We take the road less travelled
ED: CAMP SITES EXPLOR
KALPOWAR Rinyirru NP
Torrington State CP
! s r e p m a C s a m X y r r e M
TOP HOLIDAY SPOTS
Nov / Dec 2017
MATT'S EDITORIAL A word or two from Matt
INSKIP POINT CAMPING AREA Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area
TOP 5 HOLIDAY SPOTS Our favourite spots in 2017!
TIP OF THE MONTH Take only what you actually need!
unset Inskip Point S
KALPOWAR CROSSING Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park
SHARP PARK CAMPGROUND The perfect weekend getaway.
CAMPGROUND 20 BLATHERARM Torrington Conservation Area
MATT'S COMMENTARY To book or not to book - that is the question!
LAGOON 25 JUDDS A great little stop-over spot!
A WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE Camping only clothing
BAMAGA TAVERN The Most Northerly Pub
Kalpowar C rossing
A WORD OR TWO FROM
We’re hitting the road again to bring you more campsite videos and this time we are heading to one of Brisbane’s best kept secrets, the absolutely stunning Moreton Island. So keep an eye out for these videos over the next few months, they might just change your plans for your next camping holiday. We hope you all enjoy this bumper edition of the magazine as much as we enjoyed putting it together and from all the team at Live2Camp we would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Thank you for your support over the past year and we can’t wait to bring you more great camping stories in 2018. Also, make sure you jump on our website for more campsites and subscribe to our monthly magazine for FREE! Happy Camping!
As 2017 draws to an end, I have to
say it has been a massive year for Live2Camp.com.au. Over the past 12 months we have travelled over 20,000 kilometres across Australia to bring you videos from campgrounds far and wide. So we decided to finish the year with a ‘bumper’ Edition of Live2Camp Australia Magazine to celebrate the amazing year it has been. Along with all our normal articles on great campgrounds and tips, we lay out the top 5 campgrounds that we have visited over this past year and there are some absolute rippers that are not to be missed! But we are not going to take it easy over the Summer break! That’s not what we do here at Live2Camp.
inskip point camping
A slice of Paradise
I love camping on the beach. There is something about camping on the sand with the smell of salt in the air and falling asleep to the sound of waves breaking gently on the shore. We have camped on many beach campgrounds around Australia but one of our favourites is the camping area at Inskip Point in South East Queensland. It just seems to tick all the boxes. Located just a short drive out of Rainbow Beach and only about 5 hours north of Brisbane, the campground sits on the sand dunes directly across the water from Fraser Island.
The camping area is spread over a large area and is made up of five different campgrounds, The Oaks, SS Dorrigo, MV Natone, MV Beagle and MV Sarawak. You can either buy your camping permits online or you can drop in at the QPWS Information Centre in Rainbow Beach and grab them there. The campgrounds are a mix of 4wd and 2wd accessible so make sure you check out our website before you go so you pick a campground that your vehicle can get into. Some campgrounds are also a bit closer to the main bitumen road, which make them easier to get caravans in and out. All campgrounds though are along the water, fires are permitted, there are drop toilets and you can even
Words by Matt Bloomfield
drive on the beach if you have a 4wd. We have camped here many times, often using it as a stopover before heading to Fraser Island and we always seem to end up in the MV Beagle Camping Area. We find this area easy to access with our 4wd and camper trailer and if we go during the week we can always get a site that looks out onto the water. It can get very busy here on weekends and holidays, so make sure you get in early. The beach at Inskip Point is one of the few places on the East Coast of Australia that you can watch the sunset over the water due to it being out on a point. I can tell you we have spent many an afternoon sitting on the beach with a cold can in hand watching
some of the most spectacular sunsets we have ever seen in Australia. It is really worthwhile heading to Inskip Point just to watch these sunsets. There is also great swimming and fishing right off the beach, we have seen many a dolphin swim right past us as we sat on the beach looking over at Fraser Island. Don’t forget to take a walk up to the end of the point and watch the many 4wd’s make the sandy trip out to the Manta Ray Barge as the head across to Fraser Island. This is hours of entertainment. With the beautiful township of Rainbow Beach only a short drive away as well, you are never far away from civilisation. So next time you are heading to Fraser Island or just want to do some great beach camping, make sure you check into one of the many camping areas at Inskip Point. I know you won’t regret it.
Click here for the Inskip Point camping areas
5 HOLIDAY SPOTS
Well, it’s been another very busy year here at Live2Camp.com.au!! We have travelled over 20,000 km’s in the past 12 months filming campsites throughout Queensland and New South Wales and because a lot of people ask me to give them a list of our favourite campgrounds, I thought that it was time high time to once again let you all know which campsites we liked the most while filming in 2017. So, here we go, here’s our favourite 5 holiday spots for 2017:
Newnes Camping Area - Wollemi National Park This camping spot is set in a gorgeous open area surrounded by amazing sandstone cliffs and escarpments in the Wollemi National Park in NSW. Within walking distance of the campground are the Newnes Industrial Ruins consisting of the ruins of old shale oil mining days. There are also glow worm caves to discover not too far way and this is a fantastic place to spend a few days. Within the camping area there are approximately 80 sites, drop toilets, picnic tables and firepits. This is a beautiful national park with plenty of wildlife, bush walks and water holes. Click here for the Newnes Camping Area video
Punsand Bay Campground - (Cape York) This campground sits right on a beautiful beach, amongst shady trees at the top of Cape York. The campground is privately owned and is a caravan park but is rugged enough to still be considered a â€˜bushâ€™ style campground. There are many designated sites but it does pay to book, as it gets very busy in the peak season. There is a swimming pool and bar, which serves amazing pizzas! The amenities are great and most times you'll be showering with gorgeous green tree frogs. This is a great base for exploring the top of the Cape. The road into the area is graded dirt road with lots of corrugations and dust holes so be aware and take it slow while driving. Click here for the Punsand Bay campground video
Kinkuna Beach - Burrum Coast National Park This is a fantastic beach camping area situated right in the dunes of the beach with just a short walk to the water. There are 40 undesignated sites however there are no facilities. Fires are permitted and the road into the camping area is sandy and it is recommended for high clearance 4WD vehicles only. Make sure you put your tyre pressures down as we found ourselves having to do a number of recoveries. This campground is well worth the effort though! Click here for the Kinkuna Beach Camping Area video
Wunglebung Campground - Rocky River Wunglebung is a beautiful 2000 acre privately owned cattle property on the Rocky River. It's a place you can bring your horses and have hours of endless riding or just lie in a hammock next to the river. Wunglebung has lots of tracks on the property and also backs onto National Park where horse riding is permitted and encouraged. Dogs are also permitted at Wunglebung and the Rocky River is full of Platypus to sit and watch. There are numerous camping areas to choose from and they all have fire pits set up for use. Click here for the Wunglebung Campground video
The Bluff camping area - Mount Boss State Forest This camping spot is a gorgeous little camping area in the Mount Boss State Forest. There are only a small number of sites but they are beautifully done with large firepits, and there are brand new drop toilets installed. The water-hole next to the campsite is large, deep and crystal clear like your very own swimming pool! The area is suitable for small campers and caravans only as the sites are small. The road into the area is graded dirt and reasonably well maintained by the Forestry Corporation. You can collect firewood in the forest. This is one small campground that packs a huge punch! Click here for The Bluff Camping Area video
Sharp Park Canungra
The Perfect Weekend Getaway
S ometimes you just need to get
away from it all, even if itâ€™s just for a weekend. You just feel the need to get into the bush, away from work, traffic and your mobile phone and sit in a chair with a newspaper or a good book for the afternoon. If this is how you are feeling right now and you live near the Gold Coast in Queensland, then you need to head to the Sharp Park River Bend Country Bush campground. Located less then an hour west of the Gold Coast, just outside the quintessential country town of Canungra, Sharp Park is really the perfect weekend bush getaway. The campground is a large grassed area punctuated by large shady trees with a beautiful, all be it, cold creek that snakes its way around the perimeter of the campground. It's not only a great bush getaway for adults but a great spot fot the kids as well, with
a large grassed area in the middle of the campground where camping is not permitted and is reserved for the young and young at heart, where balls can be kicked and bicycles can be ridden, free from the ropes of nearby campers.
The creek is also perfect for the kids to take an afternoon dip under the supervision of their relaxing parents and your furry friends are permitted here as well. Dogs that is! Fires are allowed in the well-made fire pits and there is a toilet block with flushing toilets however no showers. Firewood and ice are available from the onsite caretaker. Also, if all this relaxation and fresh
air becomes too much for you, why not duck into Canungra where you can enjoy a nice lunch at the Pub or buy that Latte youâ€™ve been craving. After spending your weekend camping at Sharp Park you will bound into work on Monday morning relaxed and rejuvenated feeling as if you have just spent a month in the middle of nowhere with your own personal masseuse!
Words by Matt Bloomfield Click here for the Sharp Park campground video
TO BOOK OR NOT TO BOOK... That is the question A s a lot of you may already know, the
Queensland Department of National Parks has made the decision to change their booking system to being completely online. They have decided to swap from using the old self-registration, that is, pay and put a tag on your tent at the campsite, to having to book your site on their website before you arrive. As you can image this has created a lot of angst amongst campers and we saw this ourselves on our recent trip to Cape York. As we headed into the very remote Lakefield National Park, we did not know that this booking change had occurred until we came across a sign at the entrance of
the Park. ‘All campsites’ must be pre-booked’ the sign said. Well, this caused me to brake heavily and pull over to the side of the road. Of course we hadn’t pre-booked any sites! We didn’t know exactly what dates we would be at certain campgrounds, we were 2000 km from home and as all campers
know, not everything goes to plan when you are on a camping road trip! So what did we do? There’s no phone reception and definitely no Internet out at Cape York, Our thoughts were: Do we run the gauntlet and just camp hoping we can explain ourselves to a sympathetic Ranger if he comes around? We certainly wanted to pay. We feel this is an important part of keeping campgrounds open. Fortunately, we continued on and discovered there was a ranger station with interent access that the public could use to book campsites within the Park but still we ended up booking for a campsite on one night that we never used because our plans changed. After this experience, it got me thinking:
What are the pro’s and con’s of prebooking your campsites? I love our Queensland National Parks and I love camping in them, so I really don’t want this to turn into a ‘bagging’ of the Department but instead a constructive discussion of this recent change. Let’s start with the con’s; As I have already stated, when you are on a camping road trip, you don’t always know where you are going to camp each night. Many factors, such as breakdowns, the difficulty and time taken to travel a road and the weather, can affect which campground you make it to that night. Not only this, but the majority of National Park camping
areas are in remote locations that have little or no phone and internet reception making it impossible to book a site once you are at the campground. This leads to people turning up without a booking, who have not paid for their site and quite often out of desperation, set up in sites, hoping that they haven't already been booked. Also, on a number of occasions we have pulled into a campground only to look around and decide we didn’t want to camp there for the night and move on to the next camp. Pre-booking does restrict campers in many ways. Surely though, there must be some pro’s in this decision to swap to online bookings and I can definitely see it being a benefit when you are going to camp somewhere for more than a couple days. The ability to pick out your site, book and pay for it before you leave home prevents you
from arriving at a campsite and not being able to find an appropriate area for your setup. It also has the benefit of stopping freeloaders who turn up to campsites late at night and decide they don’t want to pay because they are going to skip out early in the morning. Overcrowding in campsites can often be a problem when it is a first in best option kind of campground, especially during peak periods like school holidays. I have to say, and this might cause some controversy, but I am a fan of the online prebooking system. I rarely carry cash with me these days and use my bankcards to pay for everything. I’m a big fan of jumping online and paying for bookings before I leave
home. This way I don’t have to stress about getting to an ATM in the bush and it helps me to stick to my budget for the trip. But if this new system is to work, then some things need to improve to make it successful. For a start, there needs to be better phone reception in remote areas. I know this is getting better with time but it could still be a long time before reception is wide-spread. The Department are beginning to install Qld Parks WiFi at certain locations so you can use their free WiFi to book your camping. So far though, these locations are mostly located in populated areas along the coast of Queensland and I am sure
it will be quite some time before they make it to more remote areas, if at all. Perhaps, they should have waited until this WiFi was fully operational before swapping to the new system. Why not, in the meantime, have a couple sites at each campground that you can use if you haven’t booked and just pay for them when you are there. This would be handy for people whose plans have changed or just haven’t had a chance to book prior to arrival. I know everyone is going to have a different opinion on this and we will never all agree, but I will be watching with real interest to see what affect these changes have on camping in National Parks over the next few years, both in Queensland and other states around Australia. Words by Matt Bloomfield
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A Woman's Perspective
I'm not someone that has an abundance of clothes. Not that I don't necessarily want them, but I'm happy with what I have and personally, I have a distinct dislike of clothes shopping; the mirrors, the sizes that are different in each shop, the clothes on and off, on and off!! Not to mention the realisation that I've put on another kilo or two since the last time I went shopping for clothes!. I have, over the years bought and accumulated clothing that I wear and take with me only while camping and this has been the best thing ever! I did this for the kids when they were younger too, and had a set of t-shirts, shirts, shorts and long pants which were only worn while camping. This is great because they are fit for purpose, ie: long pants and boots for bushy areas, short and t-shirts for the beach, and they're always ready to go. These clothes don't form part of my Monday to Friday or weekend clothing so I can grab and pack
them at a moments notice. And in fact, they're always in a bag ready to go. I also love it that when I'm wearing these camping specific clothes, I'm not at all worried about them getting dirty or looking a little worse for wear. Whether it's helping getting the truck out of the mud or making a camp fire for the night, it just doesn't matter if you get dirty, you're camping and no one cares what you look like! And lastly, what I love about having specific camping clothes is that when you get home from great time away, the clothes can sit in the laundry until you're ready to wash them. You're not going to need them again until the next camping trip after all. Words by Lize Bloomfield
BAMAGA TAVERN A LITTLE SURPRISE PACKAGE
Words by James Guerin
W hen it comes to
Pubs up at the most northern tip of Australia, there are not many to choose from. In fact, there is only one; The Bamaga Tavern, and what a pleasant surprise it is. I have to admit that when I first approached the Tavern I was a little put off by its exterior but once I stepped through the front doors it was like I was transported to a whole another place.
The Tavern is the only licenced premise in the Northern Peninsular Area of Cape York and consists of a welcoming public bar with pool tables, a bistro that serves meals including pizzaâ€™s and a fantastic beer garden out the back which is a great retreat from the late afternoon heat. It also has a drive through bottle shop where you can re-stock the beer supplies for a fairly
reasonable price considering the location. Just be aware of the carriage limits for alcohol as stipulated in the Alcohol Management Plan. So when you make your epic journey to Cape York and stop in Bamaga to make the most of the supermarket, make sure you cross the road and have a quiet one at the Bamaga Hotel and say G'day to the
friendly bar staff. You just might be pleasantly surprised.
Adidi st; Bamaga Ph: 07 4069 2356 Words by James Guerin
W hen going camping as a
Torrington State Conservation Park
family, we find it is much more enjoyable if we are doing new things in new places we have never been and going as far away from anyone else as possible! Recently we decided it was time to head out again after returning in July from our trip to Cape York and this time we headed to Torrington State Conservation Area and stayed at Blatherarm Campground and tried our luck at fossicking. The area is known to produce emeralds, topaz, quartz and smoky quartz so we took along our pans and sieves and got stuck into digging and labouring, trying to find any gems that would be worthy of taking home. Torrington State Conservation Area is between Tenterfield and Glen Innes, within the boundaries of the Mole Tableland. There are three campsites
at Blatherarm Creek, the first two are accessible by most vehicles and the third is accessible by 4wd only as you have to pass through a fairly rocky creek to get there. There are drop toilets, picnic tables and fire pits however make sure you bring your own wood as it is a conservation area and take all your rubbish with you as there are no bins. The park is cheap to stay at and is generally pretty quiet, and we only saw two other cars in the three days we were there. With a set of sieves and a shovel and pick, fossicking is quite easy and the kids will love digging around in the creeks and fossicking areas finding gems and cool looking rocks.
The creeks are full of small Topaz which is easy to find and the dam behind the Bismuth Mine will produce some awesome double ended crystals and Smoky Quartz. If its Emeralds you are after, itâ€™s as simple as finding the old mine and kicking dirt around until you find some green! You do need a fossicking licence, but it costs less than $30.00 for a whole year for a family permit. There is something for everyone at Torrington.
From the mining museum just down the road at Emmaville, to the ruins of the old Bismuth and Emerald Mines within the park itself. Lookouts, waterfalls and even some 4wd tracks make it a great place to spend a few days or even a week to get to really experience the area.
Words & Images by Josh Ford
Tip of the Month Sounds simple I know, but taking only what you actually need becomes one of the best things you'll ever do while camping. Very often, when we first starting out on camping adventures, you end up taking a lot of stuff you think you might need, like extra blankets, games, books, pots and pans, extra camping pegs, tarps and the list goes on. Matt and I certainly did! And what we found was that a large amount of all this stuff we didn't use.
We found that more stuff = more to pack and unpack and less time to enjoy where we were. Let's face it, do you really need the cricket, badminton, tennis AND croquet sets? Do you really need an 8 cutlery and plate set when it's just the two of you? Do you really need three tarps when one does the job? Have a think about these things and I bet you'll cut right down on what you take. You'll take only what is essential and you'll enjoy your time away so much more. Words by Lize Bloomfield
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Whenever I feel the need to get
Rinyirru National Park
away from it all and feel completely relaxed, there are three things I need. Red sand, red rocks and creeks lined with gum trees. Fortunately, there are a number of campgrounds in Australia that tick all these boxes. So it’s as easy as packing the campertrailer and heading to a destination like this to get some serious relaxation. We were lucky enough to discover a campground on our recent trip to Cape York that had everything I look for. The Kalpowar Crossing Campground is located in the Rinyirri (Lakefield) National Park in Far North Queensland, 340km’s north-west of Cairns and as we made our way along the red dusty track towards the campground the sun was just starting to make it’s way towards the horizon, I knew we were heading to a very special place. This was very much realised as we turned into the campground and the stresses of the world lifted off my shoulders. The campground sits on top of western bank of the Normandy River which is a picturesque crystal clear river lined with beautiful gum
trees. Now I’m not much of a fisherman but I have met other campers who have caught rather large Barra’s whilst camping at this campground. One word advice though; be very Croc-wise. We have also heard that a very large crocodile has made this river its' home.
Click here to watch the Kalpowar Crossing video
All of the sites are flat and easily accessible with some being nicely grassed that have a view of the river. There are plenty of fire pits and fires are allowed although I found that it was way too hot for a fire while we were there! The facilities are fairly new and fantastic with even cold water showers available which were perfect to wash off all the heat and dust form the days travel. There is even a small natural boat ramp for easy access to the river for medium to small dinghies.
We spent our afternoon sitting on top of the riverbank having a cold beverage whilst watching the many colours of the river and its surrounds change as the sun went down, hoping to spot that allusive croc. We were even lucky enough to watch a large road train make the rock crossing across the river and make itâ€™s way through the campground and on itâ€™s way. A sight I was not expecting to see that afternoon in the middle of nowhere. Kalpowar Campground is one of the most beautiful and relaxing outback campgrounds I have been to and I highly recommend at least a one night stop there as you make your way up to the tip of Cape York. Just ensure you pre-book before you get there and watch out for the Croc! Words by Matt Bloomfield
Judds Lagoon Yuleba The Perfect One Nighter!!
Whenever we are away filming campsites for Live2Camp.com.au we drive some very long distances and have some very long days on the road. So when we are making our way home there is one thing we like to do. We think of it as a bit of a treat for ourselves after all the hard work we have done. (Yes, travelling the country filming campsites is hard work!!) We like to stop for the night at our last campsite nice and early in the day, which is only a few hours away from our home. We do this so we can rest up, get the camper nice
and organised again so that when we get home we donâ€™t feel exhausted and have a thousand things to do. And when we are travelling home from out West to the Gold Coast, we have found the perfect little free campground that is great for that one night of R&R before we go home.
The Judds Lagoon Camping Area is located down a short bit of dirt road of the Warrego Highway at Yuleba, about 5 hours drive west of Brisbane. And yes, you read it right! It is free to camp at. The camping area is a large open mostly grassed area with lots af trees for shade that sits right next to the small but beautiful Judds Lagoon (depending on how much rain the area has received will determine the level of water in the lagoon, however we have never found it empty). There is plenty of room for large caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers and of course tents and you can quite often
find a little area tucked away in a corner for a little bit of privacy. There is a local that sells firewood by way of an honesty box, a single drop toilet and even a shelter that you can hang your 12v shower up in. We have spent many an afternoon snoozing in our camp chairs under the large gum trees next to the lagoon watching the birdlife enjoy the waters and although it is quite close to the Warrego Hwy you will not hear a sound of the passing trucks, it is very quiet and peaceful. One night of camping at Judds Lagoon always ensures we return home the next day fully rested and ready to start washing the camper!! Words by Matt Bloomfield
Click here for the Judds Lagoon camping area video
THE MAGAZINE TEAM Editorial Matt Bloomfield Lize Bloomfield
Design Jack McCappin Lize Bloomfield
Photography Lize Bloomfield
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Authors Matt Bloomfield Josh Ford James Guerin Lize Bloomfield
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