Monday, 11 February 2013

Parry’s Beach – anything goes

17 January 2013

I think Parry’s Beach campground deserves a blog post all to itself.  If anyone knows of any other campground that comes close to Parry’s for services and price, let me know!

This campground is situated at the other end of William Bay and is owned by Denmark Shire but is run by a volunteer management group. This group are constantly fighting the Shire to keep it as a ‘nature-based, affordable, family holiday destination.’  And affordable it is!

At $10/site and kids under 13 are free it’s a bargain given there are clean, flushing toilets, solar-powered showers, shaded peppermint trees and a beachside location. Oh, and if you stay a week they give you a discount; you can stay for $50/week.

Unlike an ordered caravan park, there are no site numbers, people camp on top of each other (land is a premium here, with so many willing campers at such a cheap price), fires are allowed even when there have been total fire bans everywhere else we’ve been from South Australia westward, and you can leave when you want. None of this 10 or 11am check out business; if you decide to leave at 7pm that’s OK. Kids cycle to the toilet block at all times of the day and night, in fact kids rule here.  All the cars crawl through the campsite as you just never know when a kid is going to shoot out in front of you enjoying an enormous amount of independence even if they’re not quite ready for it!  I saw an 8 or 9 year old girl one night pushing her baby brother or sister around in a pram while their path was being lit by a dim torch positioned in the pram. Never mind the fact that tiger snakes were regularly seen around these parts. It’s this kind of behavior, this anything goes business, I wasn’t sure if I liked or not. 

We met some lovely families here, the kids made some great friends including Otto, and we now have the contact details of families in the Illawarra and Broome who have both offered for us to camp in their backyard when we’re in their woods.  You’ve got to love people who offer you their backyard within 5 minutes of meeting them! 

While we were here the caretakers at Parry’s were a very old couple who have been volunteering for 3 months each year for the past 50 to keep the place rolling along as it does. How amazing is that?  It really is a one-in-a-million kind of camping ground.

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