“If you’ve got any questions, just let me know. If you’ve got any complaints, tell it to someone who cares.”
Mark, Yerranderie Campground caretaker a.k.a Aussie Ron Swanson*.
Ah, Yerranderie, the mining town where everyone minds their own business and leaves you alone. I’d call this place a dream home if it weren’t so goddamn far away.
It was the Friday before the long Labour Day weekend here in Sydney. Mark (of Pens&Lens, not the caretaker) had been trying to talk me into camping for a while now and you know how relationships are all about compromise? I compromised.
After making a few last minute calls to multiple campgrounds, I got on the phone with caretaker Mark and we got ourselves a spot. On the phone, he described the road into Yerranderie (in a thick Aussie accent) as “15km of sealed road, 15km of what I’d like to call how-do-you-do and the last 40km is good road.”
I didn’t know what he meant but we went anyway.
The total time driving in to Yerranderie from Sydney, past Katoomba and turning off before Oberon, is approximately five hours. The road to Oberon was all good but the minute we hit the ‘how-do-you-do’ section, it was quite a ride.
Here’s an accurate description of the drive into Yerranderie from Mount Werong Road: 10km of sealed road, 40km of woohoo-but-what-on-earth-is-this-place and the last 20km of are-we-there-yet.
The minute you get there and set up tent, though, it’s all worth it. The campground was not overcrowded, everyone had their own thing going, toilets were clean-ish with hot showers and you were surrounded by amazing wildlife – including those camping next to you blaring ABBA at 10pm.
When the music quieted down and everyone else had slipped into their tents, we were left with the warmth of the crackling fire and the glow of the moon. Yerranderie had won us over. The funny and wonderful thing about being out in nature is that you’re so out of reach to everyone else but for you, everything that matters is within reach.
You’re with the ones you love – whether it’s yourself, family or incredible mates – nothing else matters. The phone isn’t buzzing with text messages, notifications, there’s no celebrity body to compare yourself to or endless scrolling to go through. Who gives a shit when it feels like you could almost pluck the stars out of the skies while the possums climb up tress, the wombats and roos have a feast and god feels so close.
I finally understand what Mark has been selling to me all along. It’s where your soul gets healed. I’m so grateful we rang up on Friday morning and got to call Yerranderie home, even if just for a night.
“Everybody needs beauty and bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
For more information on Yerranderie, click here.
*If you haven’t heard of Ron Swanson from TV Series Parks & Recreation, we highly suggest dropping everything now and checking it out. If you do know Ron Swanson, thank you for being one of the few who give us hope in this world.