Location, Prices, Facilities and Other Services

Q:  How far away is the Barrington Tops from Ferndale Park?
A: We are right on the edge of the Barrington Tops National Park. A lot of people like to use Ferndale Park as a base from which to go out and explore the Barrington Tops. Closest walks are 8km away at Jerusalem Creek Falls (4km return walk). Stunning walks and rainforest giants are also found 40km away at the Williams River Day Use Area and Lagoon Pinch.
Q: How do I get to Ferndale Park?
A: If you follow the signs to Dungog and then the signs to Chichester Dam you'll find us - it is really quite easy to get here and roads are all sealed except for the last 2km which suitable for 2WD. Click here for Directions
Q: What are the fees for camping?
A: Click here for Pricing
Q: Can I book a campsite?
A:

We only take bookings for long weekends and school holidays, to reduce overcrowding and to save turning people away after they’ve driven all the way up here. As we don't have a campground that is marked out with sites etc, you can set up where you like and create your own little site and our customers love the freedom of this. During peak times, however, it is first in best served which means that you may not always get your favourite spot, even if you've booked! All other times outside of these “peak periods” bookings are not required.

Q: Are there any toilets and showers at Ferndale Park?
A: Yes - we have a full amenities facility, flush toilets, hot showers and hand basins. This facility is cleaned daily. There are composting toilets in the more remote areas as well. We also have a laundry with washing machine and drier in the amenities block.
Q: Where are the nearest shops to buy groceries?
A: Dungog, which is 23kms from Ferndale Park. There is an IGA supermarket, Butcher, Bakery, Fruit and Veg Shop and Chemist where you can get most things.
Q: Where can we get ice & fire wood?
A: We sell bagged ice and bagged firewood. Click here for Pricing
Q: Where can we dine?
A: In Dungog there are plenty of places to choose from to cater for all budgets, phone Dungog Information Centre on 02 4992 2212 or click here for more information.
Q: Do you get mobile phone coverage?
A: If you have a Telstra 3G or 4G phone, reception is available from the top of the hill that leads down into Ferndale Park. Some people who have a car antenna may get reception in camping area itself. Those on Optus will get minimal coverage at the Ferndale turnoff. Vodafone is unlikely to get any coverage in Ferndale Park.
Q: We have some friends that we would like to bring along, but they aren't into camping. Do you offer any other kind of accommodation?
A:

Yes. We have a self-contained four-birth caravans. We also have the 'Ferndale Country Cottage', which is a self-contained two-bedroom cottage (sleeps four) with log fire. Refer to our Accommodation page for more information.Bookings are essential for the Country Cottage and Caravan Hire, please use our Booking Enquiry Form or phone our office on 02 4995 9239.

Q: What is the Paymasters office?
A: The Paymasters Office is a large weatherboard shed that was built in 1915 at Chichester Dam. It has been transported in pieces to Ferndale Park, by truck and restored to its original condition in 1980. The shed is used for functions, gathering or meetings. It has tables and chairs as well as a couple of old fridges, lights and power and a large open verandah. In rainy weather, campers use the shed as a dry area, and a place to cook out of the wet. It is also a great facility for scouts, girl guides, church groups, and small celebrations. If you would like to book the shed, please contact Ferndale Park. Payment for use is based on type of use.

Open Camp Fires, BBQ's and availability of firewood

Q: Can we have an open fire?
A:  With the exception of a Total Fire Ban in very hot dry conditions, yes, you can have an open fire. We only ask that you try to use existing places where campfires have been to save putting new burn marks in the ground. Click here for Total Fire Ban Information
Q:  Do you sell firewood?
A: Yes, at Ferndale Park, we sell bagged cut firewood. Click here for Pricing. If you are having a campfire make sure you bring along an axe. You can also hunt around the surrounding bush area and find dead wood on the ground, but this is usually a lot of work for not much reward.
Q: Do you have any BBQ facilities?
A: No, please bring your own. Most people bring along gas cookers and have a small open fire at night time.

Bushwalking, Swimming, the River and Wildlife

Q:  Where can we go for a bush walk?
A: There are a few short walks from Ferndale Park itself, which satisfy most people. Longer walks include the uphill hike to Jerusalem Creek Falls (10km return) or you can drive and do the 4km walk in the National Park. We have maps that can be picked up from our office at Ferndale Park to assist. Bush walking enthusiasts, who are after a bit more, we recommend getting the brilliant new publication, 'Barrington Tops National Park Guidebook' put out by National Parks and Wildlife Service and topographic maps of the region. These are available through Dungog Visitors Information Centre, corner of Dowling & Brown Streets Dungog, phone 02 4992 2212 or click here for more information.
Q: Can we swim in the river?
A: A lot of people enjoy swimming in the fresh water, and we have some beautiful deep holes, however the decision to swim rests upon the individual. Common sense applies - remember a river is not like a swimming pool; there are jagged rocks, and logs etc that may be hidden from view as well as strong currents. Children must be supervised at all times. No diving and no glass or alcohol near the river.
Q: Can we put a canoe in the river?
A: Yes, but the river is not really big enough for serious canoeing, but some people like to bring their surf mats or inner tubes for easy transportability.
Q: Is there much bird life at Ferndale Park?
A: The first thing that you will hear when you drive down into Ferndale Park with your windows open is the amazing sound of the Bell Birds. If bird watching is your passion, then all you need to do is bring along you binoculars, bird book and take a walk around - you will be amazed. Satin Bowerbirds, the majestic Regent Bower bird, King Parrots, Black Cockatoos, the Wedge Tailed Eagle and the Lyrebird are just a few.(Please note - do not feed any of the wildlife).
Q: What other animals are at Ferndale Park?
A: The most commonly seen native animals to be seen at Ferndale Park include Red-necked Wallabies, Paddy melons (smaller rounder version of the wallaby), goannas and water dragons (amphibious lizards) There are platypi, koalas and echidnas at Ferndale Park, but it is extremely rare sight to see them.
Q: What about snakes?
A: During the warmer months, it is possible to come across a snake - please leave them alone and report them to the Ferndale Park Management if you happen to come across one as soon as possible.

Mountain Biking and Pushbike Riding

Q:  Are they any places for the kids to ride their bikes around in Ferndale Park?
A: Yes, the main camp area is flat and easy for kids to ride around. Make sure you bring along helmets etc.
Q: Are there any Mountain Bike trails?
A: The Barrington Tops and surrounding State Forests are excellent places for mountain bike riding - whether you are after a peaceful morning ride through the winding country rides, or hard-core fire trails in the rugged mountains that surround us, it’s all here. Make sure you come prepared with spares etc - the nearest bike shop is 90 km away!!
Q: Can I bring my trail bike?
A: No. We do not allow any trail bikes at all into Ferndale Park, primarily because of the noise they create. Do not bring along your kid's peewee 50 motorbike, or any other motorised bikes/trikes, as we will ask you pack them away. We do allow some registered trail bikes, as long as they are quiet, see the park management first, but these are not to be ridden around the camping area at all. Ferndale Park is not the place to make noise. We try our best to maintain the natural sound, which is peace and quiet.

Pets and Miscellaneous

Q:  Can I bring along my dog?
A: Yes - Ferndale Park allows pets, but you must have your dog controlled at all times. It's the owner’s responsibility for damage and legal costs in the event of a mishap. Please bring along some plastic bags to collect and dispose of your dog's poo in a responsible manner. There is no extra charge for pets.
Q:  I'm a first time camper - aside from the obvious, what things might I need to bring along?
A:

The following is a list if things (not inclusive) that make camping life more comfortable:

  • Insect repellent and citronella candles for mosquitoes - especially during the warmer months.
  • An axe however this is needed only if you plan on having an open fire. Also fire starters and newspaper help to start fires when it is cold or damp.
  • A hammer to drive in tent pegs
  • Small First aid kit with tweezers. Tea Tree oil is good for insect bites.
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Good quality garbage bags - they double as a bag to throw your tent into if it rains and you decide to leave in a hurry. Make sure to take the tent to dry out as soon as you get home.
  • Spare set of shoes.
  • If you have bought a new tent, it is advisable to have a practice set up at home to make sure you have all the pieces, and that you know how to put it up. Arriving whilst it is still daylight makes it a lot easier to set up a tent.