Pause the drum music and loud costumes- I am talking about Congo campground, which is about 4.5 hours drive south of Sydney, not far past Moruya.
Before I started my exciting new gig here at Club 4X4 as National Partnerships Manager I had a chance to get away for a week with my family for a reset.
Having not explored very much south of Sydney, we decided to meet some friends for a 6-night stay in the last week of the school holidays. As customary on all camping trips, we were keenly watching the weather leading up to the date – albeit with a grain of salt! While the forecast looked ominous, we had booked, paid, got the leave approved and were committed.
The National Parks description is as follows:
Congo campground is a popular camping area for families – with room for kids to play and ride, there’s a choice of two beaches to swim, surf and walk, and opportunities to go fishing along the river. There’s plenty to keep you amused for a weekend getaway or a more extended camping trip.
And they were right! With the Camper trailer packed and hitched to the 200 and family on board, we headed off!
After an uneventful trip down, we arrived at the park about 10 minutes after our friends (the Pritchetts). We were nervous as there were no allocated campsites, although Marcus (the Manager) told us this would be changing soon). To our delight, our friends had secured the two best sites in the park overlooking both the river and the ocean.
After a quick setup, it was time for the first drink of the camping trip and a short exploratory walk of the area. To our delight, we even found that there were well maintained, daily cleaned, flushing toilets!
There was plenty to do during our stay at Congo; bush walks, fishing, snorkelling, swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and we even managed some boating in our fold-up boat! For us, the fishing wasn’t great as the river was tidal, and due to the recent rain in the area, the water was stained with tannins – coupled with the low tide fluctuation, it hadn’t had the chance to flush out yet! That said, the kids had a ball pumping for nippers (yabbies) with squeals of delight as the younger ones built up the courage to pick them up!
There was lots of wildlife in the campground, including; kangaroos, birds, wallabies and lizards for the kids to terrorise and the facilities were second to none!
We were there when the big swell rolled through a couple of days later, making for some good surfing and paddleboarding. As a result the river also had an abundance of small fish, was very safe with only ankle-deep water in some parts, and at high tide, we managed to get the fold-up boat out and went for a couple of runs up the river.
The only mishap was one morning when we woke up to a young boy screaming in the campsite over the road from us. My wife investigated to find that he had a lure with a big hook stuck in the back of his head! With the hospital close by in Moruya, they were back minus the fishing hook, and he was back having a flick later that day.
Having recently stayed in a couple of National parks, it is great to see that there is a lot of work happing to upgrade the facilities and parks in general. Congo already has the sites marked out, a tarred road, and, as already mentioned – the flushing toilet and showering areas (only bore water was available on site), so be sure to bring your own drinking water in.
Across our stay, people came and went, and as usual, we met some really nice people (who our daughter still facetime’s). One of them was Kian from Rawedge photography, who has provided the amazing sunset photo for this article (Thanks also Jen!).
Congo was easy to get to, had fantastic facilities, was safe for kids, and had safe swimming and great surf within walking distance!
It cost us $24/night (peak rate) and $6/child totalling $221 (including GST and booking fee).
Great value by all accounts, and we will put this on the “do-again list” for sure!