Cameron Corner store - unwelcomed

by Andrew Strickland
(Adelaide SA)

A couple of years ago I posted a story on here about my trip up the Oodnadatta on an XR400. Since then I moved up and got a bigger bike and done a few more travels. Unfortunately I had a recent unpleasant experience I'd like to share.

Easter 2012 I was about 30k west of Cameron Corner on the Merty road. I had pushed it too far that day and was buggered. I called what I thought was the Cameron Corner store to let them know I was coming but misdialled and got Omicron Homestead. They offered to pass on the message for me. My message was that I was nearby and expecting to arrive later and if I don't get there something is wrong. You are supposed to let people know where you are right?

I continued on and came across 5 tourists in a Brits Rental bogged to the axles near Bollards Lagoon around 5 pm. I called the same number again and said I had found these people, they were fine but needed a tow out in the morning and that I would stay there that night and not go to Cameron Corner.

Shortly after this, Fenn from the Corner Store, shows up looking for me. It seems the message was passed on that I needed help. Anyway I explained this and as it happened he was able to pull the tourists out of the bog. It's fortunately only a 20 minute drive

On my arrival at Cameron Corner store next morning I was greeted with a mouthful of foul abuse and name calling by the owner in front of other patrons and staff. Not impressed. I apologised and took it on the chin in fear of not getting the fuel and water I needed. He continued to chastise me about "wankers" coming out unprepared and how tough the country is and you need to be self sufficient.

Somewhere in my humble explanation he missed the point that the messages were mixed up. I had been in touch with the store for a few weeks prior as the road had been closed. They said "keep in touch".

Now, in his defence I am sure he is sick of helping out ill prepared people but there was a definite attitude of rigtheousness there.

In my defence, I was very prepared. Had two days of water, food, a UHF radio, sat phone, tools, tyre repair etc. and I'm pretty healthy. The road advice they gave was not accurate either. It is a difficult road on a loaded bike with lots of sand hills and a few bog holes across the road.

Personally, I will never walk into this store ever and now that I have been, there is bugger all to see and would not detour this way again just to see a post in the ground.

I grabbed fuel, left $50 on the counter for his "troubles" and went on to Tibooburra where I stayed at a very welcoming Tooles Family Hotel. I spoke of the arrogant bugger at Cameron Corner with several locals who laughed and said, "yeah we've heard similar".

Even if I had been an unprepared tourist, I would expect a bit of a talking to but not the full on bollocking I got. After all I assume the store does want customers, surely. They'd have got plenty of custom from me that day with a different attitude that's for sure.

I was really disappointed. I had intended to stay a night out there. It's a long way from the Adelaide hills.

Oh and here's a tip, a Tenere 1200 is too big unless you're an awesome rider. Jeez it was hard work in the soft stuff.

Happy travels,

Comments for Cameron Corner store - unwelcomed

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Camerons Corner
by: Carrol

What a fantastic dream it would be to get to the center of Australia where three states meet and a world famous dog fence, only to find such a sad state of affairs, not a lot to welcome you there as Andrew has stated a post in the ground. But one can get the most out of such an isolated post if there was a friendly face and some hot food and some facilities that were in good working order but alas it was not to be, no toilet paper was to be seen after playing the waiting game knowing that at about 9:00AM we will come to this spot ideally to use the facilities. If one is holding on then my advice would be don't, you will get better services out there with the dingos. Not a happy camper!!!

toilet paper
by: Steve

Carroll why didn't you use your own paper, you obviously had some.
Don't expect everything to work all the time in the outback.

by: Ted Hendersonnonymous

Been going to Cameron Corner since it opened. Fenn and Cheryl can't help you enough. If I were you wanting everything then stick to the coast on the sealed roads, where no one worries about you. I will be back there again next year for several days. Cheers and happy motoring. Ted Henderson.

by: Anonymous

Glad you got that off your chest Ted. Sorry to have offended you. It was not my intention and most people would understand we all have different experiences. No need to have a personal shot at me, but hey, that's your right to express I suppose. Take a bex mate

Great two days
by: Perrys,Newalls

May 2015 Lyn & Mick Perry, Maree & Dallas Newall, 60 year oldies, drove from Forster NSW up to the corner, had the best two days, ALL staff could not do enough for us, accommodation for this fare out was great and clean, would stay again no probs, thanks to all staff, and take care of the dog.

Perrys, Newalls

No toilet paper
by: Anonymous

I don't believe it, you are in the most remote place in N.S.W and you complain about toilet paper.


Best place in all three ststes
by: Robbo

Me and my 3 travelling companions Tony, Steve and Peter had a fantastic time at Cameron Corner. The staff at the store were fantastic and always in for a joke. Can't wait to return there.

happy camper
by: Anonymous

Went out to Cameron corner in 2013 with 4 other campers, great people out there at the store with nice cold beer, cheers

Corner store welcome
by: content

Fenn was on bar duty when we arrived - he soon swapped sides and joined us and the others for a chat and joke including Phyllis the dingo fence boundary rider.
What fantastic and funny afternoon - we have been back and will be again!
I have no doubt these guys would help anyone in need - I also have no doubt they regularly have to, so before getting too upset remeber they have lives and jobs that no doubt get interrupted regularly by unprepared travellers - next time you get a phone call or door knock at dinner time and get annoyed maybe you should remember them -instead of "it was only 20 minutes."
Typical city dweller - I am, too, but I long for more of their characteristics and lot less of yours.

play nice
by: Anonymous

The valid comments of everyone are very useful if objective... until it gets personal, then the intelligence of the comment dwindles a little. There is nothing to gain by being a troll. It is very easy to sit behind a PC and hang sh*t but not particularly productive or relevant considering others experiences are only perceived from a comfy computer chair of another person who was not there. The original post seems to have been quite a long time ago.

Re Play nice
by: content

You also should not venture too far away from your latte - you might be offended by the lack of NRMA.
Oh of course you can always expect others to put their lives on hold and assist you and arc up if they don't to your satisfaction.

The original post indicates that the message didn't seem to get through.
Well that's the story tellers issue not the audiences.
I sure hope my message gets through to you!

Hmmmmmmmmmm. Toilet paper.
by: Anonymous

I really don't understand why anyone would go all that way, and not carry their own toilet paper and a shovel, unless of course they were expecting a city experience with a toilet around every corner.

In terms of treatment by the Staff at Cameron's Corner, I've just returned to Adelaide after helping out the 300 odd people passing through there last Monday night as part of The Variety Club's Bash.

From what I saw and understand they couldn't do enough to help out!

It's a pity the bike rider had the experience he did, and I can understand his whinge, but at the end of the day, it was hardly a huge problem, was it?

makes ya wunda eh?
by: Anonymous

See what happens with the new drive-themselves 4wd's on the market now. Every bloody dingo in the world wants to play explorer with a latte in one hand & a remote control in the other. Just saying!

top spot

Fenn & Cherrol will bend over backwards to help you if you're in real trouble but don't get your knickers in a knot when all you need is wet nursing. I will be there again for my third visit on the 26 or 27 September & look forward to having a few Tooheys Old with Fenn.

The Store
by: Rob

My wife and I just returned from the Corner had a great time and enjoyed the hours with Cheryl, Fenn and Melissa. Bed was so good food even better, they are very special people with the hours they do and the help they give, but if you don't like it, you can always go next door. Melissa, have you found the fourth wheel yet, and how is the new help?

Rob and Chris

Kiwi in the outback
by: Anonymous

I'm taking my first trip to Cameron Corner for New Years 2015 and can't wait to experience life in the outback!!! I love camping but will be my first time in the Australian outback, staying in a swag looking forward to meeting some of the locals and seeing some more of this beautiful country I am so privileged to live in.

Unexpected help at Cameron Corner
by: Anonymous

Many thanks to the wonderful people at Cameron Corner. We had a very nice lunch at the store, (June 2017) and as we were about to depart, were somewhat dismayed to discover that the strap holding our caravan water tank had snapped. Fenn welded, reinforced it and had us back on the road within thirty minutes. We cannot thank him enough.
Keith and Judy

Cameron Corner welcome
by: Anonymous

Pulled in there a couple years ago, very welcome, gave us some good advice re track conditions onward to Innaminka, and advised us to take the old Stret track. Bloody awesome drive. Some of the comments on here make me remember reading a post about Lamberts Centre "after driving the worst road in the world, there was not even a coffee shop or gift stall there"! Some people should just stay on the black top.

Toilet Paper
by: Sue

Hahaha, I really enjoyed reading all the comments here. Funny thing is, I always have a roll of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning cloths, laundry liquid, screw drivers, hammer, pegs (for clothes), carabiners, pliers, scissors, pocket knives, ropes, tarp in 2 colours & sizes, measuring tape, sticky tapes, battery charger & cables, tow rope (steel), nails, screws (don't really know what for but love these things) and much more stuff in my car, no matter where I go. People laugh at me when they need something and I just pull it out of my car but as we can see, some don't even travel with toilet paper! One thing I forgot on my current trip is a shovel which annoys me a lot and I only wanted to visit my son in Brisbane over the holidays! Now I HAVE to drive home through the outback because I live near Melbourne and need to get home some time before February 2021. VIC has closed the border to NSW and thanks to that, I'll do the outback for the first time. Been to Alice & Uluru in a hire car but that's not the real thing I guess...

New management NEW
by: Anonymous

Worth noting that those people no longer run the store. Definitely worth a visit now!

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