After researching parks on WikiCamps and online (and having a few people recommend it) we headed for the (pet-friendly, if you keep track) Evening Star Park at Charleville. We actually didn’t go into Charleville much at all (just to replenish the groceries and buy postcards to mail off to family) – because we were too busy enjoying the surroundings out at the Evening Star.
We rolled in and set up just as a minibus pulled up to discharge other campers who had been on a tour of the farm (which extends for around 33,000 acres), so we missed the opportunity to go on a tour. Others who had been (escorted by the owner, who was a mine of information) said they really enjoyed it.
We loved the sites in this park. Why don’t all caravan parks make it this easy? They call them “marriage friendly” sites, and you can see why. All sites are long enough to fit both car and van still hitched, and wide enough to put out an awning in comfort. No reversing woes here!
We jumped at the chance for an evening meal around the campfire: stew, sausages, mash, damper, jam and cream – oh, and tea/coffee – for $15 a head, all prepared by somebody else. There’s plenty of room for anyone who wants to eat and chat in the shed housing the bar (yes, they have a bar!) and around the campfire. We were entertained by singer Len Teelow and his guitar, who charmed the manager’s daughter Shaya by playing “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” along with hits more suited to the Nomads. Len has a nice mellow voice that provided the perfect background for this laid-back night.
The people we meet do so many interesting things: management husband-and-wife pair Peter and Katrina decided to risk all by selling up and taking to the road with their three-year-old daughter Shaya, and we ran into Yvonne and David, who were also working their way around. We were parked next door to a couple who had been on a property for six weeks through the V.I.S.E Program: Volunteers for Isolated Students. They parked their van there and got meals in exchange for tuition. (Note: I actually heard someone else phone in about this program while listening to Macca’s Sunday Program – they said they are desperately in need of volunteers; even a few weeks can help. Maybe something for you to think about?) You can read more here: www.vise.org.au
After a few hours of chatting and entertainment in the company of Darrell, Ellen, Yvonne, David, Jen and Barney and a whole lot of other jovial people, I went back to the caravan, leaving Rob there with a few die-hards watching TV in the bar. Two hours later he wandered in happily; a relatively late night for a caravan park!
The COSMOS Centre is at Charleville, and Rob was keen to drive in one night and check it out. Unfortunately, cloud cover while we were there put paid to that plan, but we did catch glimpses of the brilliant stars – beautiful if you’re there at the right time. (You might also like to know that people who had driven in on a previous night said that kangaroos are a bit of a problem; they tend to bound across the road at night before you spot them._
And one for the ladies (well, and for the men, but not so important for them): Katrina, as well as working with husband Peter to manage the Evening Star, is a very good hairdresser. I took the opportunity to get a haircut while I was there, and so did quite a few others. If you’re lucky enough to be out that way while Peter and Katrina are in residence, and you need a haircut – you’ll get a better job done than in many city salons.
We heartily recommend the Evening Star. Oh, just one thing: phone and internet coverage is fairly spotty. You can wander around and get enough coverage for a phone call here and there, and you can log on to the Evening Star wi-fi connection just outside the office for a gold coin donation.