A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published August 3rd 2015
An oasis of creature comforts in a nature lover's haven
Bulahdelah is an area in the mid-north coast of NSW that is bordered by green plains, rainforests, rolling hills, and the Myall Lakes. With all the creature comforts you'd need - for free - the town is an ideal spot for nature lovers to base themselves.
Bulahdelah sits 237 kilometres north of Sydney and can be reached via the Pacific Motorway and Pacific Highway (A1). It is roughly a three-hour drive. If you aren't in any rush, and I hope you aren't if you are on vacation, there are several places along the way that make nice pit-stops.
While a small detour from the highway, I'd recommend the Central Coast. A popular weekend getaway, the Central Coast has sprawling waterways, beaches and national parkland. My favourite spot here is the quaint Pearl Beach in the Brisbane Waters National Park. For more on the Central Coast check out my Camping Itinerary.
Also worth the sidetrack is the harbour-side metropolitan of Newcastle, Nelsons Bay where you can go sand-boarding, and the Cessnock and Hunter Valley region where fine wines and food are produced. No drinking and driving please.
Sitting on the Southern entrance to the town, is the Bulahdelah Rest & Camp area where we based ourselves. Located along the Myall River, with a panorama of fields and mountains, it is a picturesque place to call home for your stay. It is sheltered by the bridge taking the Old Pacific Highway into town. Well, not entirely sheltered - still keep your tent secured.
There is a pontoon on the river just beside the picnic area. It was nice to chill out and take in the scenery from here. Don't mind the resident geese. A catch is they do occasionally decide to talk during the night.
The spot has picnic tables and barbecues. There is a public toilet block across the bridge. Turns out this wasn't as bad as it looked, being only about a three-minute walk from the tent.
While this is sufficient, another place we discovered that is good for meeting the creature comforts is Wade Park, over the bridge on Meade Street. Only a few minutes by car from the camp area, the public park has not only sheltered picnic tables, barbecues, and a toilet block, but also power-points so you can keep the electronics alive.
No showers in either of these facility hubs unfortunately, but a swim in the river may do the trick. Just kidding! That isn't the only resort. For a fee of $3 you may shower in the Buladelah Caravan Park.
What to do?
Starting close to home, by which I mean our riverside camp spot, there is the Myall River which is nice for a dip or a canoe if you have brought your own. In terms of the wider Bulahdelah area, there are several natural wonders waiting to be seen.
Visit the tallest known tree in NSW in the Grandis Picnic area. Boolambayte, as it's known, is found in the lush surrounds of the Myall National Park. The flooded gum reaches an incredible 70 metres in height. Several bush trails can be explored in the surrounding area.
2. Myall Lakes
A system of shallow saltwater lakes, rivers and canals run throughout the Myall Lakes National Park. These are ideal for boating, swimming, or canoeing/kayaking. As one of the state's largest coastal waterways this is a paradise for water babies.
3. The Alum Mountain
Climb The Alum Mountain, name 'The Great Rock' by local Indigenous people, either by car or walking trails if you feel like a hike. From atop you will have magnificent views of the town and the region, from Cabbage Tree Mountain all the way to the coastline.
4. Seal Rocks
A beach that is the quintessential image of paradise sits a thirty-minute drive (40 kilometres) from Bulahdelah. The sparkling beach is perfect for strolls, swimming or catching some surf. There are neighbouring beaches, walking trails, and a lighthouse that are worth a visit while here.
A half an hour drive south of Bulahdelah is Tea Gardens. The name is misleading. This isn't a garden, but rather a quaint coastal town. Take a ride through the Myall waterways on the historic wooden ferry from here. If you're lucky, you'll be accompanied by dolphins. Also close by is the long and golden Bennett's Beach.
6. Horse riding at Forest Lodge
Go horse riding through beautiful trails in the area. Two places that can assist you with this are Forest Lodge Farm Stay, and Peacehaven Country Cottages & Farm Stay.
As you can see there is plenty to do in and around Bulahdelah. It is a quiet and comfortable spot to base yourself, and it is the gateway to many natural attractions and leisure activities. Enjoy a budget-friendly holiday in the great outdoors!
It is indeed regrettable that articles like this are published which encourage people to break the law. The Bulahdelah site is for self contained vehicles only which mean you have to have your own shower and toilet facilities on board and remove all grey and black water from the site. It is behaviour like this camping in tents in unapproved areas which forces the closure of such sites all around the country. There are so many sites where you can legally camp, why promote this inappropriate behaviour. Would have expected better journalism than this.
@ambug - what's your problem??? it's not as if they're defecating in the park!!! Taking the time to point out where the public toilettes are.
Encouraging people to break the law - please.....
I think you should change your name to bahumbug