Woody Head, NSW

Woody Head, NSW

Wahoooosers! It’s great to be baaaack!! 

Our new van is amazing and we love it … but what we love more than the van itself, are the adventures we get to experience once again. 4 months without a 4WD or caravan has truly taken its toll on all of us.

We couldn’t have chosen a better place for our first relaxing weekend in the van in months … we were finally able to set up the camp chairs, and enjoy a few beers (or many beers in Chris’s case!) around the fire with both old mates and new ones. 🔥

White sandy beaches, rock platforms, a boat ramp, grassy areas, rainforest, shallow reef (perfect for snorkeling) and lots of kangaroos roaming around … plus awesome surfing and great fishing put Woody Head, part of the Bundjalung National Park, right near the top of our beachside camping list. And the fact that it’s only a bit over 200 km from home makes it even better.

The charming seaside village of Iluka, right at the mouth of the Clarence River is just down the road and has everything you need including an IGA, golf course, a great bowling club and pub plus pretty much everything you need including a caravan park. We didn’t eat at the pub this time, but we have before and the meals were epic! The whole area (pub included) gives off an awesome relaxed vibe that makes you think seriously about not going home!

Our first time to this gorgeous spot was back in October of 2014 when we came and stayed at the Woody Head Campground and attended a friend’s wedding at Shark Bay, just around the corner. I was blown away at the beauty and tranquility of the place as it was my first time to the NSW North Coast. Chris had not long finished building our camper trailer and adventures like this were a new thing for us. We fell in love and knew we’d be back for sure.

 

Woody Head back in October 2014

We finally made it back, and yep – we are planning our return trip already. And next time we’ll bring the kids. We know they will love this place as much as we do. 

There really is so much to explore. A short walk through the campground will take you to a grassy area that leads you down to a white sandy beach (or a boat ramp if that’s what you need!) and if you head off to the right you will find a gorgeous little path, quite often dotted with kangaroos, that you can follow along the rock shelf and coastline for ages. You can spend hours exploring the rock shelf and checking out the different textures and patterns. We went for a walk just after sunrise to snap a few pics.

“Woody Head is a campground with the lot – you can pitch your tent, park your caravan or book a cabin to enjoy a pleasure-packed beach escape for the weekend or longer.
It’s a great place for a family holiday, with a protected sandy beach that’s ideal for swimming and fishing, a boat ramp and the spectacular rock platform. There are heaps of other things to do as well and children and adults alike will love exploring the rainforest and shallow reefs around the campground. There’s also a boat ramp for those who’ve brought their boat along, great places for fishing and waterbabies will love being so close to the beach.

There is one designated group camping area and the campground is wheelchair accessible.

Of course, with the amount of attractions on offer, it’s no wonder Woody Head is a popular north coast campground. You’ll need to book with plenty of time to secure your campsite.”

🌐https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/…/woody-head-campground

Woody Head Campground
🗺Woody Head Road, Woody Head NSW 2466
📞1300 072 757
📍https://goo.gl/maps/GpSLUNJk65JhBk527

Full Video Here

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.

Bakers Beach, Tasmania

Bakers Beach, Tasmania

We’ve just arrived and set up at Bakers Point Camping Area – a National Parks Campground on the North East Coast of Tasmania. Narawntapu National Park is  located west of mouth of the Tamar River, between Port Sorell/Hawley and Greens Beach.

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It’s so peaceful. The tiny waves are lapping gently against the shore, the birds are singing, and the sounds of nature are reminding me of my childhood holidays spent not far from here.

My grandparents had a holiday house at Squeaking Point or ‘Squeaky’ which is just across the water.

I spent many weekends and holidays helping with the garden, being shown by grandad how to hammer nails, learning how to reverse my trike under the water tank and playing in the waters of a beach just like this one. My uncles would jump off the jetty – aaahhh … so many special memories…

We would identify the birds and local wildlife. Nan and grandad had a ‘pet possum’ that lived in the tree out the front, and we would often see a big blue tongue roaming along the fence near the side track. I still remember the ‘hockey one’ bird and it makes me smile on the inside every time I hear it call out when I’m back in Tasmania. Yep, that’s a photograph of me with my grandad. I miss those days – and him – so very much.

We’ve set up and Chris is in his camp chair at the van and I’ve come down to the water. I can see a yacht not far from here that looks just like the one I remember seeing bobbing on the water year ago, although I’m sure it’s not.

The smells and sounds are the same here at Bakers Beach as I can remember from Squeaking Point, and so are the pebbles lining the water’s edge that I’m sitting in right now. They are so flat and just perfect for skimming across the water like my grandad showed me. Although beautiful, they are quite uncomfortable for sitting and lying on!

The sky is grey today, and the tide is out, but it’s still beautiful, and the warm temps mean that there are kayaks and stand ups out and about and a few kids paddling in the shallow water.

I just love this part of Tasmania.

After soaking it all in for a good hour or so, I head back to the van to see what Chris is up to – he’s still sitting there, so I ask if he’d like to go for a walk. He says yes, and after a short while (and visits from kangaroos!) we wander back down to the water.

The clouds have disappeared, and it looks like a different beach!

This time we turn right and make our way over the rocks, past the swimmers and around the point across from Shearwater and Hawley. The sun starts to set, very slowly, and we bask in the twilight that we sadly don’t get up in Queensland.

Although, Chris and I have quite the opposite opinion of daylight savings! I miss it terribly and he despises it and hopes it never returns to his home state. I just love the gentle light and softly coloured sky that lingers on until late into the night that makes this beach walk just beautiful.

I spot a baby shark that has washed up and Chris finds a tee pee someone has constructed from drift wood and immediately sits inside to ‘work on his zen’ .. um what? Haha! The water is crystal clear and is lapping gently as the tide continues to come in.

 

We turn around and make our way back, seeing the smooth round rocks embedded in the sandy banks and stop for a closer look. Seagulls scatter as Chris splashes through the water, and our feet are sinking so far into the sand, making it very hard to stay upright!

We get back to the camp ground with plenty of daylight hours to spare.

The sites are sandy, quite large and fairly private. Some have pretty low hanging trees (that our van couldn’t get under)

Our site is right across from the beach, next to the (drop) toilets, close to the bins and dump Point. We have a path on one side and a space with trees and a table on the other. It’s great! 

Narawntapu National Park (once known as Asbestos Range National Park) extends from the low coastal ranges to the long Bass Strait beaches, and includes an historic farm, a complex of inlets, small islands, headlands, wetlands, dunes and lagoons, all with an amazing variety of plants and animals. 

This camping area has a total of 36 campsites with 15 of them being suitable for campervans, small camper trailers, caravans and motorhomes. 

Inland from the coast you will find an unspoiled part of Tasmania filled with some great bushwalks. 

Narawntapu National Park is one of the best places to see rare Forester kangaroos, Wombats, pademelons and Bennetts wallabies. Apparently even the Tasmanian devil are is commonly seen, but we weren’t that lucky. Next time perhaps!

 CAMP GROUND DETAILS

💰 For non- serviced sites

 

$13 per site for 2 people

Extra adults $5

Kids $2.50

Families $16 (2 adults and 3 kids)

 

 

Facilites:

 

✔️ Drop toilets

✔️ Showers ($2 tokens needed available from the visitor centre)

✔️ Dump Point

✔️ Limited Fresh Water

✔️ Ranger on Site

 

🚫 No Bookings (Bookings are only taken for large school groups).

🚫 No Dogs

🚫 Maximum Stay

🚫 Powered Sites

Boat Harbour Beach, Tas

Boat Harbour Beach, Tas

 

Magic. This one word sums up where we are, and where we wish we could stay for more than the one night we had planned for.

From the moment the ocean glimmers into view as you wind your way down the road to the minute your toes hit the cool, blue water washing over the white sand, everything about this small coastal village is pure magic.

Tucked away between 2 rocky headlands, Boat Harbour Beach is every bit what you’ve read about or seen in countless photographs. It’s no wonder that it was voted one of Australia’s top 10 beaches!

Boat Harbour is located on Tasmania’s north coast, 176 km north-west of Launceston and 31 km west of Burnie and interestingly, exists in a micro climate where frosts are unknown and tropical plants can be found.

 

We arrived just before 11am to find most of the free camp spots had been taken, but Chris hopped out and had a chat to a lovely guy in a camper trailer who said we could pull in next to him.

And what a spot we pulled into! It is overlooking the rocks and water, right next to the green, grassy area in front of the toilets that is blocked off by wooden posts. Our van is sitting alongside the posts and our awning is in the grassy area, so we only have neighbours to the back of us.

We set up and hit the beach straight away. Aylah was the first in without even ‘testing the waters’. My toes dipped in and straight back out! It was icy; but the longer you stayed in, the warmer it got. There were a few comments like ‘do you have any blood left in your feet?’ from the kids though.

They had a ball burying each other, playing in the waves and ended up spending most of the day on the beach.

It’s the middle of December and we are so lucky that today was a beautiful one. 27 degrees meant we were out enjoying the sun during the day, yet as the sun fell the temperatures dropped rapidly and the winds that had been gusting steadily throughout the day brought a chill with them. It was jacket and beanie weather for me as we wandered down the rocky beach below our caravan and around the bend.

The camp ground is quite small, but absolutely stunning as it overlooks a little bay and winds around behind some trees. We spoke to one family who have been here for 2 weeks as they fell in love the first day they arrived and couldn’t bring themselves to leave.

We debated staying another night, but we hadn’t allowed for it and sadly don’t have enough water in the tanks.

There is a toilet block, a couple of undercover BBQ’s, some tables scattered around and a playground.

Down on the beach is the Boat Harbour Beach Surf Club with a restaurant that I wouldn’t mind having breakfast in tomorrow morning.

This is a gorgeous, unspoiled piece of the North West Tasmanian coast that is tucked away with a handful of houses perched up on the surrounding hills.

Due to the limited parking and camping spots, there doesn’t seem to be a high chance that this the pristine beach could ever become too crowded, although I imagine more people would be around during the school holidays.

You will always find your own little piece of paradise here that is guaranteed to steal your heart.

It is a photographer’s dream, so bring a huge external drive to save those once in a lifetime shots you are guaranteed to be snapping during your visit!

 

The weather did turn for us; overnight the winds picked up and by morning it was overcast, drizzling and chilly. It looked like an entirely different place. This is still a beautiful place, no matter what colour the skies are! These are some ‘rainy day’ pics.

Imbil Camping Retreat, Imbil Review

Imbil Camping Retreat, Imbil Review

Name:

Imbil Camping Retreat (Formerly known as Island Reach Camping Resort)

Location:  5 Imbil Island Rd. Imbil, Queensland

​Contact:

Phone: 0447 135 471

Email: info@imbilcampingretreat.com.au

Website: https://www.imbilcampingretreat.com.au/

 

Date of Stay: September 2018

Type of Park: Rural town, on river

Rating: 5

Facilities:

  • Powered Caravan and Camping Sites
  • Unpowered Camp Sites
  • Onsite Toilets
  • Hot Showers
  • Camp Kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Fire Pits
  • Dump Point
  • Activities Hire (bikes, kayaks, SUP’s)

 

Staff:

  • Super friendly!

Sites:

  • Powered and unpowered.
  • Large
  • Fairly easy to get into.

Positives:

  • Close to town
  • Close to river
  • Shady trees
  • Large sites
  • Peaceful
  • Dog-friendly
  • Plenty to do

 

Negatives:

  • None

 

 

Description:

This dog-friendly campground was the perfect location for The Adventure Bash 2018, a family-friendly camping festival that was organised by Trip in A Van, Caravan RV Camping and Caravanning with Kids. Read our blog on the event here: http://www.aussiedestinationsunknown.com.au/2018/09/24/adventure-bash-18/ It was the BEST weekend! I suggest you have a read and then go and book your tickets for next year as soon as they come on sale 😉

We checked in about 9:30am and were welcomed by Brett and Cheryl, the loveliest of hosts.

It’s a gorgeous little spot alongside the beautiful Yabba Creek, with 12 acres of shaded parklands ranging from secluded areas to open spaces for larger groups.

We had heard many great reviews, and it’s easy to see why. The huge trees and variety of peaceful grassy areas are just magic! Everywhere you looked a photo opportunity seemed to present itself.

This peaceful park is located right on the banks of the Yabba Creek which was the perfect spot for the kids to swim, canoe, lie around on their giant floaties, and play on the large rock in the centre. They made mud baths and mud slides and squeals of delight and laughter were heard all day long as they jumped into the water. When they were finished in the creek, they rode their bikes and ran around exploring. It is a great spot for kids!

There are 2 amenities blocks, one older and one fairly new that were well maintained and had great hot showers.

I could see what seemed to be a few fairly new cabins dotted around the place which looked lovely.

The central, undercover camp kitchen has 2 large fridges, a couple of large BBQ’s and a microwave. We didn’t have need to use it this time, but it looked OK.

There are also fire pits dotted around the park that we made use of every night.

It’s  just a quick 5-minute walk into Imbil itself where you will find the local market (on a Sunday), shops, bakery, butcher, pub etc.

The old Mary Vale Rail Line is close by as well which kept our kids entertained for ages!

Overall it’s a lovely park in a great location suitable for both families and couples