Monday, February 22, 2010

Back to the High Country - Paddy's River Dam, Free Pet Friendly Campsite

I had commitments Sunday morning so we couldn't camp overnight Saturday night, but we went for a bit of a drive.  I had had a particularly 'average' week at work so we decided the best cure is go bush!

We hit the highway heading south with lunch and snacks, and no real plan.  We went south to Tarcutta, NSW where the trucker memorial wall is located.  Tarcutta is near enough to halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on the Hume Highway so it is a fitting location for a memorial for the truckers killed on the job.  If you are a regular traveler on Australia's major highways, you will no doubt have a great deal of respect for the professional drivers who haul the stuff that we eat, drink, read, play with...  If you are passing through Tarcutta stop and pay your respects, we did.  If you are not down this way - will get you there.

We turned off the highway and drove across to the small town of Tumbarumba.  Established on the site of a Hume and Hovell camp, it was originally a gold mining town, now a Snowy Hydro town and hub town for the local agricultural industries.

Turning north out of town we headed into Bago State Forest.

Brumbies and foal

As soon as you see brumbies you can be assured you are in for a nice trip.

  It wasn't long before we arrived at the dam and campsite.  I should point out that there is a creek crossing on the way in to the dam camping area.  My standard 4WD did it easily.  It would be wise to check depth after rain and during snow melts.

The campsites are basic, there are firepits, some toilets and picnic tables.  That said it is high country bush camping paradise.


 Idyllic really isn't it?


Rustic mountain loo

We left the area thinking that a return visit would be worthwhile!

We left intending to head for home but as happens we saw a sign indicating we were 10km from a waterfall - so off we went.

Part of the falls


And the view

We decided to head out of the mountains - via Talbingo and past  Tumut No 3 power station.

There is water in the pipes,
being turn into electricity

OK - some camping stuff...
Access:  Sites at Paddy's River Dam are 4WD access due to the river crossing.
Toilets: Some - long drop.
Showers: No.
Water: No - treat dam water before drinking.
Shop: No - drive to Talbingo or Batlow.
Campfires: Yes - subject to firebans.
Pets: Yes - No posted restrictions
Cost: Free.
GPS: 35 42.9759S 148 10.0049E


  1. That look gorgeous!

    My camping guide and a couple of internet sources claim it's accessible by 4WD in dry weather. Is there another road in maybe?

  2. Hi Lin

    It is a classic mountain/high country campsite.

    The roads in are a combination of fire trails and logging tracks. I didn't put the Land Rover into 4WD, and the creek crossing was fairly shallow. A 2WD sedan would struggle with the track surfaces, but a 2WD high clearance ute may be OK. A lot of times a 4WD vehicle is recommended because of the way they are constructed rather than their capability in 4WD.

    I wouldn't attempt to get there in my wife's Honda Jazz.