Around-Oz: Living the Dream!


Bright Caravan Park - Riverside Camping
Only 5 Minutes From Bright in Victoria
Just About as Scenic as it Gets!

Scenically, Bright in autumn is about as good as it gets in Australia. With the campsite grounds covered in coloured leaves, it truly is a photographer's paradise. A bit like camping in the Sherwood Forest - only 100% better! Our visit was deliberately timed to coincide with the famous annual Bright Autumn Festival in April 2005. We absolutely recommend this wonderful festival. How could one resist a caravan park in Cherry Lane, even though the GPS lass had never heard of it? This is a huge park with some 350 sites, with most under excellent shade - deciduous trees for winter. Yes, it is very doggie friendly, hence this review. Bright overall is very dog friendly with three parks to choose from and no "nasty" signs anywhere.


 
 

The park straddles the sparkling clear waters of Morse Creek. Trees abound, and in fact for high vans and motorhomers this can be a real hazard, so our best advice is to WALK to your site to check overhead clearance, as most streets have another entry. Check in was very pleasant and you are given a map with site directions and a copy of the camp rules. We booked by phone and this was also nicely handled and again very friendly. A nice touch was the advice to book in prior to the road closures for the parade. Now checking in can be difficult, as the designated parking area is totally unsuitable for high vehicles, as trees DESPERATELY need trimming. You are given no personal assistance with finding your site, other than a map. We liked the Daily Weather Forecast posted outside the office.


 
 
 

All roads are rough bitumen with no channeling. There are no drive through sites unless the park is fairly empty, and this park is really not suitable for any motorhome over 8 metres . Sites are quite small, but most are fairly level. Lots of water taps, and sullage is usually shared with four sites which means you need looooooong hoses! Sadly we photographed several vans on riverfront sites connected to water and with sullage hoses aimed straight at the creek! This is a gigantic no no in NSW, and commonsense dictates that no RV connected to permanent water should be parked next to a watercourse, UNLESS a sullage point is provided. We also photographed washing hanging on lines strung between trees - all visible from the street. Not tooooo good for our RV image. Management seemed more intent on checking if anyone was over staying without paying, rather than what was happening to their/our environment. Security here is really abysmal, as a thief can easily walk in one side and out any other. There is no check on incoming vehicles, as they can enter from four points with only one passing the office. Amenities are average and reasonably clean. Showers have nylon curtains and many have broken clips. One hook in most and a small bench. Sadly there is no dump point as yet, and no tap in the toilets for rinsing out porta-potties. Isn't it about time folks, that parks started catering to the simple needs of motorhomers and growing number of caravans with showers and toilets?


 
 
 

The camp kitchen is absolutely brilliant and really a show piece, but it would never cope if all 350 sites were occupied. Nice to see a community fridge - an item missing from so many parks. We loved the sails and lovely rustic tables and chairs - another nice touch. GSM and CDMA worked fine, but TV not super clear despite the repeater being on a nearby hill, possibly due to the thick canopy of trees overhead. No digital at all as yet, and satellite would be hopeless here. Walking and bike riding is absolutely fantastic in Bright. Lots of bike paths, but there are some hills, unless you pick your route carefully. Shopping is excellent at market time, as it is a very crafty village. A new supermarket is under construction (desperately needed as we couldn't get some market leading dog food or even common everyday Black and Gold cheese in 1kg pacs). Three bakeries - all quite different and excellent - see reviews on this site. We arrived in blackberry season, so one set up a shop outside and sold just blackberry products - a terrifically popular idea! On market days, parts of the village are closed off making for a delightful shopping experience. Closer to the park there is an excellent BP servo with a good range of grocery lines and of course papers.

Despite zero traffic/trains etc. noise was a serious problem during our stay.
During the day we had a "permanent" using an angle grinder at 10 am on a Sunday morning. Rather oddly this is billed as "a tourist park". A camp rule prohibits noise after 11PM. Gosh folks this is just toooooooooooo late, and we had two very disturbed nights sleep here, so much so that we decided to move on. Camp fires are allowed, but very sensibly not on the ground due to the high fire risk because of the leaves. A bit of a rip off this one, as you have to "hire" a rusty old drum for an horrific $10! In 50 years of camping we have NEVER come across this totally obnoxious practice before. Firewood is available for $12.00 a plastic pak. You also get paper and kindling - a nice touch. If you are watching your pennies, you might like to check out a much better value/facilities park. This is the dog friendly, Pine Valley Top Tourist Park, Bright - 1 km east of town just take Churchill Avenue to the right, from the centre of town - only 200 metres or so, off the Alpine Way. This road goes to delightful Wandiligong. Don't you just love the sound of some of these High Country villages? This is a superbly well managed park with all those little extras included in the price - even a special room for drying ski gear! The very friendly and accommodating owners David and Robyn simply bend over backwards to make their guests feel comfortable and welcome, in a very attractive and relaxed family friendly garden environment, albeit all on the slightly small side of things. Lots of extras including a delightful pool and lots more modern activities including electronic, for kiddies - and mostly all in the price too. Remember fellow campers that biggest is not always best! See the website at www.pineval.com.au. You can rent the latest DVDs in the village for $5.50 a night.


 
 
 

We paid $28.00 for a powered site in May 2005. We felt this was very poor value for the facilities and services offered. (we used our own shower and toilet and only topped up with water) Overall, despite a few minor niggles, this is a very scenic and convenient park, however it really didn't suit us, so we probably wont return. Management however, still has a long, long, way to go in providing better value for money and upgrading environmental concerns. Other dog friendly parks in the area, although not as large, seem to try harder and offer far better value for money. Please email us if you disagree with our summing up or this park improves.

Hema 43 E 9

GPS S36 43.710 E 146 20.183

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