MY TOP 5 CAMPING SPOTS

There are so many blogs, written articles and ibooks available online these days- so how or what do you believe or follow ?

Well i suppose you must think these articles are generally the personal views of the writer. I mean get a group of people together and ask them the what are their favourite camping spots, useful tools or even whats the best product around- they will all have different views. 

When I go away, wether it be sitting at the camp having coffee or walking up the beach, I always have so many blog posts/ideas shooting around in my head at any one time and it's bloody hard to know where to start. Lately I have been able to clear my head by making a list while on the go- phones these days are so good for doing this - and it gives me something to work towards with different ideas. 

So I thought i would start with MY top 5 camping destinations, which I have been thinking about and is def very hard to narrow down.  Now obviously these will only include places to where I have been to this point, and I don't even know how to rate them. So the following will be just my top 5 listed in no order. An honest theory to why I pick them and what features are available. And this was a hard one to evaluate- as most of our trips the people with us have made the trip special and all our trips have a special place in my heart. I could go on and on !!.



1… FORT GREY
                               camping area in the Sturt National Park this western NSW area is remote, full of history and just has a special feel. We have camped out here quite a few times wether we come from Cameron Corner or from Tibooburra in the east. Located an hour west of Tibobburra access is difficult along the graded red desert roads. Probably the only issue we have come across while travelling to this area is that if there has been any previous rain the roads may be chopped up a bit- but slow down and enjoy. The camp ground is huge. As you enter there is an information board full of helpful tips, local history and a few guidelines for your stay. You'll also notice some large skip bins for rubbish- while there are no small bins around ( to prevent vermin ) these bins keep the area clean and tidy. There are several shelters around the tree studded camp grounds with water tanks, there is one toilet block with composting toilets and the ground as expected is all flat. Our first time camping there gave us an unexpected surprise. A short walk just behind the camp led us to a huge lake- Fort Grey Basin or Lake Pinaroo. The birdlife on here can be very overwhelming- we saw salt water bids, freshwater types then throw in a handful of outback varieties the mix was huge. We have seen this lake in full flood and when its been very dry. There are several walking tracks around the lake with one of the tracks leading you to some ruins and relics from days gone by. According to one of the maps there is a marked treed that explorer Sturt marked on his way through here back around 1850- but at that time things must of been very dry- as the tree is only accessible when the lake is dry. The only downfall that we can comment about this park is that NO FIRES are allowed at anytime…. best time to go is either Autumn or spring. 








2… POINT PLOMMER
                  beachside camping at its best. The great thing about Plommer is well everything !!. Its one of those pristine areas where when everything comes together - the world seems so far away. Located between Port Macquarie and Crescent Head on the mid north coast of NSW, it is so easy to get there and yet it seems so far away. If you come from the south ( Port Macquarie end ) you will need to cross the river by barge that runs 24 hours a day, from here it is a simple 14km drive north behind the dunes in the Limeburners National Park. Pristine rainforest on one side and the ocean on the other- cant get much better than that. This road is 4wd only and if your good enough- def camper trailer friendly, there are generally huge ruts and washaways but we normally select low 4 and theres no drama. Coming from the northern end the road is generally maintained and accessible by 2wd. There are several camp grounds before the Plommer area- Knobbies, delicate and racecourse ( yep these are real camp ground names ), but our fav is def Plommer. The camp grounds are right on the beach, there are cold showers, flushing toilets, fires are allowed, a caretaker is on site and there are several walking trails that lead from the camp area around the headlands for some unbelievable views. The only thing i would recommend is that you need to avoid this area during holidays in the summer- it gets PACKED !!!!… I have been there to have a look and its walking room only- to me thats not camping, but apart from that its a great place that holds some special memories. 








3… GUY FAWKES
                  starting from Dorrigo which is on the plateau just west of Coffs Harbour is the Guy Fawkes wilderness area. This remote and very ruggered area is a place that can be stunningly beautiful yet very dangerous if you don't come prepared. There is one main road that cuts through the middle from Dorrigo through to Dalmorton, all dirt, irregularly maintained and rises to just on 1200 metres above sea level that with every twist and wind in the road seems to change from huge granite boulders, massive pockets of old tree ferns then as you rise to the taller sections thinly scattered forests with bracken as the undergrowth. Halfway along- signage points you towards Misty Creek camping area. This 12km road takes you deep into another world. The road does get windy and it is narrow so you need to keep your wits about you as you traverse either up or down. Once you get down the bottom its a huge eye opener- the camp grounds are massive !!. There is plenty of room for a dozen or so camper trailers- there are secluded sites, a huge area for those with tents, there are several pit toilets, firewood is provided by National Parks- offcuts from a local mill, some campsites have bbq pits and there is running water nearby. We have based ourselves here for several days a couple of times, due to the walks that are on hand here. They range from an easy 20 min return to a waterfall that plummets into the valley deep below. Then there are several that range from an hour long spur walk to several others where you need to be self sufficient as they take you to the valley below. We have been lucky here as not many people frequent this area- probably because it is remote ( no phone service, you need to be self sufficient with food and spares ) and maybe not very well known. You always see an array of wildlife down here from the little willy wagtails that seem to be everywhere looking for food, to wallabies and birdlife. One of our highlights was one night we had several F1-11's fly very low over the area with afterburners on !!!…. very noisy but bloody awesome !!!. 








4… CURRAWINJA
               in a word WOW. Now we have only been here once but there is a certain feel to this area that wants us to go back for more. This is another remote camping trip ( can see a pattern here- no phone service & the lack of people !! ), located approx. 220km north west of Bourke, just across in QLD. There are several camping areas in the Currawinya National Park but our favourite was right on the banks of the Paroo river waterholes. We spent several days here exploring this old National Park where you can visit the Granites, extremely large granite boulders that seem to rise out of the ground from no where, there is also the chance to visit the twin lakes of Wyara and Numalia which are side by side- BUT one is fresh water and the other is salt, and its like there is a fence down the middle with quite a diverse of different birdlife and surrounds on each one. Then there are the old ruins of the Caiwarro Homestead where you can walk amounts the ruins of several buildings and old equipment that was abandon in this harsh area. We did fish the water holes but only caught some dirty old carp- great fun on 2kg line, but sad to see these fish just killing all other aquatic life in the outback system. Back near the campground you can wander through the old shearing shed that has been left standing, it is great wandering through looking at the relics inside, taking in the smell and trying to imaging how tough it would of been. There are flushing toilets here, and several gravity fed showers from a high water tank. If you time it right- have a shower in the afternoon, as the poly pipes from the water tower to the shower heat up and its a great hot shower in the rustic shower shelter. I say rustic as there is no roof, if your tall enough you can see over the walls to the surrounds, and the inner doors are hessian !!!….. but who cares !!!. This is the home of the Australian Bilby ( not the showers but the Nat park ) and according to some very informative information boards there is a secure compound located in the park where a breeding program is taking place to get the numbers back up. This is a great place and we def will be going back there soon. Very remote- def no phone service, no local supplies but there is a rangers station within the park if there is an emergency.








5… ARKAROOLA
         this is another place with the wow factor and a special feel. Why ?…. not sure it may have been the drive in as you pass through gorges that are thousands of years old, maybe the vies across the terrain as you follow the contours or maybe it was the sunset from our remote camp site. The Flinders are special. Some of the oldest rock formations in the world dating back to an estimated 1400 million years, there are a host of walking trails in and around the park, remote stone homesteads in ruggered gorges yet when it rains the whole place gets cut off. We never saw the wet season here, but when the settlers found this area apparently the seasons were good- really hard to imagine. We did several walks from our camp and saw some amazing views across the valleys. The colours and just how the inner earth has pushed the rock up was def mind blowing. The formations are a geologists dream. We camped away from the main camping area above a dry creek bed, giving us some fantastic views as well as our own personal campground. Still from where we camped it was only a 5 min stroll to the shower/toilet block at the designated caravan area. Fires are allowed and with the twisted dry wood that lies around here you don't need much for a great fire. When we were there, mining had just stopped. Now 12 months later all mining has been banned- which is a great outcome for the area. 








            


Other areas that came close were

Crowdy Bay national park- northern NSW
Sundown National Park. S/E QLD
Georges Junction- inland of Kempsey
Yarrie lake- Narrabri, western NSW
Point Plommer - mid north coast NSW
Gibralter/Washpool National Park
Diamentina region, western QLD
Border Ranges- NSW/QLD border
Wurrumbungles- western NSW

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