Camping at Mill Creek, NSW
Q: What do bogans and large Middle Eastern families have in common?
A: They both hang out at Mill Creek Camping Ground on a Saturday night.
When Natureboy and I decided (at the last minute) to go camping, we realised (too late) that a lot of the beachside campsites are booked out waaaaay in advance. Faced with the choice of paying $170 for an ocean view campsite overrun with children or heading out to the quiet countryside, we made like Petshop Boys and went west.
The friendly lady at National Parks recommended Mill Creek in the Dharug National Park so that’s where we went and set up by the light of a Falcon ute.
Ahh. We sighed the happy sighs of city folk covered in mosquito bites. This was living.
As the sun rose over our sleepy little camp, bellbirds, whip birds and an extremely aggressive bush turkey chorused us into wakefulness.
We bushwalked on the grass tree circuit (a cruisy 1.5km of picturesque creeks, angophora gums and, unsurprisingly, grasstrees). We also walked the Great Northern Road, a convict built road that was the first overland route between Sydney and the Hunter Valley (there are a lot of explanatory plaques espousing the virtues of sandstone culverts – my Dad would love it).
We had a swim in the manky river at Wiseman’s Ferry (the water was so murky you couldn’t see your kneecaps, let alone your feet), we had a refreshing beverage at the pub amd a drunk man with a broken leg tried to pick me up at the bar.
Suitably relaxed, we made our way back to our campsite. Yes, we would make a campfire, drink wine, look at the stars … but wait … a new group had arrived. Dare I say, encroached. And they had very loud bellydancing-y music. So loud that someone from the other side of the campground drove over and told them to turn it down.
We looked on in cowardly silence, mentally thanking the belligerent alpha male.
The large family yahoo-ed in an inoffensive way and we sat around our fire getting tipsy on viognier. Natureboy made risotto in his fancy new Trangia (a Swedish camp stove that packs up to, and weighs, virtually nothing) and we toasted marshmallows.
Life was good until the bogans in their hotted up V8s arrived and started doing doughnuts. We’re pretty sure it was the belligerent alpha male who told them to f*ck off.
We fell asleep to the sound of carburettors and rubber and bourbon-fuelled obnoxiousness.
While I would wholeheartedly recommend Mill Creek as a top notch camping spot (composting toilets, a water tank and easily accessible by road – $10 per adult, per night), I would caveat it with the warning that you may not find it terribly relaxing.
Have you ever camped next to the Loudest People On Earth? Have bogans ever destroyed your peace?