Kwiambal (= Ki-am-ble) is a tiny national park in northern New South Wales, some 70km north of Inverell.
We stumbled upon it one hot January day, and ended up staying for a couple of nights. In fact, Kwiambal is the kind of place where you could easily hang out for a week or two. The river setting is just gorgeous, and whilst I’m no water baby, even I went for frequent paddles in the beautiful, clear Severn River.
Camping here is just sublime, and with lots of space, you’ll probably be able to find your own special spot.
CAMPING ALONG THE RIVER AT KWIAMBAL NATIONAL PARK
Camping at Kwiambal means camping right next to the Severn River. It’s the perfect setting for summer swims and paddling on the river. And even in winter, I reckon this would be a beautiful camping spot.
In early January, it was hot, hot, hot, and while we did go on a couple of walks, we mostly just hung around the campsite and went for dips in the cool water.
HOW TO GET TO KWIAMBAL NATIONAL PARK
We only had some rough information on how to get to Kwiambal but it wasn’t actually that hard to find from Inverell. We basically just followed the signs.
If you’re coming from the north along the Bruxner Highway, turn south at Bonshaw, and then follow the signs to Kwiambal from Ashford.
Just be aware if you’re in a conventional vehicle: There’s a fair bit of dirt road driving involved and parts of it were somewhat sandy.
KOOKABITTA CAMPING AREA
There are two camping areas at Kwiambal: Lemon Tree Flat Campground and the newer Kookabitta Camping Area. Both are along the Severn River but there are fewer opportunities to camp right beside your vehicle at Kookabitta.
I’m usually a fan of being able to set up camp next to the car but we ended up choosing Kookabitta, mostly due to the busyness and loud music vibes (some of) the campers at Lemon Tree Flat exuded. If it’s quiet, either camping area would be lovely.
The two camping areas are both large, open areas with no marked sites.
At Kookabitta, there are some picnic tables available (yay!), which always make camping life so much easier. I don’t remember seeing any at Lemon Tree Flat but maybe I’ve just forgotten.
Even at the height of summer, we had tons of space to choose from at Kookabitta while Lemon Tree Flat seemed much more packed. It’s obviously the more popular spot; maybe because river access is a bit easier at this site.
There are two (drop) toilets at Kookabitta and a pretty nice picnic shelter that some people actually hung out at, seeking some shade during the heat of the day. Be prepared for hot weather if you come in the middle of summer.
There’s plenty of wildlife around here, from kookaburras that’ll wake you up in the morning, kangaroos eating the grass around the campground to wild goats scampering past in a hurry.
And despite what some information board in the park might say, there are no showers at Kookabitta. At least not when we camped here. I scoured the whole campground in search of them (just to check them out) and found nada.
Like in most national parks, there are no rubbish bins here so make sure you take all your rubbish home and dispose of it properly.
KOOKABITTA CAMPING AREA AT A GLANCE
PROS: Gorgeous bush and river setting; some picnic tables available; accessible by 2WD (dry conditions); new and clean (pit) toilets; not hugely busy even at peak times
CONS: Can’t camp right next to your vehicle (unless in a caravan/camper trailer); some trees (but mostly gums) so not a huge amount of shade available and can get very hot in summer (35°C and higher)
COST: $6 per adult/per night; pre-bookings only
Not sure what the tents and mozzies mean? Check out my tents and mozzies guide.
Find more information on about camping at Lemon Tree Flat Campground or Kookabitta on the Kwiambal National Park website.
MORE POSTS ON CAMPING IN NORTHERN NEW SOUTH WALES
Mulligans Campground at Gibraltar Range National Park is another spot with a river setting we just loved. Read my thoughts here.
For a bit of a different spot, you could camp at Border Ranges National Park, and combine it with a scenic drive around this volcanic rim countryside.