port smith, barn hill and or Broome caravan parks? oh and elquestro while Im her

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 12:49
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Hi there again,

thanks to Motherhen and her Jan holland advice, now I am back seeking a few more tips. we will be travelling during June prior to the WA school holidays.

anyone have an opinion on Port smith v barn hill or might it be nice to spend a few days at each? we are not at all fisherpeople but our young son is keen to have a go and port smith seems to be the go for fishing..... but barn hill looks kind of nicer. we have three kids 5 and under travelling in a camper.

also reading the forum there seems to be a bit of controversy re broome caravan parks, we do want to do a few broome activities especially the hovercraft tour but should we maybe avoid staying in broome altogether will we even get a booking?! what would the barred creek/ price point /quondong camps be like at this time, would we be likely to find room?

and lastly has anyone stayed in the main campground at elquestro? is it alright, noisy, cramped exposed? dont think the Kluger will make it down to the pentecost river camps where we have previously camped.

thanks in advance



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Reply By: ChrisK - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 13:09

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 13:09
Don't forget 80 mile beach if it's open after the cyclone went through there earlier this year.....
It's a great spot also & the fishing is great there as well.
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (TAS) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 15:19

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 15:19
I would second 80 mile beach if it is open. Great spot and very relaxed. Re the fishing, it can be great but like anywhere it can be crap like when we were there lol.

Josh
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Follow Up By: Chipsy - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:16

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:16
we are travelling down from Darwin and Broome was our end point so dont know if we want to drive that far, its more just trying to find a spot where its good for the kids to run on the beach and have a good time hanging out as a family. initially we were going to stay in Broome but it didnt sound that flash from many reports.....

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 13:26

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 13:26
We spent one night at Barn Hill 2 years ago - never again! Its a place where fisherfolk (and we are not fishermen/women) go year after year and stay for weeks/months on end. If you want power you are crammed in like sardines - the unpowered area was more relaxed. Because of the regular clientele there seems to have been a system of unwritten "rules" grow up about who/how/when you use the facilities. I have heard of people being reduced to tears because they did not know how the queueing system for the washing machines worked.

The beach is probably great for fishing but didn't look too great for swimming, and I really don't think I saw anything there to keep young children occupied. Sure, there is a mini bowling green and a weekly craft fair, if crocheted toilet roll covers are your idea of a holiday!

I suggest that you try to book a spot in Broome - we have stayed at the Tarangau a few times and found it pleasant (though like all the CPs it will be crowded). There is plenty to do in and around Broome and there is bound to be a spot where the children can try their hand at fishing.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 14:45

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 14:45
Agree with every thing you have said, we visited friends that were staying there in 06, and got the impression that they owned their spot, and if you walked to close you got shouted at.
Every one was camped on top of one another and you couldn't say anything without your neighbour putting in his/her two bobs worth.
Cheers
Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 19:20

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 19:20
I agree with Val, we called in there to stay after it was recommended, we stopped, looked around and then hightailed it out of there, just didn't seem to be too friendly at all, we went on to 80 mile beach and spent a few unplanned days there due to me having a migraine, I was glad to be there instead.
When we were at 80 Mile Beach it seemed that the fish were biting around daybreak or there abouts, they were catching lovely big fish, I'm not a fisher person so don't know what kind they were.
Cheers
D


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Follow Up By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:02

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:02
You should know why you got the migraine, yu went into Barn Hill, that would give some one who has never had a migraine, a migraine.
The fish are ???salmon.
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Baz
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Follow Up By: Chipsy - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:20

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:20
Val we would be looking at an unpowered site with the camper, do you think that would be any better? some people give it good reports. its getting more and more confusing with so many conflicting reports of each place we look at.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:44

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:44
Hi Chipsy,

As far as I can recall there was not much if any shade in the unpowered area. BH seems to be more for grey nomads who enjoy fishing and staying in one place with their dogs and little gardens for quite a while. Our preference is for a different style of travel (tho we qualify as GNs!)

Where you go really depends on what you are looking for, but as you are travelling from the north I would wonder why you would go further south than Broome. The road (sealed) from Broome to BH is through rather flat scrubby country that's not very interesting, and the road into BH was pretty well corrugated. Sure BH is half the price per night than Broome but for my money I would stick to Broome. Derby is worth a look too.

Quandong point is great IF you can find a spot.

Where ever you end up have a great trip,

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Chipsy - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:36

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:36
thanks Val, I appreciate your advice.... we were origonally all for Broome but being packed in like sardines which sounds like the CPs there are described doesnt appeal, especially with kids, Barn Hill looked like there is a bit of room to roam and space between camps. we will still spend some time in broome as there are things to do there that will be a lot of fun but we thought we'd hedge our bets and spend some time out of town too. we have loved broome previously but only ever stayed at resorts which is nice but too exy this trip.
Im just stuck now as some people say great things about one place and others have the opposite opinion. I suppose we just have to take a chance and try our luck. I think we will still try for quondong and just cross fingers we are there are thr perfect moment and find a spot. if not plan b will have to be made!
thanks again.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Saturday, Apr 03, 2010 at 02:58

Saturday, Apr 03, 2010 at 02:58
Hi Baz & Pud, nah the migraine had started when we got there, it only made it worse. We have spoken to people who love that place, horses for courses I guess.

Cheers

D


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Reply By: Member - Michael C (WA) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 13:33

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 13:33
Hi Chipsy,
We did a trip up northwest from Perth last year. We missed the big rush in Broome as we got there at the end of May, so we did not have a problem getting into a caravan park. Port Smith is lovely, but beware of the sandflies, they are in the caravan park and they are potent. For my wife and I, we found barn hill to be one of the best places we have been to. It is one of a few or if not the only Northwest beach that does not have sand flies or any other bities that we have experienced. We were sad to move on from barn hill.
Enjoy your travels and have a safe trip.
AnswerID: 411285

Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 14:39

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 14:39
Both Barn Hill and Port Smith are nice - just quite different.
There are a lot of regulars at Barn Hill who stay for weeks or months, but we camped a few nights and had a nice shady spot (with power, I recall). There was a lawn bowling green. The beach is good for swimming with good sandy beach interspersed with brilliant red rocky outcrops. Drinks at sunset recommended.
Port Smith has mainly mangroves, with no beach, but you can put a boat in, and when we stayed a few years back they loaned you a wire hook to search for muddies at dawn. The campsite was grassed, and there was reasonable shade. And a golf course.
I'd have no hesitation in going back to either.
Gerry

AnswerID: 411291

Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 17:42

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 17:42
I'm a barn Hill fan and have stayed there twice.

Reasonable fishing off beach and no sandflies.

Very friendly park , and best spot is under trees as it gets pretty hot.





Notice the bowling green to the right

Pedro
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Follow Up By: Chipsy - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:21

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:21
the no sandflies and a easy access beach make Barn hill seem the winner from port smith then.
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Reply By: bill - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 16:50

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 16:50
stayed at barn hill last year 2009. great spot , did not find any hostility. lawn bowls if you like, bread homemade each day if ordered. great beach easy walk plenty of facilities no roof on toilets limited power limited wattage (really lights only...still a great place wife loved it regards bill
AnswerID: 411307

Reply By: jezza68 - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 20:08

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 20:08
I would recommend firstly stopping in Broome as it is at least an hour to Barred Creek. The sandflies can be horrific
80 Mile Beach would be the best bet as a family. Port Smith C/P is 5kms from the water which is a mangrove swamp.
Barn Hill is a retreat for the Grey Nomad Brigade and has on shore dumpers which are no good for little kids.
I would recommend booking for Broome as it will be getting busy.

Tamery
AnswerID: 411333

Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 21:22

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 21:22
Can recommend both 80 mile beach and Pt Smith. Pt Smith is a beautiful walk out along the mangroves at low tide but, smother the insect repellent on; esp the kids. And I mean SMOTHER! I was badly knocked up by bites and still have a few scars.

When we had a look nth of Broome two years ago at about that time, all the van campsites (free camping) were overcrowed and Quandong Pt (the biggest) was just a zoo!. It's a nice 4WD trip but I wouldn't take a caravan up there for that reason.

If you're tenting you might find a nice site or two.

Cheers.
AnswerID: 411348

Reply By: kingswoodwagon - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 00:21

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 00:21
Chipsy

I love both Barn Hill and Port Smith.
Kids love Port Smith. The estuary, mangroves and tidal flats are way more fun than the Barn Hill shorebreak. There is safer kid swimming at Port Smith than Barn Hill

Check out Port Smith website for some pics.

Port Smith

I'm sure you'll enjoy either.

AnswerID: 411369

Reply By: Chipsy - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:37

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:37
thanks everyone, Im more confused than ever but we will just get out there cross fingers, try some places out and see how we go.
AnswerID: 411396

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