There’s just something about pulling into camp, unhitching the camper trailer and hitting up the gnarliest tracks you can find with the 4WD. So, naturally, when I got the go-ahead to test out a new camper trailer for CTA, it was on like Donkey Kong.
Speaking of Donkey Kong, I bought a few more apes, I mean, mates along for the ride. My old mate Whitey is always keen to hit the tracks. In fact, when I asked if he could get the weekend off work, he reckons he would’ve taken off a month either side of those days just in case – how’s that for keen? The other fella you see there with the dirty big mo’ is Troopy Dan. He’s a bloke who really understands his workplace entitlements: he hasn’t missed a single 4WDing trip yet! And then there’s Troyzy. Talk about mad-keen; this bloke’s wife was due to have a baby this week, but he somehow scored a leave pass to join us. I don’t know how you did that mate, but I think we could all learn something from you, eh?
So, now that you know how keen we all were, let’s get this show on the tracks! The destination for this trip was a no-brainer – Bylong Creek 4X4 Park, NSW. This is one of my all-time favourite weekend haunts. Why? Well, it’s one of the only places around where you can show up and pretty much do whatever you want. Owner Bruce Kerney said the park was born out of sheer frustration because there’s simply nowhere else a 4WDer or dirt bike rider can run-a-muck with friends and family. Sounds pretty damn good to us, Bruce!
As usual, we rocked into camp a bit late and in complete darkness. Luckily, I had half an idea where I was going this time, as the campsite of choice was ‘Borgy’s Bluff’. Yep, that’s right. Old Bruce reckons he’s now named this campsite after yours truly because I’m the only fool who braves the winds to camp on a sloped mountain peak, especially when there’s several other perfectly level campsites around the property, complete with drop toilets and a few rustic old shacks. Before you call me crazy, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Borgy’s Bluff has 360° early-morning views of sandstone cliffs, emerging from fog-filled valley! Doesn’t sound so crazy now, eh?
It’s hard to beat some good, old-fashioned, mud-flicking fun. The problem is that finding a place safe enough for you to just up and leave camp without worrying about your gear can be a real mission, but that’s the real beauty of Bylong Creek – it’s as safe as houses! With that in mind, at the crack of a sparrow’s fart, we fired up the 4WDs and set out for a full day of four-wheeled adventure!
There’s a whole maze of tracks around here to choose from, but the Wombat Hole is guaranteed fun, so we hit it straight up. The Wombat Hole is basically a 200m stretch of track that Bruce took to with a bobcat. For those in stock vehicles, this straight stretch of dug-out holes is great fun and for those with modified trucks, it’s the perfect place to flex out your rig. But the Wombat Hole is justKICKING BACK
The tracks are great fun at Bylong Creek, but the camping is first class, too. Kangaroos will almost certainly greet you in the morning, as will the fog, and there’s something very special about watching the sun light up the rocky escarpments. There’s plenty of wood around to crank up the fire come nightfall, which worked out beautifully for us when we threw a few legs of lamb in the camp ovens.
If Borgy’s Bluff doesn’t sound like the campsite for you, there are plenty of others out there to choose from. You can pretty much camp wherever you want, but there are two main grounds – the upper and the lower sites. Both are absolutely perfect for large groups. Plus, with a shed on each campground you get that cosy feeling if some bad whether rolls in, too.
- Bylong Creek 4X4 Park is located 50km east of Mudgee, 60km north of Rylstone, 3-3.5 hours from Penrith, and three hours from Newcastle.
- If you’re coming from Sydney, turn right off the Castlereagh Highway on to Bylong Valley Way and follow it all the way into Bylong. On your way out of Bylong, take the first right and follow it all the way until the dirt road. Then take the first left and follow the signs to the property.
- Camping costs $15 per day, per person with kids under 15 free. Drinking water and drop toilets available.
- Kids, pets and well-behaved husbands allowed. Visit www.bylongcreek4x4.com for more information.
Check out the full feature in issue #92 September 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine.