Moore River Ranch; great camping 1.5 hours from Perth

We are always on the lookout for new camp grounds not too far from Perth, and when we heard of Moore River Ranch, we had to check it out. We spent 3 nights there earlier in the year, and had a great time.

If you are looking for more amazing camp sites, check out 60 of the best camp sites near Perth.

Moore River Ranch
Moore River from above
Moore River Camping
Our camp site at Moore River Ranch

Where is Moore River Ranch?

Like the name suggests, this private property is located on Moore River, but not near the ocean like one might suspect. Instead, its about 40 kilometres inland, literally just off the Brand Highway, and only 5 minutes drive from Regans Ford Fuel Station.

Moore River to the beach
It’s an hours drive to Wedge Island

What do you need to access the ranch?

To get to the paddock camping sites, you’d be OK with a soft roader, or even an SUV. However, if you want to camp at the riverside spots, you need a 4WD.

You are required to let all of your tyres down to get to these camp sites, and it can get reasonably soft in warmer weather, especially if you are towing something.

Riverside camps require a 4WD
A 4WD is needed to get to the river side camps

What amenities are there?

You have to be self sufficient here, including bringing your own chemical toilet. You cannot dig holes.

What does it cost?

Camping is $30 per vehicle per night, which applies whether you are a family, or an individual.

Moore River swimming
Kicking back in the shallows

Wildlife sanctuary

The owners are huge on limiting the human interaction to the ranch, and are very particular in their set of rules. They have a number of animals that are cared for, along with the many native species that call it home.

From the looks of the property it was over grazed for many years, and the owners are trying to bring it back to its natural state. We could see evidence of echidnas, and saw a few birds, a couple of big spiders and lots of big ants that we were very cautious of!

Big spiders
A couple of big spiders near our campsite

Camp site locations

You can camp in the paddock up the top, which requires a longer walk to get to the River. Alternatively, you can camp in the riverside camps, but be aware that many of them are not actually right next to the river as you might expect.

Our camp site was probably 80 metres away from the main river, and we couldn’t actually see if from our camp.

It’s important to know that if you are staying in one of the riverside camps, you can’t leave during your stay unless its for an emergency.

The owner did let us leave once (pre-organised) to head to the coast for the day, but he wants to limit traffic as much as possible to reduce the chance of injury to animals. They have a huge range of lizards, kangaroos, tortoises and echidnas that are vulnerable to vehicles driving around.

The gates are locked at night after 5PM, and opened in the morning to stop traffic.

Riverside camping
Some camp sites are close to the rivers, and ours was set back quite a bit

Accessing Moore River

We’ve mentioned Moore River Ranch is considerably far inland, and we were surprised at the amount of water still flowing in the middle of summer.

You can access different parts of the river over a long length of the property, and some of it is comfortably deeper than you could stand, with other sections being perfect for paddling and splashing around.

We found accessing the river was a bit of a challenge with muddy or steep sections to get in, but its a beautiful part of the world. Just watch out for the mosquito’s!

Kayaking in the river
There’s plenty of room to Kayak
Moore River swimming
Other parts are much shallower and perfect for young kids

When the water levels are up, you can fish at Moore River Ranch, and get Marron in season. We saw a couple of big Marron in the shallows, so they are definitely about. Fishing is dependent on the usual regulations, and water levels.

Don’t camp under the trees

In the 3 nights that we stayed at Moore River Retreat, we saw several branches break off the gum trees and come smashing to the ground.

A couple of them were within 10 metres of those camping, and one in particular missed a camping setup by under 2 metres, falling on either side of their shower tent!

We did have a couple of tree branches that were hanging near us, and it didn’t make us feel very comfortable. The strangest thing was that when the branches let go it was almost completely still, and no one was expecting it.

Broken tree branch
One of the bigger branches that snapped right off
Tree branch damage
Zero structural integrity from being eaten away

Generators and Dogs

Dogs are permitted if you keep them on a leash, and take good care of them. Generators are also permitted, but not after sunset. 

Moore River Ranch Review

We really enjoyed our stay at Moore River Ranch. The property has only recently changed hands, and I’m excited to see what the new owners do with it. I suspect its going to be a pretty incredible place in a couple of years.

There are a lot of rules, letting your tyres down is a pain and its not for everyone, but that’s just fine. We’d go back, especially in winter time to see it with a much higher water level.

Ironically, the week after we left there was a huge storm and the river had a big flood.

If you are looking for another great camp site near Perth, Moore River Ranch is worth a stay! Alternatively if you want a similar property slightly closer to the coast and with better river access, you can check out Cowalla Camping

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