The Myall Lakes National Park has a ridiculous reputation, and I had absolutely no idea until we arrived at our camp site at Violet Hill. We booked two nights here, on a Thursday and Friday Night as it was the only coastal camp site we could get anywhere close, and that gives you a pretty good idea of how busy things get on the NSW coastline.
We probably should have known better, after spending a few nights at Point Plomer, and seeing how busy that was.
Where is Violet Hill?
If you’re heading out towards the coast, you’ll find Violet Hill Camp 10km off the main road, on a gravel road. This is located roughly half way between Forster and Newcastle, making it a pretty easy to get to destination for a lot of people!
Do you need a 4WD?
The track in is 10km, and in reasonable condition. It’s narrow in spots, and corrugated in sections too, but when we did it the conditions were pretty good, with no real need to deflate air from our tyres.
We did see a number of 2WD vehicles call through, but most were 4WD, not that it is particularly needed.
What’s at Violet Hill?
This is a fairly standard National Parks site in NSW. It’s got a number of big bins, a toilet block, boat ramp and a number of camp sites.
What’s the camping like?
The camping here is pretty good. It’s split into numbered camp sites for the caravans, hybrids and larger setups, and an open camping area for tents that you walk into.
There is some limited shade in a few locations, but a lot of the camp sites are very sunny, and it can get really hot.
We were totally confused by the numbering of different sites, with no clear boundaries, but eventually worked out after walking around for a while that the camping is in between each number. It wouldn’t be hard to put some arrows on the logs though!
The toilet block was OK, but had tonnes of bugs flying out of the toilets, so we just used our own (as we often do).
Swimming at Violet Hill
If you want to swim here (and you should), there’s a nice, small beach just next to the boat ramp. It’s sandy enough to jump into the water, with it being rocky and then mushy if you stand further out.
We spent many hours floating around here though, with the water being incredibly warm, and it just a beautiful, quiet place to relax.
How does it compare to Neranie Campground?
We had a few people say that Neranie Campground is the best waterfront camping in NSW, and its not hard to see why. The camp sites close to the water are absolutely stunning, with the day use area beautiful lawn that is very well shaded, leading you out onto a little lagoon that is sandy, clear, shallow and incredible for the kids. You can walk out about a hundred metres before it starts to drop off, and this is one of the most stunning places we’ve been to.
That said, its also incredibly popular, and on a Friday by lunch time, it was starting to get crowded with campers and day use visitors, and I bet it only gets much, much worse.
Violet Hill also gets busy, but it’s a much less popular camp site, and that meant we had the place virtually to ourselves even on Friday night, which was pretty awesome.
The views are better at Neranie Campground, but when you add all the people in, perhaps Violet Hill is a nicer place to be?!