We are on the road about 15 minutes behind schedule. The day is extremely foggy, due to a day or two of rain, but soon turns into a glorious morning.
Leaving at our usual time, we make good time up the
Darren Lockyer Way to our destination. Quite a few road works do slow us down a bit, never stopping us though, and we reach our destination just before 0945.
We pull up in the driveway and notice a bush camping sign pointing east from the homestead. Glenn and I both like the looks of that sign. Heading into the office, I find no one in attendance, and the fire alarm beeping due to the battery going flat. I nearly get to the homestead stairs when a lady appears and introduces herself. I’d called ahead to book a spot, but seems she’s unaware of it. No worries though. We pay for our site and she gives us directions to the bush camping section. She tells us that they may have sold the property and will only have a few weeks left here, and is uncertain if the new owners will continue with the camping at all. I also noted that the pricing on the website is not accurate, so I guess they haven't updated it for awhile.
Firstly though, I want to check out the main camping area. We head around past the huge kitchen area for functions, past the volley ball court, past the swing set, where we find the smaller camp kitchen, various small cabins, a few onsite vans, and some campers. The camping area itself is rather small, and is along the creek. We do a U Turn and decide this spot is not for us ... dogs are running loose and no one is calling them back into line for a start ... but we’d be camping right on top of the other campers.
Bush Camping here we come.
We return up the long driveway to the homestead, and follow it back out a touch as the entrance to the bush camping won’t be accessible from the direction we were coming from. So we actually do the homestead loop again and approach the entrance head on. From here the track goes between two fences and is a bit slippery with a good sized ditch on both sides. Slow and careful is the key here. We take a right hand turn as directed even though the sign points us in the other direction. I make a mental note: must check that out later on foot.
We take another left and follow the creek downstream. The campsites are along the creek we were told and as soon as we find the first one we stop and let the dogs out. We’ll check out the others on foot and make a decision before we go too much further along the track.
Pups are happy to be on firm ground and sniffing everything. The first camp is large and mowed with a campfire ring at one end. We rule it out as the access to the creek is steep as we are up rather high, and the access is overgrown and rocky. The second campsite is more what we are after, although it has a large pile of junk at one end. Access to the creek is just as steep and overgrown, but not as high. Let’s keep walking. From here we head downhill and come to a large grassy area that could do with a mow. It’s easy to see that it’s been used as a turn around spot for vehicles. The creek is flowing a few steps away and is easy to access. From here another sign tells us the campground and 4wd-ing starts here. I make a mental note: must check that out later on foot.
Glenn heads further up the track to the east and we all follow him. It goes down to and crosses the creek where it then goes back up again on the other side. From here, we retrace our steps and take a right at the turn around. The ground instantly gets sloppy and I decide to wait. Glenn yells out to go get the ute and bring it down here – this is where we camp. I’m happy with that and do as requested.
I pull up on the turn around and await Glenns return. He tells me that there is no way we’ll get up the sloppy section ... it’s too wet and there is nothing to winch from, but the track keeps going towards the hill – which is behind the homestead but more east of it.
Since we’ve found our campsite, we start our setup. First we have to get the camper as flat as we can ... so I do the loop a few times till Glenn is happy with its location. Then we need to remove all the weeds that will be under the awning. Mostly it’s scotch thistle, but there are a few leafless sticks poking up as well that have to go. All happy there, it’s camper up, solar panels out, first drink poured – it is after lunch time.
The rest of the day we investigate our surroundings by taking a walk along the track over the creek. It works its way downstream, sometimes following the creek edge, sometimes heading along the fence line. It gives us a good idea of the extent of the last flood through this area. We cross the creek once more and find that the owners have reinstated the track here quite recently. It’s rather slippery underfoot so I have to be careful I don’t go butt up. Sometimes I do wish I had 4 legs like the pups for some added stability. The track heads steeply up to a lovely flat mowed area which would make a great campsite. The track now heads back towards camp and opens up into a very large area that would be ideal for a large group of campers. Seems the owner has been trying to remove some stumps too.
As we get closer to camp the track passes through a fence line and into a large paddock with no trees at all. It also splits into two, one side going into the paddock, the other heading down a gully which we follow.
Once back at the top of the gully, we can easily see our campsite and head along the rim of gully towards camp. We end up at the top of the slippery, sloppy track and carefully make our way down to camp.
Our showering bucket has been sitting out in the sun since the camper went up and the water is still a bit on the cool side, so we look for some timber to get a fire going. Glenn gets the OzPig out while I scout around for some kindling. I bring home a large round that someone has almost chain sawed through and Glenn splits it.
We spend the remainder of the day relaxing and just before a nip gets into the air have our showers, rug up, and start on dinner. Before you know it darkness settles in. As the night quietens down, we can hear the highway get louder. We’ve been able to hear it through the day, but just as background noise.
It gets colder and colder as the night lowers upon us. Both the dogs take cover inside the camper. Hopefully it won’t get too cold overnight.15.3AH
23.06.13The day dawns blue and clear. Just fantastic to have two days in a row that are simply the best of perfect winter weather.
We start our day slowly ... just as slowly as the temperature rises, but soon enough we are once again out of our winter woollies and enjoying the warming sunshine. Our camper exterior is saturated and it will be a few hours before it’s dry. With breakfast out of the way and the sun heading higher in the sky, we decide to explore some more, leaving the canvas to dry.
Heading back up the slippery, sloppy track – which isn’t as slippery or sloppy today – we wander away from the creek towards the hill.
We are still following a track with knee high grass all around. We get to a corner post in the fence and see a sign pointing us to 4WDing, camping that way and this way to fishing? We head towards the fishing curious to see what they could possibly mean and discover a large dam. We aren’t on the best side of it for access but keep going to see if we can cross the inlet and get around it. Alas it’s not to be as we come across a fence with no way through.Retracing our steps we take the camping route and find access to the opposite side of the dam. Of course Telashi must swim, so we give her a few minutes to do so before we head off again. If we turn right at the dam wall we’ll basically be backtracking our walk from yesterday, but I decide to turn up a mowed track which takes us to the top of a low rise. There isn’t much of a view from here, but we can see another track along the fence line and follow it eastwards.
From here we undulate a few hills and continue almost along the fence line with the odd slippery gully to negotiate. Our choice on the other side of the gully is to continue along the fence or head toward the creek, which we decide to do. We come across a great campsite high above the creek ... if only we could make it there without any winching. Another track heads towards the creek nearby and even the dogs have traction issues on this slope, so we head back towards the previous gully without any further investigation.
Once over the gully, we continue along the track, which shortly ends up where we crossed the creek yesterday and takes us back through the large campsite. Instead of taking the track we did yesterday, we head back towards the dam and follow that track back to camp.
What a great walk. It’s taken us a few hours and we’ve seen more of the property than we realised was there, as well as finding some fantastic campsites. If only we had not taken the owners advise and continued straight ahead instead of taking a right ... but we do like the camp we have as easy access to the creek is always nice.
Back at camp its drinks all round as we didn’t take one with us. Usually we take a back pack, but for some reason didn’t this time – an oversight on our part which we won’t do again. Thankfully the camper is almost dry and after a quick lunch, we start our pack up process. It’s something we really don’t like doing, but do it we must. Of course there is much relaxing between chores so it does take us an hour or two to complete.
With nothing left to do the camper floor comes over and we hitch up. The last few things to do is pack the dogs in their box, check the lights and do a once over of the campsite to ensure we have left no trace of our camping weekend. That done, there is nothing to stop us driving away from one of the most relaxing weekends we’ve had for ages.
As we drive past the homestead, we give the owners a wave and stop to tell them we would definitely come back.
The trip home is just as long as our trip to site, but we leave with heavy hearts thinking we may never be able to camp there again. Let’s hope the new owners see it’s potential as we have.10.6AH
Trip Kilometres: 257Trip Duration: 48 hours