Rocky Creek Camping Area

Rocky Creek is 12km north of Atherton or 23km south of Mareeba. Rocky Creek has a large and relatively flat paddock type camping area setting adjacent to a War Memorial and is suitable for all types of self sufficient RVs.

Though it is classified as a free camping area  there is a donation box just outside the toilets and $5 a night is the suggested fee. Personally I like to pay these fees to help ensure that sites like these are available. Someone has to pay for the toilet cleaning etc. Though the toilet paper is replaced each time, sadly there are people who will knock off the toilet paper whenever they get the opportunity. There's a wheelchair accessible toilet block and a picnic area towards the back. There are non potable water taps provided in the area.

An aside: Sad people 

We  met a couple years back who bragged that they hadn't bought any toilet paper in 2 years! Such sad people that didn't know that this is NOT something to be proud of! And they were weren't poor either!

Maybe we should have buried them here! LOL
We spent some time here twice at Rocky Creek back in 2012 and so we knew it was a great spot to take some time out.

A surprise: Barney Springs

Yet for all that, I only learnt of the Barney Springs picnic area out the back for the first time on this trip. If you take a short walk near the gate and follow the track you will first cross a dry creek bed but keep going and you will come across the first of two permanent springs with an adjacent picnic area albeit very old. With something like 54-62 litres per second feeding out of this spring, I think it must have been popular back in the war time when the hospital was in operation. You see pipes and a pump house too!

History of the War Memorial at Rocky Creek.

I also love the history of the area. During World War II the Atherton Tableland area became the largest military base in Australia with camps at Tinaroo, Kairi, Atherton, Wongabel, Herberton, Wondecla, Ravenshoe and Garnet. Rocky Creek here was the site of the largest military hospital in the Southern Hemisphere at the time. It was a huge 3000 bed hospital which treated over 60,000 patients from 1943 to 1945. It is easy to imagine that the staff and mobile patients on long convalescence would appreciate the coolness of the area and a dip in the waters as a refreshing change especially in the hot summers.

Definitely a lovely respite area.

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