I have just returned from 9 days/8 nights camping at Sommerville Valley Tourist Park at Stanthorpe. http://www.sommervillevalley.com.au
My winter camping trip was very successful with wonderfully warm sunny days and somewhat chilly nights. The coldest overnight recording under my extended awning was -5 with some of the best frosts I have seen in a long time. It takes me back to when I was a child, to a time when we always had a real winter.
Sommerville Valley is a lovely big campground with good amenities blocks (2), camp kitchen (4 kitchenettes) complete with TV room and pool table. There is mention in their brochure of Movie Nights on the Big Screen but this is not available.
The campground also has a number of free gas BBQs and 2 free laundries (no dryers). There is also a kiosk with very, very limited supplies and an internet facility.
The amenities blocks each have 3 toilets (2x1 in the gents) and 3 showers in each.
Unfortunately the BBQs are not cleaned by management and each one that I looked at was in a pretty disgusting state. I did ask Raymond (owner) about this and as a favour to me he cleaned the 2 down near my camp.
Raymond and his wife Hana flew off to Vanuatu for 5 days and Hugo (cousin) was left in charge. Hugo was very obliging and most helpful and only too willing to see to any problem that arose.
My only really negative comment is that I believe their prices as from September 2008 are a little expensive for singles or couples as the fees are aimed more at younger families. The current price
is $22 per night for 2 adults and 2 children under 14 ($132 per week) for a powered site. Tent site (unpowered) $19 p/n and $114 per week.Fees as from September 08
will increase to $24 p/n for 2 adults and 2 children under 13 ($144 per week) for powered sites. Unpowered sites $21 p/n and $126 per week.
There is no singular per person fee
available unless it is an extra person ($5) so the minimum will always be $24 per night or $144 per week for power.
The campground is set on Storm King Dam, currently at capacity with water over the dam wall and markers put into place to show where it is. Even with the dam so close there are no water based activities provided for or supported by the campground. You cannot buy bait or a fishing permit from the campground kiosk.
As far as boating goes, it is a case of bring your own and at the present time slipping a boat means a drive to the boat ramp some 10 klms away.
There is also no playground for children but they are putting in a volley ball court which of course will only cater to the older children and young adults. Kids on push bikes are not allowed.
According to the info supplied by the campground, bikes can only be used by adults. Children are not to ride bikes around the park. Skateboards and rollerblades are strictly forbidden
In the 9 days I was there I saw limited wild life. Some hares in the late evenings and magpies, galahs and butcher birds, also quite a number of wood ducks on the dam but that was the extent of it. Considering it is a bush/country setting I did expect to see a greater variety of wildlife.
Camping there in the cooler months would be more agreeable as shade is almost non existent and it gets very hot in the summer months.
There are a limited number of on site vans ($50 p/n) and some on site tents with power (Big: currently $32 to increase to $36 p/n; Small: currently $26 to increase to $29 p/n).
Most of the van sites are set up so that you can face the dam and they are quite spaciously set apart. My set up is too large to fit on a site but I was given permission to set up wherever I wanted. I especially wanted to face the NE so as to capture as much of the winter sun as possible. It also meant that any wind coming across the dam came at the rear side of the camper.
I really loved the place, it was so very peaceful but personally believe the fees are a little expensive (for me) when I look around at other campgrounds that offer the same or more and are geographically closer to me.
Campfires are allowed (in allocated fire pits) and either take you own firewood or purchase from them at $4 for 9 pieces of wood. It is also a â€˜pet friendlyâ€™ campground with no fees for taking the canine family however you do need approval from management.
Note: I have in excess of 400 pics and will download some when I get a chance to vet them.Conclusion:
It would seem that whilst the campground fees are targeted at young families, it appears (after reading this) it is not as â€˜kids friendlyâ€™ as first thought.