Swinging Bridge, Wee Jasper, NSW

Saturday morning.

We had an important engagement, on the DC social calendar on Saturday morning, No1 grandchild’s No1 birthday party. This meant that we would not be on the road until after midday. 

Wee Jasper is about 100 klms. from Canberra and after  a stop at the shops in Yass we  arrived around 3 o’clock. There are 4 camping reserves in the area, run by Wee Jasper Reserves. We checked out Billy Grace, Swinging Bridge and Micalong Greek. Billy Grace and Micalong Creek have flush toilets and were well patronised. We chose Swinging Bridge and apart from a couple of fishermen we had it to ourselves. None of us minding the long drop loos. 

 The camp sites are  spread out along the bank of the  Goodradigbee River with of plenty of  shade. Best of all you can have a camp fire (you need to bring your own wood) we did and also scavanged some from the other side of the river. The kayaks came in handy for this. The birding was great especially from the water though it was delinately too cold for more than a quick swim.  I managed to tick off 23 species on my bird list, add to that a number of small birds that were too quick to identify. The new prototype sailing kayak was given a test run more on this in the weeks to come.

Wee Jasper is close enough to Canberra for us to delay our return till  early Monday morning, enabling the un-retired to be in the office by 9 o’clock.

How to find a good camp spot.

I use a list and lots of research to locate a good camp spot. My ideal spot will tick most of these boxes.

  • Camp fires allowed
  • Free or low cost camp site
  • Location, location – waterfrontage
  • Shade
  • Views
  • Toilets
  • Showers

5 ways to find a good  camp site
  1. National Parks Camp site list or post a question on Free Camping Australia’s Facebook page.
  2. Do a search on Flickr this will give you an idea of how the site looks.
  3. Word of mouth, chew the fat with other campers or ask a local at the Tourist Info Centre.
  4. Google Earth is great for finding that elusive spot.
  5. Follow other bloggers who are passionate about camping.

What do you think? What’s your experience. Do leave a comment.

The new addition

After a couple of trips loading the kayaks into the back of the van, it was decided that we needed a trailer. One that would give us some additional secured storage space and not be too heavey. Gumtree was consulted and we came up with this little beauty. The Venter trailer brand is from South Africa and we picked this one up in Sydney 2nd hand.

Shallow Crossing Camping Experience

This post is from a couple of weekends ago, when we took the van to the backwaters of the Clyde River inland from Batemans Bay, for some birdwatching and kayaking. Our trailer was not yet ready and we had to load the kayaks into the back to transport. They fitted, but it was a bit of a pain. Shallow Crossing is where the fresh and salt water meet. The water level is dependant on the flow and the size of the tide, we have a very low clearance so we timed out drive to coincide with low tide.

The  camp site runs along the river bank, it has plenty of shade shelters with picnic tables and you can light a fire. There are hot showers and drop toilets. We did not see Jim the owner while we were there, I presume that he must have been away as the ammenities were never cleaned and it looked like it had been sometime since the rubbbish had been removed.

Having done our share of campsite cleaning it didn’t worry us, but I was tempted to give Jim a few tips should he have appeared to collect the site fees.

Kangaroo Valley October Long Weekend

A weekend away from our haunts along the south coast always takes some research. So after looking up the  NSW National Parks website and some good tips from Loving the South Coast’s Facebook page we decided on Bendeela Campground at Kangaroo Valley for Saturday night. Then we would see how the weekend went.

Bendeela was a big surprise and I love a free campsite. The security man on the gate who took our registration number and licence details said that at 11am when we arrived there were approximately 1,000 people on site. BUSY…. we looked around and everything was very orderly. It is amazing how organised campers can be without heaps of signs and rules and regulations. No fires and no camping along the river bank..simple. By 10pm that night all I could hear was the distant hum of the power station up river.

The water was a bit to chilley for a long swim, we made the most of the glassey conditions on Sunday morning and put the kayaks in. The paddling is great , plenty of bird and animal life and almost no currant.