Just two hours from Sydney, Kangaroo Valley is described by many as “The most beautiful valley in Australia”.
Over the Easter long weekend, we escaped the city and ventured to Kangaroo Valley for a long-awaited camping trip.
I love the feeling of freedom when driving away from the hustle and bustle towards wide open spaces – I forget how much I love the country until I’m in it. Once you’re off the highway, it’s a lovely drive, filled with winding roads and plenty of greenery and farms.
As you turn into Kangaroo Valley, you’re greeted by the historical Hampden Bridge, which is Australia’s last surviving wooden suspension bridge of the 19th century. Not only has it got “enormous aesthetic appeal” (National Trust), but it is considered very rare because the majority of the structure is original.
We camped at Glenmack Park on Moss Vale Road, which is perfectly located beside the Kangaroo Valley River and within a five minute stroll of the village. The park features picturesque mountain views in all directions, which is the biggest highlight I feel, as the view at dusk and in the morning was beautiful.
Considering it was Easter, the tariff price was relatively cheap for an unpowered site at $16pp per night. The park has a pool, tennis courts, mini-golf, and lots of park pets who liked to hover outside our tent. My favourite was the baby alpaca – adorable. The toilets are also very clean, cater for a lot of campers, and have hot running water.
It was a great base to take time out, read a book, make a fire and have a conversation without all the distractions. I tend to sleep really well while camping – in fact, the weather was so perfect that I was almost wishing it would rain so that it would feel like a proper camping trip!
500m from the park is the village where you can stop for a coffee and browse the local stores. The Kangaroo Valley Fudge House and Ice Creamery is well known for its award winning handmade fudge, and the Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop claims to have “The World’s Best Pies”. We also had time for a drink at the Friendly Inn Hotel to celebrate Joe’s birthday. It’s a beautiful country village with a lot of character.
About 25 minutes drive south from Kangaroo Valley is Nowra Trees Adventure Park, which is located right inside Shoalhaven Zoo. As soon as I saw the promo video for this, I knew I wanted to do it. The course features challenging obstacles high up in the tree canopy and flying foxes so you can zip between the trees at speed. There’s also cargo nets to climb, rock faces to cling to and rope bridges to scramble across.
It was a lot of fun and we both enjoyed it a lot, though at one point I got halfway down a zip line at full speed before the rope got twisted and jerked me back. One week on, my thighs are still black and blue from the harness catching me!
Water plunges over 80m to the valley below, and there’s a well-informed visitor centre that can advise you about the different cycling and walking tracks. We went for the East Rim Wildflower walking track which runs from the falls to Warrawong lookout in the northern section of the park.
I was extremely sad to leave Kangaroo Valley and return to real life, but we had a great weekend, and my spark for camping has been ignited.