Before we embarked on our 30-day camping trip, my husband and I agreed it was either going to be the best idea we’ve ever had… or the worst. So far it’s been a bit of both! I think it takes some getting used to, and a bit of extra patience. But admittedly it seems to be getting better. We’re quickly getting used to this camping lifestyle and things like: wearing the same dirty outfit twice, using communal showers, sleeping like sardines in a tiny tin, cooking for five in a tiny kitchen, eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for lunch every day, cleaning out baby bottles with a hose, the scorching heat, the nasty insects, driving in unfamiliar territory with crying babies in the back… etc, etc.
All that aside, we are actually having a really wonderful time as a family, and we’ve seen some incredible sites already. Here are the highlights of the past 5 days…
Our first stop was the Blue Mountains, and it was breathtaking. It’s like America’s Grand Canyon but covered in green eucalyptus forests. From a distance the mountains actually look blue because of the haze of eucalyptus oil in the air. We hiked an hour down to Wentworth Falls and it was seriously amazing — even the kids were so impressed they didn’t complain about the hike.
We spent two nights in the Blue Mountains camping at the Blackheath Caravan Park. We stumbled upon it late on our first day, and thankfully the park attendant let us in. (Who knew you have to check in to camp by 7pm?!) It turned out to be a great campsite with a large park across the street.
After two days we drove east back toward Sydney, and then started our drive north up the coast. We drove through the Hawkesbury River region and then up the Central Coast. Then we drove through the beautiful Myall Lakes National Park area, driving along winding, ‘partly unsealed’ (meaning party unpaved) roads. The drive was bumpy (you could hear everything in our cupboards bouncing around!), but really beautiful. I don’t think we passed a single other car — which is both exciting and a bit distressing!
Thankfully our long drive led us east to the ocean and out to the remote and stunning Seal Rocks area. We stayed at the Seal Rocks Camping Reserve, which is directly across the street from one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen so far: Number One Beach. We were so relieved to see the beach, we jumped out of the van and ran out to dip our toes in the water!
The beach is a long stretch of white sand and crystal-clear water marooned between two headlands. Apparently we just missed the pod of dolphins that passed by right before we arrived, but we did see a large sting ray swimming near the water’s edge. We spent the entire next day at the beach!
We’ll continue our drive up north tomorrow. We’re aiming to stop in the Bellinger Region and visit a town called Bellingen. Apparently it gets prettier (and hotter!) as we drive north. Oh my! I’ll keep you posted…