Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wollondilly River Station - pet friendly low cost bush camping

Last year we went to Wollondilly River Station for a couple of nights with some relatives.  We enjoyed the place and decided to head back there this year with some friends of ours from Sydney.

For those in NSW the Wollondilly River is quite close to Wombeyan Caves - inland from Mittagong and about halfway between Sydney and Canberra.  The site is managed by a caretaker and his wife who have a small office and shop with very limited basic supplies available.  Other than that there is a hot shower (that we didn't use) and toilets on site that are a pump flush porta-loo design.

We drove in from Yass, to Goulburn, through Taralga, and onto Wombeyan Caves Road.  This leads to the office where we met the caretaker, had a bit of a chat and were directed to our site, which was across the river from the office.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wee Jasper area

I live in a small country New South Wales town called Yass.  Yass is about 60km north west of the Australia's capital city, Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory.  It takes about an hour to travel from the center of Canberra to the center of Yass.

About 50km or so from Yass is the village of Wee Jasper.  It's not somewhere that we have ever camped but we day trip down there every so often, particularly when there are events on.  Wee Jasper Naturally and science week in Wee Jasper are two of the main events that happen in that part of the world.  There are also Carey's Caves to visit and the pub does a pretty good angus steak!

There are also a number of campsites near Wee Jasper.  While not free - there is a small charge at each site and the amount varies with the facilities.

Our starting point for the tour is Micalong Creek campsite.  Micalong creek has self-composting toilets and an outdoor shower, is alongsied Micalong Creek.

It's well maintained and very tidy.  Of all the campsites near Wee Jasper this would be my pick to stay at as there is a couple of interesting walks along the far side.

There are a couple of swimming holes where the water is clear and was very cold when we were down there.  A little further along are the cascades.  It's a bit of a climb over the rocks to get up there, and in the dry there is not as much of a water flow.


Micalong Creek does get busy during peak holiday periods but it is worth the effort to get to.  GPS -35.188395, 148.687087

Next on the list of places we visited was Swinging Bridge Campsite.  A question was raised about whether there is actually a swinging bridge somewhere nearby.  Answer is:


Other than the bridge, which you need to get to the river bank to see, there are a couple of walks from this campsite through the bush to other campsites.  Worthy of note are the fishing shacks on the river banks.  Owned by locals and passed to heirs usually, they have been a bone of contention in the area for a while.

The campsite is shady but it is quite close to the road.  GPS -35.164269, 148.687166

There are no facilities at this site.

There are two more campsites in the Wee Jasper region and we will visit them in due course, and post some pics and other bits and pieces.

The website for prices and other details is

From Canberra take the Barton Highway to Yass, and there are signs to Wee Jasper.  From Sydney or Melbourne use the Hume Highway to Yass and then follow the signs into Wee Jasper.

The road in from Yass is reasonably well maintained and is mostly bitumen.  There are some high speed gravel/dirt sections between Yass and Wee Jasper.  Once you arrive at the township go to the end of the road and turn left toward Tumut and then follow the signs to your choice of campground.  It is fast dirt all the way to each campground.  It is 2WD accessible.

There are roads through to Tumut and Canberra from Wee Jasper, but they are windy dirt.  The road to Canberra runs through the Brindibella Ranges and is easy in a 4WD.  Slow going, occasionally slippery and a bit unsettling in a 2WD.

There won't be an update this weekend - 19/20 December - we are going camping.

If you have heard of Wollondilly River Station - that's where we are off to.  Give me a couple of days and I'll get a report posted about that one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our November 2009 camp - Charleyong Crossing

My first real posting...

A couple of weeks back we went camping at a free, river-side, dog friendly, bush camp site at Charleyong Crossing.

There is a bit of a back story.  I had been away with work for the week and when I arrived home my wife said 'let's find somewhere to go.'  A bit of research turned up a place called Corang River, not that far from Charleyong Crossing, about 2 hours east of Canberra between Braidwood and Nowra.  We programmed up the GPS and set of bright and early Saturday morning.  We stopped briefly for some fresh bread at Bungandore and then did the final run on the Kings Highway toward Braidwood.

Just before Braidwood we turned off and started to head onto dirt so the GPS was changed from street to 4WD.

We arrived at Corang River and found the campsite just before lunch time.  We immediately were not that impressed!  It was not mowed, lots of ants, lots of broken glass and access to the river was not simple.

We did have Charleyong Crossing in the GPS so we thought that we should go and have a look before deciding which one to camp at.

One point to not is that there is a river crossing on the way in.  It is a weir/causeway type and wasn't deep when we were there.  (About as deep as the rubber thongs I was wearing!)

Side view of the crossing

Once over the river we turned right after a couple of hundred meters and we were on the campsite.  Total time was about 2 1/2 hours from home.

A general view of the camping area

There are lots of sites here.  It wasn't crowded by any means.  You can (sort of) see the only other campers in the pic above.
And the river was accessible and had a nice 'beach' into the bargain!

 The beach

We decided that we would stay so we set up camp.  One of our great traditions is setting up camp and then taking a picture...

Note the clever use of car doors as a
clothes line!

So were were set up.  Admittedly this is about where the story ends.  We had some lunch.  We splashed about in the river with the dog.  Walked up and down the river.  Had some dinner and a chat with the other campers.  Sat back and enjoyed the view from our campsite.

How good is that for an
Aussie bush campsite?

The next morning we had a breakfast and packed campsite away.  It  had been a hot day the day before, but the temperature had dropped overnight and cloud had rolled in and rain was expected.  We took a different route home via a small town called Tarago, mainly to see what the road was like.

The road to the campsite from both sides is Stewarts Crossing Road and it is well maintained dirt/gravel.  It is suitable for 2WD vehicles and towing camper trailers and caravans.  There is a creek crossing on either 'approach' to the campsite, and both were shallow the day we were there.  The roads would likely be slippery in the wet, and the crossings deeper after significant rainfall.

At the campsite there is nothing but a place to camp.  No power, water (other than from the river), toilets or shop. There are no rubbish bins, so please take all rubbish out from the site with you. 

It is free to camp there and dogs/pets are allowed, but should be kept under control.  There was a total fire ban while we were there, but there was plenty to indicate that a campfire would be OK other than in a fireban.

For those with a GPS the coordinates are -35.245278,149.891389

Google maps has a street view of the area - which surprised me!

If you get out there for a couple of days/nights let me know how you got on.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Welcome - and what I am about.

Welcome to the ACT and NSW Camping blog.

I will be setting the site up and adding some content over the next few weeks. It is really a bit of an experiment to see if there is any interest in camping in the ACT/NSW region. We live in the region and camp maybe 25 - 30 nights each year.

A lot of the campsites that will go up on the website will be places that we have actually camped at. Others will be campsites that we have had a day visit to. The main idea for the site is that the majority of the campsites shown on here will be less than a day's drive from Canberra - usually about a half day.

Our preference is for free camping (sometimes called bush camping) where dogs are welcome!

We are pretty well set up, which you will see from some of the pics. We travel in a Land Rover Discovery, we have a big nylon dome tent, fridge, kitchen, toilet and shower. So we can visit most places. If we get the Discovery into 4WD on the way to a campsite we will make a note of it. However generally we don't.

We do from time to time set up camp at commercial caravan parks were that is convenient. Unless we get exceptional treatment, or the facilities are that good we don't intend to plug them. The generally do their own advertising.

So please sign up, follow or just drop by now and again. And please do comment and/or contribute.