We have four different ways of travelling around W.A. The easiest and most comfortable is with our
Toyota Coaster Motorhome. The second method is with our Camper Trailer.
The third is with our tent and the last is with an annexe that attaches to the side of the 4x4.
We have been out a number of times with the first three but we needed to test the 4x4 annexe to see what we would need
and how well it would work.
The main use for the 4x4 annexe is for very quick trips and to use for overnighting on longer trips when we don't want the
hassle of setting up the camper trailer every night.
This test trip was to be just 1 night, to find out how easy it would be to set up camp one day and pack up and move on the next.
We didn't want to travel too far from home so decided that Lane Poole Reserve near the town of
Dwellingup would be ideal.
4 ways to travel and camp.
Lane Poole Reserve is operated by DPaW and while National Parks rules and fees apply to most things,
the major difference is that it is still possible for people to take their dogs camping in this reserve. 1080 baiting does take place there so it
is essential to keep dogs on leads and it is best if they do not leave the day use and camping areas.
While stopping at the entry station to pay our site fees for the night, we discovered that most campsites in Lane Poole now need to be pre-booked online.
As it wasn't peak season, there wasn't a problem and Nanga Mill and Nanga Townsite as still both non-booking sites.
We selected Nanga Mill as it is a large free-form area where it would be easy to select a good campsite.
As the annexe would be attached to the 4x4 once we set up, we decided to have a look around the campsites and day use areas in the reserve before
settling down for the day.
The first surprise was the day use area at the rock bar which has always been a popular swimming spot.
A large new car park has been constructed. There are toilets, seats, tables and BBQs and the steps leading down to the water have been
replaced and it is now very easy to get into and out of the river.
Dwarrlindjirrap Day Use Area.
The old Baden Powell campsite that used to be right next to the river has now been moved a long way up the hill. While the new site is nice and the
facilities are better, it can't really compare with camping by the water.
Heading further into the reserve we passed the turn off to Bob's Crossing. This is not just the way to cross the river and get to other campsites, it is
also a good place to launch canoes.
We would have to come back this way to get to our campsite once we had explored the sites along the east bank of the river.
The next site we found was Charlie's Flat. This is a campsite designed mostly for tents but camper trailers will also fit on a couple of sites.
After that comes the day use are at Island Pool. This is a nice swimming hole but parking is very limited and could be a problem in peak season.
Next comes Tony's Bend which is similar to Charlie's Flat in most respects and finally you reach Yarragil campsiute.
This is one of the smallest campsites with just two areas to pitch tents. It would be possible to park a motorhome or camper trailer in the parking area
as there is plenty of room but you would need to book one of the two tent sites.
It would be an ideal place for a small group of people to camp and get away from the 'madding crowds' during peak season.
There is river access and swimming is possible, at least when the river levels are higher.
Swimming area at Yarragil
From here we back-tracked to Bob's Crossing where we drove over the causeway towards the campsites at Chuditch, Nanga Mill, Nanga Brook and Stringers.
Chuditch and Stringers are both sites you have to pre-book and so is Nanga Brook (at least most of it from what we saw). Nanga Mill is a large open area
on the side of a hill and you don't need to pre-book a site here.
There was a nice little stream running along the foot of both the Mill and Brook campsites but this may stop running during the drier months of the year.
Nanga Brook (that is right next door to Nanga Mill) is mostly for bigger vehicles and caravans.
Nanga Mill Campsite.
Past Nanga Brook Campsite you will come to an adventure park of some sort (fees apply) and at this point you exit the entry fee section of the park
and emerge back onto a sealed road. Turning left takes you to Waroona and turning right takes you past the main entry station and
then back to Dwellingup.
A short drive to the left is the last campsite at Nanga Townsite. This is the second site where bookings are not needed but it is exclusively for
tents and you have to park and then cart your gear into the site to find a spot to camp.
The stream at Nanga Mill.
We set up camp and settled in at Nanga Mill. The annexe was very easy to put up and we were happy enough with the gear we had brought.
Unfortunately the annexe is a little small to fit both our stretcher beds in so we opted to use one bed and put two self-inflating mattreresses on the
gound to give a bit more padding.
I was the 'lucky' one sleeping on the ground but I found that two mattresses did allow me to get a reasonable sleep. Using just the
Wild Country mattress was a nightmare (as anyone who has already read A Quickie in a tent will know.
The next morning it took about 2 hours from 'wake up' to 'ready to leave' which wasn't too bad considering that we were taking our time.
Although the trip had been short, it had fulfilled its objectives and we were a step closer to being ready for our trip to Shark Bay in 2019.
Updated November 2018