A city girl moved to the country. A Diploma in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens), a Diploma in Fashion Design (pattern making), a degree in Communication (Journalism)...the perpetual student of life
Published February 9th 2015
Return to nature
Nestled alongside the tranquil Glenelg River, the lower Glenelg National Park is well placed to encourage people to get 'back to nature'. Well maintained campsites allow the average person, even those with limited outdoor experience, to camp in a national park.
My camping experience was limited to organised camps with the Girl Guides many years ago, and the odd overnight sleep in the car, so actually pitching a tent and 'roughing it' was a relatively new experience for a city girl.
The Lower Glenelg National Park is about 420 km from Melbourne and 490 km from Adelaide alongside the South Australian border. The drive to the campsite took us through the beautiful Cobboboonee National Park on a rough, but driveable bush road which would have been better handled by an all-wheel/four wheel drive rather than my family staionwagon, but we managed it and came out close to the Lower Glenelg National Park and Pritchards Campground. Alternative routes take you all the way there on the Princes Highway and other sealed roads, but the trip through the lowland forest was incredibly beautiful and well worth it.
Being along a river there is plenty of fishing to do and native animals to see including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Red-necked Wallabies, brush-tailed possums, koalas, and echidnas. The bird life is just as spectacular with plenty of water birds such as herons and ducks, the iconic black swan, and an abundance of forest birds like painted quail, ground thrush, and the rare Rufous Bristle-bird: A close encounter with a rather large Eastern Grey kangaroo left chewed loaves of bread and some small damage to the campsite one night, so sturdy storage for food is one recommendation I would make.
Pritchards Campground is a well maintained and spacious campground with flushing toilets (!), vehicle access, fireplaces and tank water (which must be boiled before drinking). The campsites themselves are quite large with room for a caravan/camper-trailer, one big tent, or a couple of smaller tents, along with the other 'necessities' such as a shower tent.
Other campgrounds are available along the Glenelg River, some only accessible from the river, thus being perfect for a canoeing holiday. All the information about Pritchards and these other campgrounds is available on the Parks Victoria Website, to which you must go if you want to book a campsite.
The friendly park rangers made regular visits to the ground and provided much information on what was available to do in the area (bush walks including the Great South West Walk, beaches, and river cruises) and were also extremely helpful with information on what to do in emergencies, as we were there during an extreme fire danger period.
Respect is paid to the traditional owners of the land, the Gunditjmara people, on the detailed signs which welcome you to country. Enjoy it and care for it as the Gunditjmara people have done for time immemorial: amongst the natural wonder of the forest and river it is not hard to feel reverence for the beauty of our land.