Box Flat

 

Box Flat is part of the Ngarkat Conservation Park.  It is close to a northern entrance of the park, near Baan Hill.  Baan Hill is located off the the Tailem Bend to Lameroo Road (the Mallee Highway).  It's just over two hours from Adelaide.

Up to the park entrance it's 2wd.  After that though, you're going to need 4wd.  A self registration station sits just inside the entrance where your fee is payable and maps are available.  As of July, 2015, the fee is $11 a night (plus $10 to enter the park) per vehicle to camp at Box Flat.

From the entrance to the turn off to Box Flat, the track is quite wide and easily negotiated, save for the odd sandy spot and some deep wheel ruts.  If you keep heading south along the Baan Hill Track, it eventually becomes two sandy wheel ruts.  Reduce your tyre pressure to make things easier.

A section of the Baan Hill Track through Ngarkat Conservation Park.

Before you get this far though, you will come across the turn off, on your right, to Box Flat.  It is signposted.  The turn off itself is sometimes very sandy, so a bit of momentum is needed to get through the soft stuff.  It is only soft for a few metres, and then the single lane track heads west towards Box Flat.  The track is sandy, but not overly soft, with a few low dunes to drive over before you reach the camp ground. 

There are no facilities at the campground, but it's a great place to stay.  2009 is only a few years after a bush fire went through a large section of the park, Box Flat included.  It has recovered to a certain extent, the trees have foliage on them again and the low scrub has thickened up.  The sites are easily recognisable, and the ground is hard sand.  Camp fires are allowed outside of Fire Danger Season, but you must bring your own firewood.

In front of the campground, is a large, flat, low lying area which accumulates water in the cooler months.  Towards the western end of this area, there are two large pools.  Early morning and evening these are great areas to see animals and birds as they come to drink.  Kangaroos, emus and many species of birds are particularly prevelant.

On my last trip there, I  was the only one present.  I walked to the ruins at the western end of the campground.  On the way back I came across an Echidna.  He took only scant interest in me, and continued to dig for ants whilst I watched only a couple of metres away.  If I moved, he would pause, tuck his head in and sort of puff out all his spikes.  I watched him for over an hour before leaving him to it.

 

The above-mentioned Echidna.

Spring and Autumn are the pick of the seasons, but nights can be cold.  Camp fires are allowed outside of Fire Danger Season, but you must bring your own firewood,  Winter would be Ok too, if you don't mind the cold.  Summer is not so good due to the heat, the threat of bush fires and the bloody flies.

Just like Rabbit Island Soak and Bucks Camp Soak, Box Flat is a magic place to camp.  Just remember you need to take everything with you (and all rubbish out again).