Winter camping at Newnes State Forest

We ignored the weather forecast, which was a terrifying low of zero during the day for Saturday and -5 degrees for Sunday morning, packed the car and began the drive to Newnes State Forest nestled in the Blue Mountains.

We found a beautiful free campsite among the pine trees beside the dirt road, set up the swag and set off to get firewood.

While Mark chopped some firewood, I chopped veggies for our bush stew, and we began the fire to get the coals going before the temperature dropped.



Instead of using the camping barbecue, we cooked the meat over the coals, using a metal grate, the camp oven and the heat of the fire.

For dinner we had steak, potatoes, onion, cheese and bacon cooked until it became a stew.


We sat by the fire for a few hours before getting in to the cosy swag.

At 3:00am I felt the temperature drop, and quickly got out of the swag to poke the campfire back to life. That way we’d have a fire still burning for sunrise.


When we woke up, we stoked the fire again, and saw it flicker to life just as the sun rose through the trees.

Much to our surprise, we didn’t find any frost on the car and our water bottles that we’d accidentally left out weren’t frozen.

I checked the temperature (with minimal reception) to find it was sitting at around 3 degrees. That’s warm enough for a light button-up, scarf, beanie and warm socks by the fire.


For breakfast we cooked up eggs, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, onion and toasted Turkish bread over the coals.




As we waited for breakfast to cook, we wandered over to a frozen puddle of muddy water to roll rocks across the ice. And pegged a few rocks with almighty force to break the thick sheet of water on top.



The night before, we were playing ice-bowls, knocking rocks into each other over the puddle.

Daytrip to Lake Lyell

Once we packed up camp, we hopped into the ute and began the drive to Lake Lyell.

Along the way, we stopped off at Newnes Plateau to take a peep at the views below.




The drive to Lake Lyell isn’t far from the city of Lithgow. For a $5 entry fee, you can head through the gates and find a quiet spot to park the car, relax, and do nothing.


The plan was to sit at Lake Lyell and enjoy a cheese platter – but breakfast was so filling we didn’t have an appetite.

We took the turn off to go to Mount Wilson, hoping to find a sunny patch of grass and a nice view. Instead we found a rocky ledge covered by the shade of the trees.


Instead, we pulled over on the side of the road somewhere in Bilpin, grabbed the camp-chairs, the eski, and the cheese board, and tucked into the platter overlooking someones farm. It If you’ve got good company, cabanossi, and cheese – no matter where you stop, you’ll have a good time.



July 6, 2015

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