Free camping at Carcoar Dam

When we made mention of going to Carcoar Dam and such whilst waiting for the Bathurst Rally, we were advised to stay at Carcoar Dam. We were going to do our usual, which is stay 3 or 4 nights here and there around the area. But with 900+ RVs descending upon Bathurst and many more hanging around like us in the region, we were told it would be harder and harder to find a good spot.

Carcoar Dam at about 10% capacity

The Highway Wanderers

When we rolled into Carcoar looking for a site we noticed a whole group of RVs a little separated from the rest. Out of this group came Horror (Derek) who chased us around the camp and invited to join their group for the duration. Jo & Derek whom we met when they stayed at our place during an MSO earlier in the year. The group RVs are just a part of the Highway Wanderers, a chapter of nomads from the CMCA. Most were going onto the Bathurst rally too.

The Carcoar countryside

The hills and the countryside around Carcoar Dam are rather dry as is the rest of the country but even so it is a beautiful rolling countryside. There is a 15 blade wind farm up on the hills not far from us (The campsite is actually next door to the viewing & information platform.)

The water level of the dam is very, very low, at less than 10%, partly also due to the mining industry using precious water let alone the dry weather.

Most of the trees in sight of our campsite are the indigenous gum trees and the like. However being late Autumn the deciduous trees are glorious as they change into their autumn colours giving us precious gems of gold, burnish copper and deep dark rubies.

Autumn colours in Blayney

The weather up to now has been perfectly lovely: cool at nights with wonderfully warm sunny days. However once the clouds come over or the sun goes down, you really notice the difference in temperature. It can also be rather windy at times which is half the reason why there is a wind farm nearby.

Happy Hours

The Highway Wanderers have their Happy Hours starting early at 3 because of the cooler nights and a lovely community fire going towards the end for the hardy souls that like to hang around to chat even further.

The Happy Hours here are very different to what we’ve experienced so far: With so many people they make up a gigantic ring of chairs and each evening seems to have a slightly different slant. With so many members there is bound to be some great talents among them.

We have some bush poets, singers, & musicians to entertain us. Some nights the microphone is passed around for people to share their stories or jokes (some are rather risqué). There has been a demonstration game of disc bowls and ladder golf. One generous lady even made a slice for everyone to share. Yum. One night a communal BBQ was organized and for a teeny tiny price we all had a steak sandwich with salads.

Beauty can be found all around us esp at sunrise and sunset.



Free camp with power & hot showers at Tullibigeal

About 45km north west from West Wyalong is a little town of a bout 250 residents called Tullibigeal. Adjacent to a silo and a race track is a little playground and park called Pioneer Park.

Campers are welcome to camp here on what is basically a gravel car park. If you park close to the toilet block you can hook up to free power only about 3 smaller RV or caravans which are unhooked can fit in this area close to the toilet block but there is more room further away for several rigs and you can leave your rig hooked together there. The facilities are cleaned regularly. A hot shower is separate and a donation is requested.

The corner store across the road is very friendly as is the pub just up the road a bit.

The weekend just before our visit was a big race meeting and the town was flooded with visitors from far and near parking everywhere they could.

My mini drama at Barmedman Mineral Pool

We stayed just one night at Barmedman Pool. It has a lovely picnic area adjacent to the pool. We parked just across the road from the park which doubles as the entry to the pool. The picnic area has a lovely green grassed picnic area with 4 covered free gas BBQ’s. The toilets which includes a cold shower block is clean and well maintained. The camp ground is not quite free, with $10 asked for donation.

Barmedman Camp ground

There’s not much in town, a craft shop with a cafe which is closed on Mondays (which is when we were in town) 2 junk shops that are so messy and dusty that I feel uncomfortable in and 2 pubs. I love the look of some of our older colonial style pubs. Diesel here is very cheap at 94.9 cents a litre. It's the best we’ve seen for a while.

Lovely pub at Barmedman

The pool is quite large and is partially covered with shade sails. If the water levels were at optimum then there is a shallow babies pool at one end. However both pools are extremely slippery. I am not sure if it is because of the mineral content or lack of proper cleaning, but there is not one entry that is non slippery.

Barmedean Pool at dawn
There was one ‘local’ swimming laps but otherwise it was empty and Rob thought the water looked cold. I thought I would just step in the shallow depth of maybe 2cm to test the water temperature. I was dressed in shorts and had crocs on my feet. I immediately began slowly sliding and there was nothing I could do to stop my slide. I didn’t mind getting my clothes wet, but I was very worried about losing my balance and falling in thus getting my hearing aid and cochlear wet! Thousands of dollars would have been ruined! Rob said I looked very comical sliding along and not being able to stop.(Pity we didn’t have a video camera) Finally I stopped sliding and the water was above my knees but I knew that I couldn’t even lift my foot without the chance of sliding or even worst of falling in and getting my hearing aid wet. I wanted Rob to walk to where I could see him but it was only pipe work there.I wanted to pass the hearing aid to him as I really believed that it was only just a matter of time before I fell in completely. Even the swimmer had difficulty reaching me too but he came to my rescue and took my hearing aids to Rob before assisting me out of the pool then proceeded to hold onto the pipe and stretch out to reach towards me. Once the hearing aid was safe and dry in Rob’s hand I was able to risk trying to get to the side of the pool with the assistance of the gent who was helping. I managed to get within his grasp without submerging. Once safe on dry concrete we can laugh. I also realized that I had my phone in my back pocket too that would have been ruined.

Advert for a local festival in October
I later walked around the perimeter and saw that the pool might be fine for swimming but there is not one spot where you can safely enter and exit by standing on any non slimy area. Even the stair case with the hand rails had a slimy base. So this is definitely not a safe place to swim if you need to walk in the water anywhere. By the way the pool temperature is not warm but it certainly isn’t cold either. I never did go back in the water. It just wasn't safe!

Lake Cargelligo is a great for Free Camping

What a marvellous oasis in the Lachlin Shire. It is relatively unknown by the travelling public. I had never heard of it until we were pouring over our maps. There are a few free camping spots around the place as well as a private caravan park which looked very clean.

We free camped right on the water's edge at Frogs Hollow on the eastern approach to town within walking distance to town. There is also Dead Man's Point and if you really like to get away from the town there's lots of spots along the water's edge at the Weir but you'll be travelling some 10km on a very dusty road to get there. It was recommended to us but I am glad we stayed at Frogs Hollow.

A few neighbours but still not crowded

Whether you are here for a weekend or a week or so, this place is a great place to put the feet up for a getaway. You could throw a line out but my neighbours weren't haven't any success in catching anything. The bird life is abundant and includes ducks, pelicans and parrots.

Sunrise on Lake Cargelligo if you're up early enough

The town, though small is very friendly. We certainly enjoyed a light lunch at the takeaway there watching the people passing in and around town. There is a wonderful little old wares shop where I bought a couple of baskets, and Rob bought me a bangle and an old fashioned brass compass in a case.

You get to see some marvellous sunsets on the road

It was great to start to see some repeat neighbours, people we've met previously, that are sometimes overlapping our stays at some of the camp sites. Spencer and Dawn are one such couple. It was very hot here with the temperature up around the 35 degree mark but since it is such a dry heat, and we are not working in it, we don't even get a sweat going. It certainly helps that there is a fabulous breeze sweeping in over the lake to keep the air circulating too!

Rob took some time out from fixing bits n bobs too!
Rob did some repair work on the motorhome. The door catch was not working properly, the hot water contact points were rusty, a folding stool was wobbly and needed bracing. Also one of the LED light strips had partly blown and giving us insufficient light for working by, especially if I wanted to do my craft at night. Rob was quite happy with the duller light, but he fixed it for me! ;) It seems there's always something that needs attending in an RV.

Temora and the Air Show

After reluctantly leaving Bethungra Dam, we stopped briefly in Cootamundra to do some op shopping and pick up some fuel. We decided to head to Temora in preparation for the Air Show there on Saturday. I had mistakenly thought this was a bigger show and I had expected many campers so we thought to get there a day earlier than we otherwise would have. The actuality is that they hold an airshow there on the first and third Saturday of each month, but featuring a different aspect including having different planes in the air.

The All Australian built Wirraway

Temora Showground

We stayed at the Temora Showground for $15 per night that included toilets and hot showers. I was a tad disappointed to discover that the toilets and showers left a bit to be desired in the cleanliness department, but they were not so bad that I refused to use them though. We found the prickly seedhead very uncomfortable and shoes must be worn everywhere and best left outside your door else you will be picking the seed heads out of your feet and out of the carpet. I didn't even think the showground was worth taking a photo of.

The sliver Ryan

Temora Air Show

The air show was great. You could start with a visit to the museum and a movie presentation relevant to the theme for the day. (Ours was WWII in the Pacific). This was followed by about 3 hours of watching planes take off one at a time with a lot of information being told by the MC of the show who was very informative and interesting to listen to. He certainly had the gift of the gab.

The Boomerang

We ran into friends from back home who were also visiting the Air Show for the day. Rob & Marion popped past our Robbiebago after the show for a cuppa and a chat before they headed off to continue their journey.

The exciting Spitfire

Afterwards we had happy hour with another couple, Bill & Leslie whom we had met when the stayed at our place some 4-6 weeks earlier as part of CMCA's MSO program. We enjoyed each other's company so much that we had dinner together and continued chatting into the early evening.

The vapour trail of a Wirraway

As a bonus the NSW Rural Fire Brigade gave us demo of water bombing

Free camp at Temora Railway Station

While we were in Temora, we just found out that there is a free camp in Temora that had just opened here 2 weeks ago. It is in the carpark of the railway station. Self contained vehicles only, you can stop for 48 hours. There are toilets, and it is next to a lovely grassed picnic area and next to a kids playground, tennis courts and skate park. You will be parking on 100% bitumen though so maybe too hot in summer. It looks like a BBQ area is being developed in the park next door.

Temora Railway Station

Free Camping at Bethungra Dam

Oh what bewdy Bethungra Dam is. It is just southwest of Cootamundra or northeast of Junee, NSW. It is quite a small dam as far as water supply for a town goes, but is just perfect for camping with a touch of fishing available there too. You enter the place under a beaut sandstone? railway viaduct. It is a dirt road to the dam but it is quite well maintained at the time we were there. It was still another 3 or 4 km till you get to the dam itself.

The view from our door of Bethungra Dam

There are absolutely lots of places to camp. Most spots are slightly out of level. (If you are the type to dig the ground away to level your vehicle then please, pretty please, fill it in again when you leave as some inconsiderate people are not so inclined to do. Of course that wouldn’t be any of you, would it?) There is one long drop toilet there and it’s well maintained and non stinky. There are a few covered picnic tables scattered around. Campfires are allowed. There was some Telstra reception but not Optus.

The entry under the viaduct to Bethungra Dam

We just loved being here. There is a lot of bird life around the dam to watch and photograph. We enjoyed a gentle walk to the dam wall, met other campers and had Happy Hours with them. Rob was inspired to try fishing as the fella next door caught a decent sized Red Bream, I think it was. Rob is going to look for the same lure that our ‘neighbour’ used.

Eurasian Coot

Rob went into Junee on his own as I was still recovering from my flu and had a ‘bad’ day. He was hoping to catch up with his cousin who lives there but sadly it didn’t pan out. However he did think of me and bough 2 bunches of flowers for me as we celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary just the day before. Isn’t he sweet? It was such a lovely “pick me up” on an otherwise down day.

Flowers for our 35th Wedding Anniversary
Dawn at Bethungra Dam

On the next day I managed to get a decent start on my handmade sock dolls. You can buy Nellie or any of my creations on Platypus Creations - a site I share with another crafty friend.

Meet Nellie, my first sock doll with movable arms.
I would have happily stayed here another 3 or 4 nights but Rob gets itchy feet much sooner than I.

So off on the road we go again.

Free Camping right in Yass

Did you know there is free camping right in Yass and it is right on the Yass River. It is called the Joe O’Connor Park which is just on the western side of the bridge, surprisingly it is almost opposite the Yass Caravan Park. It is for self contained vehicles only as there is no facilities there at all except a boat ramp and a cricket pitch. By the way don’t park on the level spot at cricket practice cage. It is used regularly and the locals wouldn’t like it.

Yass River as seen from our door

There are many spots and it would fit 20 or so RVs. You can choose to park in the full sun if you need solar as we do or you can go right down to the river amongst the trees.

Free Camping right in Yass

It is a gentle up hill walk to the shops from the park. It is about 800m to the main grocery stores but there are many smaller shops and pubs long before you get to Woolworths or Aldi. There is even an IGA Supa Store in the opposite direction from the park. 

Whilst here we even made time for me to clean the dust off the solar panels.