Meet the Pykes

What motivated the Pyke’s to uproot their life and travel Australia –
Tom, Mikaela, Kane and Lucas.

Tom Pyke and I are high school sweethearts, we began dating at sixteen and within a month of completing our Year 12 VCE studies, we found out that we were expecting TWINS.

Every other 18 year old that we knew was out partying and we were totally sleep deprived for other reasons. Tom began studying his teaching degree and I completed my Diploma of Nursing. During this stage, we both had two jobs because we wanted to provide our boys with everything they needed.

We got married, bought a house and went on our first family holiday where we stayed at the Big 4 Caravan Park in Bateman’s Bay. We were speaking with an older couple about their travels as they’d be caravanning around Australia for many years. Later that evening, we sat down and thought “Why can’t we do that?”

After starting our family at only 18, we were relying on the fact that we would live out our dream to travel when we were retired. But we began pondering the thought; What if one of us never got there? What if one of us took a turn for ill health? We have since heard too many sad stories of couples purchasing caravans and setting themselves up for the trip, only for one of them to end up too unwell.

There is no better moment than the present one so within a few days of returning from our holiday, our house was on the market and a few months later, the house was sold and we were shopping around for caravans. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision to leave our families, friends and everything we had ever known but we knew it would be worthwhile. We have gained so much more than we ever expected from this experience.

Everyone believes having kids young restricts you from travel. Little did we know how much Kane and Lucas would become our biggest motivators for chasing our dreams.

Our motto is… Travel while you’re young and healthy!

Western Australia’s best 4WD accessible beaches

Western Australia has some of the best beaches in the world. Many of them are accessible by 4WD, and even the busier beaches are much less packed than the alternatives on the Eastern coast of Australia.

I’ve had the privilege of exploring plenty of them, from the cold waters of the south east right around to the balmy northern beaches at the top of WA. If there’s one thing you should be doing with your 4WD, its exploring more of our coastline!

With that in mind, here are some of the best 4WD accessible beaches in Western Australia.

Thomas River

Esperance is well known for its incredible beaches. Whether you head east or west, you will find some amazing places to explore in your 4WD. Thomas River is East, and accessible fairly easily by gravel roads. There’s two campsites, several beaches to explore with the main one being nearly 30km long. If you are keen on more information, check out the post I wrote on it; Thomas River in Esperance.

set-up-at-thomas-riverbeautiful-thomas-riverthomas-river-fishingthomas-river-seals

Duke of Orleans

A little closer to Esperance lies Duke of Orleans, which is a pretty unique little place. It’s a Caravan Park (you can’t camp outside of this), but almost like a little sleepy town. There are some permanent residents who live in the Caravan park, but its small enough that quad bikes are still ridden (carefully) on the road.

There’s more bays and beaches to explore here in a 4WD than you can poke a stick at, with some truly epic views. Here’s the full post; Duke of Orleans Caravan Park in Esperance.

4wding-at-duke-of-orleansduke-of-orleans-sunsetsunset-at-duke-of-orleans

Bremer Bay

Last year was the first time I’d been to Bremer Bay, and I can’t believe I didn’t make it a priority sooner. The beaches are just as beautiful as Esperance, with an incredibly big area to explore by 4WD. There’s plenty of inland tracks, more than a handful of beaches to drive along with some dunes and even mud in the winter. These photos were taken on the eastern side of Bremer, but the west has just as many beautiful beaches! If you are keen to see more of Bremer Bay, check out the last post; Bremer Bay in the 4WD over Christmas.

bremer-bay-beachbremer-baydoubtful-beach-bremer

Yeagarup

If you are looking for the ultimate 4WD adventure, Pemberton is the place to go, and then head to the coast. Yeagarup has some of the biggest dunes in the southern hemisphere, along with a massive beach and several water crossings. If you are game, give Calcup Hill a crack; probably the biggest sand dune you can drive up in Western Australia.

Feel free to read more about it here – Yeagarup 4WDing and Camping

climbing-calcup-hillheading-to-yeagarup-beachyeagarup-beach

Margaret River

It wasn’t that long ago that we stumbled on some fun 4WD tracks around Margaret River. It’s a beautiful place, but knowing that you can take your 4WD and find a beach to yourself just makes it all the better. There’s 4WD tracks through the forest, coastal tracks and plenty of beach driving. If you want to know more, here’s the link; Margaret River 4WD Tracks.

4wd-track-at-margaret-riverhamelin-bay-beachmargaret-river-4wd-tracksstuck-on-hamelin-bay-beach

Two Rocks

In terms of 4WD Tracks near Perth, Two Rocks is the closest beach driving for many people. You need to access it through Wilbinga these days, but its got plenty of beach to explore and enjoy.

two-rocks-flat-rockstwo-rocks

Lancelin to Wedge Island

Roughly 2 hours drive north of Perth lies Lancelin, a quiet little coastal town that attracts a huge number of 4WDers to its sand dunes and beaches. In the past, the only way to get to Wedge Island was with a 4WD, and along the beach or by taking the inland track. A while back, someone decided it’d be a great idea to run bitumen in from the Indian Ocean Drive. The drive from the Lancelin off road area to Wedge Island is still popular, and despite being very chopped out and soft on regular occasions, its a lot of fun!

lancelin-to-wedge-islandon-the-way-to-wedge-islandwedge-island

Carrarang Station

Carrarang Station is one of our most recent stays, with our own private beach. There’s heaps of 4WD tracks around the property, with plenty of beaches to explore. It’s located on the next peninsula across from Denham, roughly 850km north of Perth. Here’s the full post; Carrarang Station.

carrarang-station-camp-setupcarrarang-station-campingcarrarang-stationsunrise-at-carrarang-station

Steep Point

Well, what can I say? The Western most point of WA lies Steep Point, a place that I’ll remember for a long time. I expected it to be big cliffs, set up only for those into hard core fishing, and boy was I totally wrong. The beaches in the Steep Point area rival some of the best I’ve seen. The water is warm, crystal clear and absolutely magic. We only managed one day at Steep Point, but enjoyed it so much we are planning another trip there next year.

Steep Point is about 900km north of Perth, and can be driven in about 12 to 13 hours. The track in starts off as bitumen, then turns to gravel and eventually ends up as a soft, sandy track through the scrub.

Stopped at False Entrance

Steep Point beaches

false-entrance-by-4wd

Cable Beach in Broome

There’s something magical about Cable Beach. In a big town, you can drive down past the fancy restaurants, and straight onto an amazing beach in your 4WD. The sunsets are phenominal, and nothing beats sitting there on the back of your 4WD whilst tucking into some local fish and chips!

You can drive along Cable beach for miles; you can guarantee your own slice of paradise with a 4WD.

In 2015, we spent 5 weeks in the Kimberley, having driven up from Perth. It was the best 4WD trip we’ve ever done, and can’t wait to get back there. Keen to know more about where we went, what we spent, our itinerary etc? Here’s the post; 5 weeks in the Kimberley with a 4WD.

Driving onto Cable Beach

cable-beach-broome

Cape Leveque and Hunter Creek

Even further north than Broome lies Cape Leveque. We spent a few nights at Kooljaman, which was absolutely stunning. They have a beach you are able to access with your 4WD, and on the Brian Lee tagalong Tour we were taken to Hunter Creek for the afternoon. Absolutely amazing.

cape-leveque-beach-4wdcape-leveque-beachhunter-creek-by-4wd

7 Fantastic Camp Sites near Perth

There’s nothing better than throwing the camping gear in your car and getting away from the city for a couple of days. There are so many amazing places to camp at, and you don’t have to travel for hours on end to get to them. Here are 7 fantastic camp sites near Perth, where you can literally pack on a Friday afternoon, head away and still get a great weekend in.

Walyunga

Walyunga National Park is probably the closest place to Perth where you are allowed to camp in the bush. Located just one hour north east of Perth, it’s a fantastic spot to check out. I’ve often described this place as a cross between Dwellingup and Serpentine. It has the beautiful Avon river flowing through the National park, a myriad of walking trails, BBQ and picnic facilities and most importantly, a place for you to camp!

You need to book the camp sites, which you can do by ringing 9290 6100 and speaking to a ranger. The camp sites are located a few minutes drive away from the main picnic and river side area, but are in a nice cleared section of bush.

As it is a National Park, day passes apply (unless you have an annual pass). It’s $12 per vehicle. You can find out more about these here. The Camp fee’s are the usual $7.50 per night.

The wildflowers are spectacular here in season, and with plenty of tracks to walk on you’ll see heaps of them. If you want to know more about the national park, you can read the full post here: Walyunga National Park.

walyunga-national-park-camping
Easy access, with fire rings available
avon-river-at-walyunga
Walking along the Avon River
picnic-facilities-at-walyunga
Enjoy a picnic overlooking the river
walyunga-national-park-bbq
BBQ Facilities available
wildflowers-at-perth-national-park
Lots of wildflowers around in season

Lane Poole Reserve

An hour and a half south of Perth lies Lane Poole Reserve, just out of Dwellingup. We’ve been going to Lane Poole Reserve every year for a long time now, and always love it. There are 10 different camp sites which vary from huge open areas to more private sites that only house two sets of campers.

The beautiful Murray River runs right through the reserve, and is fantastic for swimming, canoeing, white water rafting and fishing.

Fires are permitted when the fire danger is low, and it is a brilliant spot to enjoy a good fire on a cold evening. It does get very cold in the middle of winter, so take your warm gear!

There are plenty of 4WD and mountain bike tracks in the area too.

Again, National Park and camping fee’s apply. The entry fee is $12 per vehicle, unless you have a National Park pass. Camping fee’s range from $7.50 per night to $10, depending on where you stay.

You can read the full post here; Dwellingup. If you want to book a camp site, you can do so here.

dwellingup-murray-river
Fishing in a beautiful part of the Murray River

murray-river-fog-at-dwellingup

Watching the fog come in on a cold winters morning

lane-poole-reserve-camping

One of the huge open camp sites on a busy weekend

dwellingup-water-slide

Enjoying the little rock slides

dwellingup-beauty

What a magic place

camp-fire-at-dwellingup

A good camp fire on a freezing night

105-series-at-dwellingup

Plenty of 4WD tracks around the place

Waroona Dam

Lake Navarino, or Waroona Dam, has long been a popular place to camp. You can stay at the Holiday park, or take the bush camping option (which we do every time!) and stay nearer the dam itself. Both are booked through Lake Navarino Holiday Park.

Waroona Dam is pretty big, and is well known for skiing and fresh water fishing. There’s also fantastic 4WD tracks around the Dam and plenty of places to relax and soak up the scenery.

Fires are permitted in season, and the camping fees range from $12 to $17 per person per night, depending on where you camp, if its peak season and if you need power or not.

camping-at-waroona

Camping within 50 metres of the Dam

waroona-dam-skiing

Plenty of room for water skiing and tubing

waroona-moon-rise

When the wind dies off its a magic place

waroona-dam-4wd-tracks

Exploring some of the 4WD tracks around the Dam

waroona-dam-sunset

Sunset over the orange gravel is spectacular

Belvidere

If coastal camping is more your thing, Belvidere is a great little spot we found a few years back. The actual camp site is a few minutes drive back from the beach, tucked in between Leschenault Inlet and Belvidere Beach. At only an hour and 40 minutes away from Perth, its easily doable on a Friday afternoon.

The beach here is soft, and you will need a 4WD to drive along it. It’s substantially quieter than Preston and Myalup Beach, but the fishing is just as good.

It’s a DPAW camp site, and the fee’s are $7.50 per person per night. There is also provision for camper trailer and caravan’s here, and the firewood is usually provided.

If you want to read the full post, you can find it here; Camping at Belvidere.

oztents-at-belvidere

Set up with the Oztents at Belvidere

belvidere-camp-sites

Your typical camp site at Belvidere

belvidere-fishing

Belvidere Beach; fishing for salmon

salmon-fishing-at-belvidere

Lots of opportunity for good fish

salmon-at-belvidere

We landed several nice salmon

Honeymoon Pool

If you’ve ever seen the Collie River, you’d know its a beautiful spot to stop and soak up the scenery. Honeymoon Pool is a DPAW camp site located right along the bank of the river, and is 2WD and 4WD accessible. It’s just 2 hours south of Perth, and is a stunning part of the world.

The Lennard 4WD track is well worth the drive, but be aware that it does get closed once the rain hits, to avoid substantial damage to the track.

lennard-4wd-track-collie-river

Collie River just off the Lennard 4WD Track

honeymoon-pool-camping

Amazing walks along the Collie River

Honeymoon Pool camping

You can swim, but it gets cold!

Martins Tank

An hour and a half south of Perth, 10 minutes drive from the coast lies Martins Tank. It’s another DPAW camp site, set amongst the peppermint trees.

This was done up in 2013, and caters for tents, caravans and camper trailers. Camp fires are permitted in season, and fees are $10 per person per night.

This camp site must be booked online in advance, which you can do here.

southern-beaches

Enjoying our own little slice of the beach

martins-tank-camping

Martins Tank Camp sites

camping-at-martins-tank

Enough shade and the usual facilities

Wellington Dam

The last, but certainly not least camp site near Perth is Wellington Dam. At just over 2 hours south of Perth its a great drive to an even better location. Potters Gorge is the formal DPAW camp site, which has recently been refurbished and caters for a number of campers. This site however, gets extremely busy very quickly.

If you have a 4WD, there are plenty of other camp sites around the dam if you are prepared to do a bit of driving. Even on a popular long weekend, we had no issues finding a handful of good campsites along the banks of Wellington Dam, and ended up camping in a beautiful location.

wellington-dam-camping

Could you ask for a better spot?

wellington-dam-4wd-tracks

We’ve had plenty of fun enjoying the 4WD tracks

sunset-at-wellington-dam

Sunset over the dam; what a way to end the day

camping-at-wellington-dam

Huge tree’s rustling in the breeze

Look after these places

It is a huge privilege being able to access these amazing camp sites. Don’t wreck them for everyone else; take your rubbish home, go to the toilets responsibly, have a fire with some common sense (when allowed) and don’t be a muppet.

The best geek prank collection can be found at GeekPrank.com. Play with the Windows simulator, the fake upgrade screens, the fake disk formatter and other pranks.

7 of the best low cost camp sites in Western Australia

There’s nothing better than throwing the camping gear in your car and getting away from the city for a couple of days. There are so many amazing places to camp at, and you don’t have to travel for hours on end to get to them. Here are 7 fantastic camp sites near Perth, where you can literally pack on a Friday afternoon, head away and still get a great weekend in.

Walyunga

Walyunga National Park is probably the closest place to Perth where you are allowed to camp in the bush. Located just one hour northeast of Perth, it’s a fantastic spot to check out. I’ve often described this place as a cross between Dwellingup and Serpentine. It has the beautiful Avon river flowing through the National park, a myriad of walking trails, BBQ and picnic facilities and most importantly, a place for you to camp!

You need to book the campsites, which you can do by ringing 9290 6100 and speaking to a ranger. The camp sites are located a few minutes drive away from the main picnic and riverside area, but are in a nice cleared section of bush.

As it is a National Park, day passes apply (unless you have an annual pass). It’s $12 per vehicle. You can find out more about these here. The Camp fees are the usual $7.50 per night.

The wildflowers are spectacular here in season, and with plenty of tracks to walk on you’ll see heaps of them. If you want to know more about the national park, you can read the full post here: Walyunga National Park.

walyunga-national-park-camping

Easy access, with fire rings available.

avon-river-at-walyunga

Walking along the Avon River.

picnic-facilities-at-walyunga

Enjoy a picnic overlooking the river.

walyunga-national-park-bbq

BBQ Facilities available.

wildflowers-at-perth-national-park

Lots of wildflowers around in season.

Lane Poole Reserve

An hour and a half south of Perth lies Lane Poole Reserve, just out of Dwellingup. We’ve been going to Lane Poole Reserve every year for a long time now, and always love it. There are 10 different camp sites which vary from huge open areas to more private sites that only house two sets of campers.

The beautiful Murray River runs right through the reserve and is fantastic for swimming, canoeing, white water rafting and fishing.

Fires are permitted when the fire danger is low, and it is a brilliant spot to enjoy a good fire on a cold evening. It does get very cold in the middle of winter, so take your warm gear!

There are plenty of 4WD and mountain bike tracks in the area too.

Again, National Park and camping fees apply. The entry fee is $12 per vehicle unless you have a National Park pass. Camping fee’s range from $7.50 per night to $10, depending on where you stay.

You can read the full post here; Dwellingup. If you want to book a camp site, you can do so here.

dwellingup-murray-river

Fishing in a beautiful part of the Murray River.

murray-river-fog-at-dwellingup

Watching the fog come in on a cold winters morning.

lane-poole-reserve-camping

One of the huge open campsites on a busy weekend.

dwellingup-water-slide

Enjoying the little rock slides.

dwellingup-beauty

What a magic place.

camp-fire-at-dwellingup

A good camp fire on a freezing night.

105-series-at-dwellingup

Plenty of 4WD tracks around the place.

Waroona Dam

Lake Navarino, or Waroona Dam, has long been a popular place to camp. You can stay at the Holiday park, or take the bush camping option (which we do every time!) and stay nearer the dam itself. Both are booked through Lake Navarino Holiday Park.

Waroona Dam is pretty big and is well known for skiing and fresh water fishing. There’s also fantastic 4WD tracks around the Dam and plenty of places to relax and soak up the scenery.

Fires are permitted in season, and the camping fees range from $12 to $17 per person per night, depending on where you camp, if its peak season and if you need power or not.

camping-at-waroona

Camping within 50 metres of the Dam.

waroona-dam-skiing

Plenty of room for water skiing and tubing.

waroona-moon-rise

When the wind dies off its a magic place.

waroona-dam-4wd-tracks

Exploring some of the 4WD tracks around the dam.

waroona-dam-sunset

Sunset over the orange gravel is spectacular.

Belvidere

If coastal camping is more your thing, Belvidere is a great little spot we found a few years back. The actual campsite is a few minutes drive back from the beach, tucked in between Leschenault Inlet and Belvidere Beach. At only an hour and 40 minutes away from Perth, it’s easily doable on a Friday afternoon.

The beach here is soft, and you will need a 4WD to drive along it. It’s substantially quieter than Preston and Myalup Beach, but the fishing is just as good.

It’s a DPAW camp site, and the fees are $7.50 per person per night. There is also provision for camper trailer and caravan’s here, and the firewood is usually provided.

If you want to read the full post, you can find it here; Camping at Belvidere.

oztents-at-belvidere

Set up with the Oztents at Belvidere.

belvidere-camp-sites

Your typical camp site at Belvidere.

belvidere-fishing

Belvidere Beach; fishing for salmon.

salmon-fishing-at-belvidere

Lots of opportunity for good fish.

salmon-at-belvidere

We landed several nice salmon.

Honeymoon Pool

If you’ve ever seen the Collie River, you’d know it’s a beautiful spot to stop and soak up the scenery. Honeymoon Pool is a DPAW campsite located right on the bank of the river and is 2WD and 4WD accessible. It’s just 2 hours south of Perth and is a stunning part of the world.

The Lennard 4WD track is well worth the drive, but be aware that it does get closed once the rain hits, to avoid substantial damage to the track.

lennard-4wd-track-collie-river

Collie River just off the Lennard 4WD Track.

honeymoon-pool-camping

Amazing walks along the Collie River.

Honeymoon Pool camping

You can swim, but it gets cold!

Martins Tank

An hour and a half south of Perth, 10 minutes drive from the coast lies Martins Tank. It’s another DPAW camp site, set amongst the peppermint trees.

This was done up in 2013 and caters for tents, caravans and camper trailers. Campfires are permitted in season, and fees are $10 per person per night.

This campsite must be booked online in advance, which you can do here.

southern-beaches

Enjoying our own little slice of the beach.

martins-tank-camping

Martins Tank Camp sites.

camping-at-martins-tank

Enough shade and the usual facilities.

Wellington Dam

The last, but certainly not least camp site near Perth is Wellington Dam. At just over 2 hours south of Perth its a great drive to an even better location. Potters Gorge is the formal DPAW campsite, which has recently been refurbished and caters for a number of campers. This site, however, gets extremely busy very quickly.

If you have a 4WD, there are plenty of other campsites around the dam if you are prepared to do a bit of driving. Even on a popular long weekend, we had no issues finding a handful of good campsites along the banks of Wellington Dam and ended up camping in a beautiful location.

wellington-dam-camping

Could you ask for a better spot?

wellington-dam-4wd-tracks

We’ve had plenty of fun enjoying the 4WD tracks.

sunset-at-wellington-dam

Sunset over the dam; what a way to end the day.

camping-at-wellington-dam

Huge tree’s rustling in the breeze.

Look after these places

It is a huge privilege being able to access these amazing camp sites. Don’t wreck them for everyone else; take your rubbish home, go to the toilets responsibly, have a fire with some common sense (when allowed) and don’t be a muppet.

7 of the best free camps in Western Australia

There’s nothing better than throwing the camping gear in your car and getting away from the city for a couple of days. There are so many amazing places to camp at, and you don’t have to travel for hours on end to get to them. Here are 7 fantastic camp sites near Perth, where you can literally pack on a Friday afternoon, head away and still get a great weekend in.

1. Walyunga

Walyunga National Park is probably the closest place to Perth where you are allowed to camp in the bush. Located just one hour northeast of Perth, it’s a fantastic spot to check out. I’ve often described this place as a cross between Dwellingup and Serpentine. It has the beautiful Avon river flowing through the National park, a myriad of walking trails, BBQ and picnic facilities and most importantly, a place for you to camp!

You need to book the campsites, which you can do by ringing 9290 6100 and speaking to a ranger. The camp sites are located a few minutes drive away from the main picnic and riverside area, but are in a nice cleared section of bush.

As it is a National Park, day passes apply (unless you have an annual pass). It’s $12 per vehicle. You can find out more about these here. The Camp fees are the usual $7.50 per night.

The wildflowers are spectacular here in season, and with plenty of tracks to walk on you’ll see heaps of them. If you want to know more about the national park, you can read the full post here: Walyunga National Park.

walyunga-national-park-camping

Easy access, with fire rings available.

avon-river-at-walyunga

Walking along the Avon River.

picnic-facilities-at-walyunga

Enjoy a picnic overlooking the river.

walyunga-national-park-bbq

BBQ Facilities available.

wildflowers-at-perth-national-park

Lots of wildflowers around in season.

2. Lane Poole Reserve

An hour and a half south of Perth lies Lane Poole Reserve, just out of Dwellingup. We’ve been going to Lane Poole Reserve every year for a long time now, and always love it. There are 10 different camp sites which vary from huge open areas to more private sites that only house two sets of campers.

The beautiful Murray River runs right through the reserve and is fantastic for swimming, canoeing, white water rafting and fishing.

Fires are permitted when the fire danger is low, and it is a brilliant spot to enjoy a good fire on a cold evening. It does get very cold in the middle of winter, so take your warm gear!

There are plenty of 4WD and mountain bike tracks in the area too.

Again, National Park and camping fee apply. The entry fee is $12 per vehicle unless you have a National Park pass. Camping fee’s range from $7.50 per night to $10, depending on where you stay.

You can read the full post here; Dwellingup. If you want to book a camp site, you can do so here.

dwellingup-murray-river

Fishing in a beautiful part of the Murray River.

murray-river-fog-at-dwellingup

Watching the fog come in on a cold winters morning.

lane-poole-reserve-camping

One of the huge open campsites on a busy weekend.

dwellingup-water-slide

Enjoying the little rock slides.

dwellingup-beauty

What a magic place.

camp-fire-at-dwellingup

A good campfire on a freezing night.

105-series-at-dwellingup

Plenty of 4WD tracks around the place.

3. Waroona Dam

Lake Navarino, or Waroona Dam, has long been a popular place to camp. You can stay at the Holiday park, or take the bush camping option (which we do every time!) and stay nearer the dam itself. Both are booked through Lake Navarino Holiday Park.

Waroona Dam is pretty big, and is well known for skiing and fresh water fishing. There’s also fantastic 4WD tracks around the Dam and plenty of places to relax and soak up the scenery.

Fires are permitted in season, and the camping fees range from $12 to $17 per person per night, depending on where you camp, if its peak season and if you need power or not.

camping-at-waroona

Camping within 50 metres of the Dam.

waroona-dam-skiing

Plenty of room for water skiing and tubing.

waroona-moon-rise

When the wind dies off its a magic place.

waroona-dam-4wd-tracks

Exploring some of the 4WD tracks around the Dam.

waroona-dam-sunset

Sunset over the orange gravel is spectacular.

4. Belvidere

If coastal camping is more your thing, Belvidere is a great little spot we found a few years back. The actual campsite is a few minutes drive back from the beach, tucked in between Leschenault Inlet and Belvidere Beach. At only an hour and 40 minutes away from Perth, it’s easily doable on a Friday afternoon.

The beach here is soft, and you will need a 4WD to drive along it. It’s substantially quieter than Preston and Myalup Beach, but the fishing is just as good.

It’s a DPAW camp site, and the fees are $7.50 per person per night. There is also provision for camper trailer and caravan’s here, and the firewood is usually provided.

If you want to read the full post, you can find it here; Camping at Belvidere.

oztents-at-belvidere

Set up with the Oztents at Belvidere.

belvidere-camp-sites

Your typical camp site at Belvidere.

belvidere-fishing

Belvidere Beach; fishing for salmon.

salmon-fishing-at-belvidere

Lots of opportunity for good fish.

salmon-at-belvidere

We landed several nice salmon.

5. Honeymoon Pool

If you’ve ever seen the Collie River, you’d know it’s a beautiful spot to stop and soak up the scenery. Honeymoon Pool is a DPAW campsite located right on the bank of the river and is 2WD and 4WD accessible. It’s just 2 hours south of Perth and is a stunning part of the world.

The Lennard 4WD track is well worth the drive, but be aware that it does get closed once the rain hits, to avoid substantial damage to the track.

lennard-4wd-track-collie-river

Collie River just off the Lennard 4WD Track

honeymoon-pool-camping

Amazing walks along the Collie River

Honeymoon Pool camping

You can swim, but it gets cold!

6. Martins Tank

An hour and a half south of Perth, 10 minutes drive from the coast lies Martins Tank. It’s another DPAW camp site, set amongst the peppermint trees.

This was done up in 2013 and caters for tents, caravans and camper trailers. Campfires are permitted in season, and fees are $10 per person per night.

This campsite must be booked online in advance, which you can do here.

southern-beaches

Enjoying our own little slice of the beach.

martins-tank-camping

Martins Tank Campsites.

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Enough shade and the usual facilities.

7. Wellington Dam

The last, but certainly not least camp site near Perth is Wellington Dam. At just over 2 hours south of Perth its a great drive to an even better location. Potters Gorge is the formal DPAW campsite, which has recently been refurbished and caters for a number of campers. This site, however, gets extremely busy very quickly.

If you have a 4WD, there are plenty of other campsites around the dam if you are prepared to do a bit of driving. Even on a popular long weekend, we had no issues finding a handful of good campsites along the banks of Wellington Dam and ended up camping in a beautiful location.

wellington-dam-camping

Could you ask for a better spot?

wellington-dam-4wd-tracks

We’ve had plenty of fun enjoying the 4WD tracks.

sunset-at-wellington-dam

Sunset over the dam; what a way to end the day.

camping-at-wellington-dam

Huge tree’s rustling in the breeze.

Look after these places

It is a huge privilege being able to access these amazing camp sites. Don’t wreck them for everyone else; take your rubbish home, go to the toilets responsibly, have a fire with some common sense (when allowed) and don’t be a muppet.

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7 of the best free camps in Western Australia. Number 3 has amazing views!

There’s nothing better than throwing the camping gear in your car and getting away from the city for a couple of days. There are so many amazing places to camp at, and you don’t have to travel for hours on end to get to them. Here are 7 fantastic camp sites near Perth, where you can literally pack on a Friday afternoon, head away and still get a great weekend in.

1. Walyunga

Walyunga National Park is probably the closest place to Perth where you are allowed to camp in the bush. Located just one hour northeast of Perth, it’s a fantastic spot to check out. I’ve often described this place as a cross between Dwellingup and Serpentine. It has the beautiful Avon river flowing through the National park, a myriad of walking trails, BBQ and picnic facilities and most importantly, a place for you to camp!

You need to book the campsites, which you can do by ringing 9290 6100 and speaking to a ranger. The camp sites are located a few minutes drive away from the main picnic and riverside area, but are in a nice cleared section of bush.

As it is a National Park, day passes apply (unless you have an annual pass). It’s $12 per vehicle. You can find out more about these here. The Camp fees are the usual $7.50 per night.

The wildflowers are spectacular here in season, and with plenty of tracks to walk on you’ll see heaps of them. If you want to know more about the national park, you can read the full post here: Walyunga National Park.

walyunga-national-park-camping

Easy access, with fire rings available.

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Walking along the Avon River.

picnic-facilities-at-walyunga

Enjoy a picnic overlooking the river.

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BBQ Facilities available.

wildflowers-at-perth-national-park

Lots of wildflowers around in season.

2. Lane Poole Reserve

An hour and a half south of Perth lies Lane Poole Reserve, just out of Dwellingup. We’ve been going to Lane Poole Reserve every year for a long time now, and always love it. There are 10 different camp sites which vary from huge open areas to more private sites that only house two sets of campers.

The beautiful Murray River runs right through the reserve and is fantastic for swimming, canoeing, white water rafting and fishing.

Fires are permitted when the fire danger is low, and it is a brilliant spot to enjoy a good fire on a cold evening. It does get very cold in the middle of winter, so take your warm gear!

There are plenty of 4WD and mountain bike tracks in the area too.

Again, National Park and camping fee apply. The entry fee is $12 per vehicle unless you have a National Park pass. Camping fee’s range from $7.50 per night to $10, depending on where you stay.

You can read the full post here; Dwellingup. If you want to book a camp site, you can do so here.

dwellingup-murray-river

Fishing in a beautiful part of the Murray River.

murray-river-fog-at-dwellingup

Watching the fog come in on a cold winters morning.

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One of the huge open campsites on a busy weekend.

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Enjoying the little rock slides.

dwellingup-beauty

What a magic place.

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A good campfire on a freezing night.

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Plenty of 4WD tracks around the place.

3. Waroona Dam

Lake Navarino, or Waroona Dam, has long been a popular place to camp. You can stay at the Holiday park, or take the bush camping option (which we do every time!) and stay nearer the dam itself. Both are booked through Lake Navarino Holiday Park.

Waroona Dam is pretty big, and is well known for skiing and fresh water fishing. There’s also fantastic 4WD tracks around the Dam and plenty of places to relax and soak up the scenery.

Fires are permitted in season, and the camping fees range from $12 to $17 per person per night, depending on where you camp, if its peak season and if you need power or not.

camping-at-waroona

Camping within 50 metres of the Dam.

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Plenty of room for water skiing and tubing.

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When the wind dies off its a magic place.

waroona-dam-4wd-tracks

Exploring some of the 4WD tracks around the Dam.

waroona-dam-sunset

Sunset over the orange gravel is spectacular.

4. Belvidere

If coastal camping is more your thing, Belvidere is a great little spot we found a few years back. The actual campsite is a few minutes drive back from the beach, tucked in between Leschenault Inlet and Belvidere Beach. At only an hour and 40 minutes away from Perth, it’s easily doable on a Friday afternoon.

The beach here is soft, and you will need a 4WD to drive along it. It’s substantially quieter than Preston and Myalup Beach, but the fishing is just as good.

It’s a DPAW camp site, and the fees are $7.50 per person per night. There is also provision for camper trailer and caravan’s here, and the firewood is usually provided.

If you want to read the full post, you can find it here; Camping at Belvidere.

oztents-at-belvidere

Set up with the Oztents at Belvidere.

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Your typical camp site at Belvidere.

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Belvidere Beach; fishing for salmon.

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Lots of opportunity for good fish.

salmon-at-belvidere

We landed several nice salmon.

5. Honeymoon Pool

If you’ve ever seen the Collie River, you’d know it’s a beautiful spot to stop and soak up the scenery. Honeymoon Pool is a DPAW campsite located right on the bank of the river and is 2WD and 4WD accessible. It’s just 2 hours south of Perth and is a stunning part of the world.

The Lennard 4WD track is well worth the drive, but be aware that it does get closed once the rain hits, to avoid substantial damage to the track.

lennard-4wd-track-collie-river

Collie River just off the Lennard 4WD Track

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Amazing walks along the Collie River

Honeymoon Pool camping

You can swim, but it gets cold!

6. Martins Tank

An hour and a half south of Perth, 10 minutes drive from the coast lies Martins Tank. It’s another DPAW camp site, set amongst the peppermint trees.

This was done up in 2013 and caters for tents, caravans and camper trailers. Campfires are permitted in season, and fees are $10 per person per night.

This campsite must be booked online in advance, which you can do here.

southern-beaches

Enjoying our own little slice of the beach.

martins-tank-camping

Martins Tank Campsites.

camping-at-martins-tank

Enough shade and the usual facilities.

7. Wellington Dam

The last, but certainly not least camp site near Perth is Wellington Dam. At just over 2 hours south of Perth its a great drive to an even better location. Potters Gorge is the formal DPAW campsite, which has recently been refurbished and caters for a number of campers. This site, however, gets extremely busy very quickly.

If you have a 4WD, there are plenty of other campsites around the dam if you are prepared to do a bit of driving. Even on a popular long weekend, we had no issues finding a handful of good campsites along the banks of Wellington Dam and ended up camping in a beautiful location.

wellington-dam-camping

Could you ask for a better spot?

wellington-dam-4wd-tracks

We’ve had plenty of fun enjoying the 4WD tracks.

sunset-at-wellington-dam

Sunset over the dam; what a way to end the day.

camping-at-wellington-dam

Huge tree’s rustling in the breeze.

Look after these places

It is a huge privilege being able to access these amazing camp sites. Don’t wreck them for everyone else; take your rubbish home, go to the toilets responsibly, have a fire with some common sense (when allowed) and don’t be a muppet.

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Are you being a responsible 4WD owner?

Jed Currey, owner of Explore WA 4WD Adventures has had a gut full of people giving 4WD owners a bad name, and has something to say about it:

Responsibility. It’s a rather commonplace term that we are charged with each & every day as we go about our busy lives. As 4WDers we all share responsibility – That may be driving down to the local shops, out on your local tracks or a once of a lifetime adventure somewhere in this great wide land of ours.

But responsibility is what is damaging our brand, our chosen way of life & ultimately our chances of continuing this lifestyle we have grown to love so much. In fact, everywhere you look, people are replacing responsibility for stupidity, they are replacing it for poor attitudes, they are replacing it for a gung-ho self-interested mentality with little regard for how their own lack of responsibility is tarnishing the overall perception of 4WDer’s across the country as responsible members of the community.

You don’t have to look far to see people doing the wrong thing. Accessing off limit areas, driving recklessly, and gallivanting their proud achievements across social media for the broader community to see. News flash… THIS DOES DAMAGE ALL 4WD’ERS. This is a serious disadvantage to the overwhelming majority of people who own 4WD’s & do the right thing.

Explore WA Adventures

Don’t put our way of life at risk

As the world works, we know, we are always judged on our most publicised and prominent performances. More often than not these same people making poor decisions, sporting horrible attitudes & a complete lack of responsibility is the first thing the wider community will get to see, with the likes of Facebook & other social media platforms being so accessible these days littered with blatant evidence of the minority conducting themselves inappropriately.

We are being judged by everyone from mum & dad’s, local government, land management bodies & those in political circles only ever get to see the negative side to our favoured past time. It’s actually overwhelming. Yet is this an overwhelming representation of our community as a whole? – No. But it sure is the bloody loudest in the eyes of the very people who are in a position to lock us out.

Next time you head out, just remember what you do affects the whole 4WD community. Take responsibility for yourself, your mates & the wider 4WD community by showing we are a responsible bunch and educate those who do the wrong thing – Let them know it’s not on! If that means you have to drive a bit further to get to a legally accessible 4WD track, or you hold off rolling coal doing circle work at your local track then so be it.

Your actions directly implicate me & the wider community, & it’s about time we stamp out this bastardry from our own ranks. Report and detail offences to relevant local authorities, pull up and tell them to pull their head in & if need be gather as much information as you can to be submitted to the police.

These people will soon get the message, so long as the responsible folk like you and me have a voice.
We need to stick together for the future of the best past time in the world!

Have fun,

Jed Currey
Explore WA 4WD Adventures

 

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Why Free Camping is Better

We’ve been free camping for about 6 years now – all round Oz! It started as a stop gap when travelling huge distances in Western Australia and we didn’t have the energy to continue to drive to the next caravan park. We saw a bunch of RVs and thought we found a Caravan Park that wasn’t on our book.

From this we discovered many benefits of free camping.

It’s free:
Oh duh! That’s why it is called free camping. Personally I like the term “freedom camping” even better! What a great way to offset the cost of travelling especially these huge distances within Australia.

It’s friendly:
Especially if you have rocked up to a popular site, you’re instantly welcomed into the grey nomad set. Popularity is governed generally by the natural beauty of the spot, the ease of parking, accessibility to a nearby town or tourist attraction and/or a toilet. Once in a while you will strike one with free showers and/or maybe even power too! These rare gems are treasured and word gets out and about. So make sure to get there early for a good spot! Pay If there is a donation box there, please make the donation so that there is a good chance these places are still there for others to enjoy. (By the way, to these providers I say a hearty thank you!)
You might even get lucky with an impromptu music sing along

No booking required:
It is great for those that don’t plan their journey too rigourously. You can just pull up when you are ready. No need to stick to an agenda, so if you like a place, you can stay and investigate (within site regulations) and if you don’t like it then you can move on quickly! Another reason why I prefer the term “freedom camping”.
Just rock up when you are ready to stop

It’s easy going:
Most grey nomads are a friendly easy going lot. Who can you complain to if the long drop is rather stinky or the ground is not level. You don’t have to use it or stay there! Frequently there is someone who has started a fire (when allowed) and there’s likely to be a happy hour going somewhere from anytime esp around 4-6pm which are generally open to all comers with smile, or start up your own! Even if you want your own company, you can have that too, just park on the fringes.

Mates around a campfire

Security is what you make it:
This is the toughest part of free camping. Generally both commonsense and experience when camping but in most places campers are a friendly neighbourly bunch. Still we feel more secure if at least one camper joins us at a free camp. Having said that, we’ve never had a single negative experience in terms of security. However I would say trust your instincts or you’re in for a long night. We will stop at a free camp where there are no other campers, usually by 2pm. Sometimes it just take one to stop and others travelling by might decide to stop there too now that someone has stopped first. If no one else has stopped to join us by 4pm then we might move on to the next place that has some people. Again trust your instincts! Take photos of other campers esp their rigs and number plates if you like. (It is easy to delete them the next morning when you wake up.) Don’t forget to lock your doors. Security is what you make it!
Usually Pet friendly:
Another advantage of free camping is that your fur baby is welcome too. They are usually prohibited in National Parks and some council sites. In order to maintain this privilege please keep your dog on a lead if required; or if other people, wildlife or stock are around – and for goodness stake, please pick up their droppings!
A gorgeous staffy kept on a lead

Do your research:
Do you have enough power, water and food for the duration of your camp? Not all places welcome genies and fires. Don’t forget your toilet. If you need to go bush toilet, then take a shovel or even a garden spade and hide the evidence including toilet paper and go a long away from the populated areas.

Aussie True Blue Bush toilet!

or a bring your own toilet

Glamping in the Northern Territory

What is glamping and where can do it?

Great question you may ask, glamping is forming two lifestyles together to combine the ultimate camping experience. It’s mixing the glamorous lifestyle, with camping. The cost for your standard glamping around Australia is usually about AU$150-$300 per night, however, if you head over to the Northern Territory the prices start from $1100.. What! Surrounded by the rugged wilderness of the Simpson desert, the retreat Longitude 131º is the only place in the world where you can wake up to Ayer’s Rock without even getting out of bed.

This means it would make for a perfect honeymoon destination.

Historic Bodalla Anglican Church

Rob and I love looking at the architectural structure of old buildings particularly of old churches. And the Historic Bodalla Anglican Church doesn’t disappoint. It was built in 1881. You can read the details of the history at the Narooma Anglican.com.

So feast your eyes at some of the images. You are welcome to visit and take photos. It is a working church and thus has a communion service on Sundays. You can also enter the building to see the effect of the stained glass windows with the glorious light streaming in.
Remember you can click on each of the photos to bring up a larger view!

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