There’s nothing like a spot of winter camping, particularly when Sydney delivers day after day of crisp, sparkling July weather. Last weekend eight of us set off to Marramarra National Park, about an hour and a half’s drive north of the city. Destination: The Orchard Campsite, a remote and facility-less spot right on Marramarra Creek. It’s a park your car then walk-in situation, so after driving as far as we could go along Marramarra Ridge Trail Road we set off on the roughly 4km track. I would describe it as “deceptively difficult”, and chock-full of stretch after stretch of hectic verticals that are made all the more exciting with packs full of water, food, and gear strapped to our backs.
At the bottom of the last brutally steep hill, the landscape shifted from rocky scrub to lush fern-dense rainforest running the alongside a creek, winding through sun-drenched pine groves, and alongside a historic orange orchard planted back in early settler days.
The campsite is beautifully remote, with a fire pit and picnic table at one end, plenty of space for a mini tent-city at the other, and not a bar of phone reception to be had for miles. With the fire burning, food cooking, wine poured, and the resident kookaburra giving us a twilight song, we settled in for a lovely long afternoon and evening of quality wilderness time.