Nic Freeman

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Camping with the Kangaroos: Yuraygir National Park

All I can hear is the barrelling of waves, the flap of a tent, the twill of a cricket and the crackles of a fire.

There is no other light. Cloudy skies thicken the blackness, leaving us here beside our lone beacon, cocooned by the night. This satisfies me. I can taste the serenity, warm and tender, as it soaks through me. I feel hypnotised by the flames, wooed into a dreamy state. But it’s okay; all I have to do tonight is relax and sleep.


Oh, to be camping again.

Day three of our recent road trip  found us serendipitously at Lake Arragan and Red Cliff campgrounds in Yuraygir National Park, just north of Broomes Head in New South Wales. After driving from Mullumbimby that morning, we had hopped along the coast looking for a campsite. Iluka’s national park camp grounds were full. Then we went down the wrong dirt road at Angourie. But eventually, we found this little gem of a beach site.

First impressions were of a harsh, romantic wilderness. Green and grey tones were subdued by the overcast skies, the wind whipped with wild elegance and the horizon stretched to bush or sea. P1140866

Second impressions were, ‘Shit! Look at all those roos!”.  In almost every direction kangaroo herds grazed within the scrub. Despite having seem many a roo in my time, I have to say that I was still awed by them, tall and proud, as they stood to assess us and then quickly dismissed us with the flick of an ear.

Kangaroos grazing (hiding) in Yuraygir Nationa Park

Despite the wind, we chose a spot by the beach, just behind a dune, to pitch our tent. Once set up and stocked with wood, we were quickly positioned beside the fire, book in hand, salt air in our nostrils… and that’s where we stayed for most of the evening.

P1140870P1140867P1140869

The weather was particularly cold and rainy for our one night visit, meaning we really didn’t explore the Yuraygir Coastal Walk (which I’ve heard so many wonderful things about), or Lake Arragan, or the Red Cliffs. Even without the attractions, Yuraygir was a stunning camp ground, perfect for whole-hearted relaxation. We’ll definitely be going back for more!

P1140863


What: 65 camp sites along the Yuraygir National Park coastline. lake arragan camp map

Where: Along Broomes Head Road. You can get there by turning off the Pacific Highway to McLean, then following the signs to Broomes Head, before turning off to the left about 5 minutes before the town.

Price: $10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night. Annual pass or daily vehicle entry fee of $7 also required.

Facilities: picnic tables, wood barbecues, non-flush toilets, drinking water, chopped wood. No need to book, just rock up. Keep in mind the access road is unsealed and could need a 4wD after lots of rain.

More info: Go to the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Servicewebsite or call the Grafton office 02 6641 1500.

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One comment on “Camping with the Kangaroos: Yuraygir National Park

  1. Rolando Luhman
    March 12, 2013

    Camping with a baby or toddler seems intimidating. But while it requires a bit more work and preparation, the rewards are also great. Camping is learning experience for both baby and parents! Knowing how to keep your baby or toddler comfortable throughout the trip will make the experience a good one for the entire family.”

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2011 by in Lifestyle, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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