Posts Tagged With: Camping

O’Briens Creek, Mt Surprise.

We finished off our two weeks away last weekend with a few nights camping with family at O’Briens Creek and doing some gem fossicking. My Aunty Leanne wrote a post about it on her blog ‘Travelling is An Adventure”. I thought I would share the post on our blog too as it will probably be a week or so until I get a chance to do our post about our time at O’briens Creek. It was a great weekend and a really lovely spot!! Leanne has some great photos of our time there in her post so check it out!

Travelling Is An Adventure

Well, the picks are sharpened in anticipation of a big weekend fossicking. Bring on the luck and some good weather, but first to pick up the boys.

Murray and I went to Cairns Thursday afternoon to pick up Andrew and Simon who were winging their way to us to go camping and fossicking for a few days with us, Grandad, Uncle Stewart, Uncle John, their cousins and their families. Time of arrival was 6.50pm but they arrived twenty minutes early which was a wonderful surprise. My heart jumped when I saw them both, it had been four weeks since we had left home, and them, and I missed them. There was much chatter and laughter in the car on the trip back to the Tableland where Grandad and Grandma were anxiously waiting to see them too.

Friday morning arrived with much excitement. Packing done, time to hit the road. Mt…

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Flashback Friday – “Free”

Well, seeing as we finished all of the posts about our trip yesterday, it seems only fitting that this week’s Friday Flashback be dedicated to a small photo montage of our adventure.  Using our theme song of course, “Free” by Zac Brown Band as the background music.  Man, we had a great trip! Just click play and watch the video!  If you are thinking about a trip like this – JUST DO IT!!!

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Bribie Island Camp

DSCF2162Probably my favourite ‘practice run’ camping trip leading up to our big trip around Oz has been our long weekend away at Bribie Island in late November last year.

Bribie Island is less than an hour’s drive north (65km’s to be exact) of Brisbane.  It is linked to the mainland by a road bridge.  It is beautiful, with lots to see and do and such an easy camping weekend away!

We camped at site ‘K’ in the Ocean Beach Camping Area which was a site suitable for a camper trailer and a tent – perfect for us and Ben, Amy and the kids who joined us on this camp.  It was lovely and secluded and we had our own private stretch of beachfront!  This was our first experience camping without any amenities, and our first attempt at taking Karen Camper on to the beach.  We were very nervous!  Especially when we stopped in the car park entrance to ‘air down’ (drop the air pressure in the car and camper tyres to a suitable level – about 20 PSI – for sand driving) and we had some people come over and say to us that they weren’t sure we would get the camper down onto the beach – eeeek!  But we decided to give it a go anyway as the whole point of this camp was to test out the camper and ourselves with some beach driving/towing.  We were fortunate that a nice man offered to drive ahead of us down on to the beach and make sure we made it through the ‘cutting’ okay.  We were chewing our fingernails even more when we hit the cutting and saw a Prado bogged in the sand in front of us and they were not even towing anything!!!  But – we followed the car in front who had visited Bribie many times and we made it through just fine – phew!

On the beach in front of campsite 'K'

On the beach in front of campsite ‘K’

The next challenge was then getting the car and camper up the sand dune and into our campsite!  It took two goes for Matt to get the camper in after backing out on the first run when he realised he hadn’t given himself enough of a run up and power to get up, and managing to reverse out!  It is very nerve-wracking being on the beach, knowing the tide is coming in and not being sure if you are going to be able to get your camper off the beach and up into your campsite – I had visions of our camper having to be left on the beach at the mercy of the ocean while we watched from the top of the dunes!  I guess this is what doing something new/having an adventure is all about, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get stressful sometimes!!  The campsite was quite small so it was definitely a test for Matt’s reversing skills to finally get the camper in to position for the weekend.  We suffered a small dent to the front of Peter Prado when Matt hit one of the National Park ‘bollards’ (posts that mark out the campsite) so we didn’t entirely avoid a small amount of swearing!

Great view from our campsite

Great view from our campsite

Our setup - there wasn't a lot of shade

Our setup – there wasn’t a lot of shade

Kids having their before breaky swim at 7am in the morning

Kids having their before breaky swim at 7am in the morning

Over the course of the weekend we tackled the ‘Fort Bribie’ walk which was a 5km return trek that ended up being quite tough for the kids but they managed!  The walk wasn’t very well signed so we got a little lost a few times but did make it to the Fort in the end with hot faces and scratched arms and legs!  This is an extract about the walk from the National Park website;

“Near the northern tip of Bribie Island, you can take a walk through coastal plant communities featuring casuarinas, melaleucas and some rainforest species to heritage-listed remains of gun emplacements and searchlight buildings. Wayside signs provide information about the forts and the men and women who served here during World War II (1941–1945).

During World War II, Fort Bribie was strategically located near Bribie Island’s northern tip to secure the passage south. Moreton Bay’s shallow waters are scattered with small islands, banks and sandbars, so large ships are limited to the main north-west shipping channel that runs close to shore near Bribie Island.”

A bushwalking challenge!

A bushwalking challenge!

Jack having a look at one of the gun emplacements

Jack having a look at one of the gun emplacements

Fort Bribie

Fort Bribie

We were pretty cranky to find that we could have just driven up the beach to the Fort rather than bashing through the bush!

We were pretty cranky to find that we could have just driven up the beach to the Fort rather than bashing through the bush!

We opted for the walk home along the beach rather than through the bush again!

We opted for the walk home along the beach rather than through the bush again!

We also had a fun afternoon four wheeling driving along the Northern Access Inland track and checking out the Poverty Creek camping area.

An afternoon of 4wding along the inland norther access track on the island - Roma Rav bogged!

An afternoon of 4wding along the inland northern access track on the island – Roma Rav bogged!

Can you tell that Matt is just a little happy to have a chance to use the brand new 'snatch strap' and get bragging rights over Roma Rav??

Can you tell that Matt is just a little happy to have a chance to use the brand new ‘snatch strap’ and get bragging rights over Roma Rav??

Afternoon stop at Poverty Creek - beautiful Glasshouse Mountains in the background

Afternoon stop at Poverty Creek – beautiful Glasshouse Mountains in the background

Amy at Poverty Creek

Amy at Poverty Creek

And other than that we just spent time lazing on the beach and cooling off in the Welsby and Mermaid Lagoons on the island.  The lagoons were very shallow and lovely and warm – perfect for young kids!

Mermaid Lagoon

Mermaid Lagoon

Welsby Lagoon

Welsby Lagoon

Cars on the beach in front of Welsby Lagoon

Cars on the beach in front of Welsby Lagoon

Another great weekend getaway so close to Brisbane – I think Bribie Island would even be an awesome day trip!  We loved it and just wish we had more time to go back again.  The kids, and me, even survived our first bush toileting experience of digging our own ‘bush toilet’ hole!  If you live in Brisbane and have a four wheel drive then definitely go and check out Bribie Island!

I cooked my first chocolate cake in the camper oven while we were there - going to take some getting used to cooking with but tasted ok after we cut the burnt bits off!

I cooked my first chocolate cake in the camper oven while we were there – going to take some getting used to cooking with but tasted ok after we cut the burnt bits off!

Kangaroo visiting our camp site

Kangaroo visiting our camp site

Evening fishing on the beach - very quiet and peaceful

Evening fishing on the beach – very quiet and peaceful

Tackling the cutting after racing the tide up the beach to head home

Tackling the cutting after racing the tide up the beach to head home

The worst bit about beach camping - the cleaning up and hosing down when we get home

The worst bit about beach camping – the cleaning up and hosing down when we get home

Very thankful for 'sand grabber' floor mats!

Very thankful for ‘sand grabber’ floor mats!

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Elanda Point Camp

Elanda Point November 2012

Elanda Point November 2012

We still have so many blog posts to add about our lead up camping forays before we head off, but time seems to be galloping now!!  We really should have been blogging as we were doing these things like we planned, but hopefully better late than never!

Our third trip away with Karen Camper and Peter Prado was in November last year to Elanda Point which is a one and a half hour drive north of Brisbane.  We camped at the Elanda Point Education Centre and Adventure Park which had great facilities but unfortunately no campfires allowed – bummer!  The campground is set right on the edge of Lake Cootharaba.  When we arrived it was very windy so despite the fact that I desperately wanted to camp right on the water, we opted for a quiet spot at the back of the campground after several campers who had been there the night before showed us the damage that had been done to their annexes and awnings – we couldn’t risk having that sort of damage to our camper.  Apparently it is very common to have severe winds down on the water at Elanda Point.

Our 3rd setup - Elanda Point

Our 3rd setup – Elanda Point

Heaps of Kangaroos all over the campground

Heaps of kangaroos all over the campground

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

We had Matt’s brothers and Amy join us on this trip, along with the Fealy cousies.  Elanda Point is great for young kids as the water in Lake Cootharaba is very shallow – basically knee deep for hundreds of metres out and very warm.  Our kids had a ball playing in the water – especially on the Monday when we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves!

Gotta love Uncle Jimbo!

Gotta love Uncle Jimbo!

Lexi Lou!

Lexi Lou!

Helping to set up Uncle Ben and Amy's new tent.

Helping to set up Uncle Ben and Amy’s new tent.

We camped here for three nights and could have easily stayed longer.  There was heaps of room for the kids to run around and lots of lovely shady spots.

Took the hammock this time but I think the kids were the only ones who got to use it!

Took the hammock this time but I think the kids were the only ones who got to use it!

The kids doing some 'rest time' activities in the shade

The kids doing some ‘rest time’ activities in the shade

Jacko spent the whole weekend rescuing baby birds that kept falling out of their nest in the tree - and trying to bring them home!

Jacko spent the whole weekend rescuing baby birds that kept falling out of their nest in the tree – and trying to bring them home!

Lace Monitor

Lace Monitor

There are a few great walking tracks that you can tackle from Elanda Point.  As our kids are still quite little – we choose a walk that left from the campground and which was just a short 3km return walk to Mill Point, the place where a timber mill township flourished from 1862 to 1892.  It was a really easy and scenic walk with quite a few interesting spots to stop and see along the way – a fun way to give the kids a bit of a history lesson!

An afternoon walk to the old 'Mill' site at Elanda Point - an easy 3km return walk for the kids and quite interesting

An afternoon walk to the old ‘Mill’ site at Elanda Point

The 'Family Tree' - Fealy Cousins at Mill Point

The ‘Family Tree’ – Fealy Cousins at Mill Point

We used Elanda Point as our base to try out the first of our 4wd tours from the ‘Dirty Weekends’ book.  It was a bit of a disaster!  We blew a fuel line on Peter Prado at about 20kms into the drive so spent the rest of the day worrying about how much diesel we were losing!  Then we got a bit lost and couldn’t pick up the track that the Dirty Weekend’s book was directing us to (a first lesson for us that we are not going to just be able to rely on our iPhones/Ipads for help when lost as we had no reception!!!) so we ended up driving all the way to Rainbow Beach along a forestry track, which was not the scenic 4wding experience we were hoping for!  We would definitely like to go back and do a bit more exploring of the Cooloola National Park!  Despite the frayed tempers, frustration and disappointment, we still managed to have a pretty good day and see some beautiful spots!

Time to go 4wding!

Time to go 4wding!

We found the first stop on the 4wd tour ok - Harry's Hut.  It all went down hill from there!

We found the first stop on the 4wd tour ok – Harry’s Hut. It all went down hill from there!

Noosa Everglades - beautiful - would love to go back with Kayaks.

Noosa Everglades at Harry’s Hut – beautiful – would love to go back with Kayaks.

Group photo (credits to James) at Freshwater Campground - Rainbow Beach where we stopped for a very late lunch!

Group photo (credits to James) at Freshwater Campground – Rainbow Beach, where we stopped for a very late lunch!

A bit of beach driving - it was a spectacular afternoon!

A bit of beach driving back from Rainbow Beach to Noosa North Shore – it was a spectacular afternoon!  We drove past the beach camping at Teewah Beach – it looks great, definitely something we would still love to do!

Red Canyon - Rainbow Beach

Red Canyon – Rainbow Beach

Red Canyon

Red Canyon

The car ferry back to the mainland at Noosa North Shore

The car ferry back to the mainland at Noosa North Shore

Zip tying the fuel hose back up with the assistance of a very helpful man at the Noosa North Shore car wash.

Zip tying the fuel hose back up with the assistance of a very helpful man at the Noosa North Shore car wash.

A pretty good weekend away but we did blow our first tyre on the camper on the highway on the way home, which was a bit of a downer way to end the weekend, but all a learning experience for us!

We blew our first tyre on the camper coming home - this is where we discovered we had no tools - not even a tyre iron that fit!  Definitely a wake up call and thankful for our RACQ membership!

We blew our first tyre on the camper coming home – this is where we discovered we had no tools – not even a tyre iron that fit! Definitely a wake up call and thankful for our RACQ membership!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Camping?

Something we are finding we are getting asked pretty frequently along with the ‘Why are You Doing This?’ (trip around Oz) question is, ‘Why Camping?’  Lots of people are just not sure what the attraction is of sleeping and eating outdoors with bugs, snakes, spiders, lizards and all kinds of other creepy crawlies, not to mention the gear and packing that is often involved.

Camping and 4wding for us has been a bit of a journey and something that is still evolving I think.

Matt camped a little with his family when he was growing up as well as some time in Scouts as a boy, so he had completed ‘Camping 101’!  My early camping experiences were pretty much limited to growing up on a farm (much like camping full time I think!), school camps and a brief stint with Girl Guides.

Our first camping trip away together was when we were about 21 and still in the ‘courting’ phase of life.  Matt won a tent through work and decided a great ‘date’ would be to take me away camping for the night as something different.  It was a bit of a disaster – we couldn’t find the campground and ended up getting there just before dark, we couldn’t put the tent up properly and Matt totally forgot that to go camping we needed more than just a tent and one towel between us!

Reading the instructions to work out how to get the tent up properly!

First Camping Trip Together – reading the instructions to work out how to get the tent up!

But despite all that, we enjoyed ourselves and went camping again.

We got excited about the idea of having an adventure, an experience seeing somewhere new, doing something fun and healthy and outdoorsy rather then spending the weekend at the Pub or sitting at home watching DVD’s (they are movies kids – you probably won’t have them by the time you are reading this!).  It was a bit of an adrenalin rush navigating our way around Fraser Island, driving through wash outs and over sand dunes, seeing things and places that not everybody could get to.

A bit of fun and adventure!

A bit of fun and adventure on Fraser Island!

Then we got married and had kids and realised that camping would be the only affordable way to go on holidays on one income with children in tow.  Not only that, the outdoors provided hours of free entertainment for the kids playing with sticks, in the sand, water and dirt, spotting all sorts of wildlife and running around half naked most of the time.  The kids were happy which meant happy Mum & Dad!

First Family Camping Trip to Stradbroke Island

First Family Camping Trip to Stradbroke Island

Toby - 7mths pretty happy with his first camping experience!

Toby – 7mths – pretty happy with his first camping experience!

Lexi's first camping trip!

Lexi’s first camping trip!

Not much for kids not to like about camping!

Not much for kids not to like about camping!

Since we have had our family though, we have started to think about our choices in life a bit more.  As our family has grown and time and money has become more precious, we realised that we needed a common interest that all of us – girls, boys, old and young, could enjoy.  Something that would be a joint interest for Matt and I to share now, that would see us into our retirement and old age – something we could enjoy together long after we no longer had the kids (they will all leave home one day right!) to occupy our conversations, plans, thoughts and wages!!!

We weren’t into car racing, our kids didn’t know all the names of the rugby players by the time they could talk, playing back yard cricket didn’t qualify us as a ‘cricketing’ family, we didn’t know anything about fishing so that was out – I was starting to freak out a bit – what was going to be our family ‘thing’???  Matt thought music festivals could be it, but my Keith Urban tastes and his liking for bands such as Metallica – didn’t see our genres come up on music festivals together very often, plus it was expensive! So, back to the drawing board. Slowly though, we realised that camping was becoming our ‘thing’.  The kids all knew how to hold a tent pole by the time they could stand up on their own, they could roll their own sleeping bags no problems and they could toast a mean marshmallow!

Camping has become a shared interest and bond for us all.  We love planning together where we will go camping next and talking about what we will do when we get there. We can see that this is an activity we can develop and nurture for the future.  We look forward to the kids bringing their friends camping, then their girlfriends/boyfriends, then their wives, then their families and so forth, hopefully the cycle may continue down through the generations of our family and help to keep Matt and I involved in our kids and grandkids lives well into our wheel chair days!

A family connection

A family connection

This is important to us because we think it helps create an identity for our family.  To help give our kids confidence that they belong to something greater than themselves.  To heighten their self-esteem as they learn new skills – even just simple things like working out how to use the UHF radio on their own, lighting a campfire safely, making their first trip to the toilet in the dark, on their own in the middle of the night successfully, all aid in building our kids self confidence and belief in themselves.  It is also a way for Matt and I to learn new things – how to tow and reverse a camper van without arguing (that one’s still a work in progress!), Matt is teaching himself more and more about the mechanics of 4wd’s and some basic repair skills, and I am slowly building my camp fire cooking recipe base.  It is always fun and rewarding to challenge yourself and learn something new no matter what your age!

A new skill for Matt - zip tying a fuel line back up after some 4wding!

A new skill for Matt – zip tying a fuel line back up after some 4wding!

We often go camping with friends and family, or meet new people while we are away, who then become friends. This is significant for us as we want to surround our family with like minded people, people that can prove to be role models and mentors in the future when our kids start to look outside the immediate family (aka when Dad’s word is no longer the authority on all things!) for guidance.  We want to make sure that when they do that – the people they are connecting with have the sort of values and morals that we would like to see imparted to our children – that they will support most of the things we have spent the last decade drumming into our kids.

Our regular camping crew!

Our regular camping crew!

Another ‘side effect’ of camping is that it has become a way to keep all of the extended family close, another way to ensure our kids know they ‘belong’ and are loved.  I lived on a dairy farm when I was growing up and most school holidays would see all of my cousins descending on the farm for at least a couple of weeks spending hours roaming the paddocks, exploring the creeks, swimming, fighting and eating everything Mum would cook up in the kitchen for us!  When my parents moved off the farm a couple of years ago they were worried about whether our extended family ‘bonds’ would weaken without the farm for us all to go to – it is a bit difficult to fit 10 or more adults, and twelve or more kids all together in just your regular suburban home/block!  However, camping trips such as our Easters at Emu Park have enabled the extended family (sisters, cousins, aunts/uncles, grandparents, and all the attached kids!) to still get together, for Dad to still growl at us all, to tell the stories from our childhoods, to still argue, and to try to pass on the family fishing and guitar talents to the younger generation.  We have established a new tradition which until we win Gold Lotto and buy our own Island or Station or something – will have to work!

'The Family' - yes we are a bit of a herd!

‘The Family’ – yes we are a bit of a herd!

Some family’s are into cars and never miss the Bathurst weekend, some family’s know all the names of all the great football players, all the statistics and never miss a Saturday night game during the season, and some family’s go to Church every Sunday.

We are a camping and 4wding family.  What kind of family are you?

I know this was a very long winded way of saying we go camping because it is fun, healthy, exciting, cheap and great for the whole family! 🙂DSCF2241

Categories: About Us, Camping | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Somerset Dam Camp

Somerset Dam Camp October 2012

Somerset Dam Camp October 2012

When we purchased ‘Karen’ Camper we made a decision to get away camping once a month right up until we departed for our trip.  This was mostly to get as much experience towing and setting up the camper in different environments, as well as getting us all (kids included!) running like a well oiled machine with our set camping jobs, but also to make sure we got as much use out of our investment in the camper as possible. We are thinking that once we have finished our trip around Oz, we will have to sell the camper to put the funds back onto the mortgage so it was really important to us to make sure that we got to do as much camping as possible while we had her and see some of the many great spots around South East Queensland!

So, with that as our goal, our second camp after our first hit out to Flanagan Reserve was in October 2012 to Somerset Dam, which is a 1 hour drive from Brisbane.  We camped for two nights at the SEQWater Somerset Park Campground as it was very cheap at only $20 per night per site!  Adam and his two boys joined us on this camp which made it heaps more fun for us all as they bought all the fishing experience and know how, along with a boat and kayak!

There wasn’t really anywhere for the kids to swim at the campground, but plenty of room to ride their bikes and run around, along with some great spots to fish from the banks of the Stanley River.

Our setup!

Our setup!

Beautiful Jacaranda trees around the campground.

Beautiful Jacaranda trees around the campground.

Boys off for a walk at the campground to check out the fishing possibilities at the river

Boys off for a walk at the campground to check out the fishing possibilities at the river

Great spot for fishing and Caleb even caught one on his first cast!

Great spot for fishing and Caleb even caught one on his first cast!

We spent most of our time at ‘The Spit’ at Somerset Dam, which was about a two minute drive away from the Somerset Park Campground.  It was nice and shallow off the bank for the kids to swim (but the bottom was very muddy!) and there was a roped off area so the kids were safe to swim out of the way of all the ski boats.  It was pretty busy with all the water-skiers but we quite liked just sitting and watching all the action!

Having an afternoon swim at 'The Spit'

Having an afternoon swim at ‘The Spit’

Adam & Matt took all the kids out in the boat for a spin around the dam

Adam & Matt took all the kids out in the boat for a spin around the dam

These boys even fished while the boat was anchored at the bank and we had lunch!

These boys even fished while the boat was anchored at the bank and we had lunch!

Lach taking the kids for a Kayak

Lach taking the kids for a Kayak

Lach spent most of his time paddling around in the kayak and fishing from it!

Lach spent most of his time paddling around in the kayak and fishing from it!

A really enjoyable spot for a quick weekend getaway out of Brissy!  We came home via Mt Glorious which wasn’t the best idea as it definitely gave the poor car and camper brakes a good workout coming down the windy section of the range – we wouldn’t advise taking a car and camper that way!

Always have to toast some marshmallows on the fire!

Always have to toast some marshmallows on the fire!

Peter Prado & Karen Camper - Camp No 2

Peter Prado & Karen Camper – Camp No 2

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Flanagan Reserve Camp

DSCF1582I’m back tracking a little tonight to record on the blog our ‘maiden voyage’ camping trip with Karen Camper!

The week after we brought Karen just happened to be the start of the September school holidays so we made a snap decision that we would take off for one night away camping to test out the camper and kick start the school holidays (yes – this is the trip we did without a brake controller – eek!  See this post if you’re not sure what I’m talking about).  We roped Ben & Amy and the kids into coming along with us to celebrate our very first adventure.

As we were only heading away for one night we wanted to go somewhere close so we opted for Flanagan Reserve http://www.flanaganreserve.com.au.  Flanagan Reserve Bush Camp is less than two hours from Brisbane, out past Beaudesert on the banks of the Logan River and you are able to take dogs, so Jerry got to come with us on this trip too!

It was a nice spot but the campsites were a bit too dusty for our liking.  The camp ground is large though so we got to spread out and not have neighbours right beside us and the kids loved playing in the creek!  There were toilets and showers (coin operated) and you could have your own campfire which was great as it was quite cool even at the end of September!

Anyway – I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story – we had a fun time (despite the fact that we discovered the camper fridge was not working!) and it was a good first test run!

All hitched up ready for our first ever trip away with Karen Camper!

All hitched up (yes it did take a few goes and some yelling at each other!) ready for our first ever trip away with Karen Camper!

First setup - this is where we learnt that it is important to put the handbrake on the camper FIRST, before unhitching!!!

First setup – this is where we learnt that it is important to put the handbrake on the camper FIRST, before unhitching!!!

Fealy Kids terrorising the campground.

Fealy Kids terrorising the campground.

Dad and his girl off for an evening stroll around the campground.

Dad and his girl off for an evening stroll around the camp.

Hours of fun to be had in the creek

Hours of fun to be had in the creek

There are plenty of spots along the creek to explore and swim in.

There are plenty of spots along the creek to explore and swim in.

Girl Fun - making 'sand cakes'

Girl Fun – making ‘sand cakes’

Leaf boat racing - the best fun for a boy!

Leaf boat racing – the best fun for a boy!

The creek does get busy but there is plenty of room for everyone.

The creek does get busy but there is plenty of room for everyone.

Mt Barney - plenty of hikes to be done around here but we didn't have time to check any of them out.

Mt Barney – plenty of hikes to be done around here but we didn’t have time to check any of them out.

Lizard of some description!  Anyone know what he is??

Lizard of some description! Anyone know what he is??

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Agnes Water Camp

In attempt to cheer myself up from the fact that we are not spending Easter with all the family this year and Matt is off at work trying to do as many hours as he can over the long weekend, I thought a bit of blogging distraction might help!  Oh, and I can guilt free let the kids scoff themselves on chocolate so they are happy and I can type uninterrupted!

On our way home from Easter at Emu Park last year, we stopped in and had two nights exploring Agnes Water and 1770.

We camped at the Agnes Water Beach Caravan Park which was a lovely spot right on the beach.  The caravan park was packed given that it was the Easter school holidays and Matt doesn’t like camping in caravan parks at the best of times, especially not when we are jammed in like sardines!  However, the park had nice grounds, clean amenities, a very basic camp kitchen and the kids really enjoyed the outdoor movie at the park where they got to see ‘Mr Popper’s Penguins’ lying on grass in their sleeping bags with the sound of the waves crashing in the background!

Our tiny little camp site - we had to leave our travel in a designated trailer area.

Our tiny little camp site – we had to leave our trailer in a designated trailer area.

View from our camp site

View from our camp site

The camp kitchen had a great view!

The camp kitchen had a great view!

Agnes Water and 1770 are about 5-6 hours drive north from Brisbane.  They have the northern most surf beach on the east coast of Australia.  The beach at Agnes Water was a bit too rough for our littlies while we were there – the kids just kept getting dumped and swept towards the rocks, but the beach at 1770 did look much calmer with lots of boats moored there.

On the beach in front of the Agnes Water Caravan Park

On the beach in front of the Agnes Water Caravan Park

Walk on the beach Agnes Water

Walk on the beach Agnes Water – Tobes had the kindy monkey visiting on this trip!  Thank goodness the monkey made it back to kindy in one piece!

We walked along the beach for an hour one morning and hardly came across another person!

We walked along the beach for an hour one morning – very peaceful

The townships are very small and quiet and are nestled between two National Parks; Deepwater and Eurimbula.  We spent a whole day exploring Deepwater National Park http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/deepwater/about.html#features  and wished we had more time to explore Eurimbula.

Four wheel driving in Deepwater National Park

Four wheel driving in Deepwater National Park – I need to improve my 4wd Action photography skills!

On the beach in front of Middle Rock camping area - bush camping only - no facilities

On the beach in front of Middle Rock camping area – bush camping only – no facilities

A walk along the beach - Middle Rock

A walk along the beach – Middle Rock

We spent most of the day relaxing on the beach in front of the Wreck Rock camp ground.  The Wreck Rock campground has 14 numbered and defined sites which are all quite shady. There are picnic tables, composting toilets, rainwater and bore water (must be boiled) and one cold shower.  Unfortunately no open fires are allowed otherwise the spot would be just about perfect!

Wreck Rock

Wreck Rock

Kids playing on the beach

Kids playing on the beach

The boys loved playing in the sea foam

The boys loved playing in the sea foam

We found a nice shady spot in the dunes for a picnic

We found a nice shady spot in the dunes for a picnic

And an even nicer spot for an afternoon nap!

And an even nicer spot for an afternoon nap!

Definitely a place to add to your ‘must visit’ list.  I think 1 or 2 weeks here would be a great way to really wind down and enjoy the slow pace for a while.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Oh – and just a photo of the wedge tailed eagle we spotted on the way home – quite an impressive bird!

Wedge tailed eagle somewhere on a country road outside Bundaberg

Wedge tailed eagle somewhere on a country road outside Bundaberg

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Easter at Emu Park

DSCF0595With Easter just around the corner (I confess to cracking open my first sneaky Easter Egg tonight!) I thought I would share with you my favourite camping trip (to date) – Easter at Emu Park.  For the last two years in a row we have spent five days camping at Emu Park which is on the Capricorn Coast, 45km east of Rockhampton.  We picked Emu Park because it is about halfway between Brisbane (where we live) and Far North Queensland (where most of the extended family live) which meant that it was about a day’s drive for all us to be together.  It is also very close to Yeppoon which is where my Mum’s family camped many times when they were growing up, so a nice bit of family tradition continuing.

Beautiful, beautiful spot!

Beautiful, beautiful spot!

We camped at the Bell Park Caravan Park;

http://www.bellparkcaravanpark.com.au

We had about 6 families – my Mum and Dad, my sisters’s family, my cousins and their families and the Thom Family – friends of my sister who are brave enough to join our family mayhem – last year we had 15 kids between us!!  The caravan park has lovely big grassy sites which were fantastic for accommodating a big group like ours.  The amenities are clean and well looked after and the caravan park is right on the beach – so only a short walk down for a swim and no crossing roads with kids!  It is also a short walk into town to the IGA for groceries, or to grab a coffee and the paper, or some fish’n’chips!  There is also a great park beside the Caravan Park with a kids playground, skate ramp and the markets are held there every Sunday.

Emu Park is famous for its 'Singing Ship' which sits up at the lookout - spectacular views from up here!

Emu Park is famous for its ‘Singing Ship’ which sits up at the lookout – spectacular views from up here!

The beach is perfect at Emu Park for younger kids as there is enough ‘surf’ for the kids to learn to Boogey Board, without fear of them being dumped and rolled and dragged out to sea by a big wave!  At Easter the water is just sooooo perfect – not too cold – not too hot!

Kids learning to ride their Boogey Boards

Kids learning to ride their Boogey Boards

the kids would spend hours digging on the beach

the kids would spend hours digging on the beach

As if all of this isn’t enough – there is also plenty to do only a short drive from Emu Park.  We loved heading to ‘The Causeway’ in the afternoon – only about 6mins drive away – to grab an icecream and fish and go yabbying.

Yabbying

Yabbying

Fishing

Fishing

Last year we also took a daytrip to Byfield National Park http://nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/byfield/index.html and Sandy Beach – both spots were absolutely beautiful and we will definitely be stopping there again on the final leg of our ‘around Oz’ trip!

Byfield National Park

Byfield National Park

Sandy Point - Byfield National Park

Sandy Point – Byfield National Park

I’m going to apologise in advance if there are too many photos in this post, but they show better than I can say, how much fun we have at Emu Park!  I am sooooooo disappointed not to be heading back there again this Easter, but Matt is picking up a stack of overtime over the long weekend to top up the piggy bank for the big trip.  Oh well – might just have to spend a few weeks there on our way home next year, that’s something to look forward to!  What are you all doing for Easter this year?

Camp Central - we had a big communal tarp set up for cooking & eating together - tents all around the outside of it

Camp Central – we had a big communal tarp set up for cooking & eating together – tents all around the outside of it

The camp 'train' the kids loved playing this game!

The camp ‘train’ the kids loved playing this game!

After spending the morning at the beach it was always craft time/nap time after lunch

After spending the morning at the beach it was always craft time/nap time after lunch

Grammy's craft corner under the shady tree

Grammy’s craft corner under the shady tree

Sarah's playdough was a hit!

Sarah’s playdough was a hit!

Afternoon Fun

Afternoon Fun

Kids working together to build a camp fire on the beach

Kids working together to build a camp fire on the beach

Campfire with Grunda on the guitar

Campfire with Grunda on the guitar

Gotta roast some marshmallows!

Gotta roast some marshmallows!

Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday which finished with the kids digging for treasure on the beach

Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday which finished with the kids digging for treasure on the beach

Digging for treasure at 'X' marks the spot! (Grammy & Grunda sat on the beach to guard the loot until the kids found it - true grandparent dedication!)

Digging for treasure at ‘X’ marks the spot! (Grammy & Grunda sat on the beach to guard the loot until the kids found it – true grandparent dedication!)

the Easter Egg 'haul'!

the Easter Egg ‘haul’!

Camp kids Easter Sunday

Camp kids Easter Sunday

Sarah & Chris driving into Byfield

Sarah & Chris driving into Byfield

The water at Byfield was freezing!

The water at Byfield was freezing!

Sandy Point

Sandy Point

Girl fun on the beach

Girl fun on the beach

All sorts of fish for the kids to check out!

All sorts of fish for the kids to check out!

Swimming at 'The Causeway'

Swimming at ‘The Causeway’

Cousie Bro's - icecream at 'The Causeway'

Cousie Bro’s – icecream at ‘The Causeway’

The early bird kids get taken out of camp in their PJ's for a walk to let the rest of camp have a sleep in!

The early bird kids get taken out of camp in their PJ’s for a walk to let the rest of camp have a sleep in!

A game of 500 is always a must!

A game of 500 is always a must!

'The Family' - yes we are a bit of a herd!

‘The Family’ – yes we are a bit of a herd!

Emu Park Easter 2012

Emu Park Easter 2012

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Archer Creek Camp

Ok – a break from the nitty gritty of the around Oz trip – now a post to prove that we do actually do some camping!  When we brought ‘Peter Prado’ we decided to try to get away at least once a month to get our value for money out of owning a 4wd.  Our first trip was to Archer Creek Campground in the D’Aguilar National Park. http://nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/daguilar/camping.html#archer_camping_area

Our setup - yes this was pre 'Karen Camper'

Our setup – yes this was pre ‘Karen Camper’

Archer Creek was great as it was less than an hour from home, there was a creek for the kids to play in (albeit the creek in front of our campsite was pretty yucky at the time we were there but it was only a short walk to the Broadwater Day Use Area with a lovely spot for the kids to swim around in), we could have open campfires and there were heaps of four wheel drive tracks and waterholes/walking tracks and lookouts to explore.  Oh – and a bonus – there were toilets and taps!

We had Matt’s brother and the kids’ cousins join us on this camp which always makes for a good time!

Swim/Bath Time

Swim/Bath Time

Campground footy game with the kids from the neighbouring campsite

Campground footy game with the kids from the neighbouring campsite

And the best bit about camping - the kids do the washing up!

One of the many good things about camping – the kids do the washing up!

Toasting marshmallow time!

Toasting marshmallow time!

Our first creek crossing!  Off to explore the 4wd tracks

Our first creek crossing! Off to explore the 4wd tracks

Rocky Hole - beautiful swimming spot!

Rocky Hole – beautiful swimming spot!

Somerset Lookout

Somerset Lookout

Bulls Falls - easy 1km walk in

Bulls Falls – easy 1km walk in

'The Gantry' - old logging shed.  Great picnic area with some easy walks around and the kids loved playing in the dirt under 'The Gantry'.

‘The Gantry’ – old logging shed. Great picnic area with some easy walks around and the kids loved playing in the dirt here.

The 'Grandkids' photo for Grandma

The ‘Grandkids’ photo for Grandma

And the best bit - tuckered out kids on the way home!

And the best bit – tuckered out kids on the way home!

This was definitely a fun and easy weekend camping trip not far out of Brissy!  Has anyone else been there? What did you think?

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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