5 RIPPER BUSH CAMPS
The days are getting shorter as the seasons start to change. Here are a few campsites to put onto your last-minute summer itinerary
1 -Mistake Creek, Qld
Situated on the banks of Mistake Creek there is an easy access free camp with bucket loads of space for everyone. The campsite is close to the small and friendly town of Winton, who look after and maintain this campsite. This site has no facilities and is accessible to all sizes and shapes of RVs. In the dry season it can be a bit dusty, but it is a very peaceful site with an abundance of birdlife and some magnificent sunsets.
2 – Yarrawonga Park Reserve, Qld
With spectacular views from every angle and so many spots to pick, you will not be disappointed in this campsite. The track in is a bit tight but if you are careful you will make it to the shore. Keep in mind this is cattle grazing land and as you drive in you go through a closed gate so make sure you close it behind you, or you will have an irate farmer knocking on your door. You will be sharing this campsite with friendly cows, wallabies and wild turkeys. You will share the water with crocs and sharks, so no swimming unless you want to become their dinner! But take your tinny out, catch some fish and let the serenity of nature soak in.
3 – Burke and Wills Campsite, NSW
Pack your kayak and your camera, set your GPS and pull into this free lakeside campsite with drive up parking and stunning sunsets! Camp where the famed 1860 Burke and Wills expedition set down for a few days. Most travellers will park themselves up close to ‘Burke and Wills’, but if you follow the unsurfaced road that goes clockwise around the lake, there are several more secluded campsites. If you like fish and in particular carp, you can catch as many as you like here as they cannot be returned back into the lake, so stockpile on fish recipes before you go. Share your campsite with a wonderful array of birdlife, and cook your dinner on a campfire overlooking the lake. Sit back, relax and enjoy life.
4 – Purnie Bore, SA
Purnie Bore is one of only three camping locations permitted in Witjira National Park, with Dalhousie Springs and 3 O’Clock Creek being the others. This free campsite has hot showers… but there is a knack to getting the hot water. Either make sure you are the first one in or run the water in the outside sink for about three minutes, and you will have a piping hot shower. The other important fact for this site is you do need to get a Desert Parks pass to camp here and to get access to Dalhousie. Access to the site is a bit corrugated but this artificial bore on the edge of the Simpson has created a wetland oasis for wildlife and huge flocks of corellas and galahs, as well as native hens, flock bronzewings and crimson chats. As it is the desert and no campfires are allowed, make sure you rug up all year as the temperature drops radically with the sun.
5 – The Boulders Campsite, Qld
This campsite is a little secret gem… Yes, it is a free camp just outside Cairns! Boulders Campsite is a well grassed and shady campground right near the popular Boulders swimming hole. The campsite is surrounded by the lush rainforest and massive granite boulders line the creek where platypus and turtles live. If you get up really early or no one is swimming in the late afternoon, just sit quietly and you almost certainly will see these elusive animals come out and forage in the creek. It can get very busy in the heat of summer as the locals venture out to this spot for a swim to cool down.