For the longest time I have been wanting to camp at RAC Margaret River Nature Park (formerly Wharncliffe Mill Bush Retreat). I had heard nothing but rave reviews on the property so I decided to check it out for myself. Would it live up to my expectations?
It was the start of the school holidays and several families headed to Margaret River with 11 children in total. To tell you the truth I was a little concerned about how the trip would go with so many children. I was anticipating fighting and tears but it was quite the opposite and something magical happened.
The kids rode their bikes, played at the playground, made up games and escaped to the bush. Just behind our camp is an Aboriginal Meeting place and this is where the children congregated. Making tepees from sticks and leaves, playing games and putting on concerts for us adults. They played from sunup to sundown and they all took care of each other, the older ones looking after the little ones.
Margaret River is located 270 kilometers south of Perth and is best known for its wineries, pristine beaches, forests and caves. RAC Margaret River Nature Park is located in Wooditjup National Park and it is only a 2km walk into Margaret River town centre.
RAC Margaret River Nature Park
The camp ground is surrounded by bush giving you the feeling of being a million miles away from civilization.
Originally this area was home to the Wharncliffe Mill which was used to produce timber for packing boxes and crates. The park is set around the historic Wharncliffe Mill building which is now a large communal area with a camp kitchen and dorm rooms.
The camp sites are spacious, located around the Wharncliffe Mill building and nature play ground. If you are not set up for camping they have backpacking dorms, cabins, an eco lodge and eco safari tents.
The park is surrounded by a myriad of walking trails and sensational mountain bike trails. The children loved riding their bikes along some of the bush tracks. Dixie and I decided to hit some of the harder trails and I must confess I was scared to death! Dixie rides dirt bikes so he was off winding his way down tight trials and over logs. Meanwhile I was following behind with my breaks on the whole way down the hill narrowly missing trees. After I reached the bottom of the hill I was relieved and enjoyed the challenge but decided to stay on the wider tracks from now on!
There are communal fire pits located around the park and it was a great way to get to know other guests, roast a few marshmallows and enjoy a quiet drink or two!
Pests to some people but the possums were fascinating to our children. They enjoyed using a torch and searching for them at night. They also discovered kangaroos feeding on grass in the middle of the camp ground.
The park is eco-friendly with a significant focus on the environment and conservation. If you don’t have bikes you can hire them form the front office and even pick up a coffee while you are there!
RAC Margaret River Nature Park is the perfect spot for families and mountain bike riders. A great place to recharge the batteries reconnect with nature and relax! Did it live up to my exceptions? It sure did, a great little spot and I am sure we will be back again soon!