Camping at Murphy’s Glen
View of the Three Sisters from near Katoomba Falls
During the school holidays we went on a small road trip and we had tried to book a camping spot at Euroka Campground in the Blue Mountains National Park but it’s too popular in the school holidays so we were left with the unpopular option of Murphy’s Glen with:
- my 4 year old son, 6 year old daughter and my husband;
- our hatchback with limited ground clearance and a rooftop box; and
- our 4 person tent with space for 4 thermarests.
The Blue Mountains are lovely to explore and this was the first time that we had taken our children there. We had a lovely time exploring the Leura and Katoomba regions and taking some short walks. We camped at Murphy’s Glen and I thought that I would share some information here in case anyone is wondering about the amenities and status of the access roads as of October 2013:
- There is currently a lot of roadworks being undertaken on the stretch of the Great Western Highway at Woodford so it’s necessary to use the service road that runs alongside the highway (Railway Parade). Google Maps told us to turn onto The Appian Way but that passes over the highway so instead we continued until the next available turn off which was onto Oaklands Rd in Hazelbrook and followed Railway Parade for a few kilometres. When you reach Woodford railway station turn onto Bedford St which is at about 135 degrees to Railway Parade and head up hill;
- Continue along Bedford Street until it becomes a dirt track and pass through the gate that is locked in rainy weather;
- The track is potholed in places and was difficult for our hatchback because we ‘bottomed out’ on some of the more sloping sections so drive with care and it takes about 20 minutes to arrive at the campsite;
- Take particular care on the steep section towards the end of the track because it can be slippery if wet and it can be hard to gain traction in a 2WD car.
Murphy’s Glen campsite
- The perimeter of the campsite is marked by logs but otherwise the camping places are unmarked;
- Very tall eucalyptus trees occur throughout the site and in windy weather it could be dangerous to camp below such trees due to the risk of falling limbs so there are really only two safe sites in the section;
- There are sites for fireplaces scattered around the site and an odourless pit toilet with toilet paper (by far the nicest pit toilet that I’ve ever used) but no other amenities. It rained on our 2nd (and final) evening at the site and we would have benefited from some shelter but instead cooked and ate our dinner in the rain before shivering our way into our sleeping bags and then worried about whether our car would be able to drive up the hill the next day, which is partly why we cut our trip short by two nights;
- We were fortunate to have only one other group in the campsite on our first night and they were very quiet and then on our second night we had the site to ourselves;
- The dawn chorus of birds was amazing to hear with the slightly demented calls of red wattle birds, the atmospheric crack of the Eastern Whip Bird and the raucous calls of the cockatoos;
- We bought firewood in Leura from a service station for $15.75 that was advertised to include kindling but it didn’t and the entire lot of wood burnt in just 3 hours.
Small waterfall at Murphy’s Glen
- The surrounding tall forest of blue gums and towering turpentines is beautiful but it’s difficult to walk through the bushland due to creepers and other undergrowth so it’s easiest to stick to the few walking trails;
- The nearby day use area has un-signposted walking tracks and we followed one that led us to the creek and we followed the creek for a couple of kilometres and saw a small waterfall in a lush glen, some temperate rainforest and giant boulders that had fallen from above. Our 4 year old son was able to do the walk with ease but at one point he almost fell 3m onto rocks by deviating less than 1m from the path;
- The changes in vegetation from heath on the ridge (which is in full bloom in early October with myriad wildflowers) to tall forest to temperate rainforest in the creek gully is lovely to behold over short distances;
- The first week of October is an excellent time of year for wildflowers.