any good free camps - Cowra:Bathurst:Blue Mountains?

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 at 21:59
ThreadID: 86927 Views:8379 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Hi there again,
We are in NSW now and staying at Boorowa tonight.
Heading to Cowra tomorrow to find out more about the 'Cowra Breakout'.

Do you have any favourite camping spots from around Cowra/Bathurst and into the Blue Mountains you could recommend for 2 adults, 2 kids aged 7 and 8?

Is Hill End worth the trip??

(we are using the excellent Camps 5 Book!)

Thanks once again for your help!!
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Reply By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 07:30

Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 07:30
Hi guys,
If you have never been too Hill End then it is worth the visit just to get a feel for the history. You can't do the Bridle trail with a van (if indeed it has reopened after the rockfall and road collapsing)
There are free camps at Blackheath (just on the Katoomba side) and Linden (about 2km down past Woodford railway station) These are about the only free camps in the mountains but there are caravan parks in Blackheath and Katoomba.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 09:40

Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 09:40
Hill End is certainly worth a visit. While there take a few days to get to know as much about the place as you can. A hell of a lot of history in that town.
A walk around the town will prove very interesting and a look through the old hospital is a must as well. There are some good publications available on the town that give an insight into its history and the living conditions back in its hey day.
One book in particular is called "Gold and Silver" Author Keast Bourke and published by Penguin ISBN 0 14 00. 3752 7 and contains around a hundred or more black and white photographs from the Holterman Collection. Holtermans name was given to the largest nugget that came out of Hill End. He was a part owner of the mine it came out of. This collection was taken by two photographers named Beaufoy Merlin and Charles Bayliss. The latter being Merlins assistant.

Depending on how you are traveling there are some very good free camp spots just below Hill End on the Turon River near the causeway. It is only accessible from The Hill End side due to a rock slide on The Bridle Track at Monaghans Bluff..
The track down from Hill end is not suitable for caravans, so they say.

Another good camp spot is at Black Gate Reserve on the Bridle Track also which is right on the Macquarie River which you can only access from the Bathurst side due to that same rock slide. We have camped at this location for weeks at a time back in the 60s through to the 80s

There is a good free camp at Carcoar Dam as well according to Camps Australia and the team at Caravan and Motor Home.

Cheers, Bruce.

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Reply By: Member - Graeme W (NSW) - Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 12:05

Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 12:05

This may be a little bit out of your way, but Macquarie Woods (in Vittoria State Forest) between Orange and Bathurst, is a very good free camp.

There’s plenty of space and grass, fireplaces and flushing toilets.

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Follow Up By: Navigator 1 (NSW) - Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 16:44

Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 16:44
We would also recommend Macquarie Woods.
Here is a picture of the well groomed open space. On our two visits fire wood was supplied.

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Reply By: Madfisher - Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 19:34

Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 19:34
Some nice camping spots on the Abercrombie river near Abercrombie caves as well. Its between Tuena and Trunkey.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: rags - Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 20:42

Monday, Jun 13, 2011 at 20:42
hI Lizzyb on the way into cowra you past through the town of Carcoar and 6km out of town [before], coming from Bathurst you will find Carcoar dam which has a free camp ground with Toilets showers [cold] pet and fire friendly
which we like to stop at ,and can recommend,
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enjoy your stay wherever it may be
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Reply By: Member - Angus E (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2011 at 20:33

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2011 at 20:33
There is free camping at Black Springs and at Abercrombie River National Park. Also Kanagra Boyd National Park is worth a look but you have to pay. All in the Oberon area.

To the North is Gardens of Stone National Park and Turon River NP, accessible from the Lithgow to Mudgee Road. Shortcut from Bathurst via Portland.

While in Bathurst the National park Head office has all the park maps. Level 2, 203-209 Russell Street.

A visit to the Fossil museum in Howick Street is worthwhile as is the National Motor Racing Museum.

Hill End is worthwhile, but not as much fun if you cant' use the Bridle Track.


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Reply By: lizzyb74 - Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 23:33

Friday, Jun 17, 2011 at 23:33
Thanks everyone for your replies! I've only just got them as we've just made it to a powered site in Sydney so I can now use my laptop again!

We did stay at Carcoar - the Carcoar Dam site was awesome! Thanks for the suggestion! Kids liked the wind turbines too!

At Bathurst, hubby and older son went in the Nat Motor Museum and loved it. I found just seeing Mt Panorama 'in the flesh' exciting enough.

We did go to Hill End - but camped about 3km out of town, as both Hill End camps needed payments. The free camp was fine - kids loved climbing through the rocks. I didn't find Hill End that great a spot to visit - a long way out... but several people posted that they found it great. Each to their own I suppose...

We went to Bilpin next and free camped in a nice enough spot there, but while driving around (car only, left van at campsite) found an amazing spot up near Mt Wilson/Mt Irvine called 'Cathedral ______". This has lots of room, lots of toilets and was free. We decided to leave our van where it was thougth as it is a pop up and out one that is a bit of a drag to put down, travel and put back up again for only one night.

We loved our trip around this part of the world!
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