Just upstream from Leslie’s Bridge on the Barnard River, nr Gloucester, NSW, Australia
This is an extremely family-friendly spot with a meandering river running over a small weir and then flowing into a stretch of deeper water which is perfect for a float or a swim. It is incredibly relaxing to float downstream, which is possible for a fair way, and then climb out and walk back up the grassy bank. The Bretti Nature Reserve is a large, grassy area grazed by cows and surrounded by views of distant mountain peaks. There is some shade from small bushes but a lot of the area is quite exposed to the sun. In the summer this is a popular spot but still maintains a relaxed and friendly ‘perfect summer’s day’ kind of feel and there is plenty of space to spread out.
How To Get There: Drive 34km North of Gloucester on the Thunderbolts Way towards Walcha. You will see the Bretti Nature Reserve down the hill on the right hand side of the road. The driveway into the reserve is fairly steep. The deeper section of river for swimming is about 200m downstream from the weir.
Difficulty of access: 1/10 – You can literally drive right up to the river and then it is just a few steps down the riverbank to enter the water.
Opening Times/Seasons: All day/All year
Entrance Fee: Free
Facilities Nearby: There are drop toilets and picnic tables in the Nature Reserve. The closest town for other facilities is Gloucester.
Other Activities: This is a lovely spot for kids to float downstream on a lilo or boogie board. Fishing is also allowed here.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: The Gloucester Folk Museum, Barrington Tops National Park, The Mountain Maid Goldmine in the Copeland Tops.
Wildlife: The area is grazed so there are cows and the river is a designated platypus area.
Places to Eat: Gloucester is the closest town with several restaurants to choose from.
Where to Camp: There is a 50 site free campground right here at the edge of the river. There is plenty of space for bigger vans and for children and pets to run around. There is another shadier camping spot just off the road north of the Gloryvale Bridge as you continue on the road to Gloucester. The river also runs past this campground but is shallower here.
Other places to Stay: Gloucester is nearby with hotels and many holiday cottage lets nearby.
Nearby Towns: Gloucester, Newcastle, Forster, Muswellbrook
Other Swimming Spots Nearby: Gloucester River Campground, Junction Pools, Water Gauge Campsite, Gummi Falls