Friday, 25 March 2016

Booky Cliffs Campground in Murray River National Park

After about an hour drive, we began to look carefully at the road signs, so we would not miss a turn to the national park Katarapko (a part of Murray River National Park). Of course we passed by the required turn, and had to turn around and drive back a little. Endless vineyards began as soon as we left town. Juicy grapes were swinging on the branches practically next to the window of our car, and we really wanted to try the sweet berries. However we could not... as it was private property...

Endless vineyards with juicy grapes, swinging on the branches. Berri, South Australia

The road to the national park was going through some kind of dried swamp. Vegetation around the road was grayish and looked dusty. On both sides of the road there were deep tracks in the dried marsh soil, left by the off-road vehicles that enjoyed mud driving in the wet weather. Nasty swamp smell penetrated into the car through the open window. We even felt depressed for a little while: Oh, my God, where are we driving??? However Alex encouraged us, he said that,  we have not yet reached the end point, and it could be even more interesting then.

Vegetation around the road to the park was grayish and looked dusty. Katarapko National Park

We crossed  a few bridges over the small rivers (rather, creeks). Later on the map, we realized that our park, in fact, was situated on a series of islands separated by creeks in the floodplain of the Murray River. After some time the dried swamps have been left behind. We became a little happier seeing the bush with the birds scurrying between the branches. We arrived to the self-registration station, filled  the form, and threw an envelope with the payment into the money-box. Such stations are becoming increasingly rare, as most of the national parks introduce the Internet booking system, which, in fact, sometimes, is more convenient.

Self-registration stations are not common in most of national parks anymore

While Alex was paying for our camping, kids poured out like peas from a pod. They  found a piece of chalk and began to draw all kinds of Easter pictures on the blackboard, located at the information board. They liked this activity, because such an equipment no longer exists in  schools... Right there, on the information board, we admired the sign warning about the possibility of unauthorized falling branches from the trees ...

Booky Cliffs Campground, Murray River National Park
Booky Cliffs Campground, Murray River National Park

This time we were not sure exactly which of several Campgrounds located on the territory of the park to choose from, so, we decided to look at different options, starting from the Booky Cliffs Campground. We found out, that this place was pretty good and we decided not to look for anything else. Booky Cliffs Campground is located in a beautiful spot on the steep bend of the river.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, there have been already a lot of tents, so we went back and occupated one of no-name camp-sites on the beach in a walking distance from the toilet ...

, Murray River National Park
Booky Cliffs Campground, Murray River National Park

The place was extremely nice, we had a great opportunity to admire the picturesque cliffs on the opposite bank. We were really lucky:  there were nether rushes nor reeds on our shore, so we could easily approach the water, and even sit on the comfortable snags sticking from the river. A little further on was a small sandy beach with a small slope from which picturesquely stuck out the roots of trees growing nearby. To our surprise, the children actively helped us to clear the site for our tent, and then disappeared somewhere else with the picked up branches. As it turned out later, they used them to create a cozy hut among those roots on the beach, and then happily played in there.

Children used branches to create a cozy hut among those roots
Children used branches to create a cozy hut among those roots

The evening was pleasant, though a bit cool, probably because we were so close to the water. Our distant neighbors made a fire, we would have loved to follow their example, but did not. Although the weather was obviously not fire dangerous, after all, it was still a fire-ban season, and we were afraid of a heavy fine.

Booky Cliffs Campground, Murray River National Park
Booky Cliffs Campground, Murray River National Park

It was quiet and dark on the shore, some of our invisible neighbors had fun drawing with a green laser pointer, with which they created patterns on the opposite bank bushes. Moon was stunningly beautiful and unrealistically huge. After dinner, that for some reason was cooked very long time, we all happily hid into the warm tent, and spent the night in there without mishaps.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds lke quite an adventure! Makes me want to go camping to this park with my squad who are always on the lookout for new adventures and experiences.