Bendethra has become my absolutely favourite campground that I have ever been in! I know this is a big call because there are so many amazing campgrounds in Australia but this one, is free, clean, beautiful and quiet. Based in Duea National Park, it’s a stunning place full of mountains with breathtaking views out over untouched bush. This campground is nestled into a valley which back in the late 1800’s was a remote farm. Therefore there is acres of semi-cleared land with soft and lush grass perfect for camping next to the clear, crisp and glistening creek which meanders through the valley.
It is located in the Deua National Park between Canberra and the South Coast. It is about a 2.5hour drive from Canberra and depending upon your set up there are two 4WD only access roads that you can take in. The road entering from the Canberra side of the park is for 4WD set ups that don’t have a trailer however if you have a 4WD camper trailer you can access the campground via the coastal way near Moruya.
- Clean long drop toilets
- Beautiful, fresh creek for swimming
- Grassy campgrounds
- Room for camp fires
- Plenty of wildlife; kangaroos, goannas, wombats and birds
The first time we visited was on Australia Day long weekend and there was at least 50 other cars in the campground. Even with this many people and groups, the size of it means that there is plenty of space and in the afternoon we still had a section of the creek all to ourselves. The second time we visited was a normal weekend and there was only a few other people meaning we basically had it to ourselves. It really is a great place for relaxing or even enough space to play a big game of cricket.
Check out the old homestead area. There is some great signs about the old stock yards, underground oven and more.
Hike to the caves. An 8km return hike through beautiful bushland with numerous small creek crossings as the track meanders its way through the lush landscape. If you’re lucky there is a white peach tree that may be fruiting when you go, it’s delicious. The landscape changes as you go, there are plenty of ferns around but at times it becomes drier, there are beautiful wild flowers and blue wattle trees native to the area. Once you reach the caves you will need a torch to climb down in them and explore. There are months in the year when you can’t go in due to the bats mating but if you can it is great fun. You may get a bit muddy and dirty depending on how wet it is inside but when you are in a big open cavern with stalactites and stalagmites surrounding, you tend to forget you are a biohazard. It can be nerve-wracking climbing around with the chains and pegs but most people who have average flexibility and ability should be able to manage it. Give yourself 2-3 hours to complete the hike.
Have a quick dip in the freezing cold creek. Or even just take a chair and book down to chill out on the bank.
This has got to be one of the best relaxing getaways from the city that you can have in a beautiful campground. You can’t get better when all you have to pay for is petrol and food.