Late afternoon and we pulled into the Bendemeer campground about 35 minutes north of Tamworth. The sharp elbow turnoff is a little concealed, and is followed by a short 200m drive up an easy (but dusty) dirt road.
(GPS: Lat: -30.887562 Long: 151.156970).
On a whim we decided to go check it out.
What we found was a beautiful spacious camp site beside the slow-schmoozing McDonald river. And at a $5.00 fee in the honesty box on the way in, this place is a bargain. It has clean toilet facilities but no fresh water supply.
After parking Ripley in a good spot, Kelly Juno and I wandered up beside the river, crossing a large wooden footbridge over the river and on to the small village of Bendemeer.
Just past the bridge is the Bendemeer Pub which turns out has a sweet beer garden, so Kelly and I settled down to bask in the warm evening sun with an icy cold beverage. Juno got to munch contentedly nearby on an old desiccated cow pat (unbeknownst to us).
We ended up meeting the young owner of the pub who was out looking for a patrons mobile phone that he had lost “somewhere out here”. After helping out with a quick but fruitless search we chatted away for quite some time about his life as a publican and new member of the local volunteer fire brigade.
The Bendemeer pub is definitely worth a stop and sample.
It is open 7 days a week and has a bistro, dining/function room and ensuite accomodation upstairs.
So. Another instance of stumbling into a totally unexpected gem of a spot and having a fantastic experience. Just because we slowed down and said what the heck.
I can highly recommend Bendemeer for an overnight stay (in self contained vehicle) or a meal stop or simply a quiet picnic by the river.