Glen Hope Campground: Finding a “diamond in the rough”

Michael Ellem found a new favourite, free campsite at Glen Hope Station, 5.5 kilometres east of Cobar, a must-see especially if you’re planning to visit Outback NSW! As 4WD photographers, we travel a lot for …

Club 4X4 Insurance
Jan 17 2023

Michael Ellem found a new favourite, free campsite at Glen Hope Station, 5.5 kilometres east of Cobar, a must-see especially if you’re planning to visit Outback NSW!

As 4WD photographers, we travel a lot for our work photographing and filming 4WDs all over this country.

Like many of us, we have our favourite camp sites which are marked up on our various mapping systems like Hema and Google as reference for future trips. It could be said, we love meeting people all around Australia and we also simply love camping in remote locations.

Whilst travelling back to Sydney after The Mundi Mundi Bash, I was in a bit of a hurry as we had one of our Kelpies sent to the emergency veterinarian specialist, so I didn’t want to stop and was quite prepared to drive right through the night. The problem was that I had recognised that I was fatigued after photographing the Mundi Mundi Bash and I would be needing some sleep to ensure safe travels.

Driving whilst fatigued is a serious problem on Australian roads and one which I am always thinking about.

With my wife Gab heading on a quick flight out of Broken Hill to visit Casey our Kelpie, I was on my own and the trip was going well heading into Cobar late at night. I thought about the various camp sites to the north and figured it would simply add more kms to the trip, so I headed straight through town and out the other side.

I began thinking maybe this is a bad idea as I really need a break. It was then, some 5.5 kms east of Cobar, I saw a sign which I have seen many times before. It was something like “Free Camping ahead”. We have driven past this set of signs so many times before, always thinking, we should have a look at this place as a great option for a night’s sleep but have never stopped. So, with my indicator on, I turned right and idled down the long driveway and into the campground trying to ensure I wouldn’t wake people, as it was quite late. To my surprise, the property owners were just in the process of closing the mobile coffee shop and packing away a BBQ.

After saying g’day, my first question was a little random. “So how does this place work?”

I spent the next 45 minutes chatting about all sorts of things with this extremely enthusiastic family who were full of energy and keen for a chat.

During our chat, I stated how distracted I was as I kept looking at the stars, the red soil and the beautiful gums which lined the campground. It was simply stunning. I questioned, “Is it alright to camp over there near those trees?” which was answered by Mark “Budgie”, “You can camp wherever you like mate!”

I set up a basic camp with the intention that I would have a fire and a simple meal and get some shut eye. But before I sleep, because I just can’t help myself, I would need to get the camera out and grab a few images of this perfect location.

I have shot this style of imagery many times before so the most time was spent on setting up the fire and rolling out my swag. The series of long exposure images came up quite well. With no moon and no ambient light pollution from a city sky, there were an abundance of stars. All I needed to do was a little light painting of our “The Mighty 79” and the trees with a torch light from Astro Night Astronomy. I must admit, I find it easy to get distracted by scenery like this which tends to get me in the zone behind the lens. This style of photography is extremely exciting.

Shot information

Camera: Canon 1DXII

Lens: Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 USM at 11mm

ISO: 3200

Shutter Speed: 20 seconds

Aperture: f/4.0

Glen Hope is situated approximately 5.5 kms east of Cobar on the Nyngan rd, or Barrier Highway. It has easy access for Caravans and good tree cover for shade. There is an honesty box which helps to keep the generous wood pile stocked for your campfire. The property owners say that this is a donation if you can afford it. It is best to be self-sufficient, as there are no facilities at the site. If you are travelling to or from the Mundi Mundi Bash, and are after a feed, call the number at the site and they might be able to arrange a BBQ feed or even a coffee.

Budgie doesn’t mind a chat, so if you are lucky, he might just drop in on you at camp and say g’day. There is no booking required.

If you are travelling and need great coffee, it’s available from daughter Kara at The Farmers Daughter & Co. Instagram or Website Although at the time of writing this article, the shop was temporarily closed due to construction at the site in town, you can still get your beans from Kara.

One thing for certain, bring your camera and tripod with you as this is a stunning location for night photography. I am told the sunrises will take your breath away. I really enjoyed having some time with a camera and the night sky but unfortunately, I was gone well before the sun came up but will ensure on a future trip, to make the most of the rising sun.

A little history about Glen Hope Station and Campground…

The site was originally settled by the Weltie family nearly 150 years ago in 1874 as a working dairy. The Johnson family have had 5 generations on this property, and Marie and Budgie have been on the farm for over 35 years.

This Campground originated when the local council of Cobar closed an allocation of free camping in town. Marie said to Budgie, “why don’t we offer our front paddock for people to camp?” So, the front gate was opened to the public. Marie says, “We would rather people have a chance to stop near Cobar so they can create the time to have a good look around in Cobar during their trip. It’s perfect for people who enjoy bush camping which is stress free and has a sense of security.”

Wikicamps Glenhope Station

Facebook Glenhope Camping

… You never know what you will see at Glen Hope Station

(Some images featured are courtesy of Marie Johnson of Glen Hope Station)


-Michael Ellem

Offroad Images

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