If you fancy a bit of bush camping by the river, then Lane Poole Reserve is just idyllic. BUT prepare yourself for mucky kids having incredible filthy fun and doing your business in the woods or a drop-toilet by torch light!
It’s about an hour and a half drive from Perth and does include gravel roads as you enter the Lane Poole Reserve. The reserve has around seven campsites of which only a few are currently bookable online. Make sure you book the right pitch for your tent size or campervan as some pitches are quite small and cordoned off with stumps.We booked the Chuditch campground online a few weeks in advance and reserved three sites next to each other. The pitches are spaced quite wide apart so if you’re in a group you can’t set up a communal area like you would on any other campsite. Since we were in a group, we ate in the communal campground area which was undercover, with bbq’s, water, sinks and a drop toilet.Each camp area within the reserve has its own set of facilities some different from others. For instance, in our area, we couldn’t build a campfire but others had fire pits to use. Our pitch wasn’t far from the toilet which is a drop system. The kids called it the drop off from the Finding Nemo film as it was a little walk away and on the edge of the campground “safe” area where the kids weren’t allowed any further.Aptly named the “drop-off”It’s important to set boundaries for the kids so they know how far they can go and walk the area with them, so they’re familiar with how to get back to the pitch. I got lost at night getting to the drop-off so used the traditional “hide behind a bush method” at night. The kids loved wee’ing in the bush.
Once our pitch was set-up, we were keen to explore the forest. After about 10mins we found the beautiful Murray River “Island Pool” area. There’s plenty of boulder rocks for the kids to climb and play on to get across the other side of the river.The river bank is mainly muddy gravel entry with rocks under the water. We managed to find a great little spot where the kids could walk in to swim as well as a jumping platform from a tree stump. I enjoyed a blissful swim out to the rocks in the centre of the river pool, simply amazing experience.We also visited Tony’s Bend a shallower part of the river and great for toddlers to waddle around in. We saw many canoes travelling along this route which made for good viewing as they kept getting stuck.There are plenty of bush walks around the reserve, and you can drive to other sites along the river to enjoy the Murray waterfalls and other scenes.The kids enjoyed playing and exploring in the forest with their new friends in the neighbouring campsite. They even built a shelter/fort by gathering fallen branches and leaves.
Expect the kids to get very very mucky!!The reserve is dog-friendly and we took along our 15week old puppy, Chester. He LOVED the nature trails, but his favourite was his first doggy paddle in the River and then digging holes in the muddy bank!!We had no phone signal as soon as we entered the reserve so plan to have a peaceful and restful stay.
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