Lake Yarrunga, Shoalhaven River, Kangaroo Valley, NSW, Australia
The Bendeela Campground provides super-easy access to Lake Yarrunga, which is a power-boat free, expanse of fresh water. The lake is large and very peaceful; perfect for a longer swim or a day of picnicking and frolicking with the kids on the riverbank. Being one of the easiest places to access Lake Yarrunga, Bendeela Campground tends to become busy at weekends and during holidays. It makes a perfect starting point for a canoe adventure though, which is a great way to get away from the crowds and find a quiet place to swim. The lake contains interesting areas of flooded forest which were created when Tallowa Dam was built to make mechanical fish lifting possible from the Shoalhaven River, and which make an interesting destination for a long swim or canoe paddle.
How To Get There: Drive north out of Kangaroo Valley Village on the Moss Vale Road. Just after Hampden Bridge turn left onto Bendeela Road. Take a left turn just before Bendeela Pondage to continue on Bendeela Road which become Lower Bendella Road. After about 1.8km take a left turn down the track which leads you to Bendeela Recreation Area and the campground.
Difficulty of access: 1/10 – You can drive right up to the lake and there is a boat launch ramp which would also provide access for less mobile people or wheelchair users.
Opening Times/Seasons: All Day/All Year but check for park closures here.
Entrance Fee: Free
Facilities Nearby: There is one drop toilet at the campground. More facilities are available in the town of Kangaroo Valley including public toilets and shops for basic groceries.
Other Activities: Rent canoes from Kangaroo Valley Canoes. You can do an overnight canoe trip picking up your canoe from Bendeela Campground, staying at Beehive Point or one of the other lakeside spots for the night and then paddling to the dam wall where you and your canoe will be collected the next day. There is also horse riding with ‘The Man From Kangaroo Valley’ nearby. The area is also a great area to get out for a big mountain bike ride or trail run as there are loads of fire trails and other tracks running through the area.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: The charming rural town of Kangaroo Valley has a strong community atmosphere and is home to the Hampden Bridge, which is a historical wood and stone suspension bridge which has recently been restored. There is another swimming hole underneath the bridge. The valley itself is incredibly lush and green completely surrounded by dramatic sandstone escarpments.
Wildlife: Lace monitors, water dragons, heaps of birds including sea eagles, diamond pythons, and maybe wombats and platypus if you keep your camp peaceful.
Lace Monitor in the bush at Lake Yarrunga
Places to Eat: The Old Barrengarry Store on the outskirts of Kangaroo Valley has great pies and interesting local history and produce. It is also a heritage listed building. There are a couple of other pie shops in the valley as well as several restaurants.
Where to Camp: Right here! There is space for about 20 tents and a drop toilet. There is also another very small walk-in campground right on the lake at Acacia Flat and a larger, more popular and busier drive-in option at Bendeela Campground.
Other places to Stay: There are many farmstays and B&Bs in the local area. Right on the lake is The Glasshouse, a modern timber and glass house with easy access to your own private swimming spot on the lake.
Nearby Towns: Kangaroo Valley, Berry, Bowral, Robertson.
Other Swimming Holes Nearby: Fitzroy Falls, Hampden Bridge, Acacia Flat, Beehive Point.