We’ve been kicking around the dust in Western Australia now for some months having a simply glorious time. We’ve also been getting involved in stoushes over freecamping vs caravan parks. Why? I do not know as they are as far removed from each other as anything could be but many people do not see this. I have heard and read more than one comment on the comparisons between the eastern and western states when it come to free camps and rest area’s.
We are camped up in Gods Own Country. It is a place well west of the coastal fringe in central Queensland. We have left the coast well behind, it is a region where life is very much frenetic at this time. It is mid-winter so the nights are freezing here in the Burnett Region but such a view we have!
The history of freecamping in Australia begins back to the very first days of the young colony. When Governor Phillip chose a spot to set up camp on what was Aboriginal land, he gave birth to the nations first Freecamp. The Legality of his Freecamp is still being debated in some quarters but the argument has been lost in time and the nations history. However his right to freecamp was never revoked… until most recently by some municipal Councils.
We are once more turning our noses to the sun, heading north as autumn sneaks around the corner and I must admit it has been an adventure travelling with the flow of the weather. For winter, a time of hibernation usually, we have planned a spruce up for our little mobile home. It is time for some serious housekeeping before we take the Grampie Flat deep into the northern rainforest’s and then out across the Outback along the Savannah Way with a side trip down into the heart of Aus., into the western arm of the Macdonnell Ranges where I can do some research for a book and these are our plans for 2014.
We’ve been freecamping between Bathurst and Orange now for a week, in a delightful spot called Macquaires Woods where we have been able to relax and allow one of our pup’s who had a minor run-in with a car, recuperate. Tuppi is fine now, fully recovered from her bruising and it is time to move on. I think she has learnt that a car is not quite the same as a kangaroo and chasing kids is dangerous.
Camping along the golden trail of NSW has been a delight. We have been on the Rocky River in the Northern Rivers of NSW, we’ve camped out around the gold area’s of the Clarence and the Mann Rivers and sojourned at the old Merton township, now known as Denman. We have waffled around the fields in the hinterland while we camped up at Elinborough near Wauhope in central NSW, a truly lovely camp.
We have been camped on the Turon River, near Sofala NSW, which is an old gold town of the colonial era of early Australia. Settled amongst the she-oak trees it is wonderfully peaceful and you can’t help but think of the golden era, where men panned here for the wealth of the earth in their thousands and history was etched into the banks of these rivers.
The wallabies and roo’s pass us by each day and the birds move between the trees. The song of the bush is beautiful. There are wild blackberries here and wild tobacco, a remnant of the gold mining days. Plants that the diggers often nurtured to provide the sweet things in life that were difficult to live without. Wild goats roam the bush and goanna’s stalk quietly like a visitor from pre-history. Continue reading
Hopping about from camp to camp is without a doubt the best thing about freecamping and it is the people you meet that you remember the most. I once thought that life travelling as a Grey Nomad would be full of like escapee’s or Grey Nomads just like us but this isn’t the case. It has amazed me, the diversity of the people on the road.
Saddest perhaps are the young single parents, single mums mostly with youngsters who are usually pre-school age and are commonly living out of a car. Most every freecamp near any sizable town will have at least one of these small families. Some I have found have chosen this life, though most seem to be struggling with it.