It’s been a long time since we’ve pulled into a camp site and been left speechless. That’s just changed! Today, we share with you Bolinda Vale Farm, a camp site under an hours drive from Perth that takes the best camp site near Perth to a whole new level.
Where is Bolinda Vale?
You’ll find this stunning private property 70km south east of Perth, and roughly 50 minutes drive. Bolinda Vale is located in Keysbrook, just south of the well known, and beautiful Serpentine region.
To get there, just head down the Kwinana Freeway, then East on Mundijong road, and then South on the South Western Highway, until you are opposite Dirk Road. The camping entrance is just beyond the main property, on a separate set of double gates.
About the property
Bolinda Vale is a family run Cattle and Sheep property, with the beautiful Dirk Brook flowing through it. The property was purchased way back in 1926 and the current owner is Deb Butler; a 4th generation cattle and sheep farmer. Like a lot of the hills around Perth, in the drier months the grass yellows off, but in winter time its some of the greenest back drops you’ll ever see.
Bolinda Vale Camping Options
There are a number of locations that you can choose to camp at here, with the large majority of them being along the beautiful Dirk Brook, or the Gully, as they’ve named them.
There’s Creekside, Sheep Gully, Cattle Gully, Kangaroo Gully, Horse Gully, Frog Gully, Up the Gully, Kelpie Gully, Top Gully. Red Tail Cockatoo Gully and Grass Tree Hill. We saw the majority of the camp sites, and I don’t reckon you’d go too wrong with any of them.
When can you visit?
This property is absolutely astounding after a bit of rain, and it remains closed to campers through the warmer months when the creeks stop flowing, and the grass is too dry.
What do you need to bring?
This property requires you to be self sufficient. That means you need to bring your own portable toilet (or have one in your caravan), and take all of your rubbish out with you. You also need to bring your own food and water, as its not available (asides from the creek, which you should probably avoid drinking!).
What does it cost?
EDIT: Pricing has changed as of a couple of days ago, when Youcamp merged with Hipcamp. It’s now a flat $14 per adult, and $7 per child under 12, plus the booking fee.
It was originally $13 per adult, and $7 per child per night (which is what we paid on 21-23rd of August 2020 ($81 total for two nights for us; 2 adults and 2 young kids) with a cheaper booking fee. It then went up considerably (especially if you had kids), and has been re-adjusted back down again.
How can you book?
This is another Youcamp/Hipcamp property, and you can book here – Bolinda Vale Youcamp. If you haven’t spent time on the Youcamp website before, have a look around, and you’ll find plenty of other spots worth a weekend away too.
Is it dog friendly?
Providing your dog is on a leash at all times, and you are respectful with it, they are welcome at Bolinda Vale.
Mosquitos and noise
There are two things that you should know before you come here. The first, is that there are mosquito’s (at least there were when we stayed). They are pretty big, and they’ll take a chunk out of you at any opportunity. I often don’t get bitten by these suckers, but they had a few cracks at me. It wasn’t as bad as I’ve seen in terms of mosquito territory, but its worth bringing some spray or a Thermacell to keep them away.
The second thing to know is that the gully transfers noise extremely well, and any noise you make, your neighbours are likely to hear. This works the other way though, with the South Western Highway quite close. If you are near the homestead, you will hear some road noise, and the trains that go back and forth.
We could hear it around 1km away at Cattle Gully, but it wasn’t unpleasant or annoying, and with the babble of the brook you don’t hear it much.
Other rules and information
Being a working farm, you are asked to stay clear of their cattle and sheep, and to leave the private parts of the property alone. You can collect small pieces of firewood, or arrange to have it ready for you at a cost prior to arrival.
You can walk around the property, but you are asked not to drive around except to and from your camp site. The usual noise limits apply at night, and they ask you avoid ripping the lawn up intentionally, as it can be pretty slippery and the grass is hard to grow.
Detergent and soaps cannot be used in the creek, drones require prior permission to be flown, and there’s a few recommendations for local attractions and places to get a good feed.
This property recommends an SUV, or 4WD. Some of the camp sites require you to cross a small, solod, rocky and overall easy water crossing, but they all require you to drive on surfaces that can be a bit slippery, and the wet, green grass would make it easy for a low clearance 2WD vehicle to have issues.
You can get full size off road and semi off road vans into some of the sites, but there are two tighter corners to make your way around. This is a farm, and the tracks are well maintained, but they can be extremely slippery after rain, so liaise with the owner before you book!
Is it a good spot?
We loved our stay at Bolinda Vale. It was absolutely incredible, and more than likely the best place we’ve ever camped within a couple of hours of Perth. We coined Carmel Cider as the best camping close to Perth a few months back, but this is now a clear winner (although they are both very different).
I was so excited to get home and share this magic place with you. The surrounds are nothing short of spectacular, the kids have a huge amount of space to play in and camping next to a babbling brook is next level. There aren’t too many places in WA you can do that, and although we thought it was a bit on the pricey side, we all agreed it was worth it.
However, just a few days ago Youcamp announced their merge with Hipcamp, a big American business, and I saw the pricing of a few great camp grounds go up. Some of this has been done by the hosts, and the booking fee’s seem to be more expensive, but the largest change for families is that kids are most often classified as normal guests, so you pay the adult fee for them regardless of how young they are. Irrespective of how its been done you and I, as the consumer, now pay a fair bit more, and I’m not too happy about it.
Our weekend away for two families here, (2 adults and 2 kids each, all under 5) was $162 with Youcamp. Now, its $205 on Hipcamp, and that includes a whopping $37.28 service fee. Initially, when the swap happened, you had to pay full adult costs for the kids (and adult pricing had gone up to $16, taking the above weekend to $293. Deb’s reduced the pricing back to almost what it was, minus the booking fee that Hipcamp is taking.
So, is it worth it? Money aside, this place is incredible. I’d go back in a heartbeat. At $102.5 for a weekend (two nights) for our little family though, I might not be back. However, if you aren’t going with kids, its still not quite unreasonable, and you won’t find anything like it. Overall, its an insane spot, and highly recommended. Is it worth it? That’s up to you!