Orroral campground – Namadgi National Park

This camping trip almost didn’t happen. With 10 days off, we were hoping to catch up and camp with some friends in the Blue Mountains. That fell through when Ollie and Rosie caught the bug that’s been going around most of Canberra. A quick visit to the hospital late Good Friday evening meant that we needed to postpone that particular trip. With the van all packed up though, the new idea was we’d be able to quickly escape Canberra for a night or two away. And it mostly worked, though it’s hard to quickly do anything with a 4 month old.

We decided to head somewhere close by that we haven’t been to before. There’s three campsites at Namadgi and we chose the one with the name hardest to pronounce. We left in a hurry as Ollie was getting cranky, so we needed to pick up some extra water at Lanyon. You can book online, but we went into the Namadgi visitors centre and booked in person.

Or-or-ral? Oor-ror-ral? Orrrr-ral?

The campsite isn’t very far from Canberra, you can travel there from the city in less than an hour. We got to the campsite and it was more full that we’d expected. We did the usual thing driving around looking for the best of the left over campsites. It’s quite a large, spread out campground so we had a few to chose from.

Once we’d found some flat ground, we got to work setting up. After last trip, we (me) have been determined to minimise setting up times. We’ll never be as quick as the campervan setup, but we’re hoping to get pretty close. We’d bought a new ‘instant-up’ tent from Aldi to help with that. To it’s credit, it was much quicker to setup that our old little dome tent.

The new tent went up pretty quick.

We’d also bought some drill-in tent pegs. Instead of struggling with bent pegs and hammers, you just attach them to a M13 socket and drill them down with a cordless drill or impact driver. This saved so much time as well. Along with the chairs and the new camp table, all up we were fully set up with beer in hand in under 20 minutes. Not bad.

Drilling in the tent pegs

We met some very nice people with a curious three year old that came over to see the baby.

Cute baby

Some wine and cheese in the lovely weather, and as the sun set I put the drone up for a quick spin.

Afternoon sun
Our little campsite

Dinner was some lamb and potatoes and the night was cold enough for a fire. Campground has flushing toilets, but no lights in the bathroom so don’t forget a torch. Firepits are available, but you need to bring your own firewood.

Rug up in a sheep onsie if you have one.

The new camp mattresses worked a lot better than the old blow up mattress. They take up more room, but you don’t end up sleeping on the ground at the end of the night. Highly recommend two king single 4wd-style self inflating mattresses rather than a single queen size. They pack up easier and movements during the night aren’t felt as much by your partner.

Testing out the mattresses

Ollie is going through a fussy stage at the moment and requires constant contact with someone. We got him to sleep eventually, but there was a 2 hour period where I had to let him sleep on me in front of the fire while Rosie got some solid sleep time in. I managed to watch a group of teenagers turn up and take 2 hours putting up their tent, so the entertainment value was there.

The next morning, Ollie and the kookaburra’s woke us around 6am, so we decided to take a walk down to the picnic and waterhole area a short distance away from the campsite.

Misty morning
Waterhole near picnic area

I put the drone up again and got some good shots of the mist coming off the mountains. I quickly spliced a video together (no sound), it should be embedded below or go to our YouTube channel.

After a cup of coffee, we packed up camp and headed back home.

Gourmet coffee #RosieandOlliecoffeeadventures

The new tent packs up fairly quick, but as with almost all camping gear the tent bag is too small. All up a very nice overnight away from the city. We’ll be heading back to the other campsites in Namadgi next time.

Bridge into Tharwa
Kangaroos everywhere, and lots of possums at night
The road past the campsite
Picnic area in the morning
120W solar panel on the roof seems to be working well.
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