We take the road less travelled
Bestbrook Farmstay Koreelah Creek Campground Gumma Reserve Campground
THE FUTURE OF CAMPING
The Friendly Inn
Are we entering a new era?
A WORD OR TWO FROM
A s Willie Nelson once sang; “On the
road again”! That’s right, Live2Camp is heading off again on another filming trip. In fact, by the time you read this, we will be well on our way. This time we are heading west towards Innamincka, then north to Birdsville, Bedoulia then across the Northern Territory with stops in Litchfield NP and Kakadu NP before crossing the Gulf. And of course, we will film every campground we come across in full HD for you to see at home. Now if you haven’t travelled through the Northern Territory before, keep an eye out for these videos because I can guarantee you will want to go after you see what they have to offer! Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret; well, actually it’s not really a secret and I don’t mind if you tell all your camping friends; Live2Camp is going to open its very own campground! That’s right, Live2Camp has purchased just over 100 acres of beautiful bushland just north of Grafton in Northern NSW.
Work is underway and we hope to open five secluded bush sites over the next couple of years. Each site will have its own toilet, bush shower, fire pit and access to our very own little creek. Best of all, if you book a campsite, you will have the whole area to yourself and you will feel as if you are in your own secluded bush retreat. We plan to bring all the really great things we have found in campgrounds around Australia to our very own property making it one of the best private campgrounds going. So watch this space, as I will post updates as we develop the campsites and I’m sure there will be a competition or two as we get closer. In the meantime, get out there and go camping! I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Live2Camp Australia and Happy Camping!
Contents - Issue 20
WORD OR TWO FROM MATT 02 ALive2Camp on the road again. FARMSTAY QLD 04 BESTBROOK Camping with the animals COUNTRY PUB 06 AUSTRALIAN The Friendly Inn NSW CREEK NSW 08 KOREELAH Fireflies and more FUTURE OF CAMPING 10 THE Back to basics
14 TIP OF THE MONTH
Watch out for those ants!
WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE 16 AEnjoy the quiet RESERVE NSW 18 GUMMA Social media got it wrong
Bestbrook Farmstay We have now stayed at Bestbrook
Mountain Resort on four occasions, the kids absolutely love it. We have found that bush camping can sometimes be tough in trying to entertain the kids but not at Bestbrook. Bestbrook is a farm stay located in Maryvale Queensland. On arrival you can check in and then continue to the campground and pick your own site (non peak times). Sites are in a bush setting surrounded by a small river and mountains. There are firepits throughout and power is also available. There are portable toilets located in the campground and in addition, campers can access flushing toilets and hot showers in the bunkhouse. The highlight of the farm is the hands-on activities for the kids that occur twice daily and are included in the camping fees.
Words & Images by Michael Coad
The staff are super friendly and allow the kids to milk the cows, hand-feed the cows, sheep and chickens and after that the kids can collect fresh eggs from the chickens for breakfast. There are several other animals on site to keep the kids entertained including the resident dogs Matty, Jerry and Shiner. We treated our kids to some parent led horse rides around the paddock and both loved it.
We also went on the daily wagon ride which took us around the property and we had a go at whip cracking and boomerang throwing. The staff also showed us how to make billy tea and damper followed by a sheep shearing presentation. There is a pool on site which is very refreshing after a big day of dust and animals. There is even a bar / restaurant for well-deserved refreshments. There are many collectible items and antiques throughout the homestead that are sure to bring back memories for most mums and dads. After sunset we enjoyed toasting marshmallows around the campfire and on our last two stays we have been spoiled by visits from a family of possums that were clearly not fussed by us and wandered between us and the fire checking everything out and giving the kids a close look at the baby on mums back. Once in bed you can hear the cows and horses grazing about the farm. The last time we were here, we had a horse visit us in the middle of the night and he thoroughly enjoyed cleaning my uncleaned BBQ plate for me. I have no doubt we will continue to visit Bestbrook for years to come.
You really can’t beat an Australian Country Pub, especially one that is located in one of the most beautiful valleys in Australia, Kangaroo Valley NSW. As soon as you park out the front of the Friendly Inn Hotel you are taken back by its double storey old fashioned front including corrugated iron bull-nosed verandas and double doors. Then you step inside and you are greeted by the quintessential Australian country bar where you can’t help but pull up a stool and order a drink. Established in 1897, the Friendly Inn Hotel is one of the oldest pubs in the region and goes out of it’s way to provide good old fashioned country hospitality. The pub doesn’t just offer great cold beer but also fantastic meals in the Bistro
as well as a great beer garden with kids playground. Kangaroo Valley is one of the most beautiful areas of Australia I have visited and I can tell you that no visit is complete without a stop at the Friendly Inn Hotel. The Friendly Inn Hotel 159 Moss Vale Rd Kangaroo Valley NSW
Words & Images by James Guerin
Find the cheapest gas bottle refills and swaps in Australia
To s ave u sing this webs ite C lick H ere
Gordon & Barbara Campbell
Koreelah Creek Campground Words by Matt Bloomfield
E very once and a while you
stumble across an absolute gem of a bush campground and often it is in the most obscure of places, but they are perfect for family weekend getaways. We found one such campground a couple of years ago when we decided to take a weekend drive through the beautiful Condamine Gorge which runs along the Queensland and New South Wales border, a short distance from the town of Warwick. After a great day of 4wd'ing including many small water crossings, we were looking for somewhere to lay our heads down for the night, when we stumbled across the small bush campground of Koreelah Creek. I thoroughly love a small bush campground. Especially one that is tucked away, not very busy and has a creek
running through it. Well, Koreelah Creek ticks all those boxes and as you cross the small bridge at the entrance of the campground, you are met by large gum trees patchworked throughout nicely grassed campsites. There are fireplaces spread throughout the campground and you will have no problems finding a site all to yourself. It certainly didnâ€™t take us long to find a perfect site and although there were a couple of other campers there, it felt like we had the place to ourselves. After a quick set up, we set off to explore the area on foot and discovered only a short walk from the campground a very well formed water hole with a small waterfall at one end. It was a bit cold for swimming when we were there but I'm sure in the middle of
summer it would be a great place to stick the toe in. We were content though to sit at the top of the waterfall with a couple of beers and be mesmerised by the water trickling over the rocks. As the sun set on the small hill behind the campsite we headed back to camp, built the obligatory camp fire and got dinner on the go. Now as I settled into my camp chair and the sun completely disappeared I started to see all these bright little lights about the size of a pin head, right in front of me. Thinking I might have had one too many beers I asked Lize if she could see the same thing. Fortunately for me she could and she was very quick to work out that they were fireflies. This is the first time I have ever seen fireflies in the bush and it was a sight to behold. I have returned to this campsite a number of times since just to see this again. So Koreelah Creek Campground might be a small bush campground with only basic facilities, a couple of drop toilets that is, but it certainly packs a punch. I canâ€™t recommend enough, a trip out to the Condamine Gorge with a stopover at this wonderful little campground. Click here for the Koreelah Creek Campground video
THE FUTURE OF CAMPING I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment recently! It
Wunglebung Camping Area
Clarence River Wilderness Lodge
was in the strangest of places as well! It was whilst we were in a caravan park. Now, this is strange for two reasons. One, I had a moment of enlightenment. This does not happen very often and two, we were in a caravan park and that really doesn’t happen very often! So, what happened I hear you thinking. Well, let me fill you in. Whenever we go away on trips filming campgrounds across Australia, we spend weeks at a time in remote bush and beach areas. This means every so often we have to make an overnight stop in a bit of luxury, a caravan park that is, so we can get some clothes washing done, re-stock some food and sometimes charge the batteries up before heading off back into the bush. This was the case recently after spending a week travelling through Northern NSW and we both realised that we were a bit on the smelly side as we had not stood under some hot running water for some time. At that moment the decision was made to head to the nearest caravan park, set up camp and have the longest hot shower we possibly could.
By pure chance the nearest caravan park was the Blue Dolphin Caravan Park located in the town of Yamba on in the Northern Rivers area of NSW. Now, Yamba is a beautiful beach side town and for those who have stayed at the Blue Dolphin, you will know that this is one heck of a caravan park. When we were much younger and the kids were still in strollers, we were known to take our annual family holidays in caravan parks. They were perfect for the kids, with activities to keep them busy such as kidâ€™s clubs, swimming pools with slides and jumping pillows to break their bones on. Well, the Blue Dolphin is no exception and is the perfect family caravan park with many pools, playgrounds and my favourite thing,
a swim up bar! This explains why we were in a caravan park but why did I have a moment of clarity? A bit of a tradition for Lize and I is to go for a walk around the campground we are staying in after dinner and have a look at other peoples camping set ups. This has given rise to many a new camping solution for us and we do it every time we are away. This time was a bit different though. I noticed as we walked around that there were not a lot a camping set ups. Sure, it was during the week and it was not school holidays but this was not the reason. I noticed that there were not many actual camping sites. The number of camping and caravan sites were completely outnumbered by cabins and apartments. Just to double check, we even walked around and counted the number of sites. They were greatly outnumbered by cabins. There were even luxury townhouse style apartments that looked like peopleâ€™s homes.
This moment of enlightenment raised many questions for us. Is this the sort of accommodation that people look for in a caravan park now? Do people not camp in caravan parks now? Is this why we have seen a massive increase in private land owners opening up their land to campers as a private campground? After much discussion, we came to the decision that caravan parks have completely changed the market that they are targeting. We believe that they are no longer targeting people who want a real bush camping experience and rather targeting people who want a whole family experience similar to that of a resort all be it at a cheaper price (not by much though, mind you)! This shift by caravan parks has left a huge gap in the market. People who want to get away from the crowds, away from it all, who just want to get in to the bush and enjoy being with their family and friends around a camp fire.
This is where private campgrounds come into play. Land owners are filling a gap that has been left open by caravan parks and thank goodness they are doing it. There are some amazing, beautiful private campgrounds with fantastic facilities out there (you can find them on our website) and if this is the kind of camping you like then I highly recommend them. New private campgrounds are opening all the time and it is great not only for the land owner who can make a bit of extra money from it but also means people like myself can go camping in some beautiful locations. It is for this reason that I am going to do a bit of a shameless plug for Live2Camp.
We have decided open our own private campground and have purchased just over a hundred acres of beautiful bush just outside of the Northern NSW town of Grafton. We plan to only have a small amount of bush campsites so you can relax and feel like you have the whole place to yourself as well as putting all the best things we have found in campgrounds Gordon Country from all our travels around Australia for Live2Camp.com. So, keep an eye on this space, as we hope that Live2Camp Crossing will be open for campers within the next two years! Well, that’s the plug over but what did I really get out of my moment of clarity in the caravan park. I guess it’s that caravan parks have changed their focus so as to increase business and grow. There’s nothing wrong with Gordon Country this and it’s given families more choices when choosing a holiday destination. But most importantly, this shift has caused rise to more campgrounds of the kind I love to go to and for that I am very happy. However, whatever your camping experience wants, everyone’s a winner! Happy Camping! Gordon Country
Tip of the Month
By Lize Bloomfield Recently we were The tip here is firstly, when camping camping on our property in in the bush, keep a really close eye the Northern Rivers area of New on the critters on the ground and in South Wales with friends. What the trees and secondly, remember to we didnâ€™t realise is that in the pack some bite remedies such as process of clearing an area to camp Stingose or other anticeptic creams in the previous week, we had and some paracetamol. Also, closed disturbed a number of red bull ant shoes are a much better idea than nests and they were NOT happy! A thongs in the bush. few of the younger little humans we were camping with were stung by these amazing little creatures and boy, do those bites pack a punch!
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A Woman's Perspective We're off on a three week trip through the centre of Australia. I've been there before but this time it's just Matt and I. The outback, and there is so much of it yet undiscovered by Matt and I, is just magical to me. Coming first from Holland, and then from New Zealand, it is unlike anything I have ever seen or experienced before. The first time I went, it was well before Live2Camp was conceived and I was a little apprehensive, I had watched Wolf Creek after all! But once we were on the road, any thoughts of unlikely dangers were forgotten. We went with our four children, who were 6, 9, 11 and 13 at the time and wow, that was a trip!! Travelling with kids is great, you see the joy on their faces when they discover something outside their normal existence.. or their sheer horror when they discover something outside their normal existence!
By Lize Bloomfield And our kids still talk about that trip now, some 9 years later. They learned things you just can't learn at school, life lessons that will never be forgotten. The second time I went, we travelled with a bunch of neighbours, mostly non-Australians and that was amazing too. Generally nervous about the remoteness of it all, they took it in their stride and Matt, the ever-proud Australian was in his element showing off his Australian Outback and all it has to offer. These friends also still talk about this trip and how fantastic it was to see an Australia, so different from the cities they normally inhabit. This time, it's just the two of us. The remoteness, the endless sky, red dirt and quiet. There is something special about the being alone and quiet, the amazing everything and nothingness that the outback has to offer. I can barely wait.
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Gumma Reserve Campground It had been a long day behind the wheel. The traffic was bad, there were lots of roadworks and you know what I mean when I say that it just felt like we weren’t getting anywhere. It was only day one as well, of a very long three week trip through NSW. I wasn’t sure if I could make it any further when we pulled into the Northern NSW town of Macksville and saw the wonderful Star Hotel, perched on the edge of the Nambucca River. 'I need to stop for a rest, and a beer', I said to Lize and it’s fair to say there was no argument and only a few minutes later, we were sitting on the veranda of the pub having a cold one. As I had just taken my first sip, Lize informed me that there was a campground just down the river called Gumma Reserve and that we could stay the night there and start fresh the next day. I jumped all over this but Lize was a bit hesitant. I didn’t understand why but she quickly explained that she was a little concerned because there had been some comments on social media websites that the campground was a
Words by Matt Bloomfield
‘little underwhelming’. At this point though, I didn’t care. I’d had enough of the road works and we were done for the day, so we finished our beer and headed down the bitumen that wound its way down along the Nambucca River. It wasn’t long before we hit a dirt road and our mood quickly improved. We didn’t know how far we had to drive but it wasn’t long before the dirt road hit the campground and wow, what a surprise. Nestled on the banks of the Warrell Creek which is a creek that runs behind the large tree'd sandbanks of the east coast beach of Australia, this campground was something to behold. It didn’t take us long to find a small private site located under a big shady tree with an uninterrupted view of what I would call more a river than a creek.
This was definitely what the doctor ordered and Lize quickly got a fire underway with the fire wood provided by the camp manager (no, I’m not sexist, Lize just loves getting the fire going and won’t let me do it. Probably because I’m terrible at it). As I sat down in my chair to relax and enjoy the view I received many a friendly wave from the small group of grey nomads who were working hard for their dinner fishing off the banks. I have to say I didn’t see too many fish being caught but I don’t think that was really the point of the exercise. Sure, the facilities are not the greatest at Gumma Reserve but we rarely use them these days, that’s why you spend a small fortune on your camping gear. The location, view, the ability to find a small or large grassed camping area and the firepits make this campground a fantastic overnight stop on your way either north or south on the Pacific Motorway in Northern NSW and I would certainly not describe it as ‘underwhelming’. I recommend it for all forms of camping including camper trailers and caravans and I even recommend a short stop at the Star Hotel on your way into the campground.
THE MAGAZINE TEAM Editorial Matt Bloomfield Lize Bloomfield
Design Lize Bloomfield Jack McCappin
Photography Lize Bloomfield
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Authors Matt Bloomfield James Guerin Lize Bloomfield Michael Coad
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