Island Reach Camping Review – The Tent

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.

Shady, grassy sites right near the water

Shady, grassy sites right near the water

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,

  1. Shade, flushing toilets, grass, water, fishing
  2. Shade, flushing toilets, grass, water
  3. Shade, flushing toilets, grass
  4. Shade, flushing toilets
  5. Shade

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.

island reach swimming hole

The swimming hole at Island Reach

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.

Island Reach on a cool morning

Island Reach on a cool morning

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 Tomato-Cow... makes sense?

The Tomato Festival Tomato-Cow… makes sense?

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


16 thoughts on “Island Reach Camping Review – The Tent

  1. Awesome review.. We will be checking that one out. Hope in the future there is still room for you at this oasis.. Grateful you have shared your favourite spot.. Thanks

  2. Thanks Gail, We’ve been there when it’s very busy and found room, but we’ll force ourselves onto a patch of grass somewhere if we have to. Cheers, Rose

  3. Love what you guys are doing with the blog. Hopefully I’ll get to come along one weekend with you all. Have fun and have a drink for me tonight. x

  4. My family and I have been going there for the last few years now over xmas and new year Just love the place . last time we went the summer storms came through camp site few trees down but it was like the hole camp site & managers got in together and helped out with the clean up . Always good fun with the swimming hole if you have kayaks or any flotation device just to keep cool floating in the water . Just awesome that its so dog friendly too.

    • Thanks Glen, I’m sure the storms there would’ve been a site to behold. The floods in early 2013 went right up into their office. Now that is a lot of water.

  5. Island Reach Camping, beautiful place, thoroughly enjoyed a few days with some friends there, lovely river, peaceful. What ruined it for us all was it’s a pity they do not maintain the park for it’s patrons. The toilets and showers were cleaned only once in the 3 days we were there, very off putting and unhygienic. The kitchen waste water was overflowing next to the sinks, and the sinks would take a while to drain. One night one of the BBQ’s disappeared. The owners must have need to use it themselves, dunno really.

    What also grabbed our attention was their website boasted kayak hire and going as a group was quite enticing. There were only 2 and 1 canoe, hardly enough for a group of friends to share the experience of paddling up the tranquil river. The word we got was they lost them during the floods and hadn’t really got around to replacing them. The floods were a couple of years back. Surely insurance covered them? The amenities and activities advertised is what drew us there, apart from the location.

    Maybe spend a little on maintenance, at least spend some time keeping the amenities nicer. Other than the cleanliness of amenities, which is a big part of the experience, the location is excellent.

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  7. We stayed here on the October long weekend in 2014. Was extremely full and busy. Lots of dogs, though we never heard them barking. For such a busy weekend, the facilities were always clean and to our surprise no line ups for the toilets or showers. Took our own kayak, and thouroughly enjoyed exploring the creek. It is also just a short drive up to the dam for more open fishing. We stayed as a group, and enjoyed ourselves so much we are going back again in a couple of weeks…..this may just be our annual group getaway. Found the owners very helpful, and would highly recommend to all!!! (was tempted to say horrible horrible place avoid at all costs, just so we can have it all to ourselves)

  8. Loved your review. A few friends and I are thinking of heading up there mid-March for a week before Easter. Sounds like the perfect spot for older ladies who love camping in their caravans!

  9. Lost track of how many holidays we have had here. ALL of them good! We take our grandsons & their friends – plenty to do- biking; hiking; kayaking; swimming (mud island – yeeaahh!!) Oh yes, & a doctor’s surgery over the road, which we have needed – boys will be boys!! But no real dramas, just good times all round! Be there again these coming school hols.

  10. Have just stayed a few days great setting but toilets are dirty need to be cleaned at least twice a day when park is full. No toilet paper is some toilets and this is what we only pay for. How can they call it a Resort when you arrive all you see are wrecked cars. Friends have been ringing to book for a week, no answer and message bank was full. This is not a scathing report just the absolute truth. Experienced grey nomads.

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