Green Patch is located at Jervis Bay in the Booderee National Park on the South Coast of New South Wales between Nowra and Ulladulla. The park is about three hours drive from Sydney or Canberra.
Last year we camped in a caravan and camping park and while we had a good time we both wanted to go a bit more “bush”. Of course, Mr Monkey would rather go much more bush than me but I still need some of my creature comforts. No shovel for me!!
We camped at Green Patch once when I was younger and I always have fond memories of the place. Mr Monkey’s family went regularly when he was younger and his brother goes most summers with a group of friends. We had originally planned to go with them this year but they were saving money for a big overseas trip.
Green Patch is a really great compromise – you feel close to nature, yet still have basic amenities.
It’s more “bush”
You feel as though you are close to nature – surrounded by trees, with animals very close by, gravel roads.
Lots of animals
We saw kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, many different types of parrots, echidnas and a red belly black snake. This was all within metres of our camping site (or even in our camping site on some days). They are very tame so you can see them up close (carefully!!).
Great beach only a short walk away
There is a beautiful beach only a short walk away from the main camping sites. It’s fantastic for young kids – the waves are small, there are small rock pools to explore and I’ve heard it’s great for snorkeling. Lily loved it and we spent at least some time there every day.
The camping sites are fairly quiet
I’m not sure if we just got lucky with the time that we were there and the other campers but we found it a lot more quieter than the caravan park we went to last year. Sound does travel very easily but most people seemed considerate of that. We also felt a bit more secluded from other campers as each site is contained a bit more instead of just being flat with marked out areas.
National Park fees are included with camping fees
As Green Patch is in the Booderee National Park there is fees applicable. However, once you pay your camping fees you simply need to display the receipt in the front of you car and you can drive straight through each day.
Shops close by
Less than 5 minutes drive away and probably a short walk away is the Jervis Bay Supermarket. This is a small store with basic groceries available as well as alcohol and camping supplies. There is also a small takeaway attached (we didn’t end up having anything from there). The supermarket is great for the very basics and is only slightly more expensive than other shops (as you would expect for the convenience).
About 20mins drive away is the town of Vencentia which has a great little shopping complex including a Coles, liquor store, newsagents, cafes and speciality stores. We did our fresh food shopping at this Coles and they had a fairly good selection.
Our camping site was directly across the road from one of the amenity blocks. I know for some people this wouldn’t be a draw card but as Lily is currently toilet training it turned out to be a blessing for us. Each building includes male and female toilets as well as showers, a handicapped toilet and shower, baby changing facilities and sinks for dish washing. The toilets were always clean and well stocked and the showers hot and easy to use. The showers are on a timer but are very simple to work out.
The camping grounds are jointly managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and Parks Australia. Being so close to the amenities block we saw the cars coming regularly to clean them. There are large skip bins (including recycling) at the entrance and in other areas. We found the grounds were always clean and really well maintained. I’m sure this also depends on the campers.
Activities close by
It only takes about 20mins to drive out of the National Park and to get to the nearest towns and activities. Close by is Vincentia, Huskisson, Sanctuary Point, St George’s Basin & Jervis Bay. There is lots to be done in any of these towns if you are after a day trip.
We went to the Bay & Basin Leisure Centre on one day which has a great indoor pool.
Lots of other beaches and interesting sites a short drive away
Being part of the National Park means there are lots of beaches and interesting places to drive to close by. Beaches include Green Patch, Murrays Beach, Steamers Beach, and Cave Beach. We only really used Green Patch beach, however on a few of our drives we visited the other beaches, just to have a look around.
When we got a bit bored at the camping grounds we decided to simply drive around the National Park and see what we could find. We would just follow a turn off and see where it led us.
After taking one turn off we came across a dirt road where the speed limit dropped to 40km/hr (the speed limit in most of the National Park is 60km/hr). After awhile it dropped down to 20km/hr. However, at the end was the the Cape St George Lighthouse. Lily had fallen asleep in the car so Mr Monkey stayed with her while I took my camera and went for a walk.
From the Booderee National Park website:
The Cape St George Lighthouse was built in 1860, however it was built in the wrong place. The light was not visible to ships and it led to 14 ships being shipwrecked in what is now known as ‘Wreck Bay’. A new lighthouse was built in 1889 at Point Perpendicular however the two light houses then caused confusion amongst ships travelling in the day time and so Cape St George Lighthouse was destroyed by the Australian Navy in 1922. Many feel that the light house is cursed because of the ship wrecks it caused and the tragedy striking the families who lived there.
The Not So Good
Make sure to put everything away at night
Because of the amount of animals and how tame they are we had to make sure to put most things away at night – either in the tent or in the car. Chairs were folded up and the only things that were left out were the table and the Esky which could be locked and another large plastic tub with a lid, and the heavy water container on top. We heard and saw a possum trying to go through our things most nights and it even came close by some nights as we were cooking. This is obviously for the safety of your things as well as the health and safety of the animals.
The animals are very tame
While it is great that you can get up close to the animals and have that experience (especially for children) it is quite worrying how tame the animals are. They are not easily spooked and will come very close to your camp site – some birds even walked through our chairs as we were sitting in them.
There are warnings throughout the park saying to not feed the animals – this affects their diet, makes them dependent on campers for food and can actually make them quite vicious. I hope people have started to follow these rules (Mr Monkey and his father can remember feeding the animals on their trips years ago) as I would really hate to see the animals suffer.
Lots of dirt/sand
This is of course a given but I found there was a lot of dirt and sand in our stuff. The sand was obviously from the beach although there was a tap on the way back from the beach (the outside showers weren’t working). Because the camping sites are simply dirt floored (with lots of leaves) it was very easy for the dirt to get in to the tent and over our stuff. But this was just one of those things you had to live with.
Dark in toilets/ lights on timers
I found it quite dark in the amenities block during the day. The lights didn’t work until the sun had set and they were then on a timer. This made it difficult to have showers in the late afternoon – we ended up just making sure we didn’t go until the lights had been turned on. This obviously wasn’t a great inconvenience – just a little annoying at times.
As you can see, the good things definitely out-weighed the not so great things. It was a fantastic camping trip and now we’re trying to decide if we return there next year or try something different.
Disclaimer: I was not paid or even asked to write this post. I simply wanted to share a great experience that we had.