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Post Info TOPIC: Willie Retreat - north of Warren NSW


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Willie Retreat - north of Warren NSW


By pure accident I found Willie Retreat, 110Km north of Warren NSW.

I was looking for a quiet different place to stay in the bush and the map shows a large green patch, called Macquarie Marshes up north of Warren.

I had no knowledge of this area so I dragged out the CAMPS book and found that smack in the middle of the marshes was a placed called Willie with a camp park called Willie Retreat.

(CAMPS 8 NSW Site 1001   30 53 47 S 147 29 08 E)

The Retreat is owned, managed and run by Myra Tolhurst. A truly lovely old lady, quite probably in her 80s, who runs the sheep station that encompasses Willie Retreat. Her husband, Phillip, passed away seven years ago but she continues on by herself with support and assistance from some of the local farmers.

She has the most incredible aviary of birds of every colour, size and type including peac0cks. She is also an Animal Carer caring for injured, orphaned wildlife ... birds and animals. She had some Superb Parrots under her care as well as a joey that had been damaged by a car.

The sulphur-crested c0ckatoos all talk and yell out as you enter ... one even tells secrets ... but you will have to visit and ask Myra to introduce you before you will find out his secrets.

I set up camp and weakened at the end and connected to power provided from the bunkhouse as I didnt want to go to a real powered site.

My intention was to stay for two nights, to give a full day to have a cursory check of the area in case I thought to return some day perhaps. However, I ended up staying for four nights (at $26/night with power). The flushing toilets and hot showers are in dongers but very good.

I walked around the wetlands developed by Myra and her husband, and then over to the Macquarie River to observe the myriad of birdlife, took a couple of drives around the area and was very pleased to see many Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring and some at road-kill. Watching those birds is fantastic - especially watching their power as they take off from the ground. 

The atmosphere at the Retreat was just SO relaxing. I was only one of four campers the other three were in the camping area without power ... I was the only softy. but this was the first 240v power I accessed for many nights so I thought with hot showers and 240v I should spoil myself.

The centre campfire was stoked up each night and it was great to sit around the fire with the other campers and chat with Myra about her life and the history of the property.

It is quite astonishing just what she, her husband, and a number of friends (and some returning campers) have achieved over the past decade.

I would completely recommend a stay for at least a few nights at Willie Retreat. Even paying the $26/night for a power site which seems a bit high for a power site in the bush, it becomes value for money for the history and albeit short-lived friendship with Myra, her goats, the pig, the two station dogs and pet emus (especially Tiny Tim) that never leave her side.

You can find more about Willie Retreat at her web site

Here are some photos that will give some perspective of the property.

Cheers - John

[edit: hmm ya never find the spelling error until ya post it no]

-- Edited by rockylizard on Thursday 26th of May 2016 11:57:32 AM


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The Master

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Will definitely put this on my bucket list for my next trip south thanks John.


Happy Wanderer    

Don't worry, Be Happy! 

Live! Like someone left the gate open




Senior Member

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Well up to you usual high standard, thanks John. It is now on my list too.



Chief one feather

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Thanks Rocky, excellent report. I have taken a copy and kept it on my "must visit one day file".

Keep Safe out there mate.


Edit, it was your fault mate, you mozed me. 

-- Edited by Dougwe on Thursday 26th of May 2016 02:37:18 PM


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Hi John

Put it in my things to do.

Thank you.


Senior Member

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Well reported John..... I passed through here years ago whilst on a chatroom visit to friends way out there somewhere. Have now put it back on the agenda for a longer visit....hope Myra is still around when we do it.


I Remember It ...............All Too Well

 Wherever the four winds blow. I'm restless, I'm ready



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Went there in '02 for 2 nights. Sounds like it's still as good now as it was then. Good to see Myra is still keeping it going.


Nissan Navara D40 diesel auto, Spaceland pop-top
Retired radio and electronics technician.
NSW Central Coast.


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Yes. A great place to stop for a while.

We spent a week there in 2014. Fantastic bird life.

Also some very, very tame emus wandering around.

Nappies and Politicians should be changed often . For the same reason .


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Thanks very much for this review! I'm planing to visit Willie Retreat next week. Will post my impressions. Cheers smile

Camping is my new love

The Happy Helper

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Will look for your info - thanks!


"Love is good for the human being!!"
(Ben, aged 10)

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