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Cape Conran

Camping Paradise

semi-overcast 25 °C

Cape Conran is situated on the east coast of Victoria close to Marlo, which sits at the mouth of the Snowy River. Banksia Bluff is a large national park campground with over 130 unpowered sites spread out over 1 kilometre and situated next to a beautiful sandy beach with a rocky headland at the western end. The sites are large with a mixture of sun and shade with plenty of trees and shrubs for wind protection. We chose site 126, which is large with a view through the trees to the beach. There are flushing toilets, bore water taps, fireplaces and cold showers. The cost per night is $40 per site in peak times, including all weekends, which is ridiculous for basic facilities. However, the campsites and surrounding beach, river and rain forest are so good it makes you forget the Victorian government’s greed. This campground was one of our best on our big lap and we will be back.

There are quite a few nice walks to do while staying here with our favourite being the Yeerung Estuary View Trail, which follows the course of the river through rain forest to the mouth. East Cape Boardwalk was also a nice walk around the headland to some small rocky beaches great for beach combing, with thousands of shells to sift through. The wildlife in the campground kept us entertained, with wombats, goannas, kookaburras, possums and a large variety of birds paying us a visit.

The eastern side of East Cape, which is protected in winds from the southwest to the north, is popular with surfers but unfortunately while we were there the swell was tiny so it was fishing and snorkeling instead. The beach in front of camp had a gutter that produced some nice salmon at high tide. One afternoon I decided to try my luck snorkeling for crayfish around some likely looking reef I had spotted on our East Cape walk. After parking the car in a small car park as close as I could get to the spot and suiting up, three fisheries officers drove up, checked my fishing license and asked what I was chasing. They said I would be better off driving around to Joiners Channel and try for crays there. I should not have listened as I never even saw a crayfish in that area.

A drive around to West Cape is worthwhile to view the interesting rock formations there and to check out the catches of the fishos returning to the excellent boat ramp. The short walk from the boat ramp around to Salmon Rocks gives you elevated views of the coastline and more rock formations. Being able to have a campfire again was wonderful and we enjoyed some great camp oven food and the good old roasted potatoes in the fire. Our four days here were highly enjoyable, relaxing and with plenty to do, a few more days would have been great, but with the trip nearly over, we needed to push for home.

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Posted by OzJourney 20:56 Archived in Australia

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