Our last parking spot has been at a road-side park outside Uki. It’s one of the closest free-camps to the Gold Coast, but only for the self-contained. If you’re needing amenities, you’re better off staying at the roadside park north of Murwillumbah.

Free-camping outside Uki, Northern NSW, July 2014
Across the road from the Uki sports oval, a large grassy patch serves as a temporary stop for overnight parking. There used to be a small playground on-site, but that's gone and instead, small mounds make terrific hills on which young BMXers can practice their tricks.

This isn’t an official parking area, much less an official camping spot. Because of that, I usually only like to spend one night here — even two nights feels like I’m stretching the friendship with the locals upon whose goodwill I’m depending. We’re careful to leave the park tidy, even collecting other errant rubbish that may be laying around.

Delaney picking up black bean seeds, Uki, Northern NSW, July 2014
Delaney loves collecting the seeds from the black bean tree. By the time we drive away, she'll have a plastic shopping bag full them tucked underneath her seat.

There’s a picnic table that’s quite popular during the day, and a few charred circles show that visitors have lit fires while camping here. A rooster is strutting around on the grass, and although it’s very close to the Kyogle Road, it’s still a lovely location.

Tweed River, outside Uki, Northern NSW, July 2014
Although it's a bit of a steep scramble, it's possible to go down to the Tweed River that flows alongside the park.

Tweed River, outside Uki, Northern NSW, July 2014
I collect water for our washing-up. Whenever we're adjacent to a fresh-water source, I prefer to use that for washing and save our tank water for drinking.

Platypus in the Tweed River, outside Uki, Northern NSW, July 2014
As I sit peacefully by the Tweed River, my eye is attracted to a series of ripples. It's a platypus! There's plenty of time to get the girls and quietly observe the platypus when it surfaces before it swims out of view. (As it's not yet 2pm, this platypus clearly hasn't read the guidebooks which say it should only be active in early morning and evening times.)

So many of these unofficial camping/parking spots are being closed off to travellers. Every time I drive through Uki, I check that this one is still available to us. I hope it endures!