I recently had the chance to take the family to Old Barra, a working cattle farm and campground near Mudgee, NSW. Old Barra is a working 1100 Acre cattle Property that also doubles as a Campground.
Where it is
Old Barra is located approx. 20km east of Mudgee. You turn off Lue Rd into Hayes Gap Road, and then a few kms after that turn onto Bara Rd. It is about 8km of driving on dirt road, which can have some corrugations, but is accessible to 2WD vehicles towing a regular Caravan.
From Sydney, we took the scenic drive through the Bylong Valley, which I’d highly recommend if you are not pressed for time – it is a beautiful drive!
The guys that run it
The farm is run by Richard Nagel and his wife Sally. They’ve been in the Mudgee district for over 24 years now, and farm cattle. In his spare time, Richard also makes furniture and indulges in his passion of sculpting using recycled metal. In fact, some of his artwork has won awards at the annual Sculptures in the garden festival, and is displayed in Mudgee.
At the time we visited, with drought and COVID-19, the Nagels had not received any income for over 6 months. Despite this, they are lovely optimistic people, and we found them very hospitable.
There are a number of campsites dotted around the property, and all had been freshly slashed prior to our arrival, with most also having a fire pit/place.
There are two sets of very well appointed composting toilets at the Campsite. They are meticulously maintained and we can’t fault the effort that Richard went to in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19 over the recent long weekend – cleanest toilets we’ve ever seen, and he’s even wired up solar lights which you can turn on at night to see what you are doing.
There are generally fire pits located at each campsite, which you can use as long as there isn’t a fire ban. You are free to collect fallen timber for the fire, but are not permitted to fell trees.
There is water available to purchase, but we’d recommend bringing your own. There are no rubbish bins, so you’ll need to take everything out with you.
Things to do locally
There is a great picnic/Happy hour spot on a feature in the Campground itself, with beautiful views of the region.
There is plenty of walking, and the kids will love exploring the creek beds and hills that surround the camping areas.
If you want to head out, there are a number of great wineries to visit which are not far away, and the town of Mudgee itself is only about 20 minutes drive. There are some brilliant pubs and parks here, as well as some lovely restaurants.
It is also a lovely drive further along Bara road, which winds through some beautiful countryside before coming out closer to Mudgee, or alternatively heading South back towards Lue.
If 4X4ing is your thing, the Bylong 4X4 park is within an hours drive too.
For those that like to take their pets with them, Old Bara campground is pet friendly.
Mudgee – 20 minutes away
$20.00 per person, per night ($10.00 for kids)
It got down to -4 at night when we were there, meaning that the Tvan’s Diesel heater got used for the first time since we’ve had it. Daytime temps during winter get to about 16 degrees. During summer months, expect a low of about 15 degrees, and a high of about 34 degrees.
Despite not being the cheapest campsite around, the family really enjoyed staying here. We’ll definitely be back, and knowing that the money we pay goes directly to supporting people like the Naylors, it’s not really an issue.
The clarity of the stars at night, and the absolute silence we experienced (at least on the first night we stayed) was magic. And being able to let the kids run wild was fantastic.
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