One of the best things about camping is the choice of venues. Put simply, we might choose to camp in simple surrounds where the emphasis has been on leaving things pretty much as they were before the campgrounds were established or we might opt for more elaborate surrounds where creature comforts are uppermost.
At the Borumba Dam campground, nestled between a long standing pine forest and the riverbed of Yabba Creek, it's the former situation that attracts the camper who likes to be close to nature.
At this spacious and well maintained grounds visitors can sleep with the sound of water chuckling within Yabba Creek, the calling of an owl or bush curlew at night and wake to the sound of kookaburras serenading the dawn.
Coinciding with the kookaburras there might be the sound of a car's engine starting and the rattle of a boat trailer following shortly afterwards as a boat heads for the launching ramp on Borumba Dam just a few hundred metres away.
The dam, incidentally, is renowned for the fabulous southern saratoga, bass, silver perch and tandanus catfish, plus the odd eastern cod, that reside within it's sheltered waters and as these camping grounds are the nearest ones to the dam it's popularity is not surprising.
That said, it's weekends that seem to see the camp grounds occupied; during the middle of the week things can be downright quiet with few if any campers present. We might well expect things to be full to overflowing during the Easter break of course.
The key to finding these placid campgrounds is to look for the sign on the Bruce Highway around 32km south of Gympie. If heading south the quite prominent Imbil/Borumba Dam sign will be noticed on the right not far from the turnoff to Amamoor. If northbound the sign is not far north from the Kenilworth turnoff. Once off the highway the signage to Imbil and the Borumba Dam/campground is easily followed.
The small town of Imbil offers fuel, some groceries including the important ice plus some refreshing drinks at the hotel.
Note that wildlife is often encountered after leaving Imbil and there are a couple of narrow crossings on Yabba Creek to negotiate. Give way means just that on these crossings.
On entering the campground formalities are reduced to a minimum. There is a caretaker in residence but no formal camp office as such where you must check in before setting up the camp. Consequently a lot of the selection of sites is on a first-in, best-dressed basis with a many folk simply selecting their own site and setting up camp accordingly.
Do note that there is no power available, generators are not part of the scene either, and pets of any description are not allowed, which includes both resident campers and friends visiting them.
Camping is quite informal. There are plenty of shaded sites available along with sites offering a designated fireplace and an associated barbeque plate. None are numbered or especially measured.
Firewood is available on site at a modest fee. Toilets and showers are both free and cleaned daily and I must say that a hot shower is a delight after a day up the dam in search of fish.
While there are plenty of water taps throughout the site, signs on such taps indicated the water is not potable. The best option for drinking water is the tank water available near the amenities block.
One thing that most visitors find attractive at the Borumba Dam campground is the closeness with nature. The only through traffic involves vehicles en route to the dam and the road is a reasonable distance away so the sound of breeze rustling trees or the water's flow in Yabba Creek is all pervading.
The local wildlife is friendly. Do not be surprised to find a cheeky kookaburra or family of noisy minors coming down to share breakfast or lunch and at times there might be a sleek and shiny lace monitor doing the rounds in search of any tucker thrown his way. This is obviously discouraged but a pleasant experience seeing these wonderful creatures up close.
Checking out the wildlife at night with the aid of a torch is popular with families as quite a few possums and night birds (tawny frogmouths) are to be found in the trees around the campgrounds. There are also some interesting bush walks to be enjoyed thanks to the number of long established forestry trails in the area.
While fishing within the extensive waterways of Borumba Dam is usually hot on the agenda for a lot of campers, the dam lookout and picnic area is also a great place to spend time and visitors often set up a picnic lunch and head up under the trees adjacent to the boat ramp to enjoy the vista of the dam stretching to the west.
The angler without a boat is still able to catch a fish from the area around the picnic area and during a recent visit there I saw a very respectable silver perch taken on a shrimp.
Note that a Stocked Impoundment Permit is required to fish in Borumba Dam.
In all, Borumba Dam campground is an ideal place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the suburbs and enjoy quality time while camping close to nature.
There is usual no problem with finding space mid-week, but if you are concerned call the camp grounds on 07 5488 6662 and you’ll know instantly.Reads: 2359