After 28 years he’s calling it a day
HE’S the larger than life character who built a bush camp from the ground up but after more than 28 years ‘Wazza’ is ready to hang up his hat and call it a day.
Hidden in the rainforest at Finch Hatton Gorge, the Platypus Bushcamp has been Warren ‘Wazza’ Swadling’s off-the-grid haven for decades.
While tourists come and go, Wazza is kept company by Dog II and Rocky Horror, a rescue dog and a cockatoo.
Wazza, who hails from Mullumbimby, never planned to settled down in the region but said he hung around after falling in love with the property which is now his bushcamp.
“I had a building supply business (in Mullumbimby) right through the late ’70s through the ’80s and into the ’90s,” he said
“I sold that and got the hell out of there … I was going round back to the Pilbara in Western Australia actually.
“And I found Mackay.”
He said he stumbled on the bushcamp, which was little more than a half-done kitchen and “a couple of huts” while walking through the national park.
“We all came up here for a walk. We went up the waterfall to the top fall and thought ‘I wonder where the creek goes’,” he said.
“We walked right through the second fall to my spot. You shouldn’t do it, but that’s just what you did.
“I just thought wow.”
Over the years Wazza has added to the camp, building toilets, kitchens and even his own treetop residence.
Guests added to the camp’s character by creating mosaics and painting murals.
Despite his bad back and knees, Wazza is still building, but he won’t be able to for much longer and had decided it is time for someone else to take over the dream.
He previously tried to sell the property in 2017. This time around, he is asking $500,000 for the rainforest getaway set on 20 acres.
While he’s keen to sell, Wazza said he wanted to pass on the property to someone who would stay true to his ideals.
“After 30 years here and recurring back problems, it breaks my heart to sell this beautiful property, please no tree kickers,” he said on the Gumtree listing.