Sandy Point Reserve, Hay NSW

Sandy Point Primitive Camping Reserve is situated on a large bend in the Murrumbidgee River on the southern end of the lovely NSW town of Hay. Sandy Point is a large area and up to 74 campers can stay for up to 72 hours for free.

We’ve camped there many times. You can have a fire but you must bring your own wood as wood collection is not permitted.

There are lots of rubbish bins, picnic tables and shelters with BBQ’s.

A toilet block is located near the beautiful sandy beach. The beach is very popular in summer with swimmers ad water skiers.

A boat ramp gives access to the river and a walking/cycling track can take you along the river or into town.

Water is available at the Visitors Centre and Hay has a Public Dump Point in town.

The Hay Skate Park is located on the corner as you enter Sandy Point from Brunker Street. It has a number of a bowl and a number of ramps. The skate park is surrounded by a large grass area with picnic tables and chairs so you can sit and watch the skaters.

Hay has received a grant to revitalise the Historic Treatment Plant Works which are located opposite the Skate Park at Sandy Point Reserve. The treatment works were only the second town sewerage plant to be built in NSW and the grant will enable the preservation of the ruins.

Sandy Point is a fabulous spot and we recommend it for self-contained campers. Beware of wet weather though. The black soil can become like glue in the wet. Stay on the gravel if it looks like rain.


Balranald Weir

What a magic spot but I guess we stayed at the right time. It was July 2022 after there’d been lots of rain and everywhere was green, lush grass. The river was in flood with the weir completely under water. Some of the nearby paddocks were also under water however the camp sites next to the weir were high and dry.

There is a 4km dirt road that leads off the Sturt Highway 5km west of the town of Balranald. The road is a good quality dirt road with a few minor corrugations. There were a couple of spots that looked like they might be boggy if it’s wet or raining.

There are multiple spots to camp near the weir but the main camp is to the right of the weir. There is a picnic table and fireplace. You need to bring your own wood as there was not much lying around. The camp site is flat and you can park without being under one of those huge River Red Gums.

There is room for all types of campers. Even a big rig would fit.

90 Mile Beach, Victoria

90 Mile Beach is one of those natural wonders. It is one of the longest uninterrupted beaches in the world. 90 Mile Beach starts in Port Albert, Victoria and heads north-eastwards just over 151 kilometres (94 mi) in length, to the man-made channel at Lakes Entrance.

The golden sand dunes separate the Gippsland Lakes on one side from Bass Straight on the other. I walked along the beach and let the crashing waves cover my feet and that water is cold! Straight off Bass Straight. The Gippsland Lakes are the largest inland water system in the Southern Hemisphere and are 7 times the size of Sydney Harbour.

90 Mile Beach is famous for its gorgeous summer-patrolled beaches, walking, whale and dolphin spotting, and beach fishing.

We arrived at our lovely camp from the village of Seaspray after heading south from Sale in Gippsland. We followed Shoreline Drive until we came to Camp 10 that was suitable for our motorhome. There are 19 free camp sites along the road from Paradise Beach to Seaspray. Seaspray also has a lovely caravan park. We thought we might have to stay there if we couldn’t find a camp where we could fit.

Many of the camp sites are only suitable for small vehicles as they have overhanging trees and vegetation making the tracks in to the camps very narrow. Too small and narrow for our 3.2m high motorhome.

Eventually we found Camp 10 and it was perfect. No overhanging trees and a great flat spot for us to park. We quickly set up camp and went for a long walk along the gorgeous beach.

The remains of the wreck of the Trinculo were a little way along the beach. Such an amazing story. Check out the story on the info board below.

The walk along the beach was magic. So many shells, cuttlefish, sponges and other flotsam were washed up on the beach. People were beach fishing in the distance. The southerly was pushing the waves onshore and they crashed loudly as the broke over the sand bar. I was looking forward to sleeping with that beautiful sound. Who else loves the sound of the ocean?

Brewery Flat Reserve, Narrandera

We camped for one night at Brewery Flat Reserve just on the outskirts of Narrandera. This great campground is located in between the Murrumbidgee River and the Main Canal.

The campground is provided by the Narrandera Shire for the traveling public in self contained vehicles. You can stay for free for up to 72 hours. There is a toilet block, multiple rubbish bins around the site, a couple of shelters with BBQ’s and fire pits. The campground is a large flat grassy site with plenty of room for lots of RV’s.

It is the site of the old Oakbank Brewery, a listed historical building. The Brewery had its heyday in the Riverina between the 1890’s and mid-1920’s. The Oakbank Brewery was amongst the most modern in NSW and was run with all the latest equipment from England. Up to 100 men were employed there. During 1921, the brewery had a capacity of 20,000 gallons of stout, bottled and draught beer and could produce 10,000 bottles of beer and 15,000 bottles of cordial daily.

Branches sprang up throughout the Riverina and fifty hotels in the region were controlled by the brewery. In 1924 the brewery was sold to Tooths of Sydney for a reported price of £200,000. The new owners closed down the brewing operation, but the Oakbank Cordial Factory – followed by a number of other operators – continued with the production of cordials at the site until 1986.

Today it is a private residence.

You can find Brewery Flat listed on most camping apps. Well done Narrandera Shire for providing this fabulous facility.

A boat ramp and a pontoon are available at the river although the river was so full during our visit that the water covered the walkway out to the pontoon.

It had been raining for a couple of days but we were still able to find a campsite for our motorhome and our daughter’s caravan that was on lovely thick grass and reasonably dry.

We had three grandchildren with us and I took them for a very long walk to see if we could find koalas as the area is a koala sanctuary. We walked all the way to Lake Talbot and back but only saw lots of birds and one goat… koalas.

The children were so excited the next morning when we were packing up to find a koala up as tree not far from where we were camped. That really made our stay a special one. It’s not very often you get to see a wild koala.

Lake Pamamaroo, Menindee NSW

Lake Pamamaroo is a large inland lake and part of the Menindee Lakes Water Storage system. The lakes are a natural series of shallow ephemeral lakes fed by the Darling River that have been developed into water storage. There are four main lakes, Wetherall, Pamamaroo, Menindee and Cawndilla. The Main Weir is located on the Darling River and the water that is damned by the weir forms Lake Wetherall.

When the lakes are full they hold three times the water in Sydney Harbour and today the water is used to supply Broken Hill, irrigation and stock use and to supplement the Murray River system.

Camping at Lake Pamamaroo is all along the shoreline. Camping is free. There are numerous camping spots to choose from. You will need to be self-sufficient. There are toilets available at Burke & Wills Campgound and further around at the Main Weir Campground.

As you are lakeside it is the perfect spot for kayaking and swimming. The lake is very shallow so it would be great for children.

Dogs are allowed and you may use generators. There is a boat ramp down near the Regulator and fires are also allowed.

Sunsets at Lake Pamamaroo are usually a special time of the day.

Lara Wetlands, Qld

Lara Wetlands is situated 28km south of Barcaldine in Central Queensland. It is an oasis in the outback with lots of shady campsites, a large camp kitchen, and amenities blocks.

The road in is a good gravel road and our 8m motorhome had no trouble getting there, we just went slowly in some sections.

You arrive at the entrance near a Reception building that also houses a small shop and a book exchange. Check in is quick and efficient. You are told to find your own camp site however, if you are on the waters edge, you must park forwards or reversed and not sideways. This enables as more campers to get a waterfront site around the roughly circular wetlands.

Bikes and kayaks
are available and a soak in the hot artesian pool is a must-do.

It costs $25 per night for two and you can purchase a trolley load of wood for $15 to use in the many fire pits scattered around the campground.

Lara Wetlands is one of those places you can keep coming back to. It is especially beautiful at sunset with reflections on the water.

Gregory Downs Riverside, Qld

The sandy banks of the fast-flowing Gregory River are a perfect spot to camp if you can manage to get a camp spot there. It is very popular so you feel lucky if you can get a spot.

The river is a wonderful place to cool off after the heat of an outback day. The clear water is cold and you can take a bogey board or pool noodle to float down the river amongst the cabbage palms, pandanas and tea trees.

It is just a track off to the left after crossing the bridge going out of town that leads down to the riverside. Locals would prefer people camp up on top at the free campground before the bridge where there are rubbish bins and potable water.

Bald Rock National Park, NSW

Bald Rock National Park is some 30km north of Tenterfield in far northern NSW, almost on the Queensland border. It is a tar road all the way.

The campground is set amongst beautiful forest. The camp sites are well marked out and quite separate from each other. Most camp sites have a fire pit and there is free wood available for campers use.

It is a tranquil spot in the bush and one of our favourites.

Takarakka Bush Retreat

Takarakka Bush Retreat is situated near the boundary of Carnarvon Gorge National Park. The grounds are natural bush with a large loop of the Carnarvon Creek as the eastern boundary of the park. There is an abundance of wildlife including birds and the very cute Pretty Faced Wallaby.

There is a variety of accomodation options including, studios, a country cottage, ensuite cabins, Taka Safari Tents (some with ensuite), and powered and unpowered campsites. The sites are very spacious and spread out thoughout the bush land. It doesn’t feel crowded.

There are modern amenities blocks with laundry facilities. Fully equipped camp kitchens are available. The Taka General Store has basic groceries and a range of souvenirs. WiFi is available on the deck outside the store.

Sometimes a spit roast dinner is available on the deck. You have to bring your own plate, bowl and cutlery and a delicious 2 course dinner can be had for $20 per person.

Happy hour is held in the area near the deck where the Taka Bar is set up. A daily video presentation happens here as well at 5pm. Learn about the park and Carnarvon Gorge so you can plan your walks.

Camp fires are allowed but only in the purpose built fire pits. Wood is supplied.

A couple of walks are available in the park. One goes up to a lookout and the other follows the creek where you might spy a platypus if you are lucky.

Takarakka does have a dump point however, due to their remote location, they would prefer if people use the dump points at the towns of Rolleston or Injune before they make their way out to Takarakka. This puts less pressure on their septic system.

Although, at $55 per night for a powered site, it is not the cheapest of places, it is a beautiful park to stay in while visiting Carnarvon Gorge.

We thoroughly recommend Takarakka Bush Retreat.

Oondooroo Station – Farm Stay

Oondooroo Station is situated north of the outback town of Winton on the Winton-Hughenden Road. You turn off the tar onto a dirt road and travel for 7km before reaching the entrance gates of Oondooroo. Oondooroo Station is a working cattle and sheep property but a few years ago the current owners, Jason and Kerry Turnbull added farm stay camping as another source of income.

Upon arrival at Oondooroo Station we were met with a warm country welcome by Jason. We paid up and followed Jason on his 4 wheeler and he showed us to a grassy spot. It costs $25 per night for 2 people and they also have fire pits &to wood available for $10 per night.

There are two toilets and a shower available for campers use. Water taps are scattered around the campground and they are artesian water from their bore.

Oondooroo Station has a rich history and was originally purchased by the Shollock family in 1878 and they stocked it with 23,000 sheep. The Shollacks aim was to establish ‘refined living’ and the cost of constructing the many fine hand-hewn sandstone buildings almost left them penniless. They sold the property to the Ramsay family in 1886.

In 1886 a shearer’s strike for better pay and conditions commenced and it is said to have begun at Oondooroo Station. The original 26 stand Woolshed was burned down during the strike.

In 1895 Banjo Paterson was staying on nearby Dagworth Station where he met Christina McPherson. Together they put Banjo’s poem ‘Waltzing Matilda’ to music. However Dagworth Station didn’t have a piano but Oondooroo did, so it was in the lounge room of Oondooroo Station that Waltzing Matilda was sung for the first time.

In 1990 the family business, Landers Creek Pastoral Company, purchased Oondooroo and Bill & Jean Tudehope lived at Oondooroo for 17 years before the current custodians, Jason and Kerry (Bill & Jean’s granddaughter) Turnbull took over in 2004. Jason and Kerry continue to live at Oondooroo with their two children Toby and Chelsea.

Many of the historic buildings still stand at Oondooroo and the family continue to live in the homestead. The homestead has been added to over the years and now consists of the original central sandstone building which boasts pressed metal ceilings, a main living room and four bedrooms. Another two bedrooms and wide verandah have been added which help to keep the house cool.

Oondooroo is situated on grasslands and, although they have had droughts, in a good year the Mitchell Grass, which is rich in nutrients, can fatten livestock well.

As a working property there is always something going on at Oondooroo and families will enjoy seeing the animals. During our stay there were kids (baby goats), puppies, many farm dogs, and friendly horses waiting for a pat.

You can take the short walk down to the Woolshed and see examples of the wool that is shorn at Oondooroo.

On the evening we arrived Jason told us they were trying something new. They were making hamburgers, using their own beef, and selling them to campers for $10 each and Jason would even deliver them to our camp. We said yes please to that and I’m glad we did. The hamburgers were excellent and beautifully presented wrapped in paper with a couple of onion rings on top. I hope this idea was a success and others get to experience one of those delicious burgers.