Did you know? There is a special camping spot in New South Wales where you can see Australian wombats up-close and personal, for free! Get the info on this unique and beautiful camping area situated in Kangaroo Valley.
If you are looking to camp near Australian wombats, you have come to the right place for information.
On our road trip around Australia we spotted plenty of chubby wombats along the way – but there was only ONE very special camp spot where we were able to camp right next to them, for free!
About Wombats in Australia
What are wombats? Allow me to enlighten you….
Wombats are Australian marsupial mammals that have short, muscular legs, small stubby tails and powerful, burrow-digging claws. A unique feature they have is a backwards facing pouch so that when they dig complex tunnel systems they won’t flick soil onto their young.
There are three species of wombats in Australia; Southern hairy-nosed wombats, Northern hairy-nosed wombats and the Common Wombat. Their closest living relative is the tree-dwelling Koala.
Being herbivores, they feed on grass and roots and can be found in a variety of landscapes (i.e. forested, mountainous, heathland), which makes them a wonderfully adaptable and habitat tolerant species.
Wombats are generally slow movers but can run fast if required. Sadly though, when it comes to crossing roads they commonly get hit by speeding cars. We saw a quite a high number of wombat roadkill on our travels, which is all the more reason to slow down in areas where wombats are present, especially at morning and dusk when they come out to feed.
Camping with Wombats in Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales
We had the privilege of camping right next to wombats in a beautiful riverside camping area just 2 hours south of Sydney city.
In the aptly named Kangaroo Valley in New South Wales you will come close to dozens upon dozens of grass-eating wombats whom surprisingly, don’t give a care in the world about you being there. They just keep on munching away on the grass right near your campsite.
Funnily enough, we saw wombats pop out from underneath our car (as well as generally surround our car) for the duration of our stay there. We even fell asleep to the sounds of them crunching on grass nearby.
Scroll down below for information on Bendeela Camping Area and more pictures its quirky wombat residents!
Bendeela Recreation Area
Bendeela Recreation Area is a popular (for a reason!) camping spot in New South Wales. It is located about 150 kilometers south of Sydney on the banks of Kangaroo River, just out of Kangaroo Valley.
The rustic campground here boasts wide-open spaces against a stunning backdrop of mountainous natural bushland.
Bendeela campground facilities are basic but comfortable. While there is no power to the camping grounds, there are a number of toilets, rubbish bins, treated tap water for drinking and limited Telstra reception.
This is a tranquil spot for recreational activities like canoeing, fishing, swimming, bushwalking and non-powered boating along the Kangaroo River. So, when you add wombats into the mix – it is no wonder Bendeela Recreation Area is the perfect camp spot to relax and return to nature.
And as the name Kangaroo Valley would suggest, you will also see kangaroos – just check out the picture we took below of these two iconic Australian marsupials together!
Our Experience with Wombats
We came into Bendeela Recreational Area about 4pm and immediately saw two wombats. While majority of wombats come out at dusk, at Bendeela it is not uncommon to see some wombats even roaming around during the day.
We were spoiled by the landscape and wildlife here, being surrounded by beautiful forest as well as wombats, ducks, kangaroos and kookaburras.
The wombats are very nonchalant and calm, they just carry on eating grass while you are near them – but keep in mind they all have their own personalities – so some may grunt if you get too close – and if they do, back off and give them space!
We camped nearest the river, and it was lovely to fall asleep to the sounds of the water flowing, as well as the sounds of wombat teeth chomping grass away! In fact, we were in for a rude surprise the next morning – Adam walked down the ladder to find a wombat had done poo on his thongs! How funny is that? Maybe the wombat was marking his territory? haha!
Oh yes, we had some funny experiences with these wombats. As you can tell by our photos – you will not have a dull time camping at Bendeela Recreational Area, that’s for sure.
Respect Wombats, Respect Bendeela
Please drive slowly through Bendeela recreation area and campground and respect the native animals who call Bendeela home. Do not feed, disturb or harm any animal within the Bendeela recreation area and if you see a sick wombat, do not touch it or go near it as some conditions are contagious to humans.
Wombats are slow-moving creatures and therefore are high on Australia’s roadkill statistics. Bendeela is a very special place where wombats feel comfortable enough to feed on grass near humans – let’s not change this!
Back in 2015, a group of men who were camping at Bendeela were drinking heavily. They ended up drink driving and speeding through the campground at night as they left, hitting and killing 12 wombats. One joey was found alive in the pouches the next day. You can read that news article here. This was a terrible incident, let’s not have a repeat. Please drive slow!