After two great stays at different private properties not far from Mackay, we decided to spend a few nights camping at Creek and Antiques Camping, and completely fell in love with it. Upon arrival the owner came across in her buggy, and took me for a ride to show me the property, and give us options for where we’d like to camp.
She’s super friendly, and you quickly realise that they have a beautiful property, with lots of places you can pull up and stay. There’s locations right next to the beautiful creek, set back a bit of tucked away in a green, grassy area under the trees.
Where is Creek and Antique Camping?
This property is only about 60km North West Of Mackay (45 minutes drive), and located just out of the town of Calen.
Do you need a 4WD to get here?
I’m going to say yes, simply because you need to cross a creek to get in. If the water levels are down, this can be quite low, but if its flowing it can be deep enough to want a snorkel, and it’s a bit loose and scrabbly going through, particularly if you are towing anything.
It is certainly suitable for full size caravans with a suitable tow vehicle, but you might get a thorough underbody wash. You can probably take 2WD and AWD vehicles in with decent clearance, but you’d want to be awfully careful, and make a smart judgement about it!
What does it cost to stay?
Camping here is $25 per vehicle, per night regardless of kids. This is decent value, and we thought it was really well priced, especially compared to the alternative options nearby.
What amenities are there?
There are fire pits here (big half gas bottles), and a couple of building site style toilets that can be used. There’s also a nice passionfruit vine growing near the water that you can collect any fallen fruit from, which was a nice touch.
You’ll find a number of kayaks laying on the edge of the water too, which you are free to use. Some were in need of repairs, but there were enough for a handful of kids to use and thoroughly enjoy!
There’s plenty of firewood on the property, and you’re allowed to collect it as needed. We grabbed a decent chunk in a short period and had a nice fire both nights, which beats having to scrounge for wood on your way in, or pay for it, like you do in so many other places.
See the cattle and dam
If you’re in for a bit of adventure, you can take your 4WD and head up the big hill, and do a big loop that comes back down again. You’ll see a number of cattle grazing on the side of the hill, and you can stop at a big, beautiful dam before heading back down the hill to the camps.
You absolutely need a 4WD to do this loop, and whilst its not anything hardcore, low range and a bit of clearance is greatly appreciated, and needed in a few places.
What’s the Antiques
If you walk up towards the house, you’ll come across an antiques shed, full of old mowers, engines, and relics that are pretty interesting to have a look at. There’s a heap of old Victa mowers, along with old tools and plenty of other items that we probably have no idea of!
An honest review
We thoroughly enjoyed Creek and Antiques. It’s a beautiful property, that is perfect for young kids. Our kids had an absolute ball using the kayaks (that are free to use) in the river, the owners were super friendly and helpful, and it had a nice, quiet and calm vibe to it.
We managed to get a site right next to the water (where the owner said we could stay), and really enjoyed our two days here. It’s a magic spot.
How does it compare to Hold it Flats?
Having come from Hold it Flats the night before, this was an interesting transition. We loved both properties, but felt that Creek and Antiques is more up our alleyway. It’s cheaper, has more of a bush feel, and was peaceful to stay and enjoy.
Hold it Flats is amazing, and has great amenities, but you pay for it, and have to share it with a lot of other people too.
Ultimately, you won’t go wrong with either of them, but Creek and Antiques is a great spot to stay for a night or more. If I was chasing camping near Mackay this would certainly get my vote!