We take the road less travelled
STAR HOTEL Â NEWNES CAMPING
A GREAT PUB IN MACKSVILLE
HISTORY IN THE BUSH
PEBBLY BEACH NSW
NATIONAL PARKS V STATE FORESTS
Contents June 2017
EDITORIAL 3 MATT'S A word or two from Matt NEWS 4 CAMPING Exhibitions and shows -July 2017
PEBBLY BEACH NSW Yuraygir National Park
CAMPING AREA 8 NEWNES More history in the bush
NATIONAL PARKS v STATE FORESTS The pros and cons
HOTEL est. 1885 13 STAR This weeks country pub BLUFF CAMPING AREA 14 THE A small surprise WOMAN'S POINT OF VIEW 16 AToileting in the bush
A WORD OR TWO FROM
It’s fair to say that we have worked our butts off the last 3 weeks filming 64 campgrounds for live2camp.com.au throughout the beautiful Blue Mountains, Wollemi, and Barringtops National Parks just to name a few! We can’t wait to get these new videos up on our website so you can check out all these amazing campsites before you head off. While on the road, there were a few things I realized and I thought I might share them with you. Firstly, we noticed on this trip that there were a large number of people travelling and camping on their own. Sometimes they needed an extra hand to close up their camper or some of them just wanted to say g’day as they probably hadn’t spoken to
anyone all day. Remember to give them a hand and have a chat. You never know who you might meet! The other thing I realized is that country people are the friendliest and most helpful people you can meet. A big hello to Mick and the boys at the NRMA workshop in Oberon and to the manager of the Jenolan Caravan Park in Oberon who couldn’t do enough to help us out when we suffered a bit of car trouble on our trip. Without the friendly assistance of these people the trip may have come to an abrupt end! Also remember to make sure you jump on our website and subscribe to our monthly magazine for FREE!
CAMPING EVENTSÂ July 2017 LISMORE OUTDOOR LEISURE SHOW Dates: 7th - 9th July 2017 Venue: Lismore Showground, Alexandra Parade, Lismore Website: www.visitlismore.com.au MCARTHUR CARAVA, CAMPING, 4WD, FISH AND BOAT SHOW Dates: 21st - 23rd July 2017 Venue: Racecourse Avenue, Menangle Park, Sydney West Website: www.ruralscene.com.au GOLD COAST MIDYEAR CARAVAN & CAMPING EXPO Dates: July 28th - 30th, 2017 Venue: Gold Coast Turfclub, Racecourse Drive, Bundall Website: www.goldcoastexpo.com.au
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PEBBLY BEACH Yuraygir NP
A scenic drive through coastal forests and swamps leads you to a T Intersection where Station Creek Campground lies ahead, or Pebbly Beach to the right. A few kilometres of sand driving through the dunes and along the beach brings you to My idea of a perfect campground usually the picturesque, tidal waters of consists of somewhere relatively quiet, Station Creek itself. Itâ€™s important away from the city and a place that that consideration is given to get to requires a four-wheel drive to get to. the crossing at low tide as it can be Between Coffs Harbour and Grafton lies impassable after mid tide. a campground that ticks all those boxes and more, nestled between two headlands and a tidal creek that needs to be crossed to access the campsites, Pebbly Beach is an easy choice if a weekend away is just what you need. An easy day trip from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the turn off to Pebbly Beach is well signed.
Words & Images by Josh Ford
Once through the creek, the beach opens up to a magic little bay and headland where great fishing and relaxation awaits. Tailor, Jewfish, Bream, Whiting and even Snapper can be had in the surrounding waters as well as Flathead in the creek if thatâ€™s your thing. There are drop toilets and fire pits and even a campground manager on site to look after things, as well as firewood supplied when available that you can pick up on the way in. Pebbly Beach is one of those spots that keeps drawing you back, no matter how many times you go. And being the start of the whale season, who needs a better excuse to sit on the beach, rod in hand and watching the passing migration of Humpbacks as they head north for the Winter. Click here for Pebbly Beach camping area video
NEWNES CAMPING AREA Words by Matt Bloomfield Wow! That was the first thought that went through my mind as we drove into the Newnes Campground in the Wollemi National Park In NSW. Even the drive into the campground is something spectacular. The road in, which has recently been tar-sealed all bar the last 9km’s thanks to a local resort, snakes it’s way through a valley nestled in between sheer cliffs, the like of which I have only seen in the Northern Territory before. The cliffs held us mesmerised as we made our way towards the campground. Just before entering the actual campground you stumble across the historic Newnes Hotel. Built in 1917, the pub unfortunately doesn’t sell beer anymore but is run as a kind of
general store. Make sure you definitely stop in and have a look. The front bar looks as if it has stood still in time! After getting our history lesson at the pub we made our way across the small causeway into the campground. We were met with a huge open space filled with a lush green carpet that looks completely unspoiled. There was plenty of room for all different sizes of camping set ups and places to hide away. The main feature of this area is that it is ompletely surrounded by stunning rock escarpments that peek out through the lush green trees. We found ourselves a little quiet spot on top of a mound that over-looked the entire campground.
Newnes Hotel - the pub with no beer!
This was perfect for us however if you want to get a little further away from it all and have a 4wd, you can do a small creek crossing and find yourself a truly isolated campsite. Close by there is a walk to the historic Newnes Industrial Ruins and we spent a good hour discovering all there was to know about the Shale Oil mining days of this area. Arriving back at the campsite, black clouds began circling above us and it was not long before the sound of thunder was echoing through the valley.
Bunkering down in the camper, the sound of thunder and heavy rain was amazing and only enhanced our camping experience. Itâ€™s fair to say that the Newnes Campground has it all. Flat grassed camping space set in a stunning bush setting, firepits, clean toilets, a beautiful little creek, walks, wildlife and 4wding. We absolutely loved our time at this campground and canâ€™t wait to return one day to spend a couple of days. The Newnes Campground is one of the best bush camping areas we have been to so far!
Click here for Newnes camping area video Words by Matt Bloomfield
We at Live2Camp go to a lot of campgrounds. That’s evident by looking at our website live2camp.com.au. Just returning from a three week trip filming 64 campgrounds throughout New South Wales we visited mostly campgrounds located in either National Parks and State Forests. So, the question that came to mind whilst on this trip is: which one has the best campgrounds? Each state has a different government department running National Parks or State Forest so I am only making this judgement on the ones that we visited within NSW and not one located in any other state. Let’s start with the State Forests. In the past, I have always found that they were old and run down and lacked any real facilities.
However, our last trip completely changed this impression. We found the campgrounds to be fresh and updated with beautifully landscaped camping areas and with new and clean toilet facilities. It appears that the Forestry Corporation of NSW, the corporation which runs the State Forests in NSW, has recently spent a lot of money renovating the campgrounds. It was a pleasure to set up camp there. The Forestry Corporation also seems to be very ‘open minded’ when it comes to camping in the forests. continued next page
Firstly, you can camp there for free! The campgrounds that they do get You can also take your dog into the right though, they get very right! campground and collect firewood. We stayed in some of the most This was very refreshing. We also beautiful locations we have ever found that on a number of camped in throughout Australia occasions we had the place to and they were in National Parks. ourselves or that there were only a So well done National Parks and handful of other campers there. It Wildlife NSW. So with all that said, could be because of the time of year I guess I would have to say that on we visited or that people just arenâ€™t our last trip through NSW, the that used to camping in State State Forest campgrounds were a Forests. stand out. We loved staying in Now before I start talking about them and would not hesitate to National Parks I should first say that return. The National Parks were Im actually a fan of them. Australia not all together bad, but they could has some of the most beautiful take a leaf out of the State Forests National Parks in the world and I books and give some of the old love visiting and camping in them. and run down campgrounds a On this trip though, some of them well-deserved re-vamp. Check looked very tired and over-used and out the State Forests the next time the facilities looked well past their you're looking for somewhere to use-by date. go, You may just find a hidden National Parks also tend to have a little gem! lot of rules and while I understand that some of them are important, it can make it a little hard to relax for fear of breaking the rules. On top of that, I canâ€™t for the life of me work out what is going on with the nightly rates. It differs at nearly every campground you go to. From free at Words by Matt Bloomfield some, to very expensive in others.
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As you cross the old steel bridge
into Macksville NSW, The Star Hotel will certainly catch your eye. Built in 1885 the Hotel has a beautiful faĂ§ade with large verandas surrounding the building on both levels offering amazing views across the Nambucca River. The Hotel underwent extensive renovations in 2016 and has been transformed into a fantastic family pub. Offering not only an extremely large front bar with a balcony to enjoy a cold one on, it also offers a Bistro, beer garden and good old fashion pub accommodation with well-appointed rooms on the second level. You can even pull up your boat or houseboat across the road at the Hotels own jetty!
During my last visit I found the staff to be incredibly friendly and they really enjoyed sharing with me the history of this beautiful pub. The next time you are heading along the Pacific Hwy and pass through Macksville, make sure you take the time to stop and have a look inside. I guarantee youâ€™ll stay for more than a look! The Star Hotel 116 River St Macksville NSW
Words by James Guerin
THE BLUFF CAMPING AREA
Click here for The Bluff camping area video It is quite often that the campgrounds you go to with no expectations at all, are the ones that surprise you the most. The Bluff Campground, in the Mount Boss State Forest in NSW was exactly that type of campground for us on our last trip through NSW. Even as we turned off the dirt track and past the entrance sign it felt like we were driving into our own little oasis. The Bluff is a very small campground with only a handful of camper trailer sites, walk in sites and an area that would fit one to two caravans. So if you happen to be there own your own, it feels like it is just one big campsite. And then even if it’s full, you won’t feel overcrowded. It’s obvious that the Forestry Commission have recently delved into their back pocket and have spent a considerable amount of money revamping the campgrounds in this area
crystal clear creeks we have ever seen leading into a beautiful large water hole. The creek is similar to that you find in Tasmania or and it’s money well spent. We New Zealand and the swimming hole looked as if it picked the largest of the had been designed by a pool camper trailer sites and the one that has it’s own rock-wall company with gentle rock ramps leading into the deep fire pit. No wind blowing smoke in our eyes that night! clear water. We have a pool at home and I can’t keep it as As I started filming the clean and as clear as this campsite I noticed that we water hole was. It was a were completely surrounded by a sea of tall trees reaching shame it wasn’t summer. When the weather gets a bit for the sky which gave you a feeling that you are completely warmer make sure you pack up the camper and take the immersed in the forest, safe kids to The Bluff campground. from the outside elements. It’s far better than taking them After grabbing a beer, we to the local public pool! walked a very short distance through the bush to find what was making the sound of water rushing past the campsite. What we discovered was one of the most amazing Words by Matt Bloomfield
A Woman's Perspective Okay ladies, time to have an honest think about toileting in the bush. Now I'm not a prude and since camping and hiking with my mum and dad since I was just a little girl, I don't have any problems with squatting out in nature to do my business. (sorry guys, this may not be a subject you want to read about!) I understand though that there are plenty of ladies who would rather a flushing toilet or at the very least a drop bush toilet but sometimes even that is not available out there. For that reason, we always carry lots of extra toilet paper with us in the truck wherever we go.
There's no issues with doing your business out in nature. Animals do it and it all breaks down quite nicely. In fact, it's quite good compost actually. The only issue I see, is that when you do your business out in nature, be it the preverbial number one or two, you must not leave a trace.
Here is a simple guide: Number one: pee, wipe with toilet paper and then get rid of toilet paper either burn or dig into a hole or place a large rock over the top. Number two: dig a hole, poo, wipe, put toilet paper in hole and fill hole. Easy really isn't it? No need to leave any trace for the next camper to stumble across. There just isn't anything worse than arriving in a beautiful camping area only to find blobs of white strewn all over the place as we found in many places we visited on our last trip. Words by Lize Bloomfield
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