There are perks to working on a travel magazine, even if you are not a travelling journalist – and that is when you can get out and explore some of the amazing camping spots that everyone talks about
RV Daily was out and about filming a 12-episode towing series and as with all mini movie productions, you need to have people running around behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly so that the hosts and creative people can do what they do best. I was one of those lucky cogs in the wheel and even though it was very early morning starts and non-stop days, it was almost too much fun to be called work!
One of the locations we were filming at was Inland Waters (now Reflections) Holiday Park, located just off Glenbawn Road, 13km south from Aberdeen and 15km north from Scone.
Nestled in the Upper Hunter Region on the banks of Glenbawn Dam, this beautiful park
offers campers a wonderful diversity of bushland and wildlife.
We were filming in the middle of winter and it was blisteringly cold; beanies and unflattering but extremely warm puffer jackets came out in full force.
Although it felt like sub-zero temperatures, the sun was out and we managed to escape the icy wind, which was blowing a gale. The wind whistled around every nook and cranny of the lake, forcing us to seek shelter in any gully we could find so that the extremely delicate microphones did not pick up the echo. In these pockets, the sun warmed us up and it was soon time to pack away the marshmallow-shaped puffer jackets and get on with the filming.
These alcoves ensure that the camping around Glenbawn Dam is spectacular. The tree-lined shore offers shaded areas where you can pitch your tent or camper-trailer just a few metres from where you want to swim, or park your boat or kayak.
As we found out, they allow you to shelter from any inclement weather and also escape your digital connection, so if you want to hide from Big Brother’s eye simply drive slowly, find a side road and head towards the lake. Before long, you will have no bars on your phone, then you set up camp and escape the digital world.
According to the Scone Fishing Club, who have a club house in the park, you can hunt the famous and elusive big bass or cast a line and fish for golden perch and catfish. They say that Lake Glenbawn is one of the best freshwater fishing spots in NSW. While we were there, the manager, Mark Martin, told us that they had just stocked the dam with 40,000 little bream, so come summer time there will be lots of fish thrown on the barbecue.
The native wildlife is easy to spot, with eastern grey kangaroos being the most common. Literally hundreds of roos can be found around the park – these bouncing beasts are used to human movements so they are not too skittish, and they even stop and pose for the cameras.
The birdlife here is incredible; it makes you wonder at nature’s ability to paint with such a creative palate, with colour combinations that would make Giorgio Armani cringe yet they seem to just work.
Unfortunately, on this work trip, we did not have time to explore this amazing area, but we have it on good authority that it is worth a visit to the Historical Museum, housed in an old jail at the nearby town of Scone. You can also visit the Burning Mountain where a sulphur coal seam burns, which reportedly was ignited by lightning.
Australian movie buffs will appreciate the nearby village of Gundy that featured in The Shiralee (from the D’Arcy Niland novel). It is also a perfect oasis from which to explore the fine wineries of the famous Hunter Valley.
The lake is so large that you’ll barely notice the other boats on the water; it’s a popular place to waterski, wakeboard and fish. Canoes and kayaks are a great way to explore the lake edge or hang a fishing line off the back to catch your dinner. We noticed that the water does get choppy when windy, so life jackets and common sense are essential. With a rowing club, a ski club, fishing club, the archery area and all the cycling and walking tracks there is so much to do here.
The camp facilities include toilets and showers, camp kitchens, a small number of powered sites, cabin accommodation and a kiosk that sells basic summer refreshments, ice and fuel.
This kiosk is only open in summer. There are plenty of unpowered sites for camping; the campsites aren’t marked so you can pick a spot that looks good to you and move in. The campgrounds are also pet friendly, however, you’ll need to keep them on a leash at all times.
During our trip, we stayed in the cabins as we had to power up all our equipment every night and ensure the show hosts had a good nights’ sleep to be in top form in front of the cameras. The cabins are spotless and perfect for a break away without towing.
Apart from basic refreshments, fuel and ice, there are no groceries or other items available at the campgrounds so you need to bring all your food and drink. Local water will need to be boiled, so bringing bottled water is a great idea. Scone has everything you could need with two major supermarkets, bottle shops, sport store with camping gear and specialty shops for those items you may have forgotten. So if you are going to be here for a couple of days, make sure you stock up before you drive in.
We were at this wonderful spot for work but I know I will be coming back in summer with my family to spend some time really exploring this incredible holiday park and surrounding area.
The roads into the park are sealed all the way to the lake, making it suitable for all camper-trailers, caravans and RVs. Lake Glenbawn is undergoing a bit of a revamp at the powered caravan sites and once it is finished it will be a spectacular spot for holidaymakers and day-trippers alike.