A blank page in the diary for the weekend was staring at me! Do we stay home and get some chores done or go camping? Before you know it we were getting ready to spend a night in the bush.
“One night pack light” says Dixie. Is that even possible when you have children? I tried my best to just take the essential items.
Once the car is loaded up we are on our way to the Avon Valley National Park. The drive into the park is 14 kilometres of gravel with plenty of corrugations. This made for a bumpy, car rattling trip. I was glad when we finally made it to the camp ground.
There are several camp grounds in the National Park and we opted to stay at Bald Hill. The camp ground is perched at the top of the hill. A short walk to a granite outcrop provided us with panoramic views of the whole park.
After we settled in and set up camp it was time to hit the 4wd tracks. There is no access to the river as it is situated on the other side of the railroad tracks. However where there is a will there is a way.
We noticed a track to the left as we were heading to the camp ground so we lowered the tyre pressure and set off to explore. The track has several steep sections and the track leads down the valley to Cobbler Pool “Road” and close the the beautiful Avon River.
Discovering a tunnel which goes underneath the railway line it was time to go on foot. Nothing like a challenge to see if we could make it down to the river. Climbing over rocks and walking along a bushy track we finally got to the river!
The river was running however there wasn’t an abundance of water as we have hardly had any rain.
Enjoying the Avon Valley National Park
Walking in the bush is a bit like therapy for me, a chance to clear my head, notice the aromas and sounds of the bush. I explored a few of the tracks close to our camp which gave me a different perspective of the valley. I can imagine bush walking during the wildflower season would be stunning with the bush coming alive with colour.
Just before we cooked our dinner over the open fire we headed to Bald Hill to watch the sun set. Normally we watch the sunset over the ocean so it makes a much change to see the sun go down over the valley.
The evening sky was clear and perfect for star gazing. JJ and Master B spent ages staring at the night sky before they went to bed.
I woke to find the family nice and snug in their warm sleeping bags. The tent was very cosy and it was hard to get out of bed but I wanted to see the sunrise. I raced to Bald Hill and made it in the nick of time. There was not another soul around. I was sitting on a rock watching the sky change colour as the sun peaked up over the hill.
It was a magical moment, it was like meditation for me. My only regret is that I rushed back to our campsite where the children were awake and full of life. I wish I had spent more time alone on the hill with my own thoughts. A rare thing these days.
Getting to Avon Valley National Park
Avon Valley National Park is located 80km north east of Perth. From Toodyay Road you turn left into Morangup Road and left into Quarry Road.
A self registration station is located at the entry of the park. Make sure you have the correct money as you need to leave cash in an envelope on arrival.
There are 4 different campgrounds in the park. Valley Campground is located at the bottom of the valley. Homestead and Drummonds campgrounds are located on the way up to Bald Hill campground.
The camp sites have concrete fire rings with a hot plate and each area has long drop toilets, shelter and picnic tables.
Each area is pretty small and there were about 8 camps set up while we were there. Most people seemed to roll in late in the afternoon and were gone early in the morning. It is a nice place to camp for one night and a bonus that it is not too far from the city.
Quick Facts on Bald Hill Campground
- Fees apply on entry
- Access available to all vehicles
- Camper trailers fit on sites
- Long drop toilets
- Water tank is at the site (not suitable for drinking)
- No Electricity
- Generators are premitted
- Camp sites are a first in first serve basis
- Animals are not permitted
- Open fires are permitted in season
- Shade and picnic tables are available
- Up to date information on Bald Hill Campground can be found here.