This paper assesses the effectiveness of the planning system in relation to flood-prone caravan parks in New South Wales. The hazardous location of many caravan parks, allied with the typically high vulnerability to flooding of caravans and their occupants, represents a high risk situation. Reasons for this are explored, including the historical evolution of caravan parks and planning controls, councils’ implementation of those controls, and the role of the Land and Environment Court of NSW. It is argued that flood planning controls have failed to recognise the changing nature of caravan parks. Recommendations to improve flood risk management in caravan parks in NSW include using development controls to manage new developments and to require community awareness measures and emergency planning as a condition for granting approvals to operate parks.