Saturday, March 3, 2012

"The Camp" What and Where!

Several people have asked me about "The Camp" - what is it? Where is it? etc.

The 'Jewel in the crown of the Central West', Wyangala Waters is a favourite picnic area and holiday destination. If you don't like caravanning you can stay in one of the parks luxuriously appointed cabins

Wyangala is where “The Camp” is. It’s a State Waters National Park – a huge irrigation dam with a capacity, when full, of about four times that Sydney Harbour – one of the world’s best deep water anchorage harbours. This is a view from one of the highest peaks – 660 metres, around 2,200 feet.

Within the State park there is a holiday reserve. It has around 180 sites on yearly lease that are connected to water and power (we lease one of those) and those sites are fairly strictly controlled in terms of development – our yearly lease contract runs to 14 pages!

There are also about 50 powered short stay caravan sites for ‘drive-in/drive out’ use and several hundred camping sites for those wanting a more ‘primitive’ style of stay. Many of those sites are powered but most are not. Usually you have to book well ahead for one of those sites in peak holiday periods.

The principal activities are boating, water skiing is very popular as is fishing. There is a swimming reserve with a boom preventing power boat entry.

We visited Wyangala on caravan holidays in the early 2007. At that time there was not much water in the dam. We were in severe drought and the dam was around 10%capacity.

In those days we towed our small Jayco touring caravan behind my Holden (GMH) Rodeo truck. This was taken in June 2009, just as our winter began.

We still have the Rodeo but we no longer tow caravans with it.

Later that year we were offered seven lease sites that were up for sale – you go on a waiting list and when your turn comes up you can choose or reject the sites on offer. If you reject them you go back onto the list and wait your turn again – One site was a ‘prime site’ and one we had been waiting for (we had already rejected the sites on two previous lists). We negotiated with the lease owner. (note – you buy the right to hold the lease and this purchase value is based on the site’s location, dimensions, aspects and what is built upon the site!) We were able to come to a deal.

The site, although ‘prime’ was at a time of severe drought and the dam was now down to 7% capacity. The owner’s sons and their mates had been using the caravan and annexe as a ski dormitory. It was pretty unkempt, full of old foam rubber mattresses and obviously doubled as a ‘drinking and partying’ venue. The owner was a businessman in a nearby town – a car sales business – and times were tough and he needed cash to pay his wages bill and other outstanding accounts.

All of this helped us obtain it at a great price for us! It was overgrown and the garden had been allowed to run to ruin.

It needed renovation and repairs. We cleaned out two dump trucks full of rubbish from within, under and around it. We had bottled LPG gas installed for heating and cooking and a reverse cycle air conditioner for summer cooling. External sun shades were installed over the windows and shade awnings, already in place for the patio area, were cleaned and set-out permanently to provide shade and privacy. The garden beds were restored as was the automatic sprinkler system. 
It was reborn!

OK – The Park area, itself, around “The Camp”. Well, its most use comes in holiday periods but many mature-age lease holders (like ourselves) use it more during the off-seasons when it is a lot quieter and less crowded. The range of type of leased establishments is great – from small family holiday vans and annexes to luxurious demountable cabin homes.

From this

and this,

to this, 

where the latter has this type of outlook (we call it “Millionaires Row”),

Lease sites are not permitted showers or toilets as disposal of waste water and spoilage needs to be strictly controlled, being an irrigation dam that supples the Lachlan River farming regions with irrigation water for cattle and crops, so central amenities blocks are strategically located throughout the park.

There is a Kiosk that offers a good range of meals - Friday night is 'Steak night' - BBQ your own selection of steak and eat on the large open balcony overlooking the water.

“The Camp” is located in the front end of the lease area,

One of the good things about going up to “The Camp” in the off-peak periods is that the wildlife come right up to your front door, as this young mother kangaroo demonstrates.

And she even felt safe enough to bring her young Joey with her, -  Ahhhh! 'Skippy'! lol!

 With a roadway either side of our lease site, we only have a single neighbour who adjoins our site and currently that site is empty (tho' "on the market"!)


North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

John, the park where your "Camp" is, is the same pretty much as some here in Ontario, with the exception of the wildlife, and size of the damn of course. The Golden Falcon we used to have was the same size as the Jayco you had. Rob just picked up a Palomino Popup trailer a couple of weeks ago for us. It is a 2009, here is what it looks like (nothing like yours) We haven't opened it up yet cause of the weather:

JohnD said...

Looks OK design-wise) nice for two people. We found the biggest problem with 'fold-outs' were 'sweating of the vinyl surfaces. Other than that they are good and a dream to tow behind any good truck.

LindaG said...

14 pages is crazy!
But obviously worth it. What a fantastic place. Well designed, too, from the sound of things.
Enjoy your weekend!

JohnD said...

Yep! 14 pages, initialled by both of us on every page and the whole document witnessed by a justice of the Peace - every &^$#@ing year!

As you can gather the Park is administered by a Management Committee answerable to the Department of Lands and Environment who control State Water, a statutory authority!

North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

Unfortunately we might not even get but a 4 day wknd if we are lucky this summer with Rob just starting into the BN not even a year til Sept. We got too good of a deal to refuse it, John, so it will do us for now, as the old 5th wheel is pretty heavy. We have a Dodge full size van we had customized that pulled the 5th wheel, so this will work good.

cathy@home said...

Looks a lovely place for a holiday.
I still cant believe how big that lake is.

JohnD said...

Cathy - Burrinjuck is bigger but the access road is a nightmare (I think deliberately so to keep the 'strays' out lol!)