UPDATE: Tried to make another booking here and have been told that this place is closed for good. Unless you are family or a very good friend ... no chance of camping here any longer.
Yes ... we've decided to spend the Labour Day weekend out there in the CT as well! We have decided to go to Butinga. I've made arrangements with the owners to spend 1 night babysitting their cows in their cow paddock! Magic. It'll just be us and the cows.
So we loaded up the camper and headed out on a brisk morning, as you do. The day was crystal clear and beautiful. It didn't take us long to get where we were going either ... which is always nice.
Then we needed to make a decision! Yes ... that's the road ... straight ahead ... yeah that grassy looking track along the fence line. The well used road takes you to the neighbours house, so don't go that way.
And over a five creek crossings ... and the view from a crossing.
The road got worse and worse as we followed it ... at some stages proving to be a real 4WD track, just as we were told, and we pushed on. It's on black soil flats, so very slippery, soft and a bit of a goat track after the neighbours entrance. If gates are closed, close them after going through. If gates are open, leave them open. This is Cattle Country, so if you do the wrong thing here, then cows get mixed together and the local Cow Cockie gets rather peeved.
Finally we arrived ... closing the signed gate behind us. The creek is on the left hand side right beside the campground (as such) and the owners shed is on the right hand side. As we drove in, we noticed they did have an electric fence up, but that it wasn't connected. Our instructions were to continue till we found a "hole" in the electric fence and we did so. We'd have to shoo all the cows out and then connect up the fence to have a cow free camp, but they weren't very friendly anyway and kept their distance. As the place is so green, the cattle are in very good nick!
The road continues for another 1.6k's to the neighbours other paddock. The neighbour periodically went to his other paddock, as did some friends of his.
So we chose a site and set up. Being the only ones there, we had a tough decision picking the "right" spot and settled in at a site that had the only camp kitchen. You know what I mean. One of those sticks that has the flat cooking plate that spins around it, so it may be removed from the heat of the fire at will. Glenn says it was made from an old acro-prop, either way it's a great idea.
The creek has mostly rapids, but a few larger swimming areas for very, very short people, or a wading pool for the rest of us, although the water is freezing. In the other direction, the view of the mountains, complete with caves, equally as pleasant.
As quickly as we could we started to relax. That really is the point of all this. I explored the creek and Glenn ... well ... relaxed. That's his thonged feet you can see, reclined back on his favourite camp chair. That camp kitchen acro-prop thingie in the foreground.
So I decided we needed to check out the facilities. Glenn drove me up the hill to have a look. They have 2 outhouse buildings. 1 has just the one loo and the other may have held 2 at some stage, but only 1 can be seen ... the other is just a hole in the timber. I would not recommend using the building with the dual loo. Can't recommend using any of them at all really. Basically a hole in the ground with a (ewww) porta pottie above it. Can't say the last time they appeared to have been cleaned, so I'm guessing that the owners aren't out here all that much. And where is the roof? Arh ... over the back in the paddock. Reckon they may have had a slight breeze here lately. If you were to use these outhouses, I recommend using 30 litres of Dettol and waiting one week before placing ones butt near them. Seriously!
As the day wore on, 3 seperate storms headed either way of this little valley and provided a lovely sunset. We could still see lightning through the night, but only had one small shower before dark.
Dinner was cooked on the new camp kitchen. We decided to give the Rover's kitchen a break, which will save alot of cleaning up when we pack up tomorrow!
Headed to bed early as it was really chilly. We fell asleep to the roar of the rapids and the low of the cattle. Very nice.
Next morning, our canvas was saturated with dew. After breakfast, we decided to head up to see if we could make it to the cave we could see. No chance of course, but the physical activity is always a good thing. We didn't head up until after 11am and headed back down around 1pm or so.
We were packed up by 215pm with perfectly dry canvas. Heading back out to the main road, we ran into the Neighbour, who stopped us and was very interested in our camper. He is after something that doesn't get affected from mice ... he's only seen them in a magazine (the camper not the mice). Next time we are out there, we'll stop in and let him know we are setting up, so that he can have a good look. If he's really keen, he'll stop in at Brendale as we suggested.
We also found out the reason for Butinga not being able to get council approval to become similar to Darlington Park for example. The neighbour is the only one attending to the road (he says) and he gets rather peeved when 4WD's come through and treat it like Landcruiser Park, because he has to fix it ... also people aren't closing gates as required ... and when you breed cattle, that can be a real annoyance. I can see his point of view ... coming from a country background ... but there are always 2 sides to each story ... and it appears this is one story that doesn't have a mutually satisfying ending. I'm sure he doesn't want this ending up as another Darlington Park (which was total camping madness as we passed it by the way).
Lucky for us ... a nice quiet campsite ... which it always will be ... we hope. We did like the relative peace and quiet and the views are great, even if the cows weren't so friendly.
In summation, this is a cow paddock campsite which you share with the cows, perhaps not worth the $7 per head they are charging, due to the lack of decent toilets ... I assume any visitors are digging # 2 holes along the creek and # 1-ing where ever ... you can get 100% better facilities at a National Park for cheaper. The road in is 4WD only and after rain, I'd suggest it to be impassable. Beware of ticks. The cattle are covered in them.
Trip Kilometres: 190
Trip Duration: 48 hours