Notch Point is regarded as one of the best free camps in Queensland by a lot of people online and on social media. Yes, in my opinion it is a beautiful place, but it is not the best free camp in Queensland. Again, that is just my opinion.
We parked in a beautiful place, with really lovely neighbours who we happened to be parked next to when we were camped at Mount Britton.
Other than the views, there really isn’t a lot there. This is of course part of the appeal. It is absolutely worth visiting. We spent just under a week at Notch Point and that was a perfect amount of time for our essentials (toilet, water etc) as there are no facilities there.
Where is Notch Point?
Notch Point is located in the Mackay region of QLD. The local town called Ilbilbie is just 9km west of Notch Point road. The town is very small and if you need a town to run any errands, you’ll need to head into Sarina. We stopped in Sarina on the way in for some grocery shopping, gas & lunch.
How accessible is Notch Point?
The camping reserve is accessible by 4wd and offroad trailers. We travel in a Hilux and an offroad 19.6ft Jayco caravan and had no real issues getting in. Tthere were larger, semi off-road vehicles parked up there too. On your way in you’ll come to a gate just after the large industrial bins. Once you go through there, you’ll notice the track gets a little trickier.
We found the track to be sandy and in some places there were trenches through the road. Luckily when you get to these difficult areas, you’ll notice there are often two route options. On the way in and out, one of us would occasionally get out to decide which way was most sensible as we didn’t want to be reversing at all. One of the two options was always much better then the other – so an obvious choice.
You are driving with trees and bushes either side of you. However, we got through fine and so did a lot of other people so there is no need to worry about that! Just take it easy. Don’t rush.
Arriving in low tide would be preferable but don’t panic, you don’t get stuck if the tide is high. The water does go across the track in some places and if you don’t have good clearance in those areas you may find you are in a bit more water than you’d like.
Neighbouring private land
Cows roam freely around Notch point camping reserve; the cows are owned by the neighbouring cattle farmers. The farmer does come around on his quad bike regularly, I guess to keep check on the animals. The cows keep the grass nice and short, so you’ll not find it overgrown!
The best area to camp?
Well, this all depends on what you want and what the weather is like at the time. There are two main areas to camp, with a hill in the middle. Some people with a small trailer or rooftop tent did also camp on the hill.
On one side the large green area appears to be more level. It faces the water so you’ll have fantastic views of the beach and lots of rock pools when the tide goes out. However, this is the windier side. We spoke to a couple of families who couldn’t put their awning out because it was too windy. To get to this side, you will have to either drive over the somewhat steep hill, or drive between the large trenches on the flat side of the hill.
The beach is beautiful and were told at dusk and dawn the turtles come on to the beach to lay their eggs. Unfortunately, we went down around 7pm but the tide was still so far out and we had to get back for dinner etc. So, if anyone does see them there, please do send us some photos! Ava was gutted we didn’t see them.
There is also a great rope swing someone has made on the beach too, it’s one you hold on to rather than sit on. All the kids had a great time playing on the swing!
The other side of the hill you’ll find the wind to be much calmer. We parked at the bottom of the hill, just next to the small memorial. We positioned the back of the van towards the hill so that when we were sat outside the front, we got almost no wind at all. We had new neighbours every couple days which was nice. Most with children. This was awesome for Ava as she could play with them all.
This part of Notch Point also faces the water. It’s right next to the beach access, so you do get people coming by and parking their boat trailers most days which was no problem at all.
On this side of the hill, there is a seated rope swing which all the kids loved! There was often a little queue of 3 or so kids waiting to have a turn!
Coconuts at Notch Point
Ava being Ava, made friends with our initial neighbours instantly. They were lovely. The lady greeted Ava with a fresh coconut and showed Ava where to find them. She played with her on the swing and spent time looking at the beautiful flowers. Coconut trees are everywhere at Notch Point, so you wont struggle to find one!
Ever been attacked by a Magpie? Well, Ava was very close a couple of times. To be completely honest, I have never seen a bird behave like this. The first time it happened, Ava was wearing her bike helmet and this magpie started making a lot of noise and getting close to Ava’s head in an attack mode. One of our neighbours came running over from one side and I went running from the other side!
Then after settling Ava down. The next time she walked towards our neighbours again, the bird came back to try again! Still wearing her helmet. I went running back over and the bird left again and just sat in the tree. Our very friendly neighbours said those birds have been known to really hurt people.
Our neighbours said the following day that the same had happed to their kids that day over the other side. We had no problems for the first 5 days and then this happened. They only seemed to target the kids with bike helmets on too! Poor kids!
You’ll notice, depending on how long you stay. The weekends get noticeably busier. We waited out the rain in Mount Britton which also happened to be the end of the school holidays. We had a bit of choice when we arrived on where to set up. We found Friday to Sunday to be the busy days, I’d expect the school holidays to be exactly the same, if not busier!
Notch Point camping reserve has enough camping space not to worry too much but getting there early would definitely be sensible.
As mentioned above there is a beach access track on one side of the hill. The tide does go out very far, so you want to ideally time your arrival with high tide to get in the water easier. Most people were arriving before 7am while we were there! Others that arrived later would drive down the beach and launch their tinny in there.
Our neighbours actually took Ava fishing down the beach one day. They were out for hours, and all seemed to have a really nice time.
There were a handful of boats and a jet ski in the water. There are signs warning of crocodiles, so swimming is not advised! The memorial we were camped next to is for a man they suspect was taken by a croc. Although that was never confirmed.
Work and training
I have to say we had a fantastic week of training and getting on with our work. We smashed 4 very good workouts with our new fitness equipment we carry with us on the road. Usually, our workouts at Notch point started at around 8am and we were all done and packed up by 10/ 1030. Right in time before the midday heat really kicked in!
Whilst traveling on the road, I am completing my course as a Personal Trainer to join Richard as an online PT. In this work, training ourselves is very important to us. We like to practice what we preach which is a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Take a look at www.activegoals.co.uk
@activegoalsfitness As much as we were super excited to kit ourselves out with new workout equipment for our nomadic lifestyle, we did wonder how well it would work. Of course the first few workouts were a bit of a learning curve, but now that we've been training on the road for a few weeks we're pleased to say that we have sussed it out 💯💪 We're training just as hard as we were in the gym with similar routines. We still follow that same workout split & all the same core exercises. Only difference is that we now have fresh air instead of air-con and views instead of motivational posters 😆 We're loving the travelling, and the lifestyle. Working on the road is no different to working in one spot because we stay disciplined enough to still get our work done. But we do get to change our garden (as Ava calls it 😂) every few days 🚙 Just goes to prove that you can train absolutely anywhere, with whatever range of equipment (or none) that you want or have available. It's a mindset 😎 #workout #travel #fitnessmotivation #outdoors #trainoutdoors #fitfamily #staymotivated ♬ I Can't Stop (Ekali Tribute) – Flux Pavilion
Here are just a few points to help you plan your trip
- There are no facilities, so you must be self-contained
- Telstra mobile reception was very good for us on our side of the hill. Not so good at the other beach.
- No swimming
- Fishing Allowed with boat access
- 4wd and offroad trailer accessible
- Fires allowed
- 7 day limit
- Tents allowed
- Dogs allowed
Thank you so much for reading my blog on Notch Point Free Camping Reserve. As you can see by the length of my blog, it was a lovely place, and we had a really lovely time. The people always make a place that little bit better and we had such lovely neighbours! If you get the chance to visit, we do recommend Notch Point. To this day, Stanage Bay Free Camp is still my favourite Queensland free camp, but not easily accessible!
‘til next time…