I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published January 31st 2012
When the full height of summer is over and nights start to get a bit chilly again, the best way to spend an evening at a campsite is around a campfire. Many campsites however, do not allow campfires, and gathering round the gas stove just does not cut it. Luckily for us, there is one campsite not too far from Perth that caters for this whim.
Belvidere Campsite in spring time
Belvidere Campsite is located at Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park, about 25km north of Bunbury. To reach this spot, continue south from the Kwinana Freeway towards Bunbury, and about 145km south of Perth turn right into Buffalo Road, into the conservation reserve. This reserve is located on a narrow strip of land in between the Indian Ocean and the Leschenault Inlet, providing proximities to both the beach and the calm water of the inlet.
Favourite perches at Leschenault Inlet
The road to the campsite is a good gravel one that is accessible to 2WD vehicles, and it skirts the Leschenault Inlet, giving you occasional views of the body of water while driving there. A few minutes before you reach the campsite, there is a turn off to Belvidere Beach. The beach is not what I would call beautiful, but it is good enough for the kids to build sand castles or dip their toes.
The generous-sized campsites could easily fit a few small tents.
The shady campground has numbered sites of generous sizes, waterless bush toilets, and stacks of fire woods to be used at the wood barbecue located at each site (except on total fire ban days). Billy tea, corn on the cobs, or marshmallows, anyone?
From the campsite, you could walk to the day use area by the inlet, which has a gas barbecue and flushing toilets. If you take a walk early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you just might meet with some shy kangaroos among the bushes.
Kangaroos near the campsite
Despite its proximity to civilization--Perth is less than 2 hours away, Bunbury is a 30 minutes drive, while the nearest town of Australind is a mere 15 minutes away, literally just across the water of Leschenault Inlet--Belvidere seems to be a well-kept secret. The few times I've been there, there were hardly anybody around. So for me, it is a perfect place to enjoy that occasional evening escaping the city, gathering with friends and families around the campfire, gazing at the stars, and waking up to the calls of birds. A luxury indeed.
A kookaburra sat in an old gum tree at the campsite
This is a nice spot, reasonably quiet. However be very careful of the mosquitoes. They are plentiful and potentially carry Ross River virus (as per the large sign that warns you as you drive in). Take plenty of bug spray. We cleared out during the day (when the mosquitoes were out on swarms!)
On the up side the mosquitoes completely disappeared just before sundown so we could enjoy the campfire in peace!