When you think of spending a week at the beach, what is it that you think of?
Stretches of unobstructed sand? Waves to dip into when it gets hot? Time to sit and read? Or, is it to watch the world go by while chatting with friends and/or family?
There are so many places in Australia to go for that “beach getaway”. Australia has some amazing locations for beach camping. There is one we’ve found however that surpasses the rest.
Nestled amongst the gum trees of a National Park, this spot is out of the way, well thought out, and quiet. It’s off the highway by about 16 km (or 10 miles) yet close enough to pick up a good cup of coffee or a loaf of bread if you need it.
I guess it won’t be much of a secret after this post, but we loved this place so much it’s worth sharing. Everyone deserves a getaway like this.
Our secret beach hideaway is Beachcomber Holiday Park.
Beachcomber is located at Potato Point, between Moruya and Narooma on the N.S.W. South Coast, specifically in the Eurobodalla region. It primarily serves as a campground but basic and more luxurious cabins are available as well. There are powered and unpowered camp sites, and all of the accommodation types offer amazing views.
My favourite part about this place: It’s completely off the grid.
Beachcomber is run on solar power, rainwater and their own septic system. Before you start thinking ‘hippy farm’, or the like, let me say this: I’ve stayed at many places by the beach, including some of the ‘big boys’ of the “Australian Holiday Park world”, and I’ve never stayed in one so clean and well managed.
I’m beginning to realize that the locally owned and managed campgrounds are superior to the corporate variety and worth spending a little extra money to help keep them going. That’s not to say that it was expensive. Sure, it was more than the usual campground fee ($45 for a powered beachfront campsite), but I am happy to spend a few extra dollars on a eco-friendly, locally owned establishment.
Now I may sound like I’m a obsessive clean freak, but I do appreciate a clean campground. Beachcomber was impeccably clean.
There was never any sand in our tent because the grounds are completely grassed. A thick carpet of lovely green grass adorns the grounds. We arrived right after a 4 day wedding. You would imagine the place would be torn up after all the traffic that comes with a wedding with canopies and guests, but that wasn’t the case at all.
The grass here is even and easy to pitch a tent on. The fire pits are clean. Even the kitchen and bathrooms were sparkling the entire time we were there! Most places require bug clean-up in the morning, but not here. The bathrooms were always spotless and bug free.
The only drawback about Beachcomber is you have tiptoe around the ‘roo poo’.
Wallabies and Kangaroos are everywhere. But really, what can you do? You’re treading in their environment. Maybe that’s the secret to the green grass staying so robust?! Yet, it’s not a big deal. Most of the time we were walking around barefoot.
In the morning, after a good flick of the ‘roo poo with the trusty dustpan, the site is clean again. I’ll take that over sand or dirt any day!
Indeed, the ‘roos’ are everywhere. We spent hours just watching them interact with each other. They nibbled on the grass, groomed each other, and scratched themselves a lot. With those short arms, it was hard not to try to help them get to those hard to reach places with a back scratch. They will approach you too, if they think you have food, but thankfully they are still a little spooked by humans. Best not to give them any food anyway, human food will make them sick.
Like Yogi Bear, wallabies are always on the lookout for a tasty meal acquired from unwary picnickers, so you should be careful not to leave food out.
A neighbour camper learned this the hard way when he left his pre-dinner ‘nibbles’ out. We laughed as the little guy snuck in and pulled a bowl off the table to enjoy a quick snack. I guess we weren’t being very neighbourly, but it was too much fun to watch the little roo stealthily approach. It was even funnier to watch the neighbour race over to shoo the culprit away.
(Yes, yes, we’re bad neighbours!)
While they can be mischievous, wallabies are sweet too.
We had a joey just hang with us just outside our compound all day. She was quite cute, her demeanour mild, and she was just small enough to tempt us into fitting her into the car to take along with us. She reminded me of Winnie, the orphaned joey I brought home on the school bus one day when I was a teenager. (She was called Winnie because she used to Poo(h) everywhere…). But that was when we lived on a farm. This sweet thing was the here and now… We thought about the aforementioned excessive pooing, and looking at the size of some of her larger family members, we let the idea go. She was beautiful though. It was tempting to take her with us (albeit also illegal!).
We also met ‘Big Boy’ as we so ‘cleverly’ called him, the alpha male of our little wallaby community.
He was not to be messed with for sure, so almost everyone (dumb German tourists excepted) gave him a respectable distance–especially since he was particularly randy on our visit. He schmoozed with just about any lady he bounded near. He gave chase across the grounds day and night. When a lady stopped long enough to catch her breath, there was “Big Boy’, attempting to lift her tail with his eager junk dangling, until off she went again. Poor guy. Surely though, with all his effort, he managed to get lucky on one occasion when no one was watching!
Of course, all the younger bucks wanted in on the action too. We saw quite a few boxing matches take place. Heads back, little arms flailing, and the occasional leap into the oppositions belly with those powerful hind legs—it was quite a spectacular show.
Come evening, as the barbies (BBQs) fired up with the snags (sausages), flocks of Kookaburras came out for dinner. We had 3 land on our canopy late one afternoon while we were eating our sausages. Our English neighbour was busy taking photos so I invited him over closer.
“I hope I’m not disturbing your dinner” he said in that ever so polite way of the English.
“No. Not at all. But they are”, I replied, waving up at the opportunistic birds. I waved his wife over to see them too. As we chatted, they’d stop mid-sentence.
“Oh! Did you see that one?”, they’d ask one another with a grand smile.
It was just as delightful for us to watch the English couple take pleasure in the ravenous birds, flying from barbie to barbie looking for an easy meal, as they swooped our heads.
I will tell you, that being amidst a National Park, there’s lots of other wildlife about. As I was reading a book in the shade, my joey right next to me munching on the grass, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A red-bellied black snake was slithering in my direction. I carefully rose and slowly moved further away to give him (and me!) plenty of room.
Our new neighbours next door had seen me move out of my chair and since I was standing there, staring intently at the ground with a book in my hand, they came over to investigate. I pointed out the snake which was now moving in their site’s direction. Since they were in a caravan, I asked: “Are you all closed up over there?” One can never be too careful. Snakes can be sneaky.
Mr. Snake was just looking for a cool spot to be for a while and there was a perfect spot under the bushes beneath some ground cover. Unfortunately for us, his ideal spot meant we could no longer see him. With feeble efforts of tossing a few harmless items his way (and giving him plenty of space at the same time) we managed to coax him out and toward a nearby cabin. He found his cool place underneath the porch. Needless to say, we were very alert of our surroundings after that.
When you arrive, they will tell you there is a ‘resident snake’ at Beachcomber. He is shy and he will leave you be if you do likewise. Like all snakes, if you stomp when you walk and make noise, they will stay away. But, you do have to make sure that everything is closed up because the snakes love blankets in a tent just as much as humans do.
Of all the traveling I’ve done, I’ve never seen were emus on the beach.
As luck would have it, a family (or 2) of emus lives near Beachcomber.
We saw the Mum and Dad with their teen twins frolicking on a nearby beach one afternoon. On another day (we think we saw the parents, but it may have been another pair) sauntering along the beach near our campsite.
It’s a rare occurrence in Australia to see emus on the beach – even the Aussies (who you can pick out in this beach crowd) were up and taking photos.
Beachcomber has a wonderful laid back atmosphere which is helped by how well laid out the campground is. With other campgrounds, we’ve had campers pitching within inches of our tent. So squeezed in, you have to wonder just where the relaxation comes from when you’re constantly annoyed by your neighbours.
Here, there’s space and lots of it. Being totally off the grid, Beachcomber has the capacity to manage a specific number of sites so there is no need to be greedy. The place is respectful and caring of the environment as well as their visitors. It’s evident that the people who work there are deeply committed to both.
We stayed at Beachcomber for 5 days. We had people come and go and everyone was considerate of each other. It was quiet. People chatted with each other, swapped stories. We never felt encroached upon. In all, people were relaxed and welcoming. People here were happy.
It was a joyful atmosphere.
That’s how it is at Beachcomber: Joyful. Relaxing. In fact, I’ve never come away from a beach camping experience so relaxed and happy before.
Please note: This was NOT a sponsored stay but a self-funded experience. Like all reviews and recommendations, we do not promote any brand we have not used ourselves or recommend. All opinions are our own. Please follow our advice at your own risk.
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