What is it ?
Watson Park is a large scouting property managed by Boroondara District. It backs onto the Bunyip State Park but there are no fences so the camp is quite literally nestled in amongst the trees of the forrest. It is isolated, undeveloped and a natural oasis, quite unlike many other camping properties. It is one of the few places you can see three of Victoria's natural emblems (Helmeted Honeyeater, Common Heath and Leadbeater Possum) in one place plus lyrebirds, wallabies and wombats roaming around from time to time.
The main facility is the Phillips lodge, a timber lined four room building and deck area. It has a bunk room, a basic kitchen, an internal composting toilet, pressurised tank water, a BBQ, a wood heater and LED lighting. There is a parade ground, an outdoor chapel and fire pit as well as a number of tent camping platforms. Tent camping is only allowed in designated safe areas due to the risk of tree or limb fall.
Being at the end of a one way in, one way out access road, Watson Park is not safe to use in Total Fire Ban and/or high bush fire risk days.
Where is it ?
Watson Park Scout Camp is located at the end of Bridal Road, Tonimbuk. Click here to show on Google maps. It is accessible by most vehicles, however the track in can be muddy and rough at times. There is a locked gate on the property border with a large parking area plus a smaller parking area at the end of the access driveway.
What do I do there ?
Watson Park suits lovers of the forrest. Orienteering, bushcraft, camp fire cooking, bird/wildlife watching, hikes into the nearby Bunyip State Park or hikes in the Kurth Kiln Regional Park. There are also nearby cave tours available in Larbertouche as well as horse riding and extensive mountain bike trails. We love volunteers too, there are always jobs to do for those that want to help (tracks to clear, firewood to chop, walking trails to establish).
What do I bring ?
The keys ! After booking you will need to arrange to pick up the keys which need to be returned after your visit. You will need a 12V battery to run the lights and water pump (we are working on a permanent solution). We cannot guarantee the tank water so it is best to bring some drinking water too. Contact us if you don't have access to one. You will need a 9kg or 4.5kg gas bottle if you want to use the BBQ, which you can use outside on the deck. Bring a stove if you wish to cook or heat the kettle, basically bring everything you need to cook on, with or eat out of. Bring all your own food and don't leave any behind. Please don't bring glass containers, especially outside.
Don't bring firearms or anything else not in keeping with scouting policy. No smoking in the lodge under any circumstances. It is a scouting facility, so scouting codes of conduct and expectations apply. We have worked hard to have a good relationship with our neighbours, they keep an eye on things for us so may drop in especially if there is noise or unruly behaviour.
What do I have to do when I get there or leave ?
It is all pretty easy. Undo the shutters on the window and deck doors, turn on the water tank valve, connect your battery and you are good to go. When leaving it is the reverse. Take your rubbish and recycling home and leave the camp in better condition than you found it (neat and tidy).
The composting toilet is easy to use, we have some toilet paper but BYO please. There are plenty of trees for those who would prefer.
Report any breakages or maintenance items which need to be addressed. Being volunteer run, if you don't tell us we wont know to fix it.
How do I book ?
Use of Watson Park is free for Boroondara District groups, there is a small fee for other scouting groups. Non scouting groups may request to use the camp, there is a higher fee for them.
There is a key deposit and a fee for groups who book but then do not attend or cancel their booking. These fees are all noted on the booking form.
Book online by clicking this link.