As promised, a list of some 'natural history' accommodation we've
enjoyed over the years, either while taking a break from camping, or
while running tours. Some points to bear in mind:
* We have no interest in any of these, either than a desire to share our
enjoyment of them.
* They are not 'birding' places in the sense of having expert local
knowledge. For this see Klaus Uhlenhut's extremely useful site at
http://www.ausbird.com. Neither are they specifically for twitchers in
being close to 'Important Ticks' (!). Rather they are set in places and
situations that a lover of nature would enjoy. And all are clean,
comfortable and reasonably priced.
* Some we have not stayed in for a while, so take no responsibility for
any changes. Please though, if they have deteriorated, or otherwise
significantly altered, let us know! Likewise if I've stuffed up phone
* I haven't included well-known places that are discussed elsewhere. eg
for WA you can't of course go past Frank O'Connor's great site at
http://members.iinet.net.au/~foconnor/sites.htm!; see also David
Geering's previous good info on Capertee Valley on the birding-aus
* Please mention us if you use any of them!
* Hope this is of some use; please let us know of some of your own
* Barham (Murray, between Echuca and Swan Hill). Barham Lakes Murray
View CP; 02 5453 2009. Well away from highway; cabins right by the
* Bawley Point (south coast, 25k south of Ulladulla). Racecourse Beach
Caravan Park; 02 4457 1078. Very nice modern cabins just above the beach
in banksia scrub.
* Forbes (western slopes). Lake Forbes Motel; 02 6852 2922. In town, but
right by the lake. Try to get the corner room with the balcony; from
here, over wine and pizza one evening we counted 26 spp.
* Guerilla Bay (south coast, south of Batemans Bay). 'Studio Sardine';
Joan Lipscombe, 02 6262 7975. Spacious, despite the name! Owned by
Canberra Ornithologists Group member. Upstairs flat in rare non-touristy
part of the coast; trees outside the windows and the back gate opens
straight into the reserve.
* Kosciuszko National Park. Kosciuszko Mountain Retreat, Sawpit Ck; 02
6456 2224. Great cabins in the Snow Gum forest. Probably avoid during
school holidays (more expensive, minimum bookings).
* Mongarlowe (near Braidwood, southern tablelands). Tombarra Holiday
Units; 02 4842 8034. These are great! Very quiet, on a bushland property
adjoining the Mongarlowe River, with lots of birds, wildflowers,
platypus, frogs. Basic motel rooms with cooking facilities. Also a
3-bedroom house, and recreation building with kitchen, bbq etc.
* Ulan (50k north of Mudgee, north-western edge of Blue Mountains
system). 'Gleniston'; Julia and Colin, 02 6373 4650. A personal
favourite (though somehow we haven't managed to get there for a while);
very private accommodation on a 'green' property. The River Cottage is a
small stone house on the shallow Goulburn River. The opposite bank is
the start of the GR National Park; you can watch lyrebirds there from
the verandah. There is also a larger house on a ridge, but we haven't
used that one.
Just a very few that aren't elsewhere covered. In fact you probably
won't need any other suggestions after Klaus' site, but just in case..
* Cairns. Cool Water Holiday Park; 07 4034 1949. Quiet, very treed CP
with good units, LOTS of birds (Black Butcherbirds on the roof, Scrub
Fowl etc); creek with fish, eels, turtles.
* Cape Hillsborough National Park (near Mackay). Cape Hillsborough
Resort; 07 4959 0262. Not really a 'resort' (which we wouldn't normally
touch), but cabins in littoral rainforest, just behind the sea. Birds
around them include Rose-crowned Fruit-dove, Baza, White-eared Monarch?
Agile Wallabies at night. Also motel units, but we haven't used those.
* Townsville. Rowes Bay CP; 07 4771 3576. Hesitated before including
this; very much just a CP, but the location makes up for it. Just across
the road from grassy reserve with bbqs and covered areas, looking
straight across to Magnetic Island! This is also the view from the front
couple of rows of cabins. Very romantic?
* Yungaburra (Atherton Tablelands). Lake Eacham Motel; 07 4095 3515,
Marie and Marjie. Not so birdy (but White-headed Pigeons on the lawn and
Barking Owls outside), but give it a go for the extravagant
architecture, grand staircase - and the AMAZING meals!!!
* Gawler Ranges. Paney Station; Alice, 08 8648 1883. A working property
managed as I'd be glad to see a National Park managed! Shearers'
quarters accommodation. Note; it's 3 years now since we were there, and
the owners weren't young then. It's a fabulous place though.
* Meningie (on Lake Albert). Meningie Waterfront Motel; 08 8575 1152.
Bedrooms and the dining room look straight onto the lake; eye to eye
with Great Crested Grebes!
* Renmark. R Hotel - Motel; 08 8586 6755. Only if you can get a balcony
room, looking straight onto the river. Worth it for the pelicans alone!
CONTINUED IN PART 2
Ian Fraser, Canberra
Environment Tours; Vertego Environmental Wordsmithing
GPO Box 3268, Canberra, ACT 2601
ph: 02 6249 1560 fax: 02 6247 3227
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