Warning! Lake St Clair powered camping sites are the worst we have ever experienced. I had been to Lake St Clair many years ago where powered sites were beautifully placed near the lake, and surrounded by trees. I was surprised returning in 2018 to find cabins have now been built on these sites and campers are obviously the unwanted tourists. We have a caravan with an awning, towed by a four wheel drive vehicle. The current powered sites are no better than a parking area. Everyone is cramped up next to each other. Once our awning was erected we were so close to the next camper we hardly had room to walk by. There was no space allocated for our vehicle, which was jammed in at the front of our awning and had to be moved each time a camper van wanted to enter or leave the area. We paid for two days and stayed for one. This is an extremely beautiful heritage area with heaps of regeneration going on around the lodge and surrounding areas – why not give the powered sites more room and grow some plants between each site? Don’t the campers have as much right, as those staying in cabins, to enjoy their stay surrounded by the beauty with plenty of space to relax and enjoy?
Having trekked the Overland Trail in previous years, took the family (including 2 teens) and booked Drumlin Bunkhouse. Read a TA review criticizing the Drumlin Bunkhouse rooms but was as I expected. Plain, clean enough, comfortable mattresses, toilet block nearby (now old style & still needing $1 to feed the hot water), laundry, kitchen good with plenty of seating options (we needed to supplement equipment with our own camping utensils). Was able to purchase linen package including towels.
Only annoyance was the bunkroom key (& electricity card), kitchen key and toilet key all on one ring so to move from one room to the next needed to take the electricity card out of room to go to toilet. We were 4, so I asked and received an extra bunkroom key set, plus separate toilet key but think these should be offered as separate keys and enough for all. Was a bit annoying until my husband worked out a cardbord system to "trick" the electricity in the room to thinking it had the right card in it thus allowing us more freedom to move between bunkroom and kitchen without turning off the bunkroom lights. Bit warm in rooms as no fly screens thus windows permanently shut (and some seemed deliberately unopenable).
Great location for walkers and people who like to lurk around bushlands.
Staff very friendly.
Suits people willing and able to camp. Is exactly as it is intended to be - very basic, budget accommodation with the essential facilities.
Lake St Clair walks are fabulous. Mt Rufus and the scramble up Mt Hugel are amazing and highly recommended.
Staying at Cynthia bay in either backpackers hostel or camping is to be avoided if you can. And you can. Next time we will arrive in time to catch the ferry out of Cynthia bay or walk 2 hours to Shadow lake and camp there.
The backpackers hostel has a twin room for $120 per night which is very small and bang next to the shared kitchen. Paper thin walls meant no sleep until all had finished with the kitchen. All backpackers had finished by 8pm but then the lodge staff came and used the kitchen until 11pm. Noisy.
$120 per night gave us a very comfortable shared kitchen but we still had to use the camping ground bathrooms which were NOT cleaned daily. Dreadful value for money.
So we moved from this outrageously overpriced accommodation to the camping ground. However the camping ground has about 3 pads for tents. The rest of the area is raised tree roots. As the 3 pads were already a occupied we paid extra for a powered site. Powered sites are uncomfortably close to each other and gravel.
The bathroom was very clean when we arrived but then was not cleaned over our 3 night stay. A discarded bandage was in one of the showers over the 3 days.
Me and my husband had a one night stay in their twin share backpacker room which for $120 was outrageously expensive for basically sleeping in a shed! We had superb motel rooms for less than this! Blankets and pillows supplied but have to use your own sleeping bag. There was a kettle in the room and tea, coffee and milk and a heater too. Communal kitchen cosy and warm with a good heater and well supplied with pots pans etc. Shower block across the camping area. Had to pay for showers which we didn't use. Whole place looks a bit like a miserable building site with big lodge houses dotted about the newly planted trees with plastic protectors around them. Positives were it's close to getting the ferry out to the mountains and the restaurant besides the visitor centre has very tasty cakes!
This Lake St Clair location is just magical, with the most amazing views in every direction and so many fantastic walks to go on, including the start of the overland track.
We stayed for 2 nights in the Drumlin Bunkhouse at $120.00 per night. This was extremely basic accommodation with enough room for a bed, a bench with kettle, tea & coffee facilities. We were unable to open the one tiny window in this extremely hot weather as there was no fly screen, (plenty of insects and march flies) and certainly no air con. We shared common kitchen facilities and toilet/shower amenities.
When we returned after a day walk from Mt Rufus and longed for a nice shower to discover there was no hot water (when we were in the shower). There was no signage to advise of this even though management were apparently aware.
The disappointment of all was finding the disgusting condition of the pillows and mattress protector. Both were unclean and unhygienic and for our sheet we had a doona cover folded in half. We didn't find this remotely acceptable for any amount of money paid for any accommodation and certainly not for $120 per night.