Everybody loves a free camping spot hence why hundreds of grey nomads pass through this cool little camping area at Lake Elphinstone every year but this little spot packs a punch!
Distance from Mackay to Lake Elphinstone: 141kms
Travelling time from Mackay to Lake Elphinstone: 1 hr 45 mins
Fuel stop: BP Nebo Junction – 57kms before the lake coming from Mackay
Watch out for: Koalas during the night in breeding season
We travel from Mackay out to Lake Elphinstone and from out past visits have noticed around lunch time is one of the best times to arrive. All of the early and mid morning travellers have departed and the afternoon travellers haven’t yet arrived so you can get a pretty good spot along the lake front.
There is loads of room for everyone and the Issac Council keep the grass fairly well cut and the area clean.
Lake Elphinstone camping area has everything you need – toilets and showers (cold – but hey we are in Central QLD) lake views, loads of room to camp, electric BBQ’s, picnic tables, a boat ramp, its free to camp and our favourite… dog friendly and fires are allowed!
There are two entrances to the camp ground, we usually take the first one. That way we can suss out the camp spots and then pick what we like. It never goes to plan tho and we always end up arguing about the best spot, although we did make some improvements on our last trip and I promised I would shut my mouth and let the Husband choose. (He chose well)
This place is full of trees for shade which is awesome camping in Central QLD. Fire wood is scarce so make sure you bring some along or collect it on the way out.
Things to do…
The mornings are the best time of the day. I recommend waking early to catch the sunrise over the lake – Its so quiet and serene.
Lake Elphinstone is a natural lake and can be used for boating or water sports and its a great spot to bring the kayaks and SUPs!
I prefer to mostly stay out of the water so I take my camera a Canon 5D Mkiii and 400mm telephoto lens with a 1.4x extender on it and photograph the birds.
Are you a keen bird watcher? This place is for you! Birds are everywhere at Lake Elphinstone both in/on the water and in the trees. Check out my top tips to photographing birds here.
Heard of a reverse sunset? Look the other way to where the sun is setting (which is where you would look over the lake) and you see the beautiful pastel colours lighting up the sky.
Star gazing + photographing the stars in the evening! Are you a night owl? This is an incredibly beautiful place to view the Milky Way Galaxy. Whilst you do get some light pollution from one of the coal mines it doesn’t affect the visibility of the galaxy too much. Check out my ‘how to” photograph the night sky – Astrophotography guide here.
Lake Elphinstone is a great spot with loads of space for people looking for a free camping area whilst travelling through the Isaac Region. Be sure to pop into the local Glendon store for supplies to support the Isaac Region!
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