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Waterhouse Conservation Area


Only basic facilities are available at Waterhouse Conservation Area. You will need to be self-sufficient when camping, bringing your own firewood, food, and at certain campsites, porta-loos. Please note that chainsaws are not allowed in the reserve - wood must be pre-cut for your fires. Remember, you are within a protected area - please do not remove or damage vegetation.


Waterhouse Conservation Area is popular for summer camping, with many groups and families returning to the same spot year after year. To ensure that camping remains possible in the long term, please ensure that you keep noise to minimum and restrict generator use, and use only as required for essentials - remember that families with children are camping. Please report any illegal behaviour.

Users are asked to camp inside any fenced campsites, park without blocking other users access and not to disturb any vegetation or create new campsites. 

There are a number of campsites available:

Blackmans Lagoon

At the southern end of the lagoon, under the cover of a pine plantation, this camping area is particularly popular at the opening of the trout season and duck season. A pit toilet has been provided. Ocean Beach can accessed by 4WD from the campsite.

Big Waterhouse Lake

On the northern shore of the lake is a small camping area used mainly by duck shooters, but also sometimes by fishermen. No facilities are provided.

South Croppies

Camp sites are dispersed around the northern side of the point, the junction of South Croppies Road, and the track to the southern side of the point. No facilities are provided.

Waterhouse Point

The largest of the summer camping areas, several spots are available for camping:

  • On the western side, immediately behind the beach is a camping area signposted the Village Green. A hybrid toilet is available at this site.
  • On the north-east extremity of the point, is a series of beach camp sites signposted as Mathers. There is a hybrid toilet. Do not disturb vegetation or create new campsites.
  • About half a kilometre south of the above site another track emerges at Brads, providing camping, beach and boat access. A toilet is available.
  • Many additional camp sites are located well back from the beach along the vehicular tracks that wind through Waterhouse Point.
  • The hybrid toilet systems are a composting closed system. They are very sensitive to chemicals, no dumping of portable toilets is allowed. The nearest dump stations are at Scottsdale, St Helens, George Town or Bridport.

Ransons Beach

Camping areas include:

  • At Casuarina Hill there are four camping areas. A pit toilet is provided at the first and fourth campsites.
  • At the end of Homestead Road in the vicinity of the two shack sites. No facilities are provided.

Boat Launching

The main boat launching ramp is at Blizzards Landing along Homestead road approx 9 kms from the entrance. Boat launching is permitted from beach access points where signposted. This is to be within 50 m of a permitted sign, traffic is not allowed to transverse along to beaches to launch.


To protect the valauble vegetation communities of Waterhouse, firewood cutting and collection is not permitted. Visitors are encouraged to bring gas stoves or barbecues. If you would like to have an open wood-fire please bring firewood in with you, including kindling and ensure the fire is at least three metres away from any overhanging vegetation or trees. Never leave a fire unattended unless it is completely extinguished. Do not burn glass or cans - take them home with you.


Keep your campsite clean and tidy. Fireplaces are not rubbish bins. - don't litter fire places with cans, glass or food scraps. Keep all rubbish tidied away from wildlife and please take your rubbish home with you. 

Domestic pets

You are welcome to bring your dog but they must be kept in close proximity to the owner, under control at all times to protect wildlife and other camp users. It is unacceptable for dogs to chase wildlife or roam free within the conservation area.

Emergency: Fire

In the event of a fire, call 000 (this will get passed through to park staff). The safest place to be in a fire is on the beach, once there stay there, don’t hesitate or change your mind! Wait unil rangers or emergency services staff give you direction.


The closest shop is Tomahawk caravan-park. Groceries can be brought in Bridport. Access to Tomahawk is by the main road only.

Vehicle Use and Access

Waterhouse Conservation Area provides both a home to rare and threatened species, and a popular camping and recreational destination. To ensure that the many natural values of the area are sustained, visitors are asked to ensure that their use of the area does not impact upon these natural values.

All vehicles must keep to the main gravelled roads, and are only allowed on the beach to launch and retrieve boats. Boats must be launched as near to the access point as possible - driving the length of the beach to launch is unacceptable. The inappropriate use of recreational vehicles on the beach can cause the destruction of eggs and chicks of hooded plovers, red-capped plovers, pied oystercatchers and fairy terns. Considerable damage to vegetation can also be caused, leading to erosion, habitat damage, visual scarring and the destabilisation of sensitive dune formations and sand blows.

All vehicles/bikes must be registered and ridden by a licensed rider. Under age children are not permitted on any motorized bikes. Normal Road rules under the Traffic Act apply. 

Trail bikes and all-terrain vehicles are prohibited, except where exemptions have been made. Two beaches are available at Waterhouse Conservation Area for this purpose:

  • Ranson’s Beach

    This is open after Easter to 1st December each year.

  • Blackman’s Lagoon

    Ocean beach south towards Bridport only. Open all year.

Remember, all vehicles, including bikes, must be registered and ridden by a licensed rider and helmets worn.

Existing Tracks and Routes

A four wheel drive track extends from the end of the Blackmans Lagoon Road out to the surf beach, providing vehicular access to the southern part of the reserve via the beach. There is no access north along the beach to South Croppies Point. Homestead Road, after entering the reserve has side tracks providing access to South Croppies, Little Waterhouse Lake, North Croppies, Waterhouse Point. Ransons Beach is closed to all traffic from 1 December until after Easter.

At Blackmans Lagoon the track providing access to the back of the lagoon is closed to vehicles and is only available for walking.


You are welcome to bring your dog, but please keep dogs under control at all times to protect wildlife. No other pets are allowed.

Other activities

Other popular uses of the reserve include hunting, fishing, diving, boating and sailing, and horse riding (with appropriate permits).