Kangaroo Valley and Buladelah, NSW. By Charli

Kangaroo Valley and Buladelah, NSW. By Charli

The first time dad has ever been worried … of course we’re all scared to death.

We were driving through a mountain range down an extremely steep, slippery road and were all scared for our lives.

When mum had found what sounded like an amazing free camp on Wikicamps (Bendeela Recreation Area), one person’s comment has mentioned ‘windy, slippery roads’ – and we were finding out first hand exactly what that person had meant! ‘

One wrong move and we’re ‘dead meat,’ that’s what dad said anyway.

Not to mention we had a 3 tonne caravan dragging behind us, making everything 100 times more difficult!

We finally make it through the steep mountains and get to a cute, one street country town. There are loads of little shops and cafes lining the main street, and a lovely old bridge that crosses a small ravine with a gorgeous river flowing underneath.

When we finally arrived at the free camp mum found on Wikicamps, we saw tonnes of wombats and kangaroos, some ducks and even a black cat!

We wandered around the campsite for a while, following a pathway that led us through some bushes to a stunning lake called ‘Lake Yarrunga’. The reflection of the surrounding trees on the water was absolutely beautiful.

Lake Yarrunga was formed when the Tallowa Dam was constructed in 1976, it’s an extremely important lake, as it is a part of the water supply for Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Sydney.

Lake Yarrunga is absolutely gorgeous and is filled with plenty of wildlife including platypus, ducks, birds and heaps more. And yep – I read all that information from a sign near the lake 🙂

As we were taking in our surroundings, we noticed that we could hear our voices echoing throughout the hills! We were standing on the wooden ramp cooeing and shouting into the hills, just to hear our voices talking back to us. We did that for about 20 minutes, until mum came over and told us to be quiet because we were echoing throughout the whole campsite. Oops.

We walked back to the caravan and decided to relax out the front and enjoy the views. It’s so green and so peaceful. Soon after, we decided we were starving and begged mum to cook us dinner, so we could hurry up and eat s’mores after.

For dinner, mum had cooked a beef and vegetable stew, and it had cooked in her thermal cooker while were driving. We ate it with a side of potato bread that tasted delicious! Who knew bread made out of mashed potato could taste so good? After that, we finally got to do what we had all been waiting for since we left home in Queensland, eat s’mores!

Although it wasn’t how we expected to, it still tasted delicious.

This whole trip we have been looking forward to sitting around a warm, cozy fire and toasting our gigantic marshmallows on the long pointy sticks we’d specially hand picked from the bush, smearing the melted marshmallow onto chocolate covered biscuits. But sadly we aren’t allowed to have fires where we were staying. So instead of eating them around the fire, dad lit the gas burner in the Dometic outside kitchen and we toasted the marshmallows that way. We had just picked up our brand new caravan, and we are super happy it’s got a slide out kitchen. I just hope we get to have s’mores again tomorrow night!

Next day: Kangaroo Valley to Bulahdelah River

We woke up to a nice warm caravan, with the smell of porridge wafting through the air. Mum and dad had woken up early to have a nice, peaceful breakfast without us kids making a racket. After we had brekky, we hooked up the van and drove off to our new destination, Bulahdelah.

On our way dad insisted we stop at one of his favourite pie shops called ‘Heatherbraes Pies‘. Mum got her favourite steak and mushroom, dad got a Jillaroo, and Aylah, Cooper and I all got an original beef pie. Once we all finished, our bellys were full and we were absolutely delighted with the delicious pies.

Soon after several stops at service station, we finally arrived at Bulahdelah. It’s a beautiful free camp right next to a gorgeous river that has plenty of space for heaps of caravans, tents, camper trailers, ect.

About 10 minutes after we arrived, we spotted a rope swing hanging out over river. We all desperately wanted to swing off it, but it was way too cold to go swimming. Cooper being the person he is, decided to show off to everyone how cool he is by swinging into the river without falling off. That didn’t go to plan. The first swing Cooper had, he slipped off the stick and landed strait into the river! We all burst out laughing as we all watched Cooper walked out of the muddy river with shame and embarrassment.

Of course Aylah wanted to have a go after Cooper, so she took of her shoes and grabbed onto the stick. She was hesitating for about 5 minutes until finally she built up the courage to swing over the river. We were all 100% certain she was going to fall in, but surprisingly she didn’t! She even swung 10 or more  times and still didn’t fall into the river. That really did shock us all.

And then it was Golden Hour! Time to snap a few pics as the sun set over the Myall River.

Later on we collected some rocks and made a fire pit. We grabbed the wood from our Navigator bags the that we had collected and dad had cut with his new chainsaw and began to build our fire.

The sun sank slowly, casting an orange glow. Birds were flying down the river, over the water and looping back around. Mum obviously decided to take photos of the sunset and they turned out amazing.

The campfire was lit, the chairs were set in a circle, relaxing music was playing from the caravan, everyone was sitting around the fire and everything was perfect.

A bit later dad cooked up some delicious meat patties on the slide out kitchen and mum put together some hamburgers for dinner. Aylah, Cooper and I sat around the fire and demolished our burgers faster than the parents could even make theirs! And of course we had s’mores after!

We had some Colourful Fire Packets (that you can buy from our online store here! http://www.aussiedestinationsunknown.com.au/product/colourful-fire-packets/) and dad decided it was a good time to toss one in. Lucky we had already eaten our s’mores as you can’t roast marshmallows with the colorful flames bouncing around. It did look beautiful though and was an almost perfect night. We finally got to roast our marshmallows over the open, warm fire, sitting under the stars enjoying each others company.

The Crack Up Sisters – What a Crack Up!

The Crack Up Sisters – What a Crack Up!

Have you ever heard of The Crackup Sister’s? Well if you have you’ll know how funny they are, and if you haven’t, you should know that they will get you laughing in no time!

ST Ruth and Twiggsy are sisters from Winton who travel around Outback Australia doing a comedy show with stock whipping and acrobatics, and they were the hosts of the Big Red Bash this year (and last year too I think).

During the Big Red Bash we went to every show the crack up sisters performed. The first time we went, we were in the second row; the second time we were in the third row and  the third time I went early, and we got front row, YESSS!!!! Although we were in the front row it was kind of scary when the crackup sisters got their whips out (you can see our heads in the pics! We arein the orange chairs).

They crack the whips around their heads and in front and behind … and sometimes ST Ruth cracked flowers out of Twiggsy’s hands!

They do the show in front of their caravan which is made to look like a cute house, and Twiggsy was on the roof pretending to take the elevator down once – it was so funny!

Their first show was a family show, it was so funny I nearly peed myself. That show was probably the funniest of them all. The last two shows were just kids shows, they were still pretty funny, but not as funny as the first one.

After their shows, they would sell their special packs and if you bought one you would get a free photo with them. In the pack they had lots of stuff,  but the coolest thing was a tea towel that had instructions on how to turn it into a ‘kitchen whip’! Haha!!

Oh yeah, I can’t forget that they were selling stock whips too. They were soooo cool! We couldn’t get one – I wish we could though. Luckily one of our friends bought one and they let us have a turn. It took a while for me to get it to crack, but after a few hours I finally got it!

I love the Crack Up Sisters and we can’t wait to see them again.

Bye!!!!!

 

PS – Please comment below if you like my blog! 🙂

 

Check out their website here: https://www.crackupsisters.com

 

I Shot Them in Their Undies!

I Shot Them in Their Undies!

Taking photos of your mum and dad in their undies is not something you do every day, especially in the middle of the Simpson desert. But, when they are wearing the coolest undies, Knobby’s – it’s Okay!

We had to hike up and over Big Red to the next sand dune, and at the top of Big Red the view was stunning! It’s the highest sand dune in the Simpson Desert.

On one side you could see the whole of Bashville and all the caravans, stage and food vans set up and on the other side,  you could see the red sand of the Simpson dessert behind the flat plain that was at the bottom of the dune.

We (the kids) ran down Big Red while mum and dad walked, and we went all the way to the other side of the flat plain that we could see from the top of Big Red.

On the way, there was a sign that had an arrow pointing forward to Big Red and one to the right to get Birdsville (or left from the direction that we were walking!) so we put Aussie Destinations Unknown and LKI stickers on it.

Once we finally got to the sand dune they wanted their photoshoot on, mum handed me the camera and they started posing and jumping in front of the camera with their Knobbys on. I was looking around to make sure nobody was there, seeing the craziness that was going on!

This is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done, but to be honest it was kind of fun because I felt like an actual photographer.

I shot them from different angles, together and mum by herself. I took pics from the front and from the back and I made sure the horizon was lined up like mum had said.

On our way back to the van we had to climb Big Red again –  So Aylah, Cooper and I all raced each other down the dune. Luckily there were no stacks and faces full of red sand, although that would’ve been really funny (unless it was me).

When we got back to the caravan, we looked back through the photos and they were awesome! You’ve probably already seen some of them, but if you haven’t, they’re on Aussie Destinations Unknown Instagram and Facebook and I’ll put some in this post too.

If you love me, you comment below “good photography skills Charli”.

Haha, nah I’m kidding, but if you really want to, nobody said you can’t! Lol. Well I got to go now, I hope you like the pics. See ya!

 

Hastings Point by Aylah

Hastings Point by Aylah

Hastings point is one of the best places on earth. It only takes about an hour and a half to get there from Brisbane which is great as you don’t have to spend ages in the car! Do you want to know what you can do there? I’d love to tell you 🙂

Here are a couple of things. Firstly there is an awesome indoor playground that is called Neptune’s Castle. All you have to do to get in, is have your parents  sign you in. After that you can do lots of activities. In kids club there is a massive play fort where we play all sorts of games and do crafts. Doesn’t it sound awesome already? But guess what, that is just the beginning…

Neptune’s Castle

The second thing that I love is the pool and the waterpark. I love the pool and the water slides, they are the best. Once my dad took photos of me, Charli and Miriam on the water slide and Miriam had uploaded them to Facebook. The park loved our photos and we won a competition which gave us a free weekend at the caravan park. We have stayed here 4 times now. In summer and in winter and in between!

There is also an adult pool and massage place, so the adults don’t have to deal with their kids. The parents usually go there or to the beach while we play in Neptune’s Castle.

 

 

 

The waterpark is my favourite!

The beach is right across the road too, and it’s so much fun! There are also bike tracks and a skate park near by. The little town is close to and have really yummy fish and chips.

There is also a really cozy Indoor movie theatre, where they play really enjoyable movies for the whole family. We got to go to most movies they played, and they were so enjoyable to watch.

Did you know that there is also a tennis court? In the tennis court, there are many activities, in one of the activities you ride around the tennis court on little buggies, it is so much fun. On the outside of the tennis court there is a chess board, if you like chess, then this is the place for you. Oh, and also there is a barbeque in front of the tennis court, so whilst the kids are playing in the courts or playing chess, the parents can relax and cook dinner on the barbeque.

 

 

Let’s not forget about the games room and the outdoor playground next to it. The games room has a variety of fun games like tabel tennis, and a small, free playroom for the little kids.

Next to the games room, there is a huge outdoor playground for all ages. One side of the playground is for the children ages 2-8, and another side for ages 9-12. Even though I’m supposed to play on the side for the older children, I do admit that the little kids playground is pretty fun to play on as well.

We love to play ping pong, and the little stage inside is great to do crafts on if it’s raining outside!

This is the best place to go if you’re looking for a place to stay over the weekend or the holidays and is great for both adults and children.

Bigriggen by Aylah

Bigriggen by Aylah

Saturday 3/3/18

I woke up and felt really excited.   Today we are going to Bigriggen. After I got dressed I went out into the kitchen to eat my açai bowl . The açai bowl was absolutely delicious. After I packed a bag with all fun stuff to do. We got in the car but Miriam was taking forever.

Listening to my awesome music!

By the time she got to the car I was a grandma. We finally started driving but dad had to stop at Shorties to get a coffee. While we were waiting Miriam, Cooper, Charli and I all took selfies.

Once dad had got back in the car we started driving again. After like 20 minutes Charli, Cooper and I were bored so I got my head phones out and turned them on and music came on and I was so happy. After, we stopped again so dad could get another coffee at rathdowney.  We finely got to Bigriggen ??.

We all went to the creek and Cooper, Charli and I went in the rapids . It was awesome ? but the bad bit was that I kept jabbing my left big toe and it hurt ?. Now we are all back at the caravan and we have just finished playing with our frisbee’s on the grass oval. After that we went back to the creek and swam for a little bit but then it was getting cold so we got out. Soon after some friends came. We all talked a bit and then me and Sarah (their daughter) came in the caravan to play Bounce Off, it was fun. Then dad took the plate off the barbecue and the kids roasted marshmallows it was fun and YUMMY ?

 

Frisbeee!

Sunday 4/3/18

Today we are going on a walk ( 3 hours) I really don’t want to but the parents want us to come ?, before we go we went to the creek .

The Creek

I was so happy? because our friend’s came with a air mattress so we could go down the rapids with it ? . After that we went back to the caravan and played with the netball. It was fun❤️. Then we all went to go on some walks.

While we were going up in the car to the walk, dad’s drive shaft snapped –  it took so long to fix but they did it. Then we all drove back to the caravan and left to go home. This car trip I actually got good music to listen to.

Once we got home ? all of us ran to the house to see Sprocket – he was so happy ? then we unpacked the caravan and rested.

Me and cooper stayed the night again and in the morning we went back to Mum’s.

Thanks for reading

AYLAH’S ANTICS
❤️

 

Bigriggen by Charli

Bigriggen by Charli

Okay so mum said that I had to start blogging so here I go…(don’t judge me, this is my first time)?

Mum woke me up this morning at 6:00 (way too early). She didn’t wake me up like a normal mother would; she sat beside me on my bed and shook her wet hair all in my face and whispered “Time to wake up”! over and over again. I looked at her and laughed and then cuddled up in my blankets wishing I could sleep in for once. I eventually dragged myself out of bed and got dressed, ate breakfast blah, blah, blah all that stuff.

After all that, we all got in the car and started towing the caravan the hour and a half to Bigriggen Bush Retreat.

Reading my book

But before we were even 10 minutes away from the house, of course dad had to stop and get a coffee ☕️ We all read our books most of the way and Aylah listened to her music (pretty loudly too!)

Once we finally got to Bigriggen, we found our spot and set up the caravan. The kids laid the mat down and set up the table and chairs and mum and dad did the usual setup stuff.  Once everything was all ready, Cooper, Aylah and I got on our bikes and rode off to check out the place. It’s huge! It was so muddy and all the mud and grass was flicking up all over my legs, and as I was turning around on my bike, I hit the tree and fell over, right on my butt in the mud ? Mum tried to get it on video but she failed (thank goodness).

We came back to the van and changed into our swimmers and walked down to the water hole – it was beautiful and the water was really cold. It was lovely and calm, apart from the rapids. The rapids were really strong and they pulled me down the river and over the rocks. I kept tumbling down and tried to stop myself from going any further – it was almost impossible! When I tried walking back up against the rapids, I kept falling back down. Once, I finally got up and Aylah fell over and knocked Cooper over which made me fall and get dragged all the way back down again! ???‍♀️

We went back to the van and played some board games and then we got the frisbee’s out. Dad got the drone out, and mum joined in with us.

Mum and dad’s friends came that night with their daughter. We all had dinner and sat around talking, We toasted marshmallows on the weber as we had no camp fire and it started raining. There was quite a lot of lightning too.

Going down the rapids on the mattress

Everyone woke up the next morning at about 7:00 apart from me, I slept into like 7:30. I’m usually the last one awake! We all got up, had breakfast, and went back to the water hole. This time we had an inflatable mattress to go down on! It was so much fun.

Then we dried off and got ready to leave for a 3 hour hiking trip to a water hole.

Before we could start hiking we had to go up a steep 4WD track. Dad went up some really rocky, steep hills, and it was really fun until we heard a big bang from under the car. The front drive shaft broke. We had no tools or anything to fix it so dad and Vaughn had to go back to Boonah where there were shops so they could buy tools.

Waiting for them to buy tools to fix the car

Obviously we couldn’t go anywhere with our car so luckily Vaughn was with us and they could take his car. We waited, lying on towels on the steep hill, talking and mucking around for TWO HOURS until they came back with the tools. It took them another half hour to fix the car. They had to take the wheel all the way off!

So long story short, we didn’t end up going on the walk to the water hole, we just sat in the middle of a hill on a rocky road.

We drove back to the caravan to pack everything up and drive the hour and a half back home.

I guess you could say we had an exiting yet interesting weekend. The important thing is we had fun even when we were stuck in the middle of nowhere or getting dragged down some rapids!

I really liked Bigriggen and would like to go back again. I would like to have a camp fire next time, and we will take more inflatable things to go down the rapid on!

Playing 5 Second Rule