The Shire of Carnarvon Environmental Health Officers inspects lodging houses, bed and breakfasts and other places of accommodation including caravan parks to ensure the health and safety of occupants. There are also requirements for private houses relating to the maximum number of occupants, ventilation, drainage and weatherproofing. If you own a lodging house, caravan park or recreational campground it is a requirement that you are registered and renew your yearly licence. 


Lodging houses and the names of the keepers are required by the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911, to be registered by the local government. Lodging houses include hotels, motels, backpacker/hostels, short-term built accommodation within caravan parks, bed and breakfast accommodation and similar but only if the number of persons able to be accommodated exceeds 6 other than the family of the keeper. Lodging houses do not include single dwellings on single lots such as holiday homes unless provision is made for renting out individual rooms for more than 6 persons other than the ‘keeper’ of the house.


Lodging houses may be inspected by Environmental Health Officers and are required to be clean and comply with the provisions of the Shire of Carnarvon Health Local Laws 1997 which includes:

  • Sleeping room density limits of 14m3 free air volume per adult (and 8m3 per child), which are the same for all dwellings, but there are increased density allowances for dormitories and other budget accommodation (referred to as recreational campsites and short-term hostels).
  • General construction in accordance with the building code (as in place at the time of the building or modification)
  • Provision of sanitary, laundering, kitchen, cooking, dining and lounge facilities
  • Provision of fire protection equipment in accordance with the Building Code
  • Doors in the pathway to an exit may not be lockable so as to prevent them from being opened from the inside.
  • Passageways and stairways may not be obstructed
  • Adequate ventilation of kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, toilets and habitable rooms
  • Bunk beds are limited to recreational campsites and short-term hostels and require 2.7m ceilings (exceptions may be made for lower bunk beds that are only for children)
  • Special requirements for dormitories relating to fire safety and density.
  • Provision of adequate and clean bedding.


Caravan parks and camping grounds are required to be licensed and comply with minimum standards in accordance with the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995. Environmental health officers may inspect caravan parks and camping grounds, including nature-based parks.

The Caravan Park Regulations 1997 (Regulations), schedule 7 outlines standards for caravan parks and camping grounds, which includes such matters as:

  • Separation distances between camps (generally 3m from one caravan/camp/annex to the camp on the next site)
  • Facility road widths (6m for 2 roads, 4m for one-way roads)
  • Provision for parking and car parks.
  • Provision of recreational areas and facilities including such for children and for general communal recreation
  • Ablutions and laundries, number and distance to sites
  • Washing up facilities for campers
  • Lighting and fire-fighting (generally fire hose reels are required to cover all sites and buildings)
  • Water supply (potable supply and taps within 10m of short-stay sites.
  • Wastewater: sullage points required adjacent to caravan sites and within 30m of camp sites. Parks to have dump points for portable toilets.
  • Adequate waste bins
  • Special provisions for long-stay sites (including water and sewerage connections)
  • In the event of an impending cyclone, any remaining caravans are required to be securely tied down to approved anchor points, designed for the wind rating of the area (Wind region D for Carnarvon and Coral Bay area).

There are exemptions in some cases where the park was built prior to 1997.

Nature-based parks are generally remote camping areas that are less developed and allow people to enjoy a natural environment. Nature-based parks have fewer prescriptive requirements in terms of what facilities they must provide but they also have limits on what development that can be provided. Nature-based parks are required to have a management plan approved by the local government that enables the park to propose how it will manage the various health and environmental matters.

Park homes and rigid annexes also require approval under the Caravan Park Regulations instead of under the Building Act 2008. These require engineering and building certificates and be certified for the cyclone wind region (including the footings or anchor points). Park homes and rigid annexes are classed as vehicles technically, rather than buildings, in that a park home is essentially a caravan that is too large to be registered on the road and a rigid annexe is an extension to a caravan.  

Other regulations are that caravans are required to remain mobile and not be let into a dilapidated state such as by corrosion. Neglected, abandoned or dangerous caravans are required to be removed from the facility.

If you are designing a new caravan park, you are encouraged to contact the Shire for helpful advice on design and sizing. Caravans have become bigger over the years and many have extendable sections such that traditional caravan site sizes are not always big enough to allow separation distances to be maintained.