Lake Bonney

 

The township of Barmera in the State's Riverland lies on the shores of Lake Bonney, a large freshwater lake fed by the River Murray.  Barmera is just over 200 kilometres from Adelaide.  Camping is allowed on the shores of Lake Bonney, and the north western side is the spot.

On the opposite side of the lake to the town, not far from the entrance to Loch Luna Game Reserve and Nappers Bridge, there is a dirt road that runs alongside the lake.  On the northern side of the track, there are quite a few areas to camp, but none of them are marked.  On the southern side of the track lies the lake.  There are no facilities, although there are toilets near the entrance road.  The soil is quite sandy, but is firm enough to hold tent pegs.  It's an open area, and caravans are parked here quite often.

A few of the locals on the shore of the lake right in front of the camp site.

This is a great spot if you have kids.  Normally you would be hesitant about letting them swim in the Murray, but here the water is shallow and the bottom sandy.  Kids love it.  It's like having their own little stretch of beach.  I camped here for a couple of nights with a friend and his two young sons.  They spent the entire time on the beach, fishing, swimming and playing cricket.  It's a very relaxing place to camp.

Fishing here is good fun.  I've only ever caught carp, but they really seem to fight well .  Maybe it's because of the shallow water.  Long runs are the norm and 2 kg fish feel like 5 kg fish.  Bread and worms are the best baits.  If you land a fish you will be mobbed by pelicans, which can be amusing as it scares the hell out of small children.

Summer is good here because it's possible to cool off in the lake.  You will need to bring some sort of portable shade with you though; something along the lines of those gazebo things.  You could always set it up on the beach. 

The sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular and are worth the trip alone.

 

Sunrise over Lake Bonney and sunset over Lake Bonney