Before the world shut down and we all retreated inside our homes I got to spend my last weekend before lockdown camping... I cant think of a better way to spend my last piece of freedom for what was then, the foreseeable future.
We arrived on the Thursday afternoon with a plan to spend the next day hiking and then returning home on Saturday, as I will always plan a trip to best avoid the crowds. Finding the campsite was fairly easy and then we chose the lower campsite so we could be away from as many people as possible and hopefully snag a spot on the water.
We weren't so lucky and the best spot by the river was taken but we quickly found a lovely little hideaway from the main open sites. Tucked in behind a dense thicket we pulled up the car and set up the Oztent hidden almost entirely from view of the main area. Laying out the swag inside the tent is an easy way to make sure you have a comfortable nights sleep without the hassle of blowing up mattresses etc. and made for a very quick and easy set up in the tent.
Each site has its own firepit with arms for cooking and hanging the billy and we quickly lit a fire and enjoyed the serenity of our little hidey-hole, up on a hillside overlooking the river below. The only disturbance to our serenity was that we were clearly not far from a European Wasp nest and they were very interested in the bugs stuck to the bullbar but eventually as night fell they gave up, went home and left us in peace.
The next day was not the most pleasant, howling winds rushing through camp made for a restless night and an unpleasant start to the day, as it was so windy we decided to postpone our big hike to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko (see here for more info on that adventure or check out my video) and push back our stay for an extra night.
Instead we decided to try some smaller walks in some less exposed regions of the national park and by the time we returned in the afternoon a warm fire and some cold beers were a welcome end to the day. We sat and watched a small family of kangaroos feeding just in front of us.
As the afternoon wore on the campground did become a lot busier, being Friday afternoon it was filling up fast with people escaping for the weekend, so I would definitely recommend getting in early to secure some of the best spots. Island bend is the closest campsite to the Summit Walks and so a very popular spot with all kinds of campers, including hikers.
There are drop toilets in the center of the campground which are kept in relatively good order and there is also a ramp down to the water where people could take their kayaks into the Snowy River.
Our second night in the tent was a lot calmer than the first and we were up early ready for our hike, being out all morning and returning in the early afternoon for a quick pack up as we were so tired and longing for our soft and comfy bed.
I love Island Bend campground, its a lovely little spot and in a great location for those that like to get out and explore the local hikes and mountain bike trails.