It wasn’t our first intention to reveal the where-abouts of our favourite camping ground, but if we’re going to blog about camp sites then we must review as many as possible. So here it is – Island Reach Camping Resort.
After a quick forty minute drive from home (Palmwoods), via the highway and turning off at Mary Valley Tourist drive, we followed the signs to Imbil. Island Reach is located at the start of the town on the right hand side, just before you go around the first corner. In all honesty it doesn’t look overly appealing from the road, but what waits beyond the gates is camping bliss. If you’re into things like; grassy meadows, plenty of shady trees, clean well kept amenities and an awesome swimming hole… then this is the place for you.
I have a top five pyramid list for great camping, it goes like this,
- Shade, flushing toilets, grass, water, fishing
- Shade, flushing toilets, grass, water
- Shade, flushing toilets, grass
- Shade, flushing toilets
Shade and flushing toilets have equal importance to me, however, if it was the dead cold of winter, I could probably forgo the shade and live with just flushing toilets. If it’s summer, forget about it, I need shade and plenty of it! Island reach has powered and non powered sites all offering plenty of shade and grass.
We tried fishing on site, but to no avail. A trip up river in a kayak might offer better success? We’re headed up there this weekend and I’ve just learnt that a brand spanking new kayak will be making its maiden voyage on the trip. Here’s hoping to fried fish on Saturday night or at least some good laughs over our misadventures kayaking (inevitable seeing none of us have participated in this sport before), eek!
I’ve been to Island Reach on the hottest day of the year and the watering hole was a god send. I’m not usually partial to swimming in water that I can’t see through; I psych myself out, imagining all manner of crazy things happening beneath me. But, we weren’t in crocodile country and I was pretty confident that the risk of a shark attack was minimal (seeing it’s a fresh water creek miles away from the ocean), and for once my fear of snakes was squashed under the necessity to stay cool. Actually, the banks of Yabba creek at Island Reach are extremely clean, there was literally more chance of swimming with cows than snakes. There is a pasture on the other side of the creek, the cows make their way down steep walking tracks (much like mountain goats) to have a sip of Yabba brew. They all seemed to muster on down at the same time, almost like there days work was done, it was knock off time and the creek was the local cow pub. They have very stable footing which surprised me a lot. Although the view was spectacular, the myriad other people didn’t delight me anywhere near as much as the cows; with exception, perhaps, of the kayaking dog!
The last two camping trips have been to this wonderful oasis. The first was in late November and long behold… it was the same weekend the 4WD club was having their Christmas party. Although the grounds were chokka-block, you really wouldn’t have known. There was never a wait for the toilet or shower and every encounter at the amenities was clean.
Dogs are welcomed with open arms here and it seemed at times there were more dogs than people. Not because they were naughty or loud. I suppose it was because I was constantly and pleasantly surprised at how lucky these guys were to be away having fun with their humans and not sulking at home, eagerly awaiting return of their best friends. If you do bring your dogs along with you they must be kept on a leash. A reasonable request, I think.
Ice is readily available at the Island reach kiosk for a reasonable fee. There is a considerate sized rubbish area with separate allocations for recycling and town is just a mere stroll up the street. Another massive plus for Island Reach is the acceptance of fires. This is great if you’re like us and love to cook in your camp-oven or do your breaky on a bbq plate over the fire.
Imbil itself is a small town that opened for development in 1914 as a forestry town. There is a pub, a corner store and Antique store, but best of all Imbil is host to the Tomato Festival in early December.
The Tomato festival is still in its infancy, in fact, 2013 was the inaugural Tom-fest. Kath (the Caravan) was a bit underwhelmed by the shenanigans that day ( but she is more well travelled than I). I on the other hand thought it was quite quaint. It is not often one gets to roll tomatoes on a bowling green. Like all good festivals there were people wearing hats that announced the event, faces were painted and stalls prevailed. However… aside from bowling or tossing, there was otherwise an extreme lack of tomatoes. Hopefully as this quaint festival grows we might see some relish competitions, some cooking demonstrations and, this is novel… but perhaps be able to buy some relish – even tomatoes.
Anyways… In a nut shell, I think Island Reach camping resort is perfection. I’ve been in the heat and stayed cool. I’ve been in the rain and enjoyed myself, I’ve festivalled it up in town and I’ve patroned the pub. All in all this place gets one great big thumbs up from me! With reasonable rates, phone reception, hot showers and being so close with good safe roads to get there, I have to ask… “Why are you still reading , shouldn’t you packing the camping clobber”?
Happy camping – Rose and Jason (The Tent)
Island Reach Camping Resort website www.islandreach.com.au