Jindalee River camp, NSW highlands

Situated about 25kms from the small township of Glen Innes, Jindalee River Camp currently offers two well spaced-out bush camp sites situated on flat areas of a sloping highland meadow that runs down to the headwaters of the Severn river. There are no amenities apart from fire pits and a rustic style drop toilet, but what this bush camp does have, is peace and quiet and plenty of it. The only sounds to be heard here are from the local birdlife and from the various species of frogs which inhabit the area. Wedgetail Eagles, which nest on the 500 acre property, can be seen wheeling overhead in the thermals, while at dusk, shy Wallabies and Grey Kangaroos come out to feed. We were thrilled to see watch a pair of Brown Hares from the windows of our van creep out to graze and play; while Spotted Quolls are apparently still common here, according to Bob, the genial farm manager.

Common Brown Butterfly.
Common Brown Butterfly – note the granite sand in the background. This is very typical of the area.

Following the trails along the river bank and through the trees, we encountered sunlit glades where clouds of Butterflies swirled and danced. Huge granite mounds offer the traveller an opportunity to clamber up and survey the surrounding countryside, to pause a moment and inhale the tranquility. Currawongs, Rufous Whistlers and Flame Robins provide a sound track, with not a sound of civilisation to be heard. Underfoot, pretty little blue moths flutter in their millions. The meadows also have a characteristic smell: a mixture of wildflowers, highland herbs and grasses, reminiscent of mountain sage and wild marjoram, characteristic of summer in the highlands.

Fern on stump
Fern on stump

At the top of the meadow a dam has been constructed, and this has been stocked with trout. We watched as these fingerlings fed greedily on insects at the water’s surface, while incredible golden and scarlet Dragonflies drifted past. If the dam is spared from drought, the fishing should be very good in a few years’ time.

Dragonfly glimmering gold in summer sunshine, Glen Innes, NSW.

This area, which is the land of the Ngarabal people, reminded early settlers of their homes in Scotland. Indeed, this rough, rush-covered, terrain has been labelled the ‘Celtic’ highlands, but nothing can take away from its very unique and very special Australian flavour. The weather can be very changeable, with most mornings cool and fresh even in summer, while afternoons can be hot; in winter, they often have snow, with temperatures dropping down to -10c.

Camp site.
Our camp site.

Jindalee is situated on a working farm, but the cattle and horses are kept out of the meadows when people are camping. Pets are welcome, as long as they are kept under control.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo - out feeding at dusk.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo – out feeding at dusk.

Firewood is provided, as Bob doesn’t want people cutting down dead trees; these are preserved to provide nesting sites for the abundant local birdlife. This includes both Pale-headed and Crimson Rosellas, while we saw Eastern Rosellas at an active nest site.

Eastern Rosella near its nest site at Jindalee.
Eastern Rosella near its nest site at Jindalee.

Jindalee River Camp is the perfect spot to recharge your batteries and do a bit of slow camping.

Scones cooked in a camp oven with coals from a camp fire.
Scones cooked in a camp oven with coals from a camp fire.

Jindalee River Camp can be booked through Hipcamp.

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