Thanks to Michael Lennon for sending in his photo. He said, “We camped along the Ashburton River where there are numerous sites on the river’s edge from which to choose. Unfortunately, as we wanted to continue north before it became too hot, we only stayed overnight. Next time we will definitely stay longer.”
Three Mile Pool is the only legal site for camping, unlike what may be listed on other camping apps. In addition, you are only permitted to camp on the town side of the causeway at Three Mile Pool.
It is pet friendly and suitable for self contained vehicles and 2WD, via an unsealed road. There was a $5 sign, it has been removed and the team at the local tourist information centre have advised it is now free.
The Three and Five Mile Pools along the Ashburton River are large and never dry out. They are named for the distance from the Old Onslow town site.
A levy was built at Three Mile to prevents salt water encroaching the fresh water. We read the original 1930s weir was made of brush and was not salt proof. Forty years later a stone weir was built.
Banks may be steep, at other points, they slope gently to the water’s edge, with gums providing shade.
The permanent pools play an important part in the history of an area known for it’s lack of water in the dry season – and was used the pioneers for wool washing and recreation.
The pools are open to the public with roads are maintained by the Shire of Ashburton. Three Mile Pool is frequently used for camping, but Five Mile Pool is the most popular – an oasis for picnics. You can stop here for the day, however there are no facilities at all.
The Information Centre confirmed that there had been crocodile sightings, although they were mainly at the mouth of the river, but that they have been reported down at the pools as well. She said she definitely wouldn’t swim there as its dirty and you can’t see the bottom.
The nearest dump point and toilets are at Old Onslow, beside the police station ruins.
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