We take the road less travelled
Gunlom CampgroundÂ Innamincka Town Common Spring Gully Stays Campground
GREAT CAMPING TIPS AND MORE!
The Sunset Tavern KARUMBA - QLD
Lize and I really hope that by reading this magazine you will also be inspired to unpack the camping gear out of the garage and explore everything there is on offer. You will see some of the most amazing and beautiful country that you can’t be found anywhere else in the world. I am also very excited to announce that we will be launching a Live2Camp forum on our website this month. We love hearing from all our followers and answering their camping questions but sometimes it is not always possible to reply straight away. With that in mind and to provide a better service to you guys, we are opening a forum that people can post their questions on and everyone can assist us with the answers. It will definitely NOT be a place to review campgrounds or to give each other a hard time, rather a forum to answer questions such as, ‘Can I get my caravan in there’, ‘What’s the road like at the moment’ and ‘What’s the fishing like?’ We hope you enjoy this month’s Edition as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Happy Camping!
A WORD OR TWO FROM
Well, I’ve just finished washing the Patrol and the Camper trailer and our driveway now looks like the Simpson Desert but what another amazing trip. We have just completed a 3 week trip through Innamincka, Birdsville then all the way up to Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks, wrapping up with a drive across the Gulf of Carpentaria along the Savannah Way. Every filming escapade we go on is fantastic and this trip was no exception. Sure, we covered a lot of ground but there was never a dull moment with surprises around every corner including the beautiful Limmen Nation Park in the Northern Territory. Be sure to keep an eye out on our website as we release the 50 campsite videos we filmed on this trip and even better subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you can be instantly notified every time we release a video. Each time we are away on a filming trip, which is at least twice a year, I am amazed at how much Australia has to offer and how great the camping is.
Contents - Issue 21
A WORD OR TWO FROM MATT Live2Camp Forum coming soon
INNAMINCKA TOWN COMMON Camping on the Cooper Creek
AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY PUB The Sunset Tavern - Karumba QLD
Gunlom Campground Kakadu National Park
WHERE ARE THE DIRT ROADS Bitumen taking over
OF THE MONTH 14 TIP A remedy for pesky flies
16 A WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE Mobile phones in the bush
17 SPRING GULLY STAYS A night away with mates
INNAMINCKA TOWN COMMON Words by Matt Bloomfield
I f anyone ever asked me which
campground I thought was the most quintessential Australian Outback campground, I would without a doubt tell them that it is the Innamincka Town Common. What an amazing, beautiful campground the Innamincka Town common is and every time I head out Innamincka way I always make sure I stay for at least two nights so I can really soak in everything it has to offer. The campground is located on the awesome Cooper Creek just a minutesâ€™ drive from the very small Innamincka Township. The campground is very large, spreading along the banks of the creek, with some very open areas for large groups as well as some small tucked away sites for those looking for a little more privacy. All of them though, are either on the banks of the creek or within a very short distance from creek. We have camped there a couple of times now, returning there just last month and as we drove past the Township towards the creek all I could think was; how much water
would be flowing past the campground this time. It wasn’t long before my curiosity was settled as we set up our camper in a tucked away little spot in amongst the shade of the large gumtrees that line the banks, which we had all to ourselves. We had uninterrupted views of the very full and flowing Cooper Creek and as you will know if you have been to the Outback before, when there is lots of water in the creeks, there is lots of birdlife. This time was no exception with large graceful pelicans floating back and forth along the creek and large flocks of galahs and budgerigars flying overhead. What a sight to see. There are not a lot of facilities at the campground, just some drop toilets which are in pretty good condition, but it's just a short walk or even shorter drive up to the Township where there are hot showers, flushing toilets and a general store. There is of course also the Innamincka Hotel and it’s fair to say we spent every afternoon in the historical Innamincka Pub but that was purely to have a break from the rather annoying flies that were trying to eat us. Well, that’s my excuse anyway.
Even though the Innamincka Township is only tiny, there is plenty to see and do around the area especially when it comes to Australian history. The area was used as a camp for the early explorers' Burke and Wills, and unfortunately it also ended up being where they perished. The area is full of historical markers including the famous Dig Tree and where they finally died on the banks of the Cooper Creek. Make sure you stay at least a couple of days just so you have enough time to take in al the history. So, as far as I’m concerned, the Innamincka Town Common Campground offers everything you could possibly want from an Australian Outback campground. It’s located on a famous creek, it’s close to a small country town with a fantastic pub and it’s full of history and amazing wildlife. What more could you want for a campground?
Click here for the Innamincka Town Common video
THE SUNSET TAVERN
Want great views of the Gulf of Carpentaria, great food and cold beer? Then make sure you spend an afternoon at the Sunset Tavern, Karumba Point. Located right on the waterâ€™s edge of the The Gulf, the Tavern has a large open bar area as well as a large shady beer garden with even a section for your best mate, your dog. The Tavern offers great meals for lunch and dinner including barramundi and a burger with the lot, that really is with the lot! The Tavern also offers a bottle shop, TAB but itâ€™s the ocean views that really make it a great pub. The Sunset Tavern 2 Ward St, Karumba QLD (07) 4745 9183
Words & Images by James Guerin
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GUNLOM CAMPGROUND Litchfield National Park
Words by Matt Bloomfield
When I was growing up in the 80â€™s,
one of the greatest Australian movies of all time was released, Crocodile Dundee! I loved this movie and watched it over and over, dreaming of one day making it out to the Northern Territory and visiting all the wonderful places they showed during the movie. As an adult now, I have travelled to the Northern Territory many times and each time I go there I fall in love with it just a little bit more. It seems that every time I go there I find somewhere new and when we travelled there again in May this was no exception as we made it to a location that I have wanted to go to ever since watching Crocodile
Dundee for the first time, the stunning Gunlom Falls in the Kakadu National Park. If you remember the scene in the movie (if you by some miracle havenâ€™t seen it, I suggest you find yourself a copy) where the American journalist Sue Charlton swims in a beautiful waterhole next to a waterfall whilst Dundee cooks some bush tucker, this is where they filmed that scene.
And it is just as stunning in real life as it is in the movie! The Gunlom Falls is a beautiful waterfall cascading into an even more beautiful waterhole that is fantastic for an afternoon dip to wash off all the dust and to reminisce about one of the greatest Australian movies of all time. However, there are two things at Gunlom Falls they don’t show in the movie. The first thing is all the waterholes located at the top of the waterfall. Sure, it’s a steep 500 metres walk to the top but it is well worth it to swim in the numerous pools including an infinity style pool right at the top of the waterfall that has endless views over Kakadu. The second thing is the awesome campground that is located only a short walk from the falls. This campground is by far one of my favourite campgrounds located within the Kakadu National Park. It’s a little expensive to camp there but it’s a huge grassed campground with room for every kind of camping set ups. There are no designated spots, so you can just find a nice area including plenty of shady areas and set up. It has great facilities such as hot showers and flushing toilets and you can have fires which is a rarity in a National Park.
We were very fortunate to find a camp site at the edge of the campground overlooking the rocky outcrops and long grasses of Kakadu.
Even though the campground was very busy, it felt very much like we had the place to ourselves as we sat in our camp chairs with a cold beer and some nibblies and watch the sun set slowly of the stunning landscape. This is a campground I could easily spend at least week at. We spent the afternoon lounging in the pools at the top of the waterfalls and this was not nearly enough. I certainly recommend the 500 metre walk to the top! Gunlom Falls is truly an area where you can camp and feel like you are a million miles away from the world. Words by Matt Bloomfield
Click here for the Gunlom Campground video
Where are all the dirt roads?
Where have all the dirt roads gone?
Or should I say where are they all going? It seems more and more dirt roads in Australia are slowly being turned from adventurous dirt roads into smooth, highway type bitumen roads. For me, one of the best things about traveling around this great country filming campsites for Live2Camp.com.au is the sense of freedom driving along a red dirt road in the middle of nowhere. However, it seems the longer I travel the harder it gets to find these kinds of roads. On a recent trip through Queensland and the northern Territory we travelled on both the Plenty Highway and the
Savanah Way. Now, both of these roads still have long, corrugated, bone shattering dirt sections however the gaps between the bitumen sections are getting smaller and smaller. I have wanted to travel both of these roads for as long as I can remember and I have to say I was a little disappointed by the amount of black top we drove on whilst taken these routes. We came across this same issues on a trip to Cape York last year along the Peninsular Development Road. Sure there was still some good old Aussie red dirt sections but these were punctuated by road crew pouring bitumen as fast as they could. From all reports large sections of the PDR will be sealed in the next couple of years with the whole road eventually being sealed like a highway. Whereâ€™s the fun and adventure in
driving that? There is even talk that the Oodnadatta Track is going to be sealed and the last time I took the Birdsville Track it was so graded that it might as well have been covered in bitumen. This is of course due to all the mining activity in the area. Now if you’re like me you’ve spent a fortune setting up your vehicle and camper trailer to take on dirt roads like these. For me it is part of the experience of travelling in the Outback and it is exactly why I have set my vehicles up the way I have. Ok, so I can hear you all saying, ‘But it’s much nicer driving on a bitumen road!’ And yes, I agree with you, in part anyway. Sometimes it is nice to drive on a perfectly smooth road but only after you have spent a couple of days driving on the dirt. If you haven’t done this then I highly recommend you do. So to the powers that be, please don’t bitumen all the roads in Australia! I, and many like me, what to keep travelling to hard to get to places on sandy, rocky dirt roads. And I would like my grandkids to do it too. If you do have to seal some of them, at least leave us some of the really remote ones. Happy Camping Words by Matt Bloomfield
Tip of the Month
By Lize Bloomfield Camping in the outback is one of my favourite things to do. who claimed to have the best flyBeing out there in amongst the repellant recipe. He said it works nothingness, the red dirt, the for both flies and mosquitos: beautiful sunsets and sunrises.. oh 1/3 portion of Detol 1/3 portion of Baby Oil yeah, and at certain times of the year, the flies!!!!! While in 1/3 portion of Eucaluptus Oil Innamincka this last trip, Matt Unfortunately we didn't have these swallowed about 4 of those pesky ingredients with us but I guarantee little black flies and they just didn't that I will be mixing up a batch leave you alone for a second from before our next trip! Try it yourselves and let us know how it sunsrise to sunset! One afternoon, we met a guy by the worked for you. name of Gary from Sydney
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Lismore Outdoor Leisure Show Dates: 13th - 15th July 2018 Venue: Lismore Showground, Lismore Website: www.outdoorleisureshow.com.au Gold Coast Caravan and Camping Expo Dates: 27th - 29th July 2018 Venue: Gold Coast Turf Club, Racecourse Dr, Bundall Website: www.goldcoastexpo.com.au
Queensland Outdoor Adventure & Motoring Expo Dates: 3rd - 5th August 2018 Venue: Toowoomba Showgrounds, Glenvale Road, Glenvale Website: www.australianevents.com.au
Fraser Coast Expo Dates: 17th - 19th August 2018 Venue: Maryborough Showgrounds, Maryborough Website: www.australianevents.com.au
Border Caravan & Camping Expo Dates: 24th -26th August 2018 Venue: Wodonga Racecourse, Wodonga Website: www.10times.com/border-rv-camping
A Woman's Perspective While we were away on the last trip through the centre and up into the Northern Territory we did something different which worked out really well. Both Matt and I have mobile phones (seriously, does anyone not have a mobile phone these days?) but we're both with the same service provider which, and I won't name it but I'm sure you can guess, does not have the best reception throughout the outback and even as little as an hour out of major towns/cities we have little or no service. A while ago, while travelling with the kids, we had between the five of us; Optus, Vodafone and Telstra mobiles. Interestingly, Telstra was not always available everywhere as we had previously thought and at times the only reception to be had was the vodofone mobile. (I know, who would've thought?!)
By Lize Bloomfield This got us thinking about a solution to when Matt and I travel just on our own. Although it is great to be incommunicado while away, at the same time I feel it's important to be contactable in case of emergency. So, we bought a pre-paid sim card from a different service provider for one of the many old mobile phones we had stuffed in an old drawer in the office and voila, more reception options. Now, I'm not saying that you should have all three major service providers covered but having at least two of them may really help.
Spring Gully Stays Campground
I t was overcast and cold, well cold
for Queensland anyway, and the forecast was for rain but there was no way in the world I was going to let a little bit of rain get in the way of this camping trip. The trip had been a month in the planning. Four mates who all live in different directions, finally getting together for one night of camping, beers and endless stories. And to top it of we were going to one of my favourite campgrounds out the back of the Gold Coast, Spring Gully Stays.
Nestled at the base of the Lamington National Park, just a short distance from Canungra in South east Queensland, the Spring Gully Resort is a beautiful bush campground. As I arrived at the campground after a leisurely drive, I was greeted not only by one of my mates but also the smell of thick steaks grilling on a bbq. You see the campground not only makes a living out of camping but also through the local tourist trade offering a great example of Australian farm living. They have a fantastic corrugated iron shed set up with open fires and tables where they serve up a great meal to the tourist buses that come
through daily. Donâ€™t let this put you off though, just do what we did and continue up the dirt track a short distance, drive over the beautiful creek and head through the closed gate. This takes you to the bush camping side of the campground. There are two parts to the campground; the bush camping side, where we went
and where the only facilities are the composting toilets, firepits and you are permitted to have your dog camping with you. Then on the other side of the creek, near the homestead, there is another area which has access to flushing toilets and showers but you can't have your dog here.
We headed to the bush side so we could be little further away from everyone else and we thought we might be a bit noisy after a couple of beers. I also had my trusty Kelpie, Peppa, with me and I didn’t want her to annoy any of the other campers. It was not long before we had a raging fire going and although it started to rain it certainly didn’t dampen our spirits as the beers flowed and the reminiscing went well into the night. I always sleep really well when I’m camping and this night was no exception because of the absolute peace and quiet that a beautiful bush campground like Spring Gully has. This coupled with the sound of the gently flowing crystal clear creek,
the view of the nearby mountains and the fresh country air gave me the feeling that I had been away for a week rather than just the one night I was actually there. If at any time you are ever near the Gold Coast in Queensland, I highly recommend you take a break from the beautiful beaches and head out to Spring Gully Stays and see what the hinterland area has to offer. The friendly staff at Spring Gully will be more than happy to welcome you to their wonderful campground. I know my mates and I will definitely be heading out there again soon for another night of great camping. Words by Matt Bloomfield
Click here for the Spring Gully Stays campground video
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