Monday, December 20, 2010

Top 10 - 2010 Campsites…

Myrtle Park, Tasmania

Situated on the famous Targa Tasmania road, nestled between Scottsdale and Launceston. This gem of a campsite was absolutely breathtaking. We camped right on the banks of The Patrick River, a freshwater stream teeming with trout, and affording us hours of delightful viewing of Platypus! There’s something wondrous about sitting by a babbling stream, spotting Platypus, our family felt very blessed.


  • camping fees $3 per night per site (Yes you read that correctly, per site, not per person!)
  • Bricked Fire-places with swinging Hot plates
  • Tennis Courts
  • Playground
  • Hot showers
  • Brand new camp Kitchen facility and BBQs
  • lots of wide open space
    Myrtle Park

    Lagoons Beach, Tasmania

    Situated on the East Coast of Tasmania, between Bicheno and ST Helens. This campsite was absolute Beach frontage. We managed to find a campsite directly opposite the Beach access. This place was really beautiful…. Imagine going for walks on the Beach and yours being the only footprints. Imagine a series of lagoons meandering on that sandy strip between the Dunes standing Sentry and the clearest, unpolluted Ocean you ever did see. The children favoured swimming in the Lagoons as they were shallow, offering protection from the buffeting waves, but most noticeably warmer than the ocean (we think there was a 10 degree difference). A memorable place…. On one of my early morning sojourns, I was deep in prayer…enjoying the beauty of creation around me as dawn slowly lit the sky, I found myself alive with static electricity….No kidding, my hair literally was standing on end, my forehead felt fuzzy…and it was at that moment that I realised a storm scud had developed directly behind me. As my attention had been focussed on the glorious sunrise over the ocean I was caught unawares. Exposed! Alone! Quite a distance from the access path that would take me back to the campsite, now complicated by the rising tide and chain of lagoons inhibiting my flight. There was an almighty crack of thunder directly overhead, which set my heart racing….and my legs moved all of their own accord…. I found myself sprinting up the Beach, legs pumping, heart racing, chest heaving. I plunged through the rising tide waters as they flowed into the Lagoons. Feet making shlucking noises in the wet sand, I berated myself for not noticing the scud developing, and at the same time inquiring of God…. “what???? Hang on…I was communing with you!…?” Then the rain came down in wide slanting sheets….Great! Still exposed, still alone, still very much tingling with static electricity, and now cold as well. I did make it back to the campsite, but man….what a hair-raising experience!


    • Bush camping
    • Eco Toilet, no showers
    • Numerous great campsites nestled amongst the bush
      Lagoons Beach

      Dunns Swamp, NSW

      Situated in Wollemi National Park accessible from the township of Rhylstone and Kandos. This place was really special for us. Amazing! It offers everything from neat Bush campsites, Aboriginal red ochre handprints, wonderful water views (it’s a swamp in name only), beaut swimming spot, fishing spot, canoeing spot….numerous walking trails offering views of the Kandos Weir and the scenic surrounds. A very nice spot to hide out. Which is exactly what BushRangers used to do…

      The Particulars:

      • Part of Wollemi National Park
      • Bush Camping
      • Eco Toilet, no showers
      • Canoe Hire available some days of the week
      • [caution: numerous little spiders crawl out of their holes at night, and litter the ground as far as the eye can see….providing a sparkling see of shining eyes under torch light, they were seemingly harmless but it was enough to send our arachnophobic 7yr old into a terrified screaming fit]
        Dunns Swamp

        …..The Coorong, SA

        Remember the opening passage of that timeless story “Storm Boy” by Colin Thiele???

        “STORM BOY LIVED between the Coorong and the sea. His home was the long, long snout of sand hill and scrub that curves away south-eastwards from the Murray mouth. A wild strip it is, windswept and tussocky, with the flat shallow water of the South Australian Coorong on one side and the endless slam of the Southern Ocean on the other. They call it the Ninety Mile Beach. From thousands of miles round the cold, wet underbelly of the world the waves come sweeping in towards the shore and pitch down in a terrible ruin of white water and spray. All day and all night they tumble and thunder. And when the wind rises it whips the sand up the beach and the white spray darts and writhes in the air like snakes of salt.”

        South Australia! What an amazing spot this was! We were thrilled to camp here, all by ourselves. It really is a long snout of sand hills & tussocks! And the Coorong is an extraordinarily long flat body of water, teeming with fish! And the Southern Ocean really does crash mercilessly and endlessly against the coastline…. We all loved this spot. Not only did we get to capture the sun setting but we also witnessed the sunrise…a chilly, but spectacular event, complete with the arrival of a large group of Pelicans!


        • Turn off at Meningee
        • Camp fees $5 per site (self registration station)
        • Eco toilet
          The Coorong

        Johanna’s Beach, Great Ocean Road, VIC

        Imagine falling asleep listening to the constant pounding of the Southern Ocean… Imagine green grassy hills dotted with cattle grazing… Imagine a FREE campsite, with lush green lawns, clean composting toilets (there really is such a thing) and a shipwreck story to boot! Johanna’s Beach was gorgeous! It’s been a family goal to drive The Great Ocean Road, and what a beautiful dirve it is! Stunning scenery, long, sweeping roads, and that ocean! Constant, almost angry…certainly a force of nature to be respected. We enjoyed camping at Johanna’s Beach, although we did suffer terribly. It was May….windy…cold….and wet! After we had set up for the night the deluge set in….but surprisingly we stayed warm and dry overnight…canvas is, well, canvas! We didn’t run into trouble until we were packing up to leave the next morning….sensing a break in the weather we went as fast as we could to break camp….looking over our shoulders at a rapidly approaching brooding cloud line scouring over the ocean. We were up to the part where we fold the tent down when the wind hit! The base of our tent lifted and flapped wildly in the wind, then the rain came down in icy fingers! Brrrr. Daniel and a lovely fellow camper managed to control the flapping base whilst I ran franticly about inside undoing vertical poles, untwisting the clips and doing the best I could in the wild weather conditions. The children were shoved into the car the moment the weather turned ominous…at least they were warm and dry… Daniel and I were freezing! The tent finally down we struggled to secure the Tourneau cover. Our fingers weren’t working terribly well, our clothes were clinging to our drenched bodies as though they too were frightened of being blown away… It was without doubt a bone chilling experience…. After a change of clothes, the car heater going and everybody thawing…we began to breathe again. it was then that we noticed piles of white stuff on the side of the road….it had hailed just around the corner…. Later that day standing on the rocky cliff face overlooking the 12 Apostles, we got a taste of that hail…. Earning it’s place in our memory as one of the wildest, coldest, yet most amazing places we have been to yet!


        • Free Basic Campsite
        • Composting toilets, no Showers
        • Lawned campsite
        • Great Shipwreck story (Boards at the Beach access)
        • Beautiful scenery in every direction
          Great Ocean Road

          Tumbling Waters Caravan Park, near Berry Springs, NT

          Tumbling Waters is very cool! It is a campsite/caravan park in the top end that offers not only a beautiful landscape but has a walk through freshwater crocodile enclosure, plus hands on feeding experience, boasts an outdoor cinema (just bring your own chair!) a make your own didgeridoo experience and is a stone’s throw from one of the most gorgeous spring fed pools we’ve ever seen. Berry Springs is a MUST SEE!

          click for more Particulars

          Tumbling Waters

          Butterfly Springs, Savannah Way, NT

          Heading down the seldom travelled track from Roper Bar to Borroloola. In the middle of nowhere. Down a rough, dusty track allowing a top speed of 50kms/hr, with water crossings too numerous to recall….we stumbled across this amazing place. It was an oasis in a harsh environment….picturesque, cool and swimmable! There are some places that are just “good for the soul”…this was definitely one of them. Thumbs up!


          • campsites are well appointed
          • large,shady sites,
          • good eco toilets (with paper!!!),
          • fire places,
          • scenic…
            Butterfly Springs

          Kingfisher Camp, on the Savannah Way, QLD

          Situated between Hell’s Gate and the lesser known Aboriginal Community of Doomadgee, this campsite is part of Bowthorn Station in the heart of The Gulf Of Carpentaria. It is like an oasis for the weary traveller. The shady, grassy campsites border the banks of The Nicholson River. There are boats & canoes for hire, walking trails and flushing toilets! Amazing! The caretaker showed us where to fish and Rosa (our 7 year old Fishing Legend) caught a very tasty Black Bream and a Turtle! Whilst we were there we also enjoyed Red Claw and Cherubim caught in yabby pots! Not in ours though….our yabby pots were chomped by crocs! Yikes!!! We had been told it was safe to swim there, I was uneasy about this but had allowed a couple of dips at the boat ramp….the chomped yabby pots put an end to that quick smart! The children and I spent 8 days and 7 long nights stranded here whilst Daniel went with our car to get it repaired in Townsville some 1100kms away. We were isolated, sure, with no phone signal, no power, and 70kms from the nearest town (shop), but we have a Faithful God who took care of every detail! Great is His Faithfulness! It was a daunting experience, but surprisingly, not altogether unpleasant! We were so Blessed whist we were there. The caretakers were beautiful people, who went out of their way to help us and keep our batteries going! Denis and Janelle, thank you! thank you! Thank You!!!


          • Camping Fees were $25 per day
          • Portable Amenities Block (we used to call them Dongas) with a Hot water donkey system. Meaning hot showers, flushing toilets.
          • River water taps available throughout the campground (Boil before drinking)
          • grassed well kept campsite
          • established fireplaces, some with hot plates or stands
            Kingfisher Camp Kingfisher

          Burke & Wills Camp CXIX (119), near Normanton, QLD

          Camp 119 lies on the Eastern side of the Leichardt River crossing, about 40kms from Normanton. We had made our way there along The Savannah Way from Burketown. This was a memorable place to camp after several hours of driving over a rough, corrugated, lonely stretch of road….The Northern most campsite of ill-fated Explorers Burke and Wills. There are many blazed trees visible here, and a comprehensive information display that talks you through the details of their journey and explains the tree blazes. We were absolutely awestruck by the stars! our visit having coincided with a new moon, leaving the sky a deep black velvet canvas to display the wonders of the heavens above. After the children went to bed, Daniel, Sir (my Father in law) and myself sat in the gloaming of a campfire unable to tear our eyes away from the glorious display overhead. we sat there for hours… rapt wonder and deep respect for our Father who can hold the constellation of “Pilades” in His hand!


          • Be respectful, absolute Bush camping, no facilities available! Take your own rubbish with you and leave only footprints.
            Burke & Wills Camp 119

          The Bunya Mountains, QLD

          Roughly a 2 hour drive from the Sunshine Coast, this beautiful place is a MUST-SEE! Wow! Breath-taking views, prolific bird life, an abundance of walks through a unique combination of Rainforest and Eucalypt Forests…. We camped at Dandabah campsite. Appreciating the hot showers and flushing toilets. It did rain a bit whilst we were there, but this wasn’t an issue…it just added to the mystique of the place…the wispy fog of cloud shrouding the campsite made it seem ethereal. The campsite, a sprawling lush green lawn was home to numerous red footed pademelons, Crimson Rosellas, Currawongs, Satin Bowerbirds, King Parrots that literally find a perch on your head, your tent, your wickets, your car mirrors, your camp table….get the picture? There is wild bird feeding at the local kiosk twice daily and the birds will literally eat out of your hand!


          • Camping fees $20 per night, right beside the Ranger station
          • Hot Showers, flushing toilets
          • (20c) coin operated BBQs
          • No power/water
          • Wild Bird food available from the kiosk for $4 a tray
          • Limited food stuff available from the Kiosk
            Bunya Mountains

          There have been numerous great camp spots….these places deserve a mention as well…

          Macquarie Heads, Tasmania

          Leven Canyon, Tasmania

          Narrow Inlet, Wilson’s Promontory, VIC

          Camping on the banks of The Murray River, Echuca, VIC

          Lake Albucutya, VIC

          Wilmington Bush Caravan Park, SA

          Musselroe Bay, Tasmania

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