Blue Mountains Camping

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 16:39
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We are heading to the Blue Mountains in September and want to spend about 5 or 6 days camping there. Looking to camp around the Katoomba area so as to explore that area and around Lithgow. There's 2 families with four kids aged 7-10 years old. We want somewhere with toilets, some kind of water source (creek, lake or something- doesn't have to be drinking water) and fire pits. Any suggestions for us? Cheers.
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Reply By: GezzaMate - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 16:52

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 16:52
I might add that we are both towing Jayco campers with 4WD Utes.
AnswerID: 589008

Reply By: jamesw - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 18:21

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 18:21
Not much camping to be had around Katoomba area, unless one of the caravan parks suits you. Lake Lyell Camping Area just out the back of Lithgow could be a good spot for you. Plenty to see and some good 4WD tracks to explore at Rydal, which is not far away. Or another place is Newnes. Great camping with a small river for the kids to play around in. It's very shallow. Plus the old oil shale works to have a look at. Dr Google will fill you in on details for both places.

Regards
James
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 19:15

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 19:15
Camping in the Blue Mountans with water....

There is Ingar campground at Wentworth Falls, you have to park and set up camp in the camping areas, not very trailer friendly.

The campground at the Cox's River crossing on the Six Foot Track near the swing bridge ticks a lot of boxes.

In my opinion, Newnes is the best. Big flat trailer friendly grassy areas, drop toilets, nice river, shale mine ruins to explore, glow worm tunnel walk, historic pub though not a pub anymore. It even has fire flies. I prefer driving across the river and camping in the smaller camp ground closer to the old ruins. Less people because the river crossing scares a few off.
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Reply By: Member - fawkesp - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 19:26

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 19:26
Gezzamate,

Might I suggest you look at the Megalong valley (access via Blackheath). Dunphys Camping Area and Old Ford Reserve spring to mind, both camper friendly.

From memory, both allow fires and Old Ford has running water.

Peter.
AnswerID: 589021

Follow Up By: Member - fawkesp - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 19:30

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 19:30
Gezzamate,

I forgot to mention that access to Dunphys is via a thoroughfare through private land.

Please leave a contribution in the bucket and respect the owner's generosity.

Peter.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 20:00

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 20:00
fawkesp, I think you are on the money....even though Newnes is nice, it's too far from Katoomba...

Mt Wilson has free camping also, but again, too far compared to Megalong !
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Reply By: GezzaMate - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 20:47

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 20:47
Thanks guys. Newnes looks fabulous. They do charge now according to youcamp.com $25 first night up to 5 people then discounted there on. It is a bit of distance from Katoomba, but looks like there is plenty to do around that area, and a day trip to Katoomba would be doable. Is the railway at Katoomba - the one that goes down the mountain? Where is that in relation to the 3 sisters and other walks/waterfalls? Having never been there before, and only having a few days, trying to plan as much as possible before we go. Thanks again for your awesome suggestions. Lake Lyell looks ok, but not as good as Newnes. Will look up a couple of the other camps as well. Thanks again :)
AnswerID: 589024

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 22:35

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 22:35
The Scenic Railway and Skyrail(??) are around the valley from the 3 Sisters, maybe only a km or so away from each other,



This map should give you an idea, Geeza.

Another vote for Megalong too........a magic spot.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 23:04

Saturday, Aug 08, 2015 at 23:04
There's a hop on hop off bus around Katoomba and Leura. The lookouts at Blackheath are pretty spectacular as well..
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 10:19

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 10:19
Camping at newnes is free...you may be thinking of the paid camping opposite the old pub, which is on the way in, only 1/2 K from the free nat parks camping.

Across the small creek is the best campsite...spectacular views and a little bit closer to the ruins.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 10:28

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 10:28
Agree, Michael. Standing at Govett's Leap, gazing up the Grose Valley, late on a sunny afternoon............almost a spiritual experience.

Perry's Lookdown has some good views too, a bit further up the valley.

Recall there's some good views of Megalong Valley, from behind the Blaxland, Wentworth & Lawson blazed tree, a km or so west of Katoomba, on way to Medlow Bath & Bleakheath.

Worth driving down to the Lolly Bug, at Hartley Vale, for a good feed, coffee and let the kids........and adults, roam through the myriad of lollies and sweets available.

A day trip to Jenolan Caves isn't out of the question from Katoomba area as well. That'll wear the kids out!

Bob

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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 10:39

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 10:39
I've seen the river up high enough to prevent crossings a number of times. It rises quite quickly so there is always the possibility of being stuck over there so use your judgement if it starts raining.
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Follow Up By: GezzaMate - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 15:23

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 15:23
Brink - I wasn't aware there were 2 campgrounds. It sounded to me like it was the one campground. I looked up newnescampground.com - I assumed this was the campground you were talking about? There is also a campground listed on youcamp.com with the same name. It talks about there being cabins there and an old hotel that is now a museum. Confused now.... However, Megalong Valley looks like it would be the better option as its closer to most of the sights. As long as we can have a fire - I not camping in the mountains without a fire - it's going to be freeeeeeezing! Ok, maybe night freezing, but looking at overnight temps at the moment and it's about 4 degrees, so that's pretty chilly. I don't expect it to be much better than that in September. Thinking we could stop at Newnes on the way down from Dubbo just to do the Glowworm cave walk and stay the night there, and go on to Megalong the next day, or just go straight to Megalong and do a day trip to the glow worms. Thoughts? BTW, spare places like Megalong bookable or is it first in best dressed? Thanks for all your awesome info - it's been really helpful.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 15:36

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 15:36
There is 3 camping spots at Newnes.....one paid, across the track from the old hotel...and yes there is a couple of cabins beside the hotel as well.

1/2 a K further up there is a turn off to the campground across the small creek....approx. 300M in .

And the main campground is straight ahead ( instead of swinging right ).....both nat park campgrounds are BIG, so normally no probs getting a spot.

You can get to the glow worm tunnel from Newnes, but it will be a 10K walk....or you can get to it from the other way in ( 1 K walk ) which is entering into the forest at Zig Zag railway and following the signs......but Newnes and Zig Zag are a long way from each other ..
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 18:31

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 18:31
Gronk, you cross the small creek to get to the main campground. You cross the Wolgan River to get to the other one near the ruins. The river crossing is around 30 metres of foot deep flowing water with a sandy bottom. The entry and exit had been pretty cut up last time I was there.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 21:37

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 21:37
Yes you do cross a very small creek for the main campground and the other creek crossing is approx 3 M of water, and another 3M each side of sandy bottom, but no probs at all for any 4wd.....last time we were there a Commodore towing a small Jayco came across OK. ( not that I would recommend it )
Either way, he's staying near Megalong , so it doesn't matter now..

Last I heard, Newnes seems to have attracted a few boguns from Sydney some weekends....you know the type, leaving rubbish, music till early hrs, circle work etc........pity, as it's one of the most scenic campgrounds you'll ever find..

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Follow Up By: GezzaMate - Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 22:49

Sunday, Aug 09, 2015 at 22:49
Ok, sorry for the zillions of questions. Did some more research. Old Ford is listed as a walk in campground and doesn't say anything about being able to take your camper. It's very non specific. It also has some bad reviews on Wiki Camps recently. Have any of you been there lately? Can you book a campsite there or is it first in best dressed? Does it get busy? Dunphys sounds really good, but is there water there? Now, in saying all this, wondering if we need to really stay close to Katoomba, or if we are better of staying out further and just making a day trip there to 3 sisters and railway. I'm assuming there's plenty of bush walks and waterfalls in other parts of the park? Thanks again guys, you're all awesome :)
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 08:27

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 08:27
The last few times I've been to Newnes, the Wolgan River crossing has been a bit more substantial than 3 metres wide and the entry and exit were chopped up and quite steep. A commodore couldn't have done it. The last time I took my wife there we couldn't cross, the water was over a metre deep and flowing very fast. Latest info on the various sites mark it as 4wd only high clearance which I would agree with. I've seen it flat and easy in the past. I suppose it all comes down to how high the river is and whether there has been any work done to it.

Dunphy's is right at the end of the road through the valley. You have to open and shut 2-3 gates on the Packsaddlers property before you come out the other side in the national park. There's no water features that I could see. The car park is fenced off from the camping area. I'd say it's around 40 minutes from Blackheath station.

There's a campground on the right on Megalong Road just about at the bottom of the pass into the valley from Blackheath. I think it's called Blackheath Glen Reserve. I've only driven past it so have no comment except to say I've seen campers there.

Old Ford isn't that big and not very flat, not my cup of tea.

The campground closest to civilization is probably Lake Lyell but it is pretty regulated with marked spots and boom gate access. More than likely you will be parked on gravel not grass. Pretty central to a lot of things.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 14:21

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 14:21
These photos will give you a bit of an idea, Geeza, in addition to Michael's descriptions. Courtesy of Mr G. Earth. :-)







Last time I was at what is now Dunphy's was before Parks had taken over that area. Not bad views from there, but might get a little windy at times. Bit of trivia, Dick Smith used to land his helicopter at that spot, when he was visiting the Carlon Family, before their move out of "Green Gully"(Packsaddlers).

While the Ford area is not flat, it's not a bad place, though can be pretty busy during long weekends and school holidays. Would be my pick to meet your criteria. Water, camping, and free views, from just outside your camper.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: duck - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 16:39

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 16:39
If you go to Newnes do the round trip in thru the bell line rd to the Glow worm tunnel (kids will love it)(has toilets) then across to the caves with aboriginal paintings (camp in them caves/overhangs my kids loved exploring them)(NO toilets here) then down to Newnes stay the night or drive back to base there's plenty of spots to free camp with Toilets

The Wolgen valleys & Newnes will have most of what you want & if you do the circuit as above it will give you 2 full days & the kids will love it. If you do the glow worm tunnel stick to the right side going in as close to the wall (if your careful you can make it all the way thru without a torch & you will see a lot more glow worms but there is thousands to see & try to keep the noise down they hate light & noise

have a good trip
AnswerID: 589092

Follow Up By: duck - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 16:42

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 16:42
you can do this easily with a 4wd & camper
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Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 18:19

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 18:19
Up around there in September, you won't be doing too much swimming in the water unless you have a wetsuit !! lol
AnswerID: 589098

Follow Up By: GezzaMate - Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 22:02

Monday, Aug 10, 2015 at 22:02
Thanks so very much for all the info. Not so much about the swimming, but like to have water for washing clothes, people and dishes. Means we don't have to use our drinking water or cart to much water with us. Might be nice to paddle the blow up boat in the creek also or the crazy kids might brave it! Cheers :)
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Reply By: GezzaMate - Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 14:03

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 14:03
Ok, last question for now, I promise! What is there to do in Newnes besides the glow worms and old pub?
AnswerID: 589144

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 19:33

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 at 19:33
There's the shale mine ruins. There are bushwalks, you can hike through to Glen Davis. If you like 4wding, it is reasonably central to a number of the treks including Lost City, Blackfellows Hand Cave, Baan Baal Gap. Check the Boiling Billy Treks Close to Sydney book. You can download the route files from their website if you are into gps type things.
If you really want central and a lot of activities, then Lake Lyell is a good base for all of it. Katoomba, Blackheath, Jenolan Caves, Kanangra Walls, Six Foot Track, Gibraltar Rocks plus those others I've already mentioned. You could go nuts with lookouts, scenery, bushwalks and 4wd tracks.

Newnes or Megalong Valley are at the end of dead end roads. They are very nice but they are the sole attraction.
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