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Seaside camping at Barn Hill Station

Barn Hill Station… stop by for a week, stay for a month. 130km south of Broome, in the Kimberley region, this cattle station offers the ultimate in beachside camping with glorious views and plenty to do.

Slow travel kombi road trip

G’day!

I’m Melissa (Liss) Connell and this is my personal travel blog. The Slow Lane chronicles my Aussie adventures in my 1974 Kombi, with my furry sidekick Sandy. As the co-owner of Exploring Eden Media, I write articles (and post books) as I travel. Check the postage stamp on your book order and you’ll see where I am right now!

Words by Melissa Connell, pictures by Grace Picot and Melissa Connell.

Barn Hill Station … we intended to stay for a night and we stayed for a week. Even then, it was hard to leave …

Barn Hill, Kimberley Australia
The iconic red cliffed beach of Barn Hill. Drone pic by Grace Picot.

Barn Hill Station, family run since 1986

In 1986, Mr Alfred Grey gave a part of his half million acre cattle station to his daughter Janice. Together with her hubby, Richard, Janice established a farm stay with three mud huts. The word spread and now Barn Hill is a popular winter escape for southerners who come for weeks … even months at a time. They return to the Kimberley region year after year, claiming their little patch of pindan atop the escarpment.

Barn Hill Station, the Kimberley

Location

Barn Hill is 132km south of Broome or 480km north of Port Hedland. Turning off the sealed highway, you then travel for 9km along a corrugated red dirt road, opening and closing cattle gates along the way. It was a slow journey in with my 1974 Kombi, but we eventually got there!

Barn Hill Station Camping
Unpowered campsite at Barn Hill. Drone pic by Grace Picot.

Camping options

There are three camping options at Barn Hill and we chose an unpowered site on the escarpment, due to the amazing location and views. These sites are in hot demand, so arrive earlier in the day and wait for someone to leave (check-out is 10am, check-in is 1pm, so arrive around 10 to grab a site that someone’s vacating!)

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Unpowered $30

Unpowered site on the escarpment with a shared bathroom block (solar hot showers – freezing cold in the morning and lukewarm late afternoon, but boiling hot during the day!) There are also washing machines next to the bathroom block for $4 per load. There are plenty of taps scattered across the escarpment campsite with potable water.

2020 Rates: $30 per night 1-2 adults, $15 for extra adults or $8 for extra kids. Click here to be taken to the rates on Barn Hill’s site.

Barn Hill Station facilities
Solar showers for the unpowered sites. Pic by me (Melissa Connell).
Barn Hill Station camping showers
Solar showers for the unpowered sites. Pic by me (Melissa Connell).
Barn Hill Station camping
Cliff-top unpowered site. Pic by me (Melissa Connell)

Powered $38

This area is grassy and shaded and near the central hub of activity (the lawn bowls green and the office/cafe area). So, there’s a lot more traffic (cars and people) plus it’s noisier than the unpowered area. These sites are close to the main beach entrance point. Power is 24 hour and 6 amp limit (per night).

2020 Rates: $38 per night 1-2 adults, $19 for extra adults or $8 for extra kids. Click here to be taken to the rates on Barn Hill’s site.

Beach Shelters $60

These three shade cloth + timber framed shelters are close to the beach access point and they provide a little bit of shelter and privacy, as they’re away from the main camping areas. Includes your own shower and tap.

2020 Rates: $60 per night 1-2 adults, $15 for extra adults or $8 for extra kids. Click here to be taken to the rates on Barn Hill’s site.

Kimberley Australia travel
The iconic red cliffed beach of Barn Hill. Drone pic by Grace Picot.

Activites

Beach Time

You can easy laze the day away on the beach directly in front of Barn Hill. Go for a walk up the beach to explore the different rock formations and (further north) the beach caves.

Fishing

If you have brought your own boat, you can drive down and launch straight off the beach. Otherwise, throw in a line directly off the beach (though, noone seemed to be catching anything off the beach while we were there).

Head next door to Eco Beach

We drove next door to Eco Beach to use their restaurant’s WIFI (a girl’s gotta work!) as Eco Beach welcome day trippers. We ended up jumping on their Jack’s Creek transfer for $40 per person / 3 hours. They drove us up the beach in their open-aired safari vehicle and dropped us off with fishing gear. We cast a line, but didn’t have much luck. One of our fellow punters caught a small Barra, not bad for July (traditionally the Barra off-season). So, we headed to the southern end of Jack’s Creek, into the mangroves, and covered ourselves in mud instead!

Mud bath, girl exfoliation
Mud exfoliation at Jack’s Creek, Eco Beach. Pic by me (Melissa Connell)
Eco Beach Resort the Kimberley australia
Jack’s Creek at Eco Beach. Drone pic by Grace Picot.

We ended our Eco Beach day with some time in their hammock huts on the beach, then cocktails by the pool.

Eco beach resort hammocks
Eco Beach hammock hut. Pic by me (Melissa Connell)
Eco Beach Resort infinity pool
Sundowners at Eco Beach. Pic by me (Melissa Connell)
Eco Beach Resort cocktails
Sundowners at Eco Beach. Pic by me (Melissa Connell)

Enough Eco Beach … other things to do at Barn Hill

Other Barn Hill activities include:

  • Lawn bowling – there’s a lawn bowling green in front of the main office area which hosts regular tournaments
  • Wednesday night communal BBQ’s
  • Sunday morning craft market
  • Roast night on Sunday night with local entertainment

Also, keep an eye on Barn Hill’s Facebook page, as there are other events from time-to-time such as amazing bands and live entertainment. We had a boogie on the grassy dance floor to a visiting band and lots of locals from Broome and Derby drove down for the event!

Swimming, the Kimberley australia

Thanks for reading! Drop back from time-to-time as I continue my journey through Western Australia (I will upload more blogs – read them all here). And please – if any of the information has changed or if you know of more great spots, please leave them in the comments below 🙂

Planning a trip to the Kimberley? Get the book written by a local, for travellers who aren’t ‘tourists’.

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