The recent summer holidays were kind to me, I had the luxury of heading out to Croajingolong for a week, as well as spending a few days further north at Carrington Falls (Which I will be covering another day). When I camp at Croajingolong, I typically like to head down to Thurra as a base camp, my family have been heading down there for years. I want to try being a little bit easier to read when it comes to some of the important facts, so I have put together a small table that I will use for each campsite that I write about. That way, hopefully as the site continues to grow, you will be able to scan through campsites much more easily. Be gentle while its in its infancy, but feedback would be greatly appreciated.
The best way to get there from Melbourne is via the Princes freeway all the way to Cann River, once you arrive at Cann River its a right hand turn down Tamboon road simply follow that all the way to Thurra. Google Maps link here, just change “Melbourne” To your address. If you’re heading from Sydney or Canberra, I suggest the Monaro Highway, as the Monaro highway actually goes straight to Cann river (where it finishes).
Getting to Thurra is a fair old slog of a drive, at roughly 6 hours from Melbourne to Cann River it will consume the majority of a day getting there, then halfway down Tamboon road, it turns to dirt. Its about a 40 minute drive along the dirt to the actual campsite, this means you don’t really want to head back in to town very often, if at all!
|Number of sites||46|
|People per Site||6|
|Balloted||Christmas and Easter|
|Running Water||River only - Treatment required|
|Fires allowed||Yes, Fireplaces only|
|Nearest Town||Cann River|
|Parkweb Link||Thurra River|
The low down:
Thurra river campground is a fantastic ground with 46 sites, that is wedged between Thurra river and the south east coast along Point Hicks. The luxury of choosing between the warm river and the far cooler coast, means that regardless of the temperature, there is always somewhere you can go for a swim and have a laze about in the water.
At the top of Point hicks is the Point hicks lighthouse, this lighthouse has been in operation since 1890, when the remote light house keepers cottages were completed. These cottages can still be hired for stays today, If you are interested in hiring these cottages, you can find more info here. Disclosure: These cottages are managed by friends and family of mine.
Thurra features is own Dune walk, which is roughly 5km return, taking you to the top of the first large dune and looking out on to the rest from there. I will be writing an individual article on this beautiful walk, which I will link here, and attach GPX track notes for your viewing.
There is also a short walk to see the SS. Saros from the lighthouse, which crashed on-to the rocks on its voyage to Sydney on a foggy night in 1937.
My cousin and Uncle whom are great fishing aficionados love fishing off the coast here, apparently there is some great beach fishing, with plenty of Australian Salmon, Gummy Sharks and other tasty sea-life. Make sure that if you do go fishing you are both licensed to do so, and are aware that there is a marine park on the western side of point hicks other side of the lighthouse from Thurra which is protected and off-limits. Thurra is also roughly 2.25km west of Muller inlet, which is another estuary well known for its fishing, My brother and I caught some decently sized Brim in there during dusk later in my stay.
According to the Lighthouse keepers, and the Point Hicks information,The point got its name from Lieutenant Zachariah Hicks, whom spotted the point first. Captain James Cook wrote : “I have named it Point Hicks because Lieutenant [Zachariah] Hicks was the first to discover this land”. - April 19, 1770.”
Thurra River is a beautiful place, during the summer around the Christmas period, typically there are a lot of families down there, riding their new bikes, playing at the beach or the river, generally having a good time. The sites are well separated so while you can be sharing the area with up to 200 people, it doesn’t feel like you’re under each other’s armpits.
The fire pits are communal, but there are plenty for everybody, remember; its a national park; so you will have to bring any fuel that you want to burn on the fire. Remember, its almost 40 – 50 minutes to drive back to Cann River from Thurra and almost two hours to Mallacoota, so if you do plan to have a fire you will need to bring sufficient wood.
The River water out of Thurra river is drinkable after treating though quite full of tannin. I would recommend that if you can’t stomach a slight muddy taste, or the fact that your water will look like weak tea, you may wish to bring sufficient water for cooking and drinking. If you are like me, and find this preferable to chlorine and fluoride, then I think a water pump like a Katadyn or even just tablets should do the trick if you can’t be bothered to boil all your drinking water. There are plenty of locations up river of the jetty that are perfect for collecting water, however you should always keep some water in your car anyway just in case it is brackish for any reason. This has never been the case as far as I’m aware, but there is always a chance of this when camping on an estuary that occasionally opens into the sea.
Thurra River is home to some very interesting Wildlife, for those of you whom are not familiar see below for some pictures of Lace Monitors and what I’m pretty sure is a type of Bearded dragon.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with wildlife like Lace Monitors, Possums even Kookaburras or any wild animal for that matter, is that they are wild animals.No matter how friendly or domesticated they might appear, things could get nasty if you try to interact with them like you would a pet.
Managing the way you dispose of food, and making sure that your rubbish is out of reach are critical to making sure you don’t turn around to a huge lace monitor standing between you and where you want to be.
Thurra is a great place to use as your base of operations for an extended hike, as you can almost guarantee water access, and due to its prime location, its the largest site inside Croajingolong. I would recommend spending at least 3 or 4 days down at Thurra, as there is plenty to see and do.
As always, If you have any questions, Please feel free to email me, or make a comment in the section below.