Free Camping Near Robinvale On The Murray River

Free Camping Near Robinvale On The Murray River

Free Camping Near Robinvale On The Murray River

Free camping near Robinvale at Happy Valley Landing on the Murray River. It’s a nice, quiet secluded spot. I found it on WikiCamps not that far from Robinvale VIC. I’m not going to tell you the name of it or exactly where it is suffice to say it’s on WikiCamps. You can look it up for yourself.

It’s such an awesomely great spot that I’m not going to plaster it’s precise location all over the interwebs. Otherwise the nice quiet secluded spot could be overrun with people. Running generators 24/7 and blasting about on their quad bikes scaring the sheep. Send me an email if you are interested and I will give you the exact location.

 

Happy Valley Landing On The Murray River Near Robinvale VIC

Happy Valley Landing On The Murray River Near Robinvale VIC

From Berri To Robinvale

We drove through from Berri to near Robinvale in VIC, the roads were excellent. Most of the way we were on B and C roads so traffic was at a minimum. Mostly local trucks and a few cars travelling between small regional towns. If you don’t know the difference between what the M, A, B and C classifications for example “C727” mean for roads within Australia it’s worth your time to look it up. WikiCamps has a good explanation of it here. It can help you assess the quality of road and the amount of traffic you are going to encounter. All of the states we have been in use a similar system.

Free Camping Near Robinvale On Murray River

Free Camping Near Robinvale On Murray River

The track in is a bit tricky. It’s not too bad but you definitely need a 4×4 and an offroad camper trailer or SMALL high clearance offroad van to get in to it. No it isn’t suitable for on road vans. Same goes for semi-offroad vans, motorhomes or big rigs and you can forget bringing in your 5th wheeler. It’s quite sandy in patches with some fairly tight turns and some humps and hollows to climb up over or through. It’s really 100% guaranteed your effort if you can get in there though. At a few places the track forks off and it’d be worth your effort to get out and go for a walk down them to assess their suitability. All up I reckon there are about a dozen spots all spaced well well from each other along the track.

Awesome Spot To Get The Camp Oven Out

And there is heaps and heaps of deadfall firewood lying about for you to cut up. There’s literally more than you could poke a stick at. After setting up camp we got the fire going and sat around all afternoon reading or books and playing UNO, it was very relaxing. Just before dark a big mob of sheep wandered down the bank for a drink on the other side of the river. They were the only other things we saw all day, very peaceful.

Lamb Shanks In The Camp Oven

Lamb Shanks In The Camp Oven

For dinner we cooked some lamb shanks in the camp oven and they were absolute monsters, the biggest lamb shanks I have ever seen. They were absolutely beautiful. Later in the evening while sitting by the fire and having a drink Graciee got all stirred up about something – scared shitless would probably be a more accurate description. Turns out it was an echidna that had wandered in to camp for a bit of a poke around.

Marree & We Explore Around Farina A Bit More

Marree & We Explore Around Farina A Bit More

Marree & We Explore Around Farina A Bit More

We drove 60 kilometres up to Marree for a look around. Again it was very good gravel road all the way. Marree is where both the Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks start so we will be going through there again one day for sure.

We had some lunch at the Marree Hotel. It’s was a very nice old hotel and our lunches were great. The chef was a nice young bloke out here from Canada. He was staying for about three months at Marree and then he was off somewhere else.

Lunch At The Marree Hotel

Lunch At The Marree Hotel

Ghan Railway Relics At Marree

After lunch we went across the road to check out the collection of old Ghan Railway stuff they have on display at the disused station and park. We had a chat with some people who were heading off up the Oodnadatta Track on their way to Darwin. It would have been great to have had another month off work so we could go too. Some other time for sure.

Marree Ghan Railway Old Engine

Marree Ghan Railway Old Engine

Looking Around Marree

The town of Marree itself is very small. They have a health services station, a caravan park, a pub and a roadhouse so they pretty much cover everything you’d need when out bush. We filled up at the roadhouse and bought some basic supplies including more insect repellent – you tend to use a lot of it out this way! On the way back we very almost ran over an emu who decided to jump out in front of us. Luckily I didn’t have the van on and was able to brake in time. It was all a bit much for poor old Graciee as she slid off the back seat and on to the floor. It was pretty funny although I don’t think Graciee saw it the same way..

Marree Hotel

Marree Hotel

Farina Underground Bakery

Once we got back to Farina we went for a bit more of an explore around. We had a look at the famous underground bakery. We were there about a month too early for it to be open which was a shame. Maybe another time. Farina really is a cool old town. It’s surprising to see just how fast it has gone to ruins as all of the buildings were seemingly strongly built out of local stone. For example the police station and post office were in use up until about 1960. In the last 60 years they have all but fallen apart. Perhaps a lot of the roofing timbers and flooring was pilfered for use elsewhere or for campfires maybe?

Farina Underground Bakery

Farina Underground Bakery

Camping At Farina

Farina was really one of the better places we have camped. I recommend it highly to anyone who can get out there. If you are expecting a Big4 caravan park type experience then give it a miss. If you are like us and love the Aussie Outback and bush camping then add it to your bucket list.

Camping At Farina Ghost Town SA

Camping At Farina Ghost Town SA

Getting To Marree And Farina

Marree is at the junction of the Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks 655km north of Adelaide SA. Farina is about 50km south of Marree. If you leave Lyndhurst SA and head north towards Marree you drive right past Farina. Road conditions can vary greatly in the outback. It’s always a good idea to check conditions before you travel. Check conditions by calling the Marree Hotel or looking up https://www.dit.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads.

Travel FromDistanceTime
Adelaide to Marree655km07:07
Brisbane to Marree2215km23:43
Melbourne to Marree1378km14:27
Sydney to Marree1851km19:22

Location Map

Marree Google Maps Location

Marree Google Maps Location

Montecollina Bore To Farina On The Strzelecki Track

Montecollina Bore To Farina On The Strzelecki Track

Montecollina Bore To Farina On The Strzelecki Track

Amanda had wanted to visit Farina for a few years and she finally got her chance. We travelled from Montecollina Bore To Farina down the Strzelecki Track. Just like yesterday the Strzelecki Track road conditions were really good. There were even a few sections of sealed road, not very long but long enough to make you wish for a bit more. We love the dirt but the sealed sections just give you a bit of a rest.

When we left Montecollina Bore To Farina down the Strzelecki Track it was blowing a bit of a gale, it was like Laurence of Arabia stuff with the wind blowing sand and dust all over the place. It died down after about an hour, the wind had been pretty strong for the last three days or so and we were pretty happy to see it ease up.

Montecollina Bore To Farina down the Strzelecki Track Via Lyndhurst

We headed off down the Strzelecki again. The road was pretty good all the way through to Lyndhurst with just a few corrugated stretches and a lot of floodways that would be messy if it rained. We were lucky and it was as dry as a bone all the way. There were lots of emus about about both alive and dead and we passed a heap of road trains going the other way.

Welcome To Lyndhurst Sign

Welcome To Lyndhurst Sign

We made it to Lyndhurst and filled up with fuel and bought a few basic groceries (eggs were $9 a dozen bread was $5 a frozen loaf can’t complain though you’re in the middle of nowhere) and headed to Farina only another 40ks up the road. The road between Lyndhurst and Farina was very well graded dirt/gravel and presented zero problems. Just like the road from Montecollina Bore To Farina.

At Lyndhurst SA

At Lyndhurst SA

Camping At Farina

Amanda had wanted to visit Farina for a few years and she finally got her chance. When we turned in to Farina it was pretty cool. There were heaps of old ruined buildings that we drove past on our way to the campgrounds. Camping at Farina is $5 per person per night and they have an honesty box at the gates.

Entering Farina

Entering Farina

The campgrounds are very large, very clean and very beautiful. One of the better spots we have camped. They have bins, flushing toilets as well as showers, you have to light a small wood fire underneath an old donkey boiler to heat the water for the showers. Heaps of fun. When we arrived there were about six other camper trailers and caravans set up but we were all so far spaced apart it was like being on your own.

Remote Camping At Farina

Remote Camping At Farina

We picked a nice spot with a picnic table alongside and bins close by and a big firepit as well as a woodburning bbq. A lot of the spots in the campgrounds are similarly well set up. All done by volunteers.

Camping At Farina

Camping At Farina

Exploring Farina

After setting up the van for the next few days we went for a bit of an explore. We visited the old cemetery and had a look around. Once again it had been cleaned up in recent years by the volunteers and there were explanation boards at the entry.

Farina Cemetery

Farina Cemetery

Next we went and had a look at the old police station as well as the cricket ground (FCG) and some of the railway associated ruins like the gangers hut and ticket booking office.

Farina Cricket Ground The FCG

Farina Cricket Ground The FCG

The whole reason Farina was where it is in the first place is that it was in the early 1900’s the railhead, end of the line so to speak of the Ghan Railway. All of the farmers and settlers from the surrounding areas north of Farina had to come to Farina to collect goods they had shipped up from Adelaide. Eventually the railhead moved north to Marree and farina died out.

Dave And Amanda At Farina

Dave And Amanda At Farina

We had a nice afternoon looking around the ruins, then we went back to the van and had some dinner and a fire with some wood we had collected back at Tibooburra. It was a great day.

Camping With A Dog And A Fire At Farina

Camping With A Dog And A Fire At Farina

 

 

 

 

Merty Merty Cameron Corner & Montecollina Bore

Merty Merty Cameron Corner & Montecollina Bore

Merty Merty Cameron Corner & Montecollina Bore

We left Cameron Corner and headed off on the road to Merty Merty and then got on to the Strzelecki Track. The road to Merty Merty is one of the coolest things we have done so far. You literally drive up and over a couple of hundred red sand dunes.

Cameron Corner To Merty Merty Road Conditions

There are bulldust holes all over the place primarily at the top of the road as it goes over a dune. And there are loads of corrugations. You also have some sections of very sandy stuff that are a bit deep. If you give it a bit and try to pick the line where you can see wheel tracks it’s a little bit firmer.

We drove past a few stations, these people must be hard bastards as they literally live in the middle of nowhere. Go back 50 years and the isolation would have been heaps worse. You can do nothing but admire these people. Either that or think they are stark raving bonkers mad.

Cameron Corner To Merty Merty And Montecollina Bore

Between Cameron Corner And Merty Merty

Strzelecki Track Road Conditions To Montecollina Bore

Once we got to the end of this road and we got on to the Strzelecki Track proper the road improved quite a bit. In fact the part of the Strzelecki we travelled to Montecollina Bore was excellent. It’s like it’s really hard clay that’s been rolled in to an almost concrete life surface. It breaks up in to sandy bits with a few bulldust holes in places and is corrugated in others but overall it’s just like a highway really. About 20ks from Montecollina Bore they were doing roadworks. They had a grader removing the top surface, a water truck spraying it down then a big roller going over the top compacting it.

We had to drive through a very damp section about a kilometre long going uphill and it was heavy going. The front of the van and the ute got covered in thick clay type mud. It was a hell of a mess but it was great fun. Driving through this bit we now understand fully why the road gets closed after a bit of rain. There’s no way you could drive through it when wet.

Mud Covered Supreme Getaway Cameron Corner To Merty Merty And Montecollina Bore

Supreme Getaway Covered In Mud Camping At Montecollina Bore On The Strzelecki Track

Montecollina Bore – An Amazing Oasis

Montecollina Bore itself was interesting. It’s a huge pond with water running in to it out of the bore. Then it overflows in to a wetland area. There were heaps of birds and signs of wildlife about that you didn’t see much of in other parts along the track. It’s kind of like an oasis in the desert. Along the road there were quite a few signposts pointing to other bores, I’d imagine they would be similar. Montecollina Bore is signposted as a rest area so we camped for the night. There were a few other camper trailers there for the night. An AAPT bus full of tourists pulled up and unpacked swags and camped there too. Great to see so many people enjoying the outback.

Montecollina Bore On The Strzelecki Track

Montecollina Bore On The Strzelecki Track

Swimming In Montecollina Bore

On the tv I had seen a couple of 4×4 shows where they featured Montecollina Bore and every time they went swimming in the bore. So me being an idiot I figured that it’s a bore so the water was going to be nice and warm. Like the bore baths at Lightning Ridge. The weather on the day we were there was windy, probably a solid 40kph and the temperature would have been about 18 degrees so add the windchill in and yeah it was pretty bloody cool. I was determined to go for a swim so I put my swimmers on and waded in. I got in near the bore outlet and it was lovely and warm. Not so a bit further out! It was freezing, so cold it could have iced over I reckon.

I splashed about a bit for appearances sake then lay down near the outlet for a minute to warm up. Jaysus I was cold when I got out and the wind hit me. Amanda couldn’t stop laughing and even the dog seemed embarrassed to be walking back to camp with me. I figure that when they made the tv shows it must have been summer. Either that or I am just a massive big soft twat of a bloke!

Swimming In Montecollina Bore

Swimming In Montecollina Bore

Where Are Cameron Corner – Merty Merty & Montecollina Bore

Cameron Corner is at the intersection of three states, NSW, QLD at SA. Merty Merty and Montecollina Bore are in Outback SA. Approximate travel distances and times are listed below. Keep in mind that road conditions can vary greatly so travel times can do so as well. Always check road conditions before heading off. SA outback roads check here and NSW outback roads check here.

Travel FromDistanceTime
Adelaide to Montecollina Bore773km09:43
Albury to Cameron Corner994km10:38
Brisbane to Cameron Corner1368km15:51
Canberra to Cameron Corner1304km14:37
Melbourne to Cameron Corner1315km13:49
Sydney to Cameron corner1331km15:19
Cameron Corner to Merty Merty127km01:53
Merty Merty to Montecollina Bore125km02:16

Conclusion

It was another great day. We had heaps of fun, plenty of laughs and quite a bit of adventure. We saw stuff we had never seen before and learned a few things as well. I’d definitely love to repeat this day in the future.

Cameron Corner With A Caravan

Cameron Corner With A Caravan

Cameron Corner With A Caravan

We left Tibooburra early and headed to Cameron Corner. It was a great drive. It took us about three hours including a few stops for photos. The road condition was pretty good. Lots of rocks. A few bulldust holes and some stretches of sandy stuff plus a couple of corrugated bits but overall good.

On The Road To Cameron Corner

On The Road To Cameron Corner

We drove past a few nice looking National Parks that we’ll go in to next time we are out this way without the dog. A couple of them look like great places to camp.

Cameron Corner itself was much more than what I thought it would be. I wasn’t expecting to see the dingo fence 50 metres behind the corner marker. It was a cool thing to see. We camped at Camerons Corner for the night. I think the camp fees for the night were only $20. Cameron Corner Store has a pub and they serve meals. We had a couple of nice burgers for lunch and a few beers.

David And Amanda At Cameron Corner

David And Amanda At Cameron Corner

Cameron Corner Store

Cameron Corner Store carry a small range of supplies such as frozen bread, frozen milk and ice. Cameron Corner Store has a mechanic available – something you might need out there. They have fuel available but be warned fuel at Cameron Corner isn’t overly cheap. We filled the ute and jerries with 60 litres of diesel and it cost us $120 at $2 a litre. Considering where the place is and the alternative to no fuel available at the corner is walking I thought it was pretty fair. The campgrounds are spartan but clean and hot showers and toilets are available. All up it’s a comfortable place to spend the night in the middle of nowhere.

Inside The Camerons Corner Store

Inside The Camerons Corner Store

Cameron Corner With A Caravan

Loads of people told us that going to Cameron Corner with a caravan was not a good idea. Being that it’s an old Supreme Getaway it’s totally built for the conditions you encounter out at Cameron Corner and the road out there. I wouldn’t take an onroad caravan out to Cameron Corner but any decent offroad caravan won’t have a problem. Just do the usual preparation. Lower tyre pressure and take it easy. As they are fond of saying in the FaceBook groups “drive to conditions”. Ours was probably the biggest van there and ours is pretty small at 16ft. Most people we saw at the corner were either towing small hybrids or Kimberly Kamper rear folds or Ultimates and Trakvan type things. A lot had swags on the roof. We watched one couple put up an ozTent for the night and pull out the awnings on their car and set up all their gear. Looked like a lot of hard work for one night.

Our Nissan NP300 and Supreme Getaway Caravan

Our Nissan NP300 and Supreme Getaway Caravan

Camping At Cameron Corner

We camped at Cameron Corner in the main area but right down the end near the fence. The cost was only $20 for the night without power but that did include use of the showers and toilets. The showers were great, nice and hot. The facilities are basic but clean. Exactly what we needed. We could have gone down to the bush camp for a small donation to the RFDS (we love the RFDS) but we planned on having a few beers in the pub and preferred being able to walk back to camp. Not a lot of taxis out this way.

Camping At Cameron Corner

Camping At Cameron Corner

Sitting Around Doing Nothing

We had a look at the corner marker and took some photos then went back for a few more beers. After a few more beers we sat around and played UNO and watched all of the travellers coming in and setting up for the night. At the end of the day we were treated to an absolutely spectacular sunset. The view of the bright red sky as the sun went down over the top of red sand hills was special. Travelling from Tibooburra to Cameron Corner was certainly an experience and is something we will do again and again.

Sunset At Cameron Corner

Sunset At Cameron Corner

Silver City Highway Menindee to Tibooburra

Silver City Highway Menindee to Tibooburra

Silver City Highway Menindee to Tibooburra

We left Menindee Lakes and headed to Tibooburra. We would have liked to stay another night or two at Menindee, we liked it a lot. Had to pull over before hitting the bitumen to put air in the tyres. First stop was in Broken Hill to get fuel then off along the Silver City Highway to Tibooburra.

The Silver City Highway

The Silver City Highway is a good bitumen road with a pretty desolate view of rocky plains and in some places sand hills all the way to Packsaddle Roadhouse. It took us a couple of hours or so to get to the Packsaddle Roadhouse and then the road changed to dirt. We pulled over to lower tyre pressures and a nice old bloke pulled over to check that we were ok and warned us off the upcoming road conditions. He mentioned corrugations and lots of bulldust holes and sandy stretches. Was nice of him to stop and give us an update. To be honest though the road wasn’t too bad. There were some stretches of absolute garbage but for the most it was ok.

There were also quite a few stretches that had been sealed fairly recently. I am guessing the sealed bits were where they were having troubles maintaining the dirt to a decent standard. Later on as we got closer to Tibooburra roos and emus by the side of the road kept us on the lookout, there was a LOT of roadkill lying about.

Packsaddle Roadhouse

Packsaddle Roadhouse

Tibooburra Caravan Park

We checked in to the Tibooburra van park for a few nights. More of a bush camp than a proper van park but the showers were nice and clean and after roughing it in the outside shower tent with minimal water a nice hot shower was very welcome plus we needed to catch up on a few loads of washing. While unhooking the van I noticed that we had lost or Anderson plug from the van on the road. It had fallen out and been dragging. I had a spare so it was no big problem. We’d been having a few problems keeping the fridge cool so I had run the van with the fridge switched to DC and it must have cut over to the battery after the plug fell out so the battery was down to 12v. We spent the evening around the fire talking to some people from Newcastle.

Tibooburra Caravan Park Supreme Getaway

Tibooburra Caravan Park Supreme Getaway