Dec 15, 2013


I love the Fort Grey camping area. Not sure what it is about it, maybe the isolation, the surrounds, the birds or just the presence. The camp grounds are huge- around 50 acres of flat sandy ground where you can pitch a tent or a camper trailer. There are several shelters scattered around the grounds, some clean enviro-friendly toilet, surprisingly enough free gas BBq’s and water is available if the tank has some in it- good for washing up but thats about it. NPWS have provided several skip bins for rubbish. For this reason the park is always clean and enjoyable to stay here. The only negative thing I have to comment about this area is that you can’t have a fire- NPWS regulations. 

While not a hard place to get to, you def need to be 100% prepared to come out here as it is a remote camp. Normally we come out here in the winter-spring months, and you will generally see other traffic, but you need to be well prepared with food, water, fuel, camping gear and a reliable 4wd. It is regarded as the most remote campground in NSW.

Every time we come here there is always an array of birds from crows, willy wag tails, blue wrens, magpies, to waterbirds that live just over the hill in the nearby lake. Often we see a few roos around the camp minding their own business and often see evidence of where pigs have been digging looking for food. The first time we camped here several years ago we couldn’t believe what lay behind the camp ground, as there are no visible signs or views across the area to let you know what is here. A walking trail leads you from the eastern end of the camp over one of the dunes where several small display boards highlight what was here some 100 years ago. Standing on top of the dune the first indication that there was something here is an abandon windmill that creaks in the wind just across the way. 

Story has it that a Charles Sturt set up base camp here in 1844 looking for the inland sea, and to lead smaller parties to explore and name several areas in the Simpson desert.  Soon after pastoralist’s settled here at lake Pinaroo around 1870. They built a stone house, yards, and other buildings around the lake. Some years later when the lake was full massive winds caused waves to form and destroyed the buildings- destroying them to rubble. In later years the buildings were rebuilt but on higher ground where it happened again. Needless to say they were never rebuilt for the third time. The water in this lake covers a massive area and it is believed that it takes up to 6 years to dry out !!!… When it is dry you can actually walk out through the lake to where there are some tree carvings done by Charles Sturt ( Never seen them as the lake has always been half to full !! ). It has been declared as one of Australia’s significant wetlands.

When you see trust how high the ruins are, it makes you wonder just how large the waves were to destroy such an area and the buildings within, pretty humbling indeed. Often when you stand beside the lake you can see water fowl, pelicans, maybe a swan or two if your lucky and lots of parrots in the dead trees that line the waters edge. 

This is a great place to spend an hour or two just walking around the lake, and up through the ruins, then to the top of the dune discovering and exploring the pieces of machinery that are lying scattered through the grass and bushes. We often wander to the top of the dune at sunset and sunrise to watch the sun come or go- giving for some excellent photos. 

Here is a link to the NPWS website giving all info re Fort Grey

I love Fort Grey. 

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