Course locations

Wildcraft courses are usually held in the Gloucester and Dungog area. We also travel to Newcastle regularly for booked groups.
We are heading to Melbourne in September  to hold two children’s programs and a Wild101 Course. We have a lot of interest from the Brisbane/ Gold Coast area so we are looking to head up that way in the first half of next year. If you live in these areas and are interested, please let us know! [click this email link]

Gloucester: The Steps Campground, 535 Manchester Road, Bindera (20km west of Gloucester). Booking required in advance (unless you are doing an overnight course with us) Ph.02 65582093 or visit


Ferndale Park Campground: 1940 Chichester Dam Road via Dungog (20km north of Dungog)
Ph.02 49959239. Camping fees can be paid on arrival (unless you are doing an overnight course with us). (


252 Wangat Trig Road, via Dungog – this is a shiny new location which we are excited to introduce our Wild101 participants to.

Shuttles to /from Dungog Visitors Information Center or Gloucester Train Station can be arranged with prior notice.

Ferndale Park: Details

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFerndale Park Campground – 1940 Chichester Dam Road via Dungog.
To contact the campground phone 02 49959239

Ferndale Park is a scenic campground by the Chichester River, close to Chichester Dam, 20km north of Dungog. There are many camp spots, toilets, hot showers and water.

Camping fees: (if on a weekend course, your camping fees have been paid for you).  Unpowered $12.50/adult, $9/child. Power (additional $6/night), firewood ($20 bag) and ice ($4 bag) are available. Pay on arrival – no bookings taken for camping.
(prices are subject to change, please check with Ferndale website)

Optional Accommodation: On-site Caravan: ~$60/night/couple, Cottage (sleeps up to 6):~$135/night/couple(min 2 night stay).
Contact Ferndale Park on 02 49959239 to book in for caravan and cottage option.

Mobile phone reception is very limited – Telstra may work in some areas of the campground.
To protect wildlife, cows and campers, please drive slowly on entry. Thankyou!


The Steps Campground: Details

survival skills panorama

The Steps Campground – 535 Manchester Road Bindera via Gloucester.
To book contact BOAC via, or phone 02 6558 2093

The Steps of Girrba Campground is located on the beautiful Barrington River, 20km west of Gloucester. There are many camping areas, two permanent camp shelters, toilets, hot showers and water.

Camping fees: $15/adult, $8/child. Firewood ($15 bag) is available. Bookings must be made in advance via Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre unless your camping fee is included in the course price eg Weekend Courses.

Optional Accommodation: Cottage (sleeps up to 11):~$220/night/couple (min 2 night stay). Prior booking is essential.

(prices are subject to change, please check with

Mobile phone reception is very limited – Telstra may work on top of the hill.
To protect the Wallaroos, Wallabies and campers, please drive slowly on entry. Thankyou!

Getting to the course:

Car Pooling:

We encourage car pooling – so if you are driving and have spare seats, or if you require a lift, send an email to We will do our best to match people up. For anyone providing lifts, we trust that you are a safe and considerate driver.

Directions to Ferndale Park, via Dungog

Train (and school bus, pick up or bike it):

Both the CountryLink and City Rail trains stop at Dungog. City Rail fares are a maximum of ~$8.60 Adult, ~$4.30 concession, even if coming from Sydney/Nowra – you now need an Opal card to catch cityrail trains. Countrylink XPT fares are higher (~$10 Adult from Newcastle). Bikes can be taken on both trains, however Countrylink requires the bike to be booked on and boxed. Pick up from the train station can be arranged if given advanced notice.

If you want a country experience, the 3.20pm Wangat School Bus from Dungog Primary School will take you to Ferndale Park’s front gate. Connecting trains arrive in Dungog at midday so you’d have about 3 hours in Dungog – it is a lovely town with information centre, cafes, antique shops, craft shops, hardware, bakery, butcher and IGA. Later trains get in to Dungog just before 5pm on Friday.

PICK UP: Pick up or drop off from Dungog Vistors Centre is available for $10/person each way (must be arranged in advance)

BIKE: It is a beautiful, slightly hilly 20km cycle out to Ferndale Park along Chichester Dam Road.

By car:

As GPS can be unreliable in the area and has got many a person lost. It is recommended to use a map and directions below.


Ferndale Park is next door to Chichester Dam, around 250km north of Sydney, 100km north of Newcastle, and 20km north of Dungog. It takes around 3 hours 20 minutes from Sydney, around 1 hour 40 minutes from Newcastle and 20 minutes from Dungog. It is fairly straight forward and well signed to Dungog and Chichester Dam, although you may feel like you are in the middle of nowhere in the last few kilometres.


From Dungog’s main street, Dowling Street head to the Obelisk in the middle of the road (Bank Hotel on the corner). Turn west here (left if coming from the south, turn right if coming from the north), and follow signs to Chichester Dam (veering right at the General Store). STAY on this road (Chichester Dam Road) for 20 km. You will go past 2 churches, cross the river twice and meander up and down. On top of the last hill there is a 60km speed sign, and usually Red-necked Wallabies. Soon after is the Ferndale Park sign on the right (Road marker 1940). Turn right here, and follow signs to Ferndale Park (1.5km now sealed).
If you arrive at Chichester Dam, you have gone a tiny bit too far, so turn back and look out for Ferndale Park.


Head north along the F1 Freeway for approximately 130km. Just after the Freeway End sign, follow Highway 1 signs to Raymond Terrace turning right at the large roundabout, veer right heading to Newcastle, then exit left over the Hunter River to Heatherbraye. At Heatherbraye, turn left at the large roundabout, leaving Highway 1, to go through Raymond Terrace. Turn left at McDonalds (William St), following signs to Dungog. Keep following the signs to Dungog through Seaham and Clarence Town. See above for directions from Dungog to Ferndale Park.

DUNGOG FROM THE SOUTH – NEWCASTLE TO DUNGOG (via Raymond Terrace, Seaham, and Clarencetown)

Head north west out of Newcastle on Maitland Road. At Hexham, stay in the left lane to merge onto Highway 1 over the Hunter River, following the signs to Raymond Terrace. At Heatherbraye, turn left at the large roundabout, leaving Highway 1, to go through Raymond Terrace. Turn left at McDonalds (William St), following signs to Dungog. Keep following signs to Dungog through Seaham and Clarence Town. See above for directions from Dungog to Ferndale Park.

NOTE: You can also get to Dungog via Maitland and Paterson, or via the Bucketts Way/Limeburners Creek/Clarencetown.


Head south along the Pacific Highway and take the Buladelah exit. Just south of town, look for the road to Booral/Stround on the right – it is easy to miss – turn right here. (Note: the highway has been upgraded in this section so accessing this road may have changed). This road to Booral is a potholed windy road for about 25km. At Booral turn right, Pass through Stroud and then turn left to Dungog. When you get into Dungog, turn Right at the Obelisk in the middle of the road and follow the directions above to Ferndale Park.


Head South on the Bucketts Way from Gloucester for around 40km. Turn Right into Stroud Hill Road (Signed to DUNGOG). It is 25km to Dungog from here. When you get into Dungog, turn Right at the Obelisk in the middle of the road and follow the directions above to Ferndale Park.

Directions to The Steps Campground, via Gloucester

Directions to Gloucester from Sydney:

• Take the M1 Pacific Motorway (previously called F3) from Wahroonga, head north 128 km towards Newcastle until you get to the end of the freeway, marked by a large roundabout (ignore any Newcastle exits) approx 1.25 hours from the Wahroonga turn-off.

• Turn right at the roundabout signed to Brisbane/Pacific Hwy and travel 6km.

• Turn left across the Hunter River over the Hexham Bridge onto the Pacific Hwy, heading north towards Taree.

• Drive past Raymond Terrace/Heatherbrae heading towards Taree. (caution: Do not take the left turn at the roundabout to ‘Barrington Tops via Dungog’, that is the way to Ferndale Park.)

• Drive for 28km along the Pacific Hwy, then at 12 Mile Creek just past the truck inspection station, turn left at the large brown tourist sign for Gloucester, onto the Bucketts Way (if you get to Karuah or Buladelah you’ve gone too far). You’re on Tourist Drive 2, the second road in NSW to be declared a tourist route, way back in 1961.

• Travel for 80km along Bucketts Way to Gloucesters and continue along the main street – Church Street. (Last chance to buy provisions at Foodworks or Woolworths; maybe stop for a coffee at Roadies Café on the left hand side & admire the antique motor bikes.)

Basic Directions to Gloucester from the North

You can take the Taree exit and travel through Wingham or turn off at Tinonee to Gloucester for the most scenic drive to Gloucester. The quickest way is to keep heading south to Nabiac and take the Gloucester turn off on the right. Follow the signs to Gloucester passing through Krambach.

Directions to THE STEPS CAMPGROUND from Gloucester (about 20 minutes):

NB. There is very limited mobile phone reception once you leave Gloucester.

At the roundabout at north end of the main street, head west (left turn if coming from the south) onto Park Street – this becomes Thunderbolts Way which heads towards Tamworth.

· Soon out of town after crossing the Gloucester River, there is Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre on the right. They own the Steps campground – you are welcome to call in and they can help you with any queries.

•Otherwise continue driving 8km on Thunderbolts Way, through the village of Barrington (last chance for petrol, provisions and decent mobile phone coverage)

•After Barrington Village, you cross the Barrington River Bridge (extreme caution – one lane only, expect to give way). NB. You must cross the river to Barrington West Road (Barrington East Road is the long way and involves a river crossing)

•After crossing the bridge, turn left at the next intersection, onto Barrington West Road (this turn is easy to miss, so get ready to turn left as soon as you cross the bridge – if you get to a major right turn to Walcha you’ve gone 200m too far).

•Drive 8km along Barrington West Road then turn right into Manchester Road (road becomes gravel)

•Drive 5km along Manchester Road, then you’ll see the sign for The Steps of Girrba just after the green water tank (caution – wallabies and wallaroos frequent the area – please drive slowly and safely)


  1. Isabel March 24, 2015 9:05 am


    I have two daughters 14 & 19 & the 3 of us would love to learn some of your amazing bush skills. Is there any chance that you would put on a course in our neck of the woods (Bogangar 2488, near Kingscliff)?

    • March 24, 2015 11:53 am

      Hi! We would love to share our bush skills with you and your family 🙂 We have had some interest from other people in the Brisbane /Gold Coast area, So a trip up your way is a possibility for the second half of the year! We will send you an email with details soon!

  2. Gunver Werringloer March 29, 2016 9:53 pm

    Found your website! Sounds very exciting and fun!

  3. Amber November 7, 2016 9:42 am

    Any chance of organizing a Tropical Far North Qld event for homeschoolers?
    Our family (2 parents, 9y & 3y boys) would be one of a variety of people interested!

    • November 14, 2016 12:59 pm

      Absolutely! QLD is part of our plans for next year! If you would like to email us and let us know of a suitable location for you, or how far south you might be prepared to travel, and some dates that might be good, we will start planning a QLD visit!


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