Dozens of campers turned away after massive online booking botch-up

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An online camping marketplace is under scrutiny after a mix-up left dozens of caravan campers in the lurch over the Easter long weekend.

Campers had paid deposits to stay at “Harris Farm” on the application Hipcamp, but found it to be a private family residence on New Beith Road in Greenbank, Queensland.

“Self contained campers are welcome to choose their own space to set up. The property is conveniently located two minutes from Woolies and BWS,” the listing said.

But on arrival, the campers realised it was not equipped or intended for public camping.

The property owners of the address used in the advertisement were not involved with or aware of their address being used for Hipcamp listings.

The advertisement promised over four acres of tranquillity, activities like fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and interactions with farm animals.

The actual owner of the New Beith Road property had to turn away numerous campers throughout the weekend.

Campers are now worried they have lost their deposits, which were a minimum of $48 upon booking the site.

Hipcamp has suspended the host responsible for the listing and is investigating the incident, suggesting it might be an address mix-up rather than a scam.

Attempts to contact the host via the provided phone number were unsuccessful, and the number appeared to be non-existent.

Local businesswoman Ros Bird commented on the confusion over street addresses in the area and suggested that better signage could prevent such issues in the future.

“New Beith Road has many acreage blocks and Logan City Council signs are non existent – maybe it’s time the council put in some proper signs,” Ms Bird said via the Courier Mail.

“There has been a lot of confusion over street addresses and lot numbers and the council needs to do more to make it clear which is which.”

The incident has been reported to the police and Hipcamp, prompting an investigation into the misleading advertisement.

Hipcamp’s marketing leader Jared Graf said the issue was under investigation.

“We’re investigating this issue and can get back to you with more details as we have them,” he said via the Courier Mail.

“In the meantime, the host in question has been suspended while we look into it.

“So far, we haven’t seen evidence of a scam here, but rather an address mix-up.”