We had a long weekend in Austria on 9th-12th April, so Jules and I decided to escape the city and head towards Victoria’s High Country.
We were recommended a very remote camp site by one of Jules friends alongside Buckland River, which is approx. 18km from Bright & the villages of Porepunkah, which are generally used as a base for exploring the peaks of Mount Buffalo National Park.
There are several camping spots along Buckland River. You have to be prepared to drive about 25mins down a rocky dirt track to find them. If you persevere, you’ll be rewarded with a secluded spot, in a peaceful forest setting beside a tranquil river.
Turn to soon and you will be disappointed with overcrowded spots. Jules and I nearly made this mistake. Ten minutes into our journey, we turned down a steep, rocky track (in hindsight, a track more suited to 4WD’s vs our little Renault), thinking we would find some semi-secret spot to set up camp for a few nights. Our dreams were quickly shattered, as we were instead greeted with a severely overcrowded spot. Having decided we didn’t want neighbors, we decided to head back up the steep, rocky dirt track. After two minutes of uncontrollable wheel spin, flashing warning lights and continual beeping, Jules managed to push the car out of the ditch we appeared to have driven into and back onto the road. FEW!!
Back on track, we drove for a further 15 mins, scoping out Shippens Flat (full of Aussie Bogens with Pit Bulls) Leinster Flat (full of Bogens and Bogen Kids) and lastly Good Hope Flat. The spot ticked all boxes (thank goodness as it was getting late, and we needed to set up the camp before sunset).
Our campsite was right on the riverbank and we were to be lulled to sleep each night of our stay by the soft sound of the water flowing over the rocky riverbed. We had our own fire ring for cooking and were at least 30m from the next lot of campers.
The first night we simply set up camp, made two fires (one for cooking and one for keeping warm) and relaxed under the clear night sky with a canopy of stars. We made a beautiful chicken and chorizo stew, drank wine and toasted marshmallows. Dreamy.
We both had quite an intermittent sleep, so the day started off slow. Jules re-heated the stew for breakfast, we had a quick wash in the stream and then headed into Bright town for a coffee fix. After I resembled a human being, we drove to the highest point on Mount Buffalo to walk The Horn Trail. The walk only takes 30ish minutes, but leads to a lookout with superb 360 degree views of the plateau and Australian Alps. Those mountains just go on and on, like you are on top of the world!
Post walk, we headed to Bright Brewery to try their ales. They have a tasting tray for $12 which allows you to taste 6 different ales. Most of the ales were English in their style Vs American and I found them super hard to drink.
Beef stew was on the cards for dinner. We set up the fire earlier, so the stew had more time to cook. Jules was on fire duty. I was on cooking duty. The night was spent much like the first, under the stars, drinking wine, toasting marshmallows and eating our beautiful beef stew.
We packed up our camp site and headed back to Melbourne, reflecting on life and our amazing experience. I haven’t been on many camping adventures, but I am an avid fan.
Camping is like stepping into a magical world and is the best way to unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, find inspiration, and reflect on what is important to ourselves and our families. It enables you to reconnect and enjoy life’s simple pleasures such as star-gazing and waking up to the morning calls of native birds. Mother nature definitely does dish up some of the best soul medicine on Earth and I can’t wait to do it all again on our 2 week Western Australia trip.