Ganguddy Dunns Swamp; incredibly magic camping

When you get multiple local recommendations to head to Gunguddy Dunns Swamp, you’re mad not to go and check it out. We booked 3 nights in one of the last camp sites available, and rolled in, not sure what to expect. The drive in is spectacular, and a small taste of what you’re about to see.

It only gets better from here though, especially if you are able to head out on a kayak or stand up paddle board, or do one of the many walks in the Wollemi National Park.

Dunns Swamp is a magic place
Dunns Swamp will take your breathe away
Exploring Dunns Swamp by Paddle Board
This place is beyond words

Where is Dunns Swamp?

You’ll find this place virtually directly East of Rylstone. It’s at the end of a mostly bitumen road, with one way in, and one way out.

Do you need a 4WD?

No, and we saw a number of 2WD vehicles come through. Granted, most of them had a bit of clearance, but with care you’d get even a Toyota Corolla here. The gravel road is really good, except for one section over the hill, which has a few bumps and lumps to avoid, and a few corrugations.

Driving into Dunns Swamp
The drive in is stunning, and 2WD friendly

We even saw a massive bus camped up near us, and quite a few larger caravans.

Big Bus at Dunns Swamp
If this can make it in, virtually anything can

What’s at the camp site?

This camp site has nearly a hundred individual camping sites, and I was expecting it to be a bit like sardines in a can. It’s actually really well set up though, with the numbers grouped into smaller camp sites, and each site having some bush in between, giving you a decent amount of privacy and some spectacular views.

A lot of the camp sites back onto the massive rock formations, which are nothing short of staggering, with some being absolutely insane. They reminded me of a different version of the beautiful Bungle Bungles in the Kimberley, and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at them, and exploring them.

Great camping at Dunns Swamp
Some of the camp sites have incredible backdrops

There’s a main picnic area and day use area on one side, and a smaller one on the other side, popular for kayakers.

Where’s the best camp sites?

Some camp sites at Dunns Swamp are certainly much nicer than others. There’s very few that are really close to the water, except for a couple of tent sites (number 43!) but there are quite a few tucked amongst the stunning rock formations, which are much prettier than sites like the high 90’s, which back onto bush with nothing that interesting to see around.

They’re not terrible, but there’s certainly better spots. Some of the group camping sites are exceptional as well, but we really liked 13, 14, 30, 43, 51, 52 and 83.

Great rock formations behind camp
One of the nicer places to camp, with a great backdrop

What amenities are there?

Dunns Swamp is really well set up. It’s got firepits in each camp site, a drop toilet in each camping area and they even provide firewood, in a central location. In the day use areas there are more fire pits, picnic tables and a small boat ramp to use.

Dunns Swamp camping map
The Dunns Swamp camping map

What does it cost?

We paid $22 per night, which is pretty decent value for a family of 4, when you think that they provide firewood. The coastal national park camp sites are about $33 per night for us, which I think is pushing the friendship, but this is actually pretty good value.

Dunns Swamp views
This is really decent value camping

Do you need to book Dunns Swamp?

Yes, and book it early, as it’s a very popular place. You book online through the NSW National Parks website, and you allocate a site that suits your setup. This is important; don’t book a walk in tent site if you have a caravan, as you’re not going to be happy when you arrive.

Dunns Swamp is hugely popular
Book well in advance, or miss out

Does it get busy?

Yes, and we jagged the last of two sites for the three nights that we booked. Expect it to be busy on weekends, school holidays and long weekends. Interestingly though, its very spread out and doesn’t feel like a caravan park at all; its still an amazing bush camping experience.

Dunns Swamp is very popular
This camp site is often booked out, but its massive

Is there phone reception?

This camp site is pretty much dead when it comes to reception. However, there are a couple of spots that you’ll get a very minor amount; near the boat ramp, and up high on the rocks near the boat ramp. I’m sure you’d get a bit on some of the taller bush walks, or you can drive 5km down the road to the hut that you pass on the way in, and you’ll get some there too.

Can you have dogs?

Being a national park, dogs are off limits.

Fires at Dunns Swamp

Fires are obviously permitted here, but only in season. Being able to access firewood that is supplied in a central location is pretty neat as well, with no shortage of it around, and the bush looking relatively untouched, which was nice to see.

Stand up paddle boarding or Kayaking

If you have a kayak, or stand up paddle board, this place is heaven. The views are staggering, and you can explore for quite a distance. In school holidays there’s a small operation hiring these out at the boat ramp, and we thought it was one of the better places we’ve SUP’d.

We spent many hours exploring the river, and don’t regret buying our stand up paddle board at all; its been a heap of fun, and exploring pristine rivers like this at sunset, or on a misty morning is an experience you don’t forget.

Stand up Paddle Boarding at Dunns Swamp
This is a magic place to use a stand up paddle board, canoe or kayak
Reflections at Dunns Swamp
The views are astronomical

Walks at Dunns Swamp

If you’re into hiking, there’s a heap of walks at Dunns Swamp. Some are flat, and easy, and you’ll do them return in 15 minutes, and others are several hours long and require some rock scrambling.

We were all quite sick and limited our physical activity to some of the shorter walks, but the area is absolutely stunning, and any of the walks would be worth doing.

Waterside walk at Dunns Swamp
There’s plenty of walks to do here

We did find ourselves doing ‘adventures’ with our kids, which involved walking around the massive rocks (sometimes with big drops, so it has to be done very cautiously), but the views, and experience from up top is absolutely unreal.

Exploring the rocks at Dunns Swamp
If you explore around the rocks there’s some incredible views

Stay at Dunns Swamp

If my words haven’t convinced you to book a stay at Dunns Swamp, hopefully the photos have done some justice. It’s a magic spot, that’s bookable, decent value and a really nice place to be. We’d happily go back again.

Fog at Dunns Swamp
A beautiful, misty morning at Dunns Swamp

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