Friday, January 1, 2010

Blowering Dam - free pet friendly camping


Another non camp, but rather a bit of a drive and 4WD towards the end!  We have wanted to have a look at Blowering Dam for a while now, since it is free and pet friendly.

Bago State Forest is the home of Blowering Dam, located on the Tumut River and is a part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.  It was completed in 1968 and holds 1,628,000 megalitres (million litres) when at capacity.  It's water used for irrigation, and in 1978 it was used to set a water speed record!

There are a couple of ways in so we decided to go in via Batlow.  Balow is famous for apples - producing about 10% of the apples we eat in Australia !  From Batlow we continued into the Forest.  The road is a typical, well maintained dirt and gravel logging road.  Some of the views are worth stopping for in the passing bays.

The view from the road in
(Click to enlarge)

After descending into the valley we found Foreshore Road, and  went for a drive along it to have a look at the campsites and the facilities.

One thing is there is plenty of room and no defined sites - its freestyle bush camping.  Find a spot and set yourself up.

Plenty of waterside camping

Or room for a picnic...

Picnic rug and the dog!

And despite it being New Years Eve when we were there, it wasn't all that busy...

Free lakeside camping
There is easier access to the lake from the Snowy Mountains Highway, but it was a bit more crowded!

Bit blurry but you get the idea

If you head down this way for some camping there is plenty to do...  We went 4WD exploring along the fire trails and power lines on our way out of the forest to Talbingo.  The Hume and Hovell Walking Track runs through the area, so you could walk part of that.  You can mountain bike or trail bike ride.  There was a camper there with some horses so you could do that too.  I'm not sure how good the fishing is but there were folks fishing, and even waterskiing.

Someone skiing on the lake
And my favorite...
Spotting wildlife.

Magnificent goanna

OK - some camping stuff...
Access:  Most campsites are 2WD - a few not.
Toilets: Some - long drop.
Showers: No.
Water: No.
Shop: No - drive to Talbingo or Batlow.
Campfires: Yes - subject to firebans.
Pets: Yes - No posted restrictions
Cost: Free.

One thing to note though - when camping in this Forest, generators and trail bikes are permitted.  It won't be silent!

And if you do head in looking for some peace and quiet please stick to formed roads/tracks/trails.  We did and had a blast - continuing around the lake on Foreshore Drive we followed the navigator and instinct to Talbingo.  We wandered off the main track and followed the power line trail.  Great fun - and all without locking into 4WD.

We did explore some campsites on the Talbingo side of the lake but rain prevented us from taking pics, but we did briefly lock into 4WD to get out.

We did a bit of a 'speed run' down the highway to Gundagai for dinner on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.

Where we had dinner.
Hard to believe this is about 500m from the Hume Highway

From there we continued back up the Hume Highway to home - a 450km day - fantastic 4WD fun and we found another great free pet friendly camping location.


  1. Hey there, thanks for the great info on your blog. We always take our two dogs with us, pretty much everywhere. To go camping/hiking without them seems like such a shame. Just wouldn't be as much fun and would make me so sad to think they are not a part of this, running around! So thanks again! :)

  2. Hi all correct for Batlow side of dam,it's state forrest, but the other side, snowy mountains hwy side in nat park, so no dogs.

  3. Thanks Anon - for clarity the post is indeed about the 'Batlow side of the dam.' Kosciuszko National Park is neither free not pet friendly.
    A fair number of my posts are about State forest camping - as this one clearly states.

    1. I checked with NSW water who are responsible for jurisdiction of Blowering dam below the high water mark and was told that there are no restriction for pets on either side of the dam foreshore below the high water mark. I also checked with KNP and they informed me that the demarcation line is too difficult to sort out.

  4. Anyone want to go with me !!!

    Barney .