There's something about riverside camping that just does it for us. Combine it with free camp grounds and under 2 hours drive from Perth and you are onto a winner for any weekend of the year. We picked up a camper trailer a few weeks back, and took it on its second trip away, to Pumphreys Bridge in the shire of Wandering.
Where is Pumphreys Bridge?
You'll find Pumphreys Bridge just beyond where the Wandering to Pingelly Road ends. You can see it on a map here. From Perth, you are looking at about 1 hour and 50 minutes, and less if you are in the southern suburbs. You can get there via Brookton Hwy or Albany Hwy, with both ways a similar time frame. It's east of North Bannister, and north of Dryandra.
About Pumphreys Bridge
Pumphreys Bridge is a great little picnic/camping area just off the main road. It's primary attraction is the old timber bridge that collapsed many years ago. There is flushing toilets and a hall that you can hire out. There's also a little playground for the kids, set back from the river.
Where can you camp?
Your camping options range from along the river bank and back up towards the hall, or on the oval. There's stacks of room for camping, and a little 'shed' on the side of the oval if the weather is bad. The ground is mostly semi hard red dirt, but there are some grassy patches (and the oval is pretty good). It's reasonably flat, and there are plenty of trees for shade.
What's the river like?
We swam in the river, and enjoyed it. The bottom is muddy, and it can be a little difficult to get in and out, but overall the water is pretty clean, and full of little fish. The water level may look different to what you are used to because we had a huge amount of rain a few weeks ago.
What's not good about it?
Realistically, there isn't much to mention here. There is some road noise, as you are camped anywhere from 10 metres to 200 metres away from the main road, although its not too noisy. Mosquito's are around, though not terrible. The only other thing to be prepared for is cold temperatures; it can get very, very cold in the shire of Wandering; take appropriate clothes! Overall, its a great spot.
Have you been here? What did you think?