N- Lederville Rocky River Retreat

Lederville Rocky River Retreat – OR, D, W, $ – Carton of Corona 26km from Drake NSW. Drake is situation on the Bruxner HWY between Tenterfield and Casino in NSW. Tenterfield is 44km East of Drake. Turnoff is just outside of Drake along Long Gully Road. It’s 26km to Lederville Rocky River Retreat from the turnoff, the first 8km is sealed the rest is a dirt/gravel road which is pretty windy, has some wash outs and creek crossings, it’s slow going but a nice drive. In dry weather a standard car can access the property. Phone reception at Drake.

Ed and Zoe are the owners of Lederville Rocky River Retreat and they generously allow people to camp on their property next to the river. The fee is a carton of Corona Extra Beer regardless of how long you are staying. For groups I think they charged $5 per person per night. No need to stop at the farmhouse, Ed and Zoe will come down and see you sometime. Ed also provides free firewood; there are no facilities so you have to have your own toilet. Lederville Rocky River Retreat can also be found in Wiki Camps. Camped here Easter 2016. Rating – 6

Harveys-Place-2 Harveys-Place Kayaking-up-the-river Harveys-Group Camping-by-the-river Our-area Camping spot 2 Firewood Camping Areas Friendly-Horses

Rocky River

This year we broke our rule about not going away at Easter as we find most places to be pretty busy and packed. But with the week before Easter off it made it a 10 day break so we decided we would chance it. We were also staying put, no touring this time.

Camping spot

Our destination was Lederville Rocky River Retreat which is 26km from Drake NSW. Drake is situation on the Bruxner HWY between Tenterfield and Casino in NSW. Tenterfield is 44km East of Drake. Our turnoff was just outside of Drake along Long Gully Road. It’s 26km to Lederville Rocky River Retreat from the turnoff, the first 8km is sealed the rest is a dirt/gravel road which is pretty windy, has some wash outs and creek crossings, it’s slow going but a nice drive. In dry weather a standard car can access the property.

Ed and Zoe are the owners of Lederville Rocky River Retreat and they generously allow people to camp in an area that is approximately 2km stretch along the river. The fee is a carton of Corona Extra Beer regardless of how long you are staying, Yep, pretty incredible. We have friends that were staying for a month and it was still carton of Corona Extra Beer. For groups I think they charged $5 per person per night. No need to stop at the farmhouse, Ed and Zoe will come down and see you sometime. Ed also provides free firewood; there are no facilities so you have to have your own toilet. Lederville Rocky River Retreat can also be found in Wiki Camps.

Firewood

There is plenty of room to spread out with several access points to the river. We were told this was the lowest the river had been in several years. You do share the camping area with some of Ed’s and Zoe’s friendly horses who like to come and say hello and at times, try and nibble on tents, hats, clothes, solar panels, chairs etc., inquisitive bunch. At times they were too friendly and we had to gently shoo them off. As well as running horses and cattle they also grow organic garlic.

Friendly-Horses Horses

Camping Areas Camping spot 2

Our friends had arrived earlier than us and had grabbed a spot with a great view of the river and easy access. There are several really great camping areas it’s hard to pick a favourite.

Our-area

Our-camping-spot

Camping-by-the-river

The first few days were peaceful and restful which suited us just fine as we really just needed to chill out, relax and read a few books. It’s unusual for us to stay in one spot for so long but we have been very busy we really just needed that break.

There are also goannas around. We had several in our area and one kept trying to get the rubbish from our friends family’s camp.

Goannna

Up to and including Easter more people started to arrive, we had heard they had 300 people there the year before. We were a little worried but the area is so big it easily handles the numbers. We were fortunate there were 150-200 people this Easter. Things were a little noisier but we have had worst and no one was camped really close.

Boys-Camping-group

Harveys-Group

During the day it was pretty warm so we were thankful for the river, taking many a dip and going Kayaking up the river. We did also have a bit of rain.

Chilling-out

This was our first major trip with our dog Jess (10 ½ month old Labrador), she isn’t real keen on the car yet, but we did manage to get there and back without any major issues. It was the first time Jess had come across a large body of water and of course being a Labrador she loved the water. She had no issues of putting her whole head under the water if she saw something in there she wanted like a stick. She happily sat in the front of the Kayak watching the world; fish, birds, rocks etc. pass by.

Jess-on-the-riverDucking-Jess Me-and-my-reflection Water-dog-JessThere were several large groups, one has been going there for over 30 years and they have even made their own seat. This particular area is reserved for them at Easter and Christmas.

Harveys-Place Harveys-Place-2 Harveys-seat

Another group had a couple of Aussie Swags one of the owners we had just met on the Aussie Swag Facebook group so it was nice to meet in person.

AS-Group

Highly recommend this area, be mindful it is a working property. Trail bikes and the like are not recommended. Ed doesn’t take too kindly to people riding fast around the horses.

The river is great with many interesting rocky areas with little spas and pools to sit in.

River River-2

Natural-Spa

River-3

Kayaking-up-the-river

We left Easter Sunday to avoid the Easter rush back home and had a pretty good run. All in all we had a great time, we would certainly go there again but not over Easter. Think we will be sticking to our rule of not going camping at Easter.

Campsite keys and options

In the past we have listed what interest us, what needs we have, etc. As stated before we started this for our benefit but now we are finding many other travelers are also finding this information useful, which is great 🙂 We have had a number of people ask us to list whether a place allows dogs, is suitable for big rigs etc. So we have added a few more keys to our campsites to cover a few more options that are available. Over time we will update past campsites listed on this site with the new keys and we might add a few more keys as time goes on.

Elliot-River-Campsite

A lot of the campsites where we have stayed can be found in the book known as the Travellers Bible, “Camps Australia Wide” which covers most of the free or low cost camps around Australia, but as we have found not all of them. There are now camping apps like Wikicamps, which is a user generated camping app for iPhone, iPad and Android. To help find that perfect place to pull up for the night. Sites found on this web site can be used in conjunction with this book or App, which lists lot more key’s than we use.

Our-site-at-Mt-Molloy

We would also like to point out we have rated and written our thoughts of camp sites based on our personal preference and they are our views based on our needs, likes and dislikes, keep in mind you might like something different to us. We have also found different times of the year or season can make a big difference to the place.

Foggy-Campsite

Key Used: T – Toilet, S – Shower, B – Bin, N – Noisy, F – Free, W – Wildlife, M – Mobile is for “Next G, DW – Drinking Water, $ – Fees apply, OR – Off Road, D – Dogs, BR – Suitable for Big Rigs, ND – Non Drinking Water, DP – Dump Point.

Evans Head

It’s been over 25 yrs since we were last at Evans Head at an Easter camp. Things have certainly changed, we noticed several new buildings as we drove in, we are yet to walk around town.

We have booked into the Silversands Holiday Park for 2 nights on an unpowered site $21.50 per night and 20 cents for a 5 min shower. We are on one of those sites you walked past and wished you were camping there. Totally river frontage on Evans River, large site with no one near us. Awesome view over the river and only a short walk to the beach. We have some entertainment tonight watching people playing night tennis at the courts near us. We do have a walk way and bike path right out the front but during the weekend shouldn’t be an issue.

Evans-3 Evans-2 Evans

The Coffs caravan club has taken over most of the power sites in the area, the office people kindly warned us not to camp too close. There are about 70 vans in the group, we walked past when they were having happy hour, talk about a noisy bunch all having a ball.

It’s so much cooler here, lovely sea breeze no bugs to speak off, some sand flies are about at night so have covered up.

Eagle

There is still plenty of bird life, some kookaburras are laughing in some near by trees. Maybe laughing at the people playing tennis. We have see some Blue Headed Honey Eaters, some Minor birds, a Sea Hawk of some kind in one of the trees above us and sand crabs.

Crab

N – Mann River Nature Reserve

Mann River Nature Reserve – T, F, OR, W. 131 km W of South Grafton or 47 km E of Glen Innes. 12 km down Old Grafton Road, down a steep hill, slippery when wet. Large grassy area on the banks of the Mann River. Some sites close to the river have been washed out due to the 2011 floods. Great swimming, lots of granite boulders, birds, kangaroos & wallabies, popular spot. Camped there 5/01/09 and 13th & 14th Nov 2011. Rating – 5

Mann-River Mann-River-2 Mann-River-flood-2 Mann-River-flood-3 Mann-River-flood-5

Day 10 – 17th April

Our night spot was very quiet, no cars went by at all, we were up at 5.45am and it was freezing. I grabbed my jacket, beanie and gloves as I knew up at the sculptures it would be colder and I was right.

We have notice down here people are a bit slow in getting moving in the mornings; other travellers have said the same. Well the sun is the same, it takes forever to rise, didn’t rise today until 7am, we were waiting in the cold for an hour. Only a so so sunrise, but we were the only ones mad enough to be there at that time.

Sculpture Symposium at Sunset

At Yunta we took a little detour to some ruins I had found on the internet about 33km up a dirt rd. They are called Waukaringa Ruins, they were very fascinating, we think one was the old pub; all that is left is the stone work. You can wonder around inside and walked around what would have been the cellars. We spent a couple of hours taking photos from every angle, only calling it quits when we couldn’t handle any more flies or the heat.

Waukaringa Ruins

When we dropped the key into the info centre I asked if we have brought fruit in the fruit fly free zone of BH can we take it into SA, no. So we had to eat as much fruit and vegies as we could, which fortunately wasn’t much, Chris did have 3 apples and 2 tomatoes but he wouldn’t eat the other 6 tomatoes we had to throw out. At Yunta we were talking to some other motorhome people who were also saying how crazy it is. They were told at a check point coming in from Vic, that they did have a sign at BH saying you can’t bring fruit and vegies into SA but the BH people took it down cause they want to sell them to travellers, we think it’s just a scam to get us to buy fruit and veg in their part of the world. We were checked in SA, he came into the van, crazy thing is the check point is over 200kms into SA.

Waukaringa Ruins 2 Waukaringa Ruins 3

We have stopped at Peterborough for the night.

You see some crazy things on the road, we have seen a bottle tree, with bottles stuck all over it. Days later and many km’s later we saw a tree with tin foil all over it, another decorated with tinsel, we saw some huge dice in the middle of nowhere but the weirdest so far was today. We passed what looked like a garage sale but in the middle of nowhere, no houses around, no driveways or towns and they even had a bathtub painted orange and red.