Live2Camp Magazine Issue #24

Page 1




Cooloola Recreation Area

Issue #24

We take the road less travelled


THE EDITOR Matt Bloomfield Can you believe it! Another year has passed. I’ m a little sad to say good bye to 2018, it was a great year for Live2Camp. Not only did we have fantastic trips through the Northern Territory, the Gulf and South Australia but Live2Camp continued to grow and grow! now has more listed campgrounds than ever, Live2Camp Magazine readership has grown beyond belief and our social media is exploding. Every day more and more campers realised the benefits that Live2Camp can offer their camping trips. However, we must welcome 2019 and I would be lying if I wasn’t very excited about the year that lays ahead. Already we have trips planned to the Victorian High Country and the very beautiful Tasmania! So before you know it, there will be even more campgrounds on our website in full HD.


We’re not going to stop just there though. You will also see the Live2Camp Online Magazine get even bigger with more contributors and lots more of the campgrounds you come to expect from our online magazine. And I’ m going to let you in on a little secret! Work has commenced on our very own bush campground, Two Mile Crossing, located in Northern NSW. I’'ll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, seat back in your favourite camping chair and enjoy our special end of year bumper edition. Which campground will come in at number one this year. Happy Camping.


HARRY'S HUT CAMPING Where camping meets history


FARINA RUINS CAMPGROUND Farina Station - South Australia


MATT'S EDITORIAL Our top 5 camping sites visited in 2018


TIP OF THE MONTH Camping in the hot Australian summer


SILVERTON HOTEL Famous pub in the outback


PRODUCT REVIEW Outdoor Connection's Aria Elite 3 room tent


A WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE Favourite waterholes


MUNBILILLA CAMPGROUND Limmen National Park - Northern Territory


HARRY'S HUT Where camping meets history By Matt Bloomfield When I see the name of a campground has ‘Hut’ in the title, then curiosity always gets the better of me. I have to go and see the campground. I want to know everything about it. Delve into its history. Harrys Hut was no exception. I have wanted to go camping there for years but for some reason I had never made it there. This time I was not going to miss out. No matter what, we were going to camp at Harrys Hut. That’s probably why my mate Josh and I turned onto the dirt road heading to the campground in


darkness. We had pushed on all day to get there and had lost the daylight hours. It’s times like these that you realise why you spend all that money on LED light bars for your 4wd. The drive in under artificial light was nothing less than spectacular. Single lane dirt road winding its way through tropical rainforest type bush with little creek crossing to boot. I could have driven it all night but it wasn’t long before Harrys Hut itself was in our headlights. So why is it called Harrys Hut Campground, I hear you ask?

Click here for the Harry's Hut Campground video

In short the area was used for logging up until the 1950’s and the hut was built for the timber cutters to stay in. The location was perfect as the loggers used the Noosa River, which is located next to the hut, to move the logs around. The hut however got its name from Harry Spring, a pharmacist from Cooroy who purchased the hut in the 1960’s for his own use. Fortunately for us the logging stopped and now we have a great area to enjoy. The hut still stands today and as you stare at it you can only imagine what it used to be like to return to it after a hard days logging. We headed off to bed and woke early to the sounds of birds. I wandered off to have a look at the campsite and round the Noosa River which runs parallel to the campsite. Stunning, in a word. Full of water and wildlife. If you’re into kayaking and canoeing, then this

place is heaven for you. There’s landing and launching platform areas and even stands to store you kayak while you camp over night. My walk came to an end at the Harrys Huts itself. A small wooden and corrugated iron hut perched just a short distance from the river. I made my way back to Josh who took great joy in telling me he had been pulling in Catfish, one after the other since I had left. It’s fair to say that Harrys Hut Campground has a little something for everyone and I can’t believe I waited so long to get there!


FARINA RUINS CAMPGROUND A few years back we took the family on a trip along the Birdsville, Oodnadatta and Strzelecki Tracks. I was pretty green at the time and still learning about the Australian Outback, in fact I’m still learning now, and when we were driving between Maree and Lyndhurst on the Outback Highway, we saw a sign for the Farina Ruins and decided to take a detour to check them out.


By Matt Bloomfield

Well, I was blown away, but we were on a tight schedule and couldn’t stay the night, having to quickly move on to our next destination. I made a promise to myself that one day I would return and I would camp there. Fast forward a couple of years, well quite a few years actually, and we made it back to the Farina Ruins Campground.

HISTORY, HISTORY, HISTORY! We were on another trip through the area and this time we had planned to stay the night. We were not disappointed. The Farina Ruins Campground is one heck of an Outback bush area that is also surrounded by some of the most amazing historic buildings that pay tribute to our history. As you turn of the Highway and drive down the dirt track towards the campground, you are greeted by a beautiful stone wall entrance. Driving through the entrance, the road then takes you through what is left of the historic township of Farina. Farina was first surveyed in 1878, although people had been already living there for some time. However, Farina was destined to fail right from the beginning. Located in what is essential a desert that rarely gets any rain, it was a very tough life for the people who chose to live there. Eventually, it was just too hard for its’ residents and they left. Leaving behind the buildings and many other remnants for us to remember them by. Continue through the town though, don’t worry it’s just a short walk back to explore later, and you will hit the campground. LIVE2CAMP 7

Pay the $5 per person per night at the honesty box and before you know it, you’ll be setting up in an area that you will most likely have to self, in a beautiful bush setting. The campground itself is fairly rustic but the facilities are fantastic. There are flushing toilets and showers that have hot water, thanks to the donkey boiler situated next to the block which had a constant fire burning under it whilst we were there. It was quite busy whilst we were there, but we were still able to find a whole area to ourselves with our own private fire pit and rubbish bins.


We soon discovered after setting up, that there is a short walk up to the top of an embankment that runs parallel to the campground. On top of this embankment, the owners of Farina have built a subtle and very respectful war memorial. We found ourselves lost in time up there, watching the sunset and just really soaking up the area before settling in for a very peaceful night’s sleep. The next morning we woke to a beautiful day so made our way the short distance up to the township ruins. We then spent the next couple of hours learning all about this amazing part of Australian history. The owners of the Farina Ruins and the many volunteers have done an absolutely fantastic job restoring some of the buildings and putting up signs explaining everything for the curious tourist. By the looks of it they have lots of plans to make this area even better so be sure to add the Farina Ruins Campground to your next Outback adventure itinerary.

Click here for the Farina Ruins Campground video


Each year, here at Live2Camp we have the very tough job of travelling around this beautiful country of ours filming campgrounds. And at the end of each year, Lize and I sit down over a cold beverage and discuss which as filmed by Live2Camp 2018 campgrounds we thought were the best out of all those we visited. So here it is folks, the top 5 campgrounds we visited in 2018. Of course, this is purely our opinion, and everyone has different tastes when it comes to camping, but these might just give you a few ideas for your next camping trip. Also, please keep in mind that the campgrounds are chosen only from the areas we travelled to that year which for 2018 included the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland.


1 Speeds Point SA

click here for the video


The Speeds Point campground on the coast of South Australia sits on a glorious spot in a secluded bay just above the water. There is room for approximately 8 setups and it is a great place to stop overnight. The campground is on the Westall Way loop drive not too far from Streaky Bay. This area is a lovely area to explore for a weekend with cliffs, rocky outcrops and a sea lion colony not too far from the campground. There are no amenities here so you will need to be self-sufficient.


Gunlom NT

The Gunlom campground is a large open area with hot showers, flushing toilets and fire pits. There are no designated areas and there is an honesty box for camping fees. A short but VERY strenuous walk to the top of the waterfall is a must with magnificent swimming holes and views across the entire landscape. There is a beautiful waterhole at the bottom of the waterfall as well and there appeared to be no crocodiles here so swimming is safe.

click here for the video


Innamincka Town Common SA

click here for the video

The Innamincka Town Common is a large area along the Cooper Creek a short walk to the Innamincka Hotel. Next to this area is an amenities block providing flushing toilets and hot showers ($2 for a 3 minute shower). The camping area has both open sunny and shaded areas under large trees and there are some fantastic spots next to the creek. Dogs are permitted as well as fires and there is abundant birdlife to marvel at including pelicans gliding onto the water most evenings.



Chambers Gorge SA

click here for the video

5 Mambray Creek SA

click here for the video


The Chambers Gorge is a beautiful spot on a large creek bed with huge gum trees surrounding. There are 4 areas with room for several set ups in each. There are no facilities and bear in mind when camping here that it is on private land so bring out what you bring in and be respectful. There were lots of goats when Live2Camp were here and the terrain is very rocky however the camping areas are flat and smooth. Really gorgeous place to spend a night or two.

The Mambray Creek campground is one of two drive-in camping areas in the Mount Remarkable National Park. This is a large campground with 54 sites to choose from. There are hot showers, flushing toilets and water available. There are also lots of walking tracks throughout the National Park and plenty of wildlife.



TIP OF THE MONTH Keeping cool in the Australian summer months. by Lize Bloomfield

With the summer heat upon us, we headed off to our property in the Northern Rivers area for the Australia Day long weekend. We were well aware of the upcoming heat-wave temperatures however when the heat rose up to the high 30's and there was little or no wind there were only two things we could do. One was head to the Clarence River for a dip in the water, and I can tell you that the water itself wasn't even that cool, or sit still and try to get some airflow. Luckily we had been given a fan with one of our lasts purchases at our favourite camping store - a small battery powered fan.

Matt and I certainly fought over this little gem of an item! The battery lasted for ages and the light was handy too. You can get 12v varieties online from plenty of stores so this is one item I would not go without.


Silverton Hotel South Australia


by James Guerin

It’s not often you get to go to a pub that’s been in more movies than most Hollywood actors. The Silverton Hotel, located in the small and very deserted town of Silverton approximately 30 mins drive from Broken Hill, has been used in many movies including Mad Max II. The pub was established in the 1870’s and is still as popular today.

Make sure you spend plenty of time in the public bar soaking up all the history that adorns the walls including some very old photos of some super famous people. My favourites are the photos of a very young INXS band. The pub has great cold beer, good pub grub and a huge beer garden to enjoy. And don’t forget to say hello to the donkeys that like to wander onto the front veranda of an afternoon.

Silverton Hotel Layard Street Silverton SA




3 room tent

A Review by Matt Bloomfield

It’s been a long time since I have camped in a tent as I have had a camp trailer for quite a few years now. So when I was asked by Dave at Outdoor Camping to try out one of their Outdoor Connection Aria Elite tents, I was expecting it to be the old same when it came to tents. You know what I mean, lots of bendy poles and trying to work out how the fly goes on. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. 16 LIVE2CAMP

These tents are some of the easiest and best tents I have ever set up. This is mostly due to the fact that these tents have used the latest Air Pole technology. You simply connect the very easy to use hand pump to the plugs on the tent, similar to a blow up camping mattress, and away you go. I was able to blow up the four main air poles on the very large three room tent that I had in about 15 minutes on my own!

Throw in the couple of blow up spreader bars in the roof, peg down the fly that is already attached and I was done. It was that simple. I set up a three room, twelve man tent on my own in 15 minutes. Incredible. The Aria Elite tents come in two sizes, the three room version which I had and a smaller two room version. Both have incredible amount of room inside with plenty of height for even the tallest of people. LIVE2CAMP 17

They are full of great little storage Even Lize agreed that we would pockets through the tent, have an definitely use the Aria Elite tent opening at the bottom of the tent on a camping trip, especially one that zips close so you can run your where we took all the family. The power cord into the tent without ease of set up and the quality and any little creepy crawlies getting size of the tents is outstanding in. But what I loved most was the and I would highly recommend internal privacy screens on each them to you if you are in the window. No more going outside to market for a family tent. zip up the window whenever you want to get changed. Just zip up OR O D the privacy screen and you’re UT O ! M away. NOW FRO



click here for the review video



In this edition we've highlighted some of the amazing campsites we have visited throughout 2018 and I thought I'd also let you in on some of the magical waterholes we found on our travels. Here they are:

Mossman Gorge Set in the beautiful Daintree National Park, the Mossman Gorge waterhole is probably my favourite waterhole so far. Clear and sandy and a little oasis in the hot summer sun.

Gunlom Falls A waterhole at the bottom for those not able to climb the steep cliff face and one at the top for the brave and fit. A gorgeous place within Kakadu National Park

Buley Rockholes Litchfield National Park has many waterfalls and as a consequence waterholes and this one is quite magical. Numerous holes winding their way slowly downstream there is a hole for everyone! LIVE2CAMP 19

MUNBILILLA CAMPGROUND (Tomato Island) by Matt Bloomfield

The Northern Territory is jam packed full of stunning National Parks with amazing 4wd tracks, campgrounds and swimming holes. We all know Kakadu and Litchfield National park, but there is a lesser known National Park that packs one heck of a punch for its size. The Limmen National Park is located towards the east coast of the Northern Territory and to get to it you have to head off the main track. We got off the Sturt Highway and took the Roper Highway west until we hit the Roper River, and then we found ourselves driving through the Limmen National Park as we made our way west from Mataranka to Borroloola on the Savanah Way. There are many great campgrounds spread throughout the Limmen National Park but the one that really stood out to us as we travelled through was the strangely named Munbililla (Tomato Island) campground, more on the name later. As we turned off the red dirt track into the campground, the first thing we noticed was just how neat and tidy the campground is. 20 LIVE2CAMP

That’s because, unlike a lot of campgrounds in National Parks, there is a live-in care taker who does a fantastic job looking after the gardens and facilities at the campground. The campground is very large with plenty of room for everyone. It just really comes down to how far you want to be away from the facilities as there in only one amenities block which is very large and has not only flushing toilets but hot showers as well. All though it was quite busy when we were there, we had no problems at all finding a nice quiet spot by ourselves, away from other campers as there are no designated campsites. There is enough grass around to find a very comfy spot to set up on and more than enough trees to keep the blaring sun off you camper. The campground has a fantastic feeling to it and we felt right at home straight away with its manicured bush setting, large open areas and firepits. There is even a beautiful and very wellmaintained war memorial which is a really nice touch. There is plenty of room for camping set ups of all sizes and if you are into fishing there is more than enough room for you boat as well. Click here for the Munbililla campground video


In fact, the majority of campers were there for the fishing. The Roper River makes its way slowly past the campground with easy access to the water from the boat ramp. I took a wander down the boat ramp one morning and it was a hive of activity with fisherman launching their boats for a day of fishing. I can tell you though that I was mindful not to get too close to the water in case a certain reptile was also looking for some breakfast.


So where does the ‘Tomato Island’ name come from. To be honest I’m still not really sure why, however I was told by someone who looked like they had spent a lot of time there fishing, that it was the name of a small ‘island’ that is locate in the Roper River right out the front of the campground. I’m not sure if this is true but it certainly sounds like a good explanation to me. Either way, this is a great remote bush campground with modern facilities and definitely one to visit if you are into your fishing.

UPCOMING CAMPING SHOWS february 2019 NEWCASTLE CARAVAN, CAMPING AND HOLIDAY EXPO Dates: FEBRUARY 7 - 10, 2019 Venue:Newcastle Showgrounds, Brown Road, Broadmeadow NSW Website:

MORETON BAY CARAVAN, CAMPING, BOATING & 4×4 EXPO Dates: February 15 - 17, 2019 Venue: Redcliffe Showgrounds, Redcliffe, Brisbane, QLD Website:

VICTORIAN CARAVAN, CAMPING & TOURING SUPERSHOW Dates: February 20 - 25, 2019 Venue: Melbourne Showgrounds, Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale, VIC Website: LIVE2CAMP 23

Q U E S T I O N S A N S W E R S QUESTION: Hi, have you places in Qld and Nsw where we can take our 28 kilo kelpie, rotty cross rescue dog. - Phil

ANSWER: Hi Phil, The below two links will take you to our website - pages for QLD and NSW - the icons with the doggie paw next to them indicate the ones where you can take dogs:

and messages QUESTION: Hi Matt & Lize Can we use quiet generators at the camp site? Dundaburra up on Fraser Island.

ANSWER: Hi Nick As Fraser Island is a National Park unfortunately you can't use generators in Dundabarra Campground.

QUESTION: I was wondering if u had a map or something to help me figure out which campsite is which. Im trying to book at site at waddy point on fraser. But it doesnt tell me which site is where and im trying to get to campsites together. is there any way to find out? - Caleb

ANSWER: Hi Caleb, There are two camping areas at Waddy Point, Waddy Point Top campground and Waddy Beach. The top has some marked campsites but most of it is a big open area and every time I have camped there I have just found an area I liked and set up. The Waddy Beach campground is made up of defined camp sites that run along the beach. They are all about the same size and are seperated by small wooden barriers, 24 LIVE2CAMP

Driving the South Australian coast

If you have any questions or just want to send us a message, please send them to

THE MAGAZINE TEAM Editorial: Matt Bloomfield Lize Bloomfield Authors: Matt Bloomfield James Guerin

Photography: Lize Bloomfield Katie Hart

Design: Lize Bloomfield Jack McCappin

Lize Bloomfield Katie Hart

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