outward-facing systems, and we apologize for the system sluggishness this morning,” Egan said in a statement.
A AU$1.34-million agreement to establish the booking site was granted to the New York-based company US eDirect almost a year ago.
“US eDirect are working flat out behind the scenes to rectify the issue,” Egan added.
Meanwhile, the honesty box payment system in designatedthroughout the NT is replaced with the mandatory online prepaid system starting today.
The fee for multi-day walks is currently only applicable to three of the most popular trails within the: the Jatbula Trail in Nitmiluk National Park, the Larapinta Trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges, and Tabletop Track in Litchfield National Park.
It costs AU$25 per person per day to walk on the trails and is capped at AU$125 per individual, regardless of how long the hike is.
Additional camping fees range from AU$4 per night for a single adult to access the basic facilities to AU$20 per night for a premium.
The new fee applies to all those who are five years old or older.
As per the NT Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security website, the system’s advantages include employees being able to access statistics and reports on visitor counts.
The site also listed visitor certainty and satisfaction and the ability to view open and closed parks, available dates, and have greater planning options as advantages.
Eachalong the 62-kilometer length of the Jatbula Trail was already restricted to 15 people.
There are currently no limitations on the capacity for this Tabletop Track and the Larapinta Trail.
All designatedin the NT are now required to be booked and paid in advance, thereby eliminating the possibility of spontaneity camping.
Egan acknowledged that this was a significant adjustment for Territorians and said she was confident that the Parks and Wildlife Commission was taking every step to ensure a smooth transition into the new system.
Free Wi-Fi service will be extended for 12 months in Wangi Falls, Karlu Karlu, and Watarrka, and a telephone customer service representative is available every day of the week during working hours.
Egan stated that park rangers would be ready to assist visitors when booking reservations whenever possible.
The signposts announcing the introduction of the new system were being put in the airports, and she said the Parks and Wildlife Commission is working with other authorities and the tourism industry to spread the word about the new system.
“This booking system will take the pressure off trying to rush to your favoriteon a Friday after work only to discover it is full and you have to turn around and go home,” Egan said.
“It will also ensure Parks receive vital revenue to help maintain them for generations to come.”
This story originally appeared on ABC News Australia.