Emus at Rose Isle, NSW.
Emus spotted from our riverside camp side at Rose Isle, outback NSW.

In the evening, as the sun sets slowly over the tree tops, the birds gather to celebrate the passing of the day. Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, resplendent in their ornate plumage, shriek from the upmost branches of a dead gum tree, and perform elegant courtship dances. V-shaped squadrons of Cormorants pass overhead, the flapping of their wings in unison clearly audible as they head down the river. And on the river banks below, Nankeen and White Necked Herons squawk their raucous welcome to the night. This is bush camping at Rose Isle on the Baaka-Darling, this is bush camping at it’s best…

Parrots at Rose Isle.
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Ring-necked Parrakeet at Rose Isle.

Situated in outback NSW, about 30km from the tiny hamlet of Louth, and about 70km from Bourke, Rose Isle offers conventional accommodation for caravans and also holiday cottages; but it also offers bush camping riverside sites for self-contained travellers, where you can slow camp and immerse yourself in the extraordinary richness of flora and fauna in this very special environment. With water in the Baaka Darling (there’s a weir at Louth, so this section nearly always has water) and after a few good seasons of rain, this area is bursting with life.

The bird life here is quite extraordinary: from the constant presence of Whistling Kites, to cute little Button Quails, to the incredible abundance of water birds, and to the noisy Red Rumped and Ringneck Parrakeets which make this such a special place. We were also lucky enough to see flocks of endangered Pink Cockatoos (also known as Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo) as they gathered in the tree tops near the river. All this within sight of our camp, where we set up and stayed for a week, just taking it easy, with some relaxed home cooking on open camp fires, far far from the noise and bustle of civilization. Emus grazed nearby, and from our bankside seats we could see snake-necked Darters squirm and dive to feast on the fish that noisily splashed in the grey-green waters.

If you’re fully self-contained, don’t miss the chance to camp at Rose Isle among (not under!) the mighty Red Gums of the river, which themselves have such a magnificent presence.

Full details and booking: Rose Isle River camp.

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