I’m back in the Lake Brockman Caravan Park ($15 a night for a powered site) after spending 4 glorious days right next door at the Logue Brook Bush Camp.
This camp is run by The Dept. of Parks and Wildlife and has recently been redeveloped, so the facilities are fantastic – clean long drop toilets, tank water, and barbeques under shelter. It’s also on Lake Brockman, which is a mecca for power boats and skiing but it wasn’t nearly as noisy as Stockton Lake which also attracts the skiing crowd.
So here’s my next Top 10 camps for 2015.
Remember, they are in chronological order, not order of preference.
11. Daly Waters Pub, Northern Territory
The Daly Waters Pub is an iconic stopover – full of character – and characters! The Bra Bar is famous, as is the Thong Tree, and they are just as famous for their Beef and Barra dinners. When you check in for a camping site you can also pay to include the meal that night, and why wouldn’t you – it’s all part of the experience! Camping was only $14 a night for a powered site. There’s entertainment every night so it was another amazing experience I enjoyed this year.
12. Parry’s Creek Farm Stay, near Wyndham, Western Australia
I had 5 most enjoyable nights here for $15 a night (unpowered). It gave me time to go off and explore the Marglu Billabong, with its Bird Hide, and get my first glimpse of some enormous salt water crocodiles sunning on the banks of the lagoon.
Margaret and Nev caught up with me here after travelling the very corrugated gravel road in – I never thought I’d here the end of it from them!
On the night of the camp oven cook out for the camp ground guests I did my bush poetry in exchange for a free meal – my first ‘paid’ performance!
It was here I also met a lovely couple, Bob and Deb, with their little dog Mollie and they shared a fantastic roast dinner with me. Bob also writes a blog and has a page dedicated to Mollie, telling about their travels from a dog’s perspective. If you want to check it out it’s called Bob’s Big Idea It’s worth it to read Mollie’s page 🙂
Margaret got some great bird photos while we were there and also when we moved on the Wyndham Caravan Park, where I once again did a Bush Poet’s Happy Hour for a couple of nights free accommodation…I could get used to this!
13.Ellendale Lake, Western Australia
I loved this free camp just off the road on the way to Derby from Wyndham. Nev couldn’t stay with us because it is a dog free zone as it is a cattle station – you’ve probably guessed that from the curious cows that invaded our camp. There are no facilities there at all so you must be self contained,and I would have gladly stayed longer but it was the final State of Origin so Margaret and I left to head into Derby after only a couple of nights. When I come back this way I will be stocked up for a week’s stay!
14.Broome, Western Australia
Broome, beautiful Broome. Booked for 3 nights and stayed for 36! I loved everything about it….
The camel ride on Cable Beach
The people I shared it with
Staircase to the Moon
My first 3 nights were at the Pistol Club as it was a dog friendly park and I was travelling with Nev and his dog Cindy, and Margaret. It was a fair way out of town and the disadvantage of a campervan is that if you want to go anywhere you have to pack up everything to move. When Nev and Margaret left to head south I did pack up everything and moved to the Roebuck Bay Caravan Park. The advantage of a little campervan is that I got into the camping area (unpowered) and this gave me the chance to get to know Broome a lot better. I looked straight out to Town Beach, there was a cafe almost at my front door and 100 metres down the road I could jump on the bus and go anywhere in Broome for $2. My camping fees were $16 per night with the 7th night free so it made it a very affordable option to stay…and stay….and stay….
15.Cape Keraudren, Western Australia
Camping at Cape Keraudren is $7.50 a night and a ranger comes around to collect the fees. There is a long drop toilet and also a dump point for black water. The beach was great for a swim when the tide was in (swam with a turtle here one day) and the company, once again, made for a great few days stopover.
It was after an incident here that I wrote my poem The Frozen Mosquito.
16.Bullara Station, near Exmouth, Western Australia
I first stayed at Bullara Station with Jose and Jean last year. Sadly, Jean passed away this year and I thought how lucky I am to be still travelling and living this wonderful lifestyle. Just Do It really has to be our motto!
It’s impossible to describe the red of the sand hills but Bullara Station is more than that. Showers under the tank stand, the ‘lavatree’ that is literally built around a tree, the great happy hour around the fire pit, the damper ….. and pleasing to see they had made some improvements to the camp kitchen this year. It cost me $24 for a powered site this year – needed power because my gas was leaking and I couldn’t use if for my fridge – but I think it was still only $14 for an unpowered site.
17. Wooramel Station, Western Australia
I was told about Wooramel Station by a couple of lovely ladies I met at Robe River, Cherri and her mother Pat who were on their way home from Broome. They travelled independently, each having their own caravan and were great company. Cherri has since joined the Solos Network that I belong to and I caught up with her again at the Wagin and Albany Rallies. They were here at Wooramel when I arrived, too.
The river is dry at this time of the year, but the birds were nesting in the trees and they have a hot artesian spa to soak away stress…stress? …what is that by the way?
It was $14 a night, no power or amenities, but a lovely stopover. I would have stayed longer but I was on a mission to get to Oakabella Homestead where I’d promised to help out Loretta while she was away on holidays.
18. Oakabella Homestead, near Geraldton, Western Australia
I had spent quite a bit of time at Oakabella Homestead last year and was looking forward to returning there and picking up my friendship with Loretta, the manager of the tours and cafe. Unfortunately we only had a couple of days together before she went off on her cruise and I was left as camp host, and unexpectedly looking after the cafe 3 days a week. That soon sorted me out – but I did learn how to make a great cup of coffee in the cafe!
Many of the solos I had travelled with from Broome and down the coast to Port Hedland came in for a night or two and there were some good happy hours as we caught up on everyone’s travel experiences. One night we had 20 vans in the camping ground.
Camping at Oakabella is $9 per person. there is no power but great showers and toilets and you can charge up phones and computers at the cafe.
And don’t forget Loretta’s legendary scones!
19.Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre, Boyup Brook, Western Australia
As a place to stay, Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre is nothing out of the ordinary – dusty sites, no power, no showers, but there are toilets! But you don’t go there for the camp site, you go there for the experience of touring through Harvey’s sheds full of memorabilia. And for Harvey, of course, who is a character who loves to share his passion for all the things he has collected.
For $5 a night and an extra $10 to do his tour, if you’re anywhere near Boyup Brook it’s a must do!
20. Maranup Ford Farm Stay, near Bridgetown, Western Australia
This has to be one of my favourites! It’s not far from Bridgetown and was recommended to me by Jenn, a fellow solo traveller. There’s always a risk recommending a place/restaurant/pub/beach to someone else, but Maranup Ford Farm Stay lived up to everything Jenn said about it. It’s peaceful, serene, beautiful birds, wonderful gardens and friendly hosts in Melva and Hugh. I keep gravitating back there if I’m in the area – why would I want to be anywhere else?
I think it’s about $20 a night for one person for a powered site and about $28 for a couple. The showers and toilets are ensuite style, there is a laundry and a camp kitchen with a bbq. Not only that, the drive there is through some of the prettiest country you’ll ever see.
Well, there you have it! My Top 20 camps for 2015.
You know, I could have picked a totally different 20 and probably been just as happy with the outcome…. but these were the first to come to mind so there had to be a reason for that! I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my journey.
Tomorrow I disconnect from power here at Lake Brockman and head back to Collie and Stockton Lake where my journey started earlier this year. I’ve come full circle and it almost sees my time out here in Western Australia.
Who would have guessed that when I arrived in April 2014 for a 2 month house-sit that I would still be here in December 2015.