The New South Wales mid-north coast is a virtual treasure trove of hidden gems, dotted along what is one of the state’s most densely populated stretches of coast. However, once you find your way to one of these superb little hideaways, you can often find yourself camping on a secluded patch of land overlooking your own private beach, with no one around and nothing but the sound of the ocean to relax and unwind to as you forget about the rat-race back home.
Point Plomer in the Limeburners Creek National Park is just one of these sensational spots. When you take into consideration its great facilities, abundant wildlife and marine life, as well as its proximity to some big name destinations, all while giving you that feeling that you are miles away from anything, Point Plomer stands a cut above the rest.
POINT PLOMER CAMPGROUND
There are two routes into Point Plomer Campground. The main and easiest way is from the north, through the small picturesque coastal town of Crescent Head, along Point Plomer Road. This 17km stretch of partly unsealed road, which takes you south into the national park, is suitable for 2WDs most of the year and, although there is one section of winding road, you can take large vans in without a problem. It does pay to check the road conditions with the National Parks and Wildlife Service or the local council before you head in if there has been a lot of recent rain.
The second and more adventurous route is to catch the vehicle ferry over the Hastings River from Settlement Point in Port Macquarie and then head north from the North Shore. This route requires a high clearance 4WD and offroad caravan, though, as the track is quite rutted and has deep sandy washouts in several locations. Once you hit the start of the 4WD track, it’s about 45 minutes of slow going mud and sand until the campsite. In the interest of getting to our site in a timely manner, we decided to take the road from Crescent Head, set up and explore the 4WD tracks the next day, without the van.
The campground requires you to be mostly self-sufficient and although there are showers, they are cold water only. There’s a large toilet block but bore water is the only option so you’ll need to bring your own drinking water. There are wood barbecues and picnic tables, and given this is a top fishing spot you’ll be wanting to fire one up to sample some of your freshly caught bream or tailor. Ice and firewood are available from the campsite office which makes extended visits here extremely easy and there are also a couple of snack vending machines if your food supply gets low.
The sites themselves are undefined so it’s simply a matter of rolling up and choosing where you want to set up. The eastern side has a beautiful coastal outlook and is close to the walking trail and rock pools, while the western side is sheltered behind a wall of trees and shrubs, which could be the better option if the weather turns bad.
The campground sits just to the north-west of Point Plomer itself and is protected mostly from offshore winds by the elevated headland. To the immediate north of the campground lies a small, protected bay that is perfect for swimming, as surf conditions are generally gentle. There’s vehicle access to the beach for boat launching purposes only. At the southern edge of the beach and basically right outside your van door, there are scattered rock formations and rock pools which our kids could have spent the entire trip exploring in search of crabs and shells.
THINGS TO DO
Did I mention the fishing here is good? If challenging rock fishing is your thing, the headlands of Point Plomer will have you chafing at the bit. An early morning or late afternoon excursion down the rocks is almost guaranteed to reap yields of bream, tailor, black drummer or flathead. If you want something a little more sedate or kid-friendly there are several beach fishing spots within walking distance of the campground.
There is also an abundant display of birdlife that call the point home. Sea eagles, wedge-tailed eagles and all sorts of bird species can be seen hunting the headland’s abundant food supply. We even spotted a family of small quail running along the walking track in front of us on the way up to the point.
Point Plomer is the perfect spot to use as a base camp to explore the surrounding areas and if you love your water activities and being right on the coast, there’s enough here to keep you going for an extended stay. This place is definitely the sea change you need – close enough for a weekender but far enough away to give you that sense of peace and isolation.
Point Plomer is located in the Limeburners Creek National Park. The campsite is 17km south of Crescent Head on Point Plomer Road or 16km north of Port Macquarie on the 4WD-only park management track.
- Swimming in the calm bay waters.
- Fishing off the beach or rocks.
- Whale and dolphin watching off the point lookouts.
There are no bookings taken for the Point Plomer Campground and it operates on a first come, first served basis. Prices are $10 per adult, per night and $5 per child. You’ll also need a national parks pass, which are available from the campsite office if you don’t already have one.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #544 December 2015.