I have fond memories of Punyelroo, on the banks of the mighty Murray River.

As a kid my family would spend most weekends and school holidays at Punyelroo waterskiing. Even the freezing cold winter didn’t deter us kids from skiing, it just meant wearing an extra wetsuit, plus boots and gloves.

Back then the park consisted of caravan and camping sites, plus some long term vans and annexes. Now (20 years later) there is the casual camp sites and vans, plus about 80 to 90 privately owned cabins. During the school holidays you can imagine the park over run with kids on bikes, the river full of boats and skiers, and the grassy riverbank a hub of activity.

This wasn’t the case when we arrived. It had been 20 years since I had been to Punyelroo. It was mid week and just after the Christmas school holidays had finished. The park was empty, all except for a small group of locals/long termers that were enjoying a drink on the beautiful green river bank next to the boat ramp. The caretakers were amongst this group. They directed us to set up in a powered site right next to the river. After having a chat they even went for one last ski, just for us to watch. The sound of a inboard motor, the beautiful sunset and people skiing brought back many happy memories.

Punyelroo Camping Waterski Punyelroo Camping Waterski

The area where people ski from and the boat ramp is a no go zone for dogs, however we found a small spot to one side of the camp grounds where we were able to walk down to the river and enjoy a quick dip and let the dogs cool off in the water. (All the usual rules for dogs applied). This was Mikey’s first swim in the Murray River, so he was quite excited.

Punyelroo Camping Murray River Waterskiing Murray River

There is one main amenities block in the middle of the camp ground. It’s a small walk if you set up near¬†the river bank. But we were happy to deal with the walk in return to have such a pretty camping spot. The amenities block is still the same from all that time ago. There are plenty of showers and toilets, it is kept very clean and has been well maintained over the years.

The local town near Punyelroo is Swan Reach. We stopped in at the local pub to grab some beers for once we arrived at our campsite. The town is small, but big enough that you could get groceries if you needed too. The office at Punyelroo seemed to have quite a few necessity items too. As we arrived late in the day and when the park was quiet, they opened up the office just for us. We only quickly popped in to pay our camp fees and then ducted out, so I didn’t get a good look of what was available.

To get to Punyelroo from Swan Reach, you have to cross the river on a ferry. This is quite a good little experience. There is no charge for the ferry. The last few kms to the camp grounds is a very well maintained dirt road, no corrugations or tricky spots to navigate.

Murray River Barge Crossing at Swan Reach Murray River Barge Crossing at Swan Reach

A camping spot like Punyelroo is when I wish we travelled with some sort of boat, canoe or kyak. The Murray River is amazingly beautiful and from memory, on the other side of the river is a massive lake that would be good fun exploring.

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