We left Graeme’s and headed North without any real itinerary. Went up the Putty Road which had a few twists and turns but also stunning views of Woolemi National Park. Sorry, no photos as there was nowhere safe to stop and take them!
We had intended to stay at Branxton but could not find the camp and did not really like the look of the place, so we kept going to Buladelah which has a number of camp options. Buladehlah is a small town about 100 km North of Newcastle which used to have forestry and mining industries. Alum mountain towers over the town and used to be mined for Alunite which is an industrial additive. We stayed at the local bowls club which turned out to be a great choice as they treat the campers like royalty! The bowls club is next to the showgrounds so make sure you are parked in the right place as the showgrounds charge $18 per site. The showgrounds have a helipad and some poor soul was flown out while we were there.
The town was bypassed a few years ago and seems to be struggling a little. The locals are great and doing everything they can to make the town attractive to grey (and blonde) nomads. It turned out to be a great base to explore the Great Lakes area of NSW, with numerous national parks, lakes and beaches in easy driving distance.
The old court house is now a museum, open on Saturdays.
The Grandis and surrounding forests
The town is surrounded by forests and National Parks so there are many places to go and enjoy nature. The Grandis is a 400 year old flooded gum located in nearby Myall Lakes National Park and is the largest known tree in NSW. The photos don’t do it justice as the wide angle lens is making it look much smaller.
Bulahdelah has several options for caravans, we stayed behind the bowls club. Usually there is a three day limit but we were able to stay an extra three nights so that Alan could play bowls with the locals. We could not fault the friendly and helpful locals and highly recommend this stop.
Accommodation Rating – 4.5/5
|Location||Behind the Bowling Club in Buladelah|
|Facilities||Flush toilets and showers, single bathroom including shower outside available 24/7. Fee includes Bowls club membership to use all of their facilities including club building (when open), bowls green, meals, bar, showers and toilets.|
|Dog Walks||Adjacent to the showgrounds so plenty of room|
|Local Services||Town has most facilities including supermarket, newsagent, chemist (I think) and servos.|
|Cost||$5 per person for up to three nights, pay at the bar
Powered sites $5 extra per night
|Comment||There are only half a dozen powered sites and they are quite small but directly behind the club with easy access to amenities. Unpowered sites are in the open grass area behind the club. There appear to have been some “custody battles” with the showgrounds next door so make sure you are parked on Bowling Club land.
There is little shade so could get uncomfortable in very hot weather.
Good phone and TV signal
Beware, this place is so nice it is easy to spend more than your accommodation savings in grog and meals – we certainly did!
Other accommodation options are the local caravan park which seems to get reasonable review, $25 per night I think. The showgrounds next door to the bowls club have lots of powered sites as well as showers and toilets for $18 per night payable at the info centre or in the donation box. Unpowered sites are the same price.
There is also a free camp site in the lions park along the river, 72 hour limit. It gets very busy but has no facilities other than a bitumen car park and a water tap. There are toilets about 400m away across the bridge but they are pretty disgusting.
Another option is at the golf club on the other side of the highway, did not appear to be well used.