Yuraygir National Park, Sandon River Camping

Our fist week has passed and we are well and truly on Sandon River time. The days are very busy, getting up at daylight and paddling up the river, with good fishing and birding, back for a lunch of Paul’s catch of the day. Our afternoons are spent reading,swimming and then more paddling around dusk. Life seems to revolve a round the tides. I have even taken the pushey out for a spin down the bumpy road for a couple of klms, to the point where the corrugations bounce me off the seat. 

The camp is now well and truly at capacity and we are so glad that we got here and secured a great spot on the foreshore before it became  busy. The 40 sites and 8 beach shacks get water from 6 large rain water tanks, the toilets are serviced with bore water. We are keeping our tanks full incase of any shortages in the coming week.

This is the view from across the river at Sandon Village, the only access to the settlement is via boat or 4Wd along the beach.

The campervan is holding up well to the rough roads,we have found that our batteries only hold enough power for 3 days and have been chatting to other campers about the benefits of getting a solar panel.
On the fishing front, the catches have been consistent, with the best fish being a 9kg flat head, this was given to a large family group camping nearby, they very nicely reciprocated with a nice bottle of red. Stay tuned for the photos. 

Lakes Roadtrip – Paddling in Conjola National Park

Berringer Lake Conjola National Park

Although we had both done some research for our 3 day road trip to explore the lakes in the Milton, Ulladulla area, we really had no set plans. Best way to travel I think!

We had decided to take the road to the coast through Nerriga on Friday afternoon. Although mostly sealed there are very few opportunities to overtake. At one stage we had a convoy of 10, 4WD utes behind Dusty, we obligingly pulled over just outside Nerriga and had a chuckle when all 10 utes pulled into the Nerriga pub car park 2 klms down the road.

Friday night we free camped at a spot I had spied on an earlier trip near Bendalong, toilets, electric BBQ and a waterfront view. Good birding as well, I ticked 1 rufous fantail just near the toilet block (a first for me).  Saturday morning was overcast and drizzling rain so we decided to make the trip down the coast, to see if we could get access to Termeil Lake south of Ulladulla. Unfortunately the road into this part of the Meroo National park is 4WD only. We took the 2WD access road to Meroon Headland and spoke to some the fishermen camping they were pulling down their tents as the fish were not biting.

Time for someserious fishing,so we opted to pull into aptly named little hamlet of Fishermans Paradise for a paddle. This is a backwater of Lake Conjola, I had a great paddle in the falling light up the picturesque Porter Creek as far as the wooden bridge. The creek goes under the highway and is navigable up to the dam a trip for another day. The fishing back at the ramp was pretty ordinary, but was an ideal spot to spend the night.

Sunday we made for beautiful Berringer Lake, in Conjola National Park. This little lake is much quieter than the adjoining Lake Conjola. Unfortunately the mouth of the lake is very silted up and like most extuaries along the coast really need a goodtidal flow to improve the fishing. Mr P managed to bag a nice flathead and swag of tailer for dinner.

Overnight camp spot
Sea Eagle nest

Don’t know the story behind this sink in the middle of nowhere
Fish were biting, trailer and flathead.

Congo Camping Weekend

After a week of temperatures in the high 30s it was no wonder that we were joined by a steady stream of traffic down the Clyde on Friday afternoon. Our 5 o’clock departure meant that there were the usual number of idiots on the road, breaking their necks to get to the Bay in under 2 hours. Safely arrived at sea level it was a relief to smell the salt air again and and feel the sea breeze.

Over the next few trips we are going to paddle some of the lesser known waterways of the  south coast. This weekend our destination is Congo Creek, a small waterway accessed via South Head Road south of Moruya Heads. We camped at the very popular National Parks campground, and were lucky to get the last site on the foreshore.

The paddle up the creek from the beach takes about 50 minutes, with a few stops to look at the wide variety of bird-life. 36 species were counted for the weekend, with the highlight being a Lewin’s Honeyeater and a Spotted Pardalote, birds that I have not encountered in this area before. As well as a Lyrebird scuttling off the Kings Highway at the top of the Clyde on Sunday afternoon.

In February 2013 Congo Creek was the site of a large fish kill http://www.naroomanewsonline.com.au/story/1345208/fish-kill-at-congo-creek-due-to-low-oxygen-gallery/  The creek is on the way to recovering, with a few lucky fishermen (not us) bagging a nice flathead and bream.

On Saturday afternoon we were joined by a delightful couple from the UK driving a Bocklet Expedition Camper. They had driven overland through Europe to Asia via Pakestan and down through Indonesia via Timor Leste to Darwin. There was a gathering of campervan nuts like me queueing for a peek inside and to hear their stories.

The Bocklet was a late arrival and had to park at the boat ramp on Congo Creek.
Congo Creek Mouth

Fairy Terns on the beach at the mouth of the creek
Mr P trying his luck with lures