The Old Barn Paddock – A Must Stay Campground!

The Old Barn Paddock – A Must Stay Campground!

written by Karen Mace

Callum and Natalie Murphy – A Couple with a Vision

The Old Barn Paddock is a must-stay campground near Hobart, Tasmania. It takes it’s name from the very old barn that Callum and Natalie have painstakingly transformed into a superbly rustic function venue. Don’t miss this beautiful spot!

Located around 53 km north of Hobart on the B31 between Richmond and Oatlands, the small hamlet of Colebrook is nothing more than a blip on the map for many.

 It was for us too until I decided to attend a retreat in the unlikely town. I thought it was too far to travel down and back to our home in the north of the state in one day – well, for me it is too far – so I suggested to Ross (my husband) that we take the caravan down and find somewhere to stay.

 I had it in my head that we’d probably stay at Richmond as I couldn’t imagine there would be anything in or near Colebrook. But … when I want to know about great places to stay, my go-to person is Miriam of ADU. It helps that she is my daughter :). Miriam was quick to message back with details about a place called the Old Barn Paddock.

 ‘Mum, you need to download the Hipcamp app. It’s on there.’

 So, it was thanks to Miriam, and the Hipcamp app, that we found ourselves parked up by the Craigbourne Dam that laps at the edges of The Old Barn Paddock.

 Just outside of Colebrook, Callum and Natalie Murphy have made their home a delightful place of rest for weary travellers. The Old Barn Paddock takes its name from the very old barn that Callum and Natalie have painstakingly been transforming over the past year into a superbly rustic function venue.



I ask them how they came to live on such a beautiful property.

‘I’ve always wanted to live on the Craigbourne,’ Callum says, ‘and Nat’s brother was going on at me about when we were going to buy a house, so I told him I would when one came up on the Craigbourne, and just a short time after that, this place came up.’

They both laugh as they recall the first time they looked at the property; they bypassed the house and headed straight to the barn. They shared a vision for making it into something lots of people could enjoy, although anyone else who looked at it would have been considering how quickly they could pull it down!

 ‘We took out 300 bags of sheep poo and couldn’t believe it when we saw an intact concrete floor underneath it all.’

As they talk about the transformation, the excitement is obvious. It’s taken lots of hard work, with more to come, but they have persevered and it’s beginning to pay off. They are sought out now as a wedding venue and are excited to continue to grow that part of their vision.

So where does that leave people like us, I ask? People who want to camp here and enjoy the beauty it offers?

Fortunately, they plan to balance the two. They’ll run events for a few months each year but will still open up in between for those who are self-contained campers. In fact, Callum and Nat have some great ideas for transforming the old barn, when there isn’t an event booked, into a communal meeting place for campers. Callum’s face lights up as he talks of music nights, pool tables, and a general coming together of people.

‘It’s always been about the community’, he says. Nat nods as Callum waves a hand towards a group camped in a corner of the paddock. ‘They were some of our very first campers. They’ve been really supportive and come back regularly. We consider them friends now and I dropped over there last night for a beer and a bit of a chat. I’d like to see the barn become the meeting place for campers to do that.’ 

A little later I chat with another couple. It’s their first trip in their new Jayco. They had a look at Richmond Caravan Park and also at Oatlands. Both parks were full. For them, The Old Barn Paddock was an unknown and they love it.

‘We live just down the road in Howrah,’ they said, ‘so we’ll be here again soon.’

Natalie and Callum love people, and it’s evident in the way they greet you when you arrive, and in the way they are always open for a chat or to help with anything you might need. So, next time you are in Tasmania, plan to stop for a night or two, parked up in The Old Barn Paddock, by the water of Craigbourne Dam. You won’t regret it!

Bookings: If you haven’t already, download the Hipcamp app! It works well for the Natalie and Callum, as you can quickly see which days are blocked out.

While you’re there make sure you don’t dismiss Colebrook. There’s a lot of history in the little town. Take a look at the following website for a few ideas of what to see.

This post was written by my mum, Karen Mace. Mum & Dad live in Grindelwald Tasmania and travel in their Titanium Caravan whenever they can. Karen is a published author and writer and you can check out her work at and


Bakers Beach, Tasmania

Bakers Beach, Tasmania

We’ve just arrived and set up at Bakers Point Camping Area – a National Parks Campground on the North East Coast of Tasmania. Narawntapu National Park is  located west of mouth of the Tamar River, between Port Sorell/Hawley and Greens Beach.

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It’s so peaceful. The tiny waves are lapping gently against the shore, the birds are singing, and the sounds of nature are reminding me of my childhood holidays spent not far from here.

My grandparents had a holiday house at Squeaking Point or ‘Squeaky’ which is just across the water.

I spent many weekends and holidays helping with the garden, being shown by grandad how to hammer nails, learning how to reverse my trike under the water tank and playing in the waters of a beach just like this one. My uncles would jump off the jetty – aaahhh … so many special memories…

We would identify the birds and local wildlife. Nan and grandad had a ‘pet possum’ that lived in the tree out the front, and we would often see a big blue tongue roaming along the fence near the side track. I still remember the ‘hockey one’ bird and it makes me smile on the inside every time I hear it call out when I’m back in Tasmania. Yep, that’s a photograph of me with my grandad. I miss those days – and him – so very much.

We’ve set up and Chris is in his camp chair at the van and I’ve come down to the water. I can see a yacht not far from here that looks just like the one I remember seeing bobbing on the water year ago, although I’m sure it’s not.

The smells and sounds are the same here at Bakers Beach as I can remember from Squeaking Point, and so are the pebbles lining the water’s edge that I’m sitting in right now. They are so flat and just perfect for skimming across the water like my grandad showed me. Although beautiful, they are quite uncomfortable for sitting and lying on!

The sky is grey today, and the tide is out, but it’s still beautiful, and the warm temps mean that there are kayaks and stand ups out and about and a few kids paddling in the shallow water.

I just love this part of Tasmania.

After soaking it all in for a good hour or so, I head back to the van to see what Chris is up to – he’s still sitting there, so I ask if he’d like to go for a walk. He says yes, and after a short while (and visits from kangaroos!) we wander back down to the water.

The clouds have disappeared, and it looks like a different beach!

This time we turn right and make our way over the rocks, past the swimmers and around the point across from Shearwater and Hawley. The sun starts to set, very slowly, and we bask in the twilight that we sadly don’t get up in Queensland.

Although, Chris and I have quite the opposite opinion of daylight savings! I miss it terribly and he despises it and hopes it never returns to his home state. I just love the gentle light and softly coloured sky that lingers on until late into the night that makes this beach walk just beautiful.

I spot a baby shark that has washed up and Chris finds a tee pee someone has constructed from drift wood and immediately sits inside to ‘work on his zen’ .. um what? Haha! The water is crystal clear and is lapping gently as the tide continues to come in.


We turn around and make our way back, seeing the smooth round rocks embedded in the sandy banks and stop for a closer look. Seagulls scatter as Chris splashes through the water, and our feet are sinking so far into the sand, making it very hard to stay upright!

We get back to the camp ground with plenty of daylight hours to spare.

The sites are sandy, quite large and fairly private. Some have pretty low hanging trees (that our van couldn’t get under)

Our site is right across from the beach, next to the (drop) toilets, close to the bins and dump Point. We have a path on one side and a space with trees and a table on the other. It’s great! 

Narawntapu National Park (once known as Asbestos Range National Park) extends from the low coastal ranges to the long Bass Strait beaches, and includes an historic farm, a complex of inlets, small islands, headlands, wetlands, dunes and lagoons, all with an amazing variety of plants and animals. 

This camping area has a total of 36 campsites with 15 of them being suitable for campervans, small camper trailers, caravans and motorhomes. 

Inland from the coast you will find an unspoiled part of Tasmania filled with some great bushwalks. 

Narawntapu National Park is one of the best places to see rare Forester kangaroos, Wombats, pademelons and Bennetts wallabies. Apparently even the Tasmanian devil are is commonly seen, but we weren’t that lucky. Next time perhaps!


💰 For non- serviced sites


$13 per site for 2 people

Extra adults $5

Kids $2.50

Families $16 (2 adults and 3 kids)





✔️ Drop toilets

✔️ Showers ($2 tokens needed available from the visitor centre)

✔️ Dump Point

✔️ Limited Fresh Water

✔️ Ranger on Site


🚫 No Bookings (Bookings are only taken for large school groups).

🚫 No Dogs

🚫 Maximum Stay

🚫 Powered Sites