WORDS Janie Medbury
From coastal to lakeside, water-lovers rejoice because we have found you some fantastic bush camps by the water
1) Corang River, NSW
12km south of Nerriga on Braidwood-Nerriga Rd, there’s a lovely riverside camping spot surrounded by a eucalyptus forest. It won’t cost you a cent to stay here but there are no facilities, so you’ll want to be well-versed in free bush camping. Stock up on food, water, rubbish bags, firewood (except during fire bans) and anything else you need for a night or two out in the wilderness.
With over 100 campsites on level, grassy ground, there’s more than enough room for everyone. You can fish, swim, kayak or canoe in the deep, slow-moving water of the downstream river, and there’s also a large flat area of ground that’s perfect for ball games. If you’re feeling energetic, you can embark on a long bushwalk starting at the Wog Wog camping area and finishing up at the Corang Arch,
a spectacular sandstone rock arch.
2)Glendinning Campground, Rocklands Reservoir, Vic
Roughly 220km west of Ballarat is the Rocklands Reservoir, a popular waterway that forms part of the Southern Grampians. There’s plenty of fish in the sea, including brown trout, redfin and yabbies, while hydrophiles will have their pick of boating, swimming, water-skiing and canoeing. The nearby woodlands, abundant with plant life, are a prime spot for hiking. If you’re into golfing, venture in for a round at the nearby Balmoral Golf Club.
While there are a few campgrounds in the area, Glendinning has the most facilities – it’s accessible to caravans, there are drop toilets, picnic tables, and a boat ramp. Sites are gently sloped and have views of the water and the eerie skeletal trees emerging from the lake. You can reach this campsite from the west via Yarramyljup Road (gravel), or from the south via Glendinning Road (sealed).
3)Cloudy Bay Corner Camp Area, Tas
For those in search of a blissfully secluded camping retreat with unforgettable views, Cloudy Bay Corner will tickle your interest immediately. An almost secret part of the stunning South Bruny National Park, which encompasses the best of Bruny Island’s rugged shoreline, Cloudy Bay Corner is tucked away at the southern end of the beach, so you’ll need a 4WD to get there. You’ll be able to take your pick of large, sheltered sites (no bookings are taken).
Cloudy Bay Beach is a surfer’s paradise thanks to its ripper waves, but those just wanting a swim should seek safer waters at Adventure Bay or Jetty Beach. Discover the full extent of the beauty that surrounds you on the many walking tracks that the park has to offer, like the 1.5 hour Grass Point walk with mainly flat terrain (perfect for families), or the more challenging East Cloudy Head walk. There are pit toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables, but you will need to bring own drinking water and firewood and take out your rubbish. Cash fees are paid on site.
4)Robinson River Crossing, NT
Robinson River is a small community in the Gulf of Carpentaria, 106km south-east of Borroloola and 151km north-west of Wollogorang. There’s a pleasant, peaceful campsite by the river that’s ideal for overnight stops, particularly if you want to do a spot of fishing. The shady campsite can be accessed by Borroloola Road via 4WD during dry season only. Keep the beer at home; alcohol is not allowed due to community restrictions.
You’ll need to be self-sufficient, as there isn’t much in the way of facilities and there’s no phone reception. There’s a general store that has fresh food and fuel, plus a takeaway store next door. Plan your visit during spring or autumn, when you’ll get warm days and cool evenings – perfect for picnicking by the river during the day and relaxing under the stars at night. A permit from Northern Land Council (NLC) is required to camp here.
5)Fletcher Creek, Qld
Fletcher Creek offers an authentic bush camping experience without the need to forego basic amenities, so it’s perfect for people who enjoy their creature comforts. The campsite is 42km north of Charters Towers near the entrance to Dalrymple National Park, via Gregory Developmental Road off Flinders Highway. The fresh, fast-flowing water of the creek is perfect for canoeing and fishing.
At the campsite, where the local cows have been known to pay travellers a friendly visit, you’ll enjoy flushing toilets, cold showers, sheltered picnic tables and wood barbecues. On normal weeks and weekends, you’ll find ample space to pitch your tent or park your caravan on the large dirt sites by the creek’s edge. Long weekends can get very crowded though, and they don’t take bookings.