Dunns Swamp Camping
Explore | camping | Central West | New South Wales

Dunns Swamp Camping

Wollemi National Park

by Susie Baber  |  14 June 2021

June long weekend camping is expected to be cold, but when we planned our first trip in our brand new Signature Camper, we hadn’t expected there to be snow on the ground as we crossed the mountains through Clarence. The first big cold snap of the season had brought snow falls not just to the ski areas but all the way up through NSW. The Blue Mountains were not as blue as they usually are.

New to towing anything as heavy as a camper trailer, we were very happy once we had made it up and back down through the mountains without any dramas. Quick pitstop in Lithgow for lunch and then to Wallarang, where at the Wallace Lake camping area there are facilities to fill the water tanks on the van (no point carrying more weight than needed over the mountains) as well as a dump point to empty the chemical toilet on our way home at the end of the weekend. Once that is sorted, we head north towards Rylstone.

Our camping spot for the weekend has been recommended by a couple of friends and although we have not been there before, many people we mentioned it to have said it is just lovely, and they were right.

Dunns swamp, or Ganguddy as it is known to local Aboriginal people, may not sound pretty but it defies its name from the moment you arrive. This beautiful area on the Cudgegong river was created when Kandos weir was built in the late 1920s. Located on the western side of Wollemi National Park just 30km from Rylstone or 95km from Mudgee. Wollemi National Park is part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and home of the recently discovered Wollemi Pine.

The camping area is set amongst scribbly gum and striking pagoda rock formations and provides picnic tables, composting toilets, and BBQ’s. You will need to bring your own water and firewood. Camping for tents, trailers and caravans can be booked through NSW National Park and Wildlife here

Keep a look out for wallabies and we are told that if you’re really lucky, you might glimpse long-necked turtles and platypus in the weir. They did however elude us. We did have some friendly possums join us at dinner time, they thought our pumpkin and chicken curry smelt pretty good and were fairly determined to share with us.

For those looking to keep active this is a great spot for fishing, walking and kayaking.

Camp Ground Rocks Walk
Platypus Point

There are several walking tracks along the river ranging from the 500m Campsite Rocks walk to the more strenuous 4.5km Weir and Long Cave Circuit. The Pagoda Lookout walking track was a highlight for me, but it is not one for the beginner bushwalker as there is a fair bit of climbing to get to the top and the path is not always very clear. It takes you to the top of the rock pagodas and offers stunning 360 degree views over the river and valleys.

View from the top of the pagodas
Long Cave
Kandos Weir

In summer kayaking and swimming are popular, you can hire a kayak or paddle. Southern Cross Kayaking operate during holiday periods with a range of different sized canoes and kayaks. They also offer guided tours. For more information on their operating times and services. Check out their website here

We spent one day exploring historic Rylstone and sampling some of Mudgee’s wines and produce. Rylstone is a very pretty historic town and a walk along the main street is a must. There is a historic walk which will give you more information about the towns history here. Choosing which wineries to visit in Mudgee is a daunting task, make sure you book ahead for your tasting experience, in these COVID times dropping in to sample the wines is not what it used to be. We visited Lowe Wines and Moothi Estate based on a bit of online research and were happy with our choices. Both wineries also have food available so we grazed as we tasted and had a lovely afternoon.

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