Around-Oz: Living the Dream!

Moira State Forest Park
Jollys Bend
Fantastic Riverside Bush Camping
Near Shepparton Victoria

Wow! What a fantastic riverside forest camping area - this is in the Jolly Bend State Forest. We spent the 2005 Anzac Day weekend with our good mates from the Fifth Wheeler Family. This is a free site with zero facilities, however it is camping at its best. An ideal initiation spot for those a little bit nervous about camping in the "bush" on their own as habitation at the Strawberry Farm is only a kilometre away. Tons of open space on grass, so you will never be crowded out even on a long weekend. You can have shaded, or totally open for good solar, sites.


Now the river isn't pristine clear water, but it is good for fishing and certainly deep enough to putter around in a boat. Nights are blissfully quiet and mornings are filled with bird song. Yes, you can have fires on the ground and it is a good move to bring your own wood and water. Wonderful place for big rigs as there is just so much room to move and the access road is quite wide once you negotiate the "arch".


There are some facilities on-site in the nearby scout camp, however you MUST ask permission to use these - toilets, BBQ, water, electrically lit picnic shed etc. This is bike riding and walking paradise, and you can go for miles right beside the river or deep into the forest. You do not even need a mountain bike as the roads are compacted. Our litle folding Dahon was just fine. Don't forget though that this is Victoria so be aware that you can get thorn punctures even when not riding on the grass. Mobile phones work great - Telstra GSM 4 bars - Telstra CDMA 4 bars. In fact we uploaded this story with all its pictures using a Sierra Aircard, from the campsite in just 3 minutes. The wonders of modern technology!


As you can see by the photos the Fifth Wheelers have a great time at their rallies! Happy Hour is a huge affair and community dinners are the order of the day, and all are encouraged to join in around a roaring fire. Remember all this camp at present is totally free! Shepparton is only 15 minutes away if you want to extend your stay and do a bit of shopping.


Saturday night saw a community BBQ (hamburgers and sausages provided by the group) and everyone came along with a plate of salad or nibblies. As you can see it was a smokey BBQ and we think there might have been a nest of some description in the chimney. A raffle was held with the main prize, a weeks accomodation voucher donated by Casino Village and this was won by Daniel, son of Wendy and Ralph. He too loves the lifestyle and is about to start an apprenticeship with a fifth wheeler manufacturer. $141 was raised with the proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research (a gesture much appreciated by Jan who is currently undergoing chemo treatment for just that reason!)


Finding this spot can be tricky! Even with GPS, Garmin for instance using the Sensis maps don't show it on their current maps, but they do show the Goulburn River. Just travel towards Kiala West (about 10 kms south of Shepparton) on the Goulburn Valley Highway until you see the familiar yellow and black turn off sign. (right from Shepparton and left from Melbourne) Turn into Moira Drive, go over a "hump" over the irrigation canal to the end of the bitumen and proceed 3 kms on good gravel down the Nadzab Track. Sign posting is extremely poor folks! We suggest that you keep bearing left and stay on the most used track. Some of the track is all weather gravel with only slight corrugations right at the start. There is a 3.6 metre clearance archway - almost broken due to vehicle "misjudging". If in doubt open the gate on the left and avoid the arch! In our view you simply can't go wrong visiting this delightful spot.

Absolutely recommended

Hema 42 D 3

GPS S 36 28 583 E 145 22 121


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Last updated: March 30, 2006
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