As usual, we went looking for accommodation for our summer holiday camping trip a little late. We had been planning to stay at Fonty’s pool campground ever since we passed by on our around Australia trip in 2006 (it was full then). The only time available this year was just before Christmas, which was not when we wanted to go but it worked out well in the end.
The thing that attracted us to Fonty’s Pool originally was the nice grassy camp-sites. We were given free rein to camp anywhere in the unpowered section of the park. That is not as good as it sounds, as we are not good at making such decisions. We are quite experienced at staying at campgrounds and caravan parks, so we know of all the traps and things to consider, which just makes the decision harder. There were no good spots under a shady tree, so we opted for an area along the fence line, so we only had neighbours on one side, and sheep on the other.
Another consideration was being near the camp kitchen. We had the basic camping supplies to prepare and cook our own meals, but we prefer to have a large kitchen and clean up the area, and tables to prepare food and eat at with plenty of room. The camp kitchen had the usual items: fridge, microwave, toaster, a couple of wash-up sinks, gas hobs and free BBQs. We cooked all our meals here and made use of the long wooden benches to sit and eat.
The campground is located in an area of lots of fruit farms, and many fruit pickers choose to stay at this campground too. At first, we thought this would not be good, but they were quiet (tired after long days working in the sun) and friendly, and as a bonus, we were supplied with plenty of free freshly picked cherries.
There was a good playground for the kids to play, and being school holidays there were plenty of other kids for them to play with too. The daily cricket match introduced our kids to the game, an interest that has continued since we returned from Fonty’s.
The campground is located in Manjimup in the southwest of WA, one of our favourite areas in Western Australia. There are lots to see and do nearby, and after a day exploring the surrounding area, there is nothing better than a dip in the pool. The pool is basically a dammed river, though the bottom is mostly concreted and solid edges and steps have been added, surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. The water was not that clear and the bottom was a bit grubby, but just what you would expect when swimming in a river. You had to share the water with ducks. The free tyre tubes are good fun to relax on when you could get them, and the diving board provided a challenge to our nerves.
Overall Fonty’s Pool is a great place to visit at this time of year. You can escape the Christmas time heat of Perth but still have beautiful swimming weather. After a day exploring the nearby towns and forest areas of Manjimup and Pemberton, it was nice to return to such a pleasant spot.
Fonty’s Pool Chalets and Caravan Park
699 Seven Day Road, Manjimup
ph. 08 9771 2105