Calling all Adelaide weekend explorers. Just south of the city and nestled into the eastern fringe of Onkaparinga River National Park is a newly developed campground that ticks all the boxes.
The Pink Gum Campground, aptly named for its surrounds, is within a stone's throw of the city and yet will have you feeling like you've escaped out bush without the long, draining drive.
Sites & bookings
There's 11 camping spots of varying size, all with their own fire pit and sitting logs. Some are a little larger and more suited to a caravan or a larger tribe, with sites 4, 5 and 6 particularly featuring in this category.
The campground is 'book before you go', so visit the National Parks South Australia website to check out a map of the grounds and to save a spot. Whilst human beings and our native fauna are permitted in the campground, furry family members will have to stay at home with pets not permitted. For those needing to bring an accredited assistance dog, it's recommended that you contact National Parks SA first.
If you're looking to kick back next to the campfire, be sure to check for any fire restrictions in the area on the SA Country Fire Service website. You'll need to bring your own firewood, as collection from the park is prohibited and any fires are restricted to the fire pits.
Facilities and access
You won't need your shovel for toilet time. There's a well kept communal toilet facility on site with toilet paper, along with a rainwater tank. Bring your own H2O though, as the quality of the tank water cannot be guaranteed for drinking. The toilets are wheelchair accessible with a 900mm wide door and a fixed handrail alongside the toilet.
All sites have a compacted gravel surface, so are 2WD as well as wheelchair accessible.
There's no electricity at the campground, but there is a mobile phone service. Whilst a potentially unwelcome temptation for those wanting to unplug from the online realm for a weekend, it does at least bode well for safety and keeping in touch with the outside world if you need to.
The local community of Clarendon is just down the road for any restock requirements or for a dose of civilisation for the more reluctant campers amongst the group.
See and do
For those keen to don the hiking shoes, the spot also serves as a great base camp offering easy access to the park's trailheads. Trail lengths vary, with options ranging from a leisurely stroll down to the local river through to hitting the trails for a solid day of hiking.
There's also an opportunity for a range of other adventurous pursuits in and around the park, including rock climbing, kayaking and mountain biking. More detail on all these activities and associated maps can be found once again at the National Parks SA website.
So, whatever your outdoor tastes, Pink Gum Campground is a great local escape for unplugging and getting that weekend fix of nature.