Free Camping at Bungeworgorai
My first experience of free camping was at Bungeworgorai Creek. When I set off in August 2017 to attend the Rolling Solo event at Ross River, I was so new at camping, and so “green” at driving my Toyota Coaster. I had only taken it on short journeys and each one was a drama. When I left Brisbane in haste to make it to Dalby, I was shaking like a leaf! Maybe that caused the visor to rip off the front of the van going up the range to Toowoomba.
I made it safely to Dalby and spent my first night in a caravan park – still shaking I think from the drama of the first day of my trip. It is true that I considered giving up and returning to Brisbane. But I took a deep breath and decided to proceed.
My next stop was at Bungeworgorai Creek – a free camping spot beside the Warrego Highway after Roma. I had no experience of free camping and cautiously drove into the area. There were 3 or 4 vans there. One was a Toyota Coaster pulling a trailer with a small car on board. The man had two cats he was travelling with and they roamed free. One of them caught a mouse in the grass and was playing with it near his van. The man was friendly and came over and looked at my Toyota, and we had a short chat.
I had parked near a caravan which was towed by a small truck. The couple were friendly, and invited me for “Happy Hour”. They were typical grey nomads enjoying travelling around Australia.
On and On I Drove
My next free camping night was at Tambo. I’d read that there was a free camp there, but it was not where I had been told. I had coffee at a cafe and a lady told me about the “new” area of free camping, just a couple of kilometers away on the banks of the Barcoo River.
After spending time at the Tambo Art Gallery and the Tambo Teddies shop, I was ready to take a break, so decided to go to the camping area. I found it rather quickly. It was much more heavily treed than I had expected, and there was not a lot of water in the Barcoo. I had trouble finding a spot, but eventually stopped close to a couple. They were from NSW and were horsey people, though had left their horses behind with family. They were a lovely couple and we spent a lot of time exchanging stories. They had a lot more than me.
Free Camping Under the Bridge at Camooweal
When I reached Camooweal, I recognised two other Roller members and we got chatting in the late afternoon. They were keen to free camp by the Georgina River and I followed them down and found a spot in the dry dusty area beside the river. I was surprised to wake in the morning and find them gone. They must have left before 6 am.
It was my last free camping for a while, as for the next week or so I was in paid camping spots.
Camooweal is on the border of Queensland and Northern Territory – so I was soon off on my way to the Barkly Homestead. It is a camping ground and road house and I had stayed in a cabin there on a previous trip. All was well, and the following morning I left for my next stop at Devils Marbles or Karlu Karlu. It was here that I met up with more Rollers. As well, I met an amazing lady who was taking her disabled husband on a drive. She had to bathe him, feed him and their two dogs, dress him and drive a large vehicle towing a very big van. I was so impressed with her, especially as I heard him speaking to her in a rather unpleasant manner.