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Camp Like a Pro on the Macleay Valley Coast

Anna Kirk | Rainbow Reach

If you’re looking to experience some of the best camping in NSW, look no further than the Macleay Valley Coast.

Anna and her family took annual camping holidays to Hat Head for many years before finally moving to the area in 2003. Anna now shares her love of camping with customers who drop into Kempsey Camping World for supplies or advice.

Here, she shares some tips for those planning to pitch a tent somewhere in the stunning Macleay Valley:

1. Hat Head is still our favourite place to camp

Hat Head is still our favourite place to camp. It’s where our kids learnt to ride bikes, fish and surf and holds so many special memories for us. It also has everything from headland walks, excellent fishing, safe beaches…and the creek is just beautiful at high tide.

2. If you’re after a more remote, bush-style campground I’d recommend Hungry Gate Campground in Hat Head National Park

If you’re after a more remote, bush-style campground I’d recommend Hungry Gate Campground in Hat Head National Park. You can have campfires and kids absolutely love the steep sand dunes nearby. It also has a toilet – which is a deal-breaker for me!

3. Wattle Creek in the Macleay hinterland is an amazing little bush campground on the Styx River

Wattle Creek in the Macleay hinterland is an amazing little bush campground on the Styx River. It’s nestled right beside a waterhole that is beautiful and clear, and large enough to kayak and paddleboard in. And, of course, it has a toilet.

4. Our go-to camping meal would have to be camp oven pizzas

Our go-to camping meal would have to be camp oven pizzas. My daughter has six kids, so we usually camp in a big group. The kids love to make their own pizza toppings on naan or Lebanese bread, and we just pop them on a trivet in the bottom of the camp oven. They only take five minutes to cook and are always delicious.

5. I’m not a fan of camping in the rain, but I do advise people who come into the store to prepare for all conditions

I’m not a fan of camping in the rain, but I do advise people who come into the store to prepare for all conditions. Make sure you’ve got a tarp over your site (and do it properly – otherwise it will collapse!). Also, bring plenty of extra clothes for the kids.

6. Many areas of the Macleay Valley are pristine so if you’re camping here, please camp in designated camping areas, bring your own firewood & don’t litter

Many areas of the Macleay Valley are pristine so if you’re camping here, please camp in designated camping areas, bring your own firewood and don’t litter. Try not to damage the environment – just enjoy it.

7. My top camping activities are paddle boarding on the creeks & waterways

My top camping activities are paddle boarding on the creeks and waterways, walking on tracks I’ve never been on and just reading and relaxing.

8. Most people seem to love camping in summer

Most people seem to love camping in summer, but my favourite time to camp is in winter when we can light candles and have a big fire. There are no mozzies or flies, and the air is nice and crisp. It feels cosy.

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