Around-Oz: Living the Dream!


Bemboka - West of Bega - New South Wales


If you fancy the sound of a babbling brook lulling you to sleep or being your gentle wake up call with the magpies and galahs, then Bemboka Lions Park is the perfect overnight spot. For only $5 pvpn, you can have the works - the babbling brook, walks, BBQ's, tables, water, toilets, showers, POWER, - the only thing you need is your own wood if you want to BBQ. There are only shade trees around the fence line, as the grounds are a sports oval, obviously used for football and cricket. There is a large open area from which to select your site. Park anywhere except on the oval the hotel manager said, when we paid our nominal fee. Large logs outline the oval anyway, so it would be a fair bit of damage to your vehicle's underneath if you did try.


 
Campsite sign
The beautiful church on the hill
 

And where is Bemboka you ask? It's a village within the valley on the Snowy Mountains Highway west of Bega. If you are coming inland from Bombala on the Monaro Highway, you just turn right at the only T intersection. From Cooma it is half way to Bega. On the eastern extremity of the village, turn left down the track just before the Colombo Bridge. It's easier to stop at the hotel or service centre before you get set up - you could walk back though and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding hills. With little through traffic and certainly hardly a truck during our stay, it is a very peaceful spot.

 
Beautiful rolling hills everywhere
 
Just enough shops to make it interesting
 

There are welcoming rest areas on both sides of the very CMCA friendly town. As well, there is a general store, butcher, post office, craft shop, hotel, service centre for motor vehicles, You can in fact spend hours just chatting to the extremely intertesting locals!

 
Gorgeous pie shop!
 
The fantastic butchers
 

The immaculate white church sits atop a small hill on the western side of town and many of the buildings are maintained in federation style. Add this to the warm helpfulness of the locals and what more could you ask for. The only thing is to remember to ask wherever you hand over your $5 for the shower block keys! We didn't, but being self sufficient with the water available, that was not a problem. One local walking his dog wandered in to check if we were OK - a very clever subterfuge to check if we had paid maybe? This we thought was a nice way of doing it.

 
This is a huge camping area
 
This photo was taken still in the grounds - it's huge!
 

We arrived on a Tuesday night and guess what the only TV channel is 2, so we got to watch The Bill. Telstra CDMA and GSM come in full strength. It is an easy walk back up into the village if you enjoy walking.

For children there is a large swing, slippery slide, climbing bar setup. This is well away from the amenities area on the edge of the oval. And don't forget to show the children the toilets - they are the truly pull the chain type like when we were kids. There were friendly frogs in the toilet block (not in the actual toilets), much to the horror of the children of the only other family camping here during our stopover - obviously not morning people or truly bush campers!


 
Lots of these inthe village
 
Hot and cold clean showers
 

If you walk behind the BBQ and tables area you will find a very old decrepit semi rotted bridge. Looking through some of the old rafters gives a good view of the creek underneath. Over the bridge and up the hill, you will find an old cemetery, but it's a bit hard to get in unless you want to leap over the barbed wire fence.

Oh yes this gets the 5 paw Rex award - plenty of trees along the fence line and no signs saying he had to be on his leash.

Thoroughly worth the overnight stop and extremely CMCA friendly. Please make sure you get your fuel, trinkets, bread and milk before you leave in the morning - this camping friendly town deserves the tourist support all the way! Absolutely recommended!

Chrissy Eustace


Hema 31 H10
Camps Australia Wide 2 Page 102 Camp 379
Camps Australia Wide 3 Page 128 Camp 625
GPS S 36 38 08 E 149 34 41

UPDATE 19 May 2005

Just letting you know that the Bemboka Sportsground is every bit as good as you mentioned, but the price has gone up from $5 per night to $10 per night, as we discovered when we stayed there recently.

cya

Roger Blieschke
____________________________________

The Blieschke Family
Travelling around Australia in 2005
www.goingtheredoingthat.com

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