My love for camping started when I was in my late teenager years and it grew through to my mid 20s. Where and when to camp was not an issue for us, as a group of 5 families (all related) would go camping in a great little spot on the coast for our Easter Holidays in Victoria.
We did this for around 8 years and we would always book for the next year before we left (in the current holiday season).
On our last year of camping in this great spot we went to book for the next year, and the owners asked if we could book in the next few weeks as they were upgrading their computer system in the next 3 weeks. We assumed they wanted to be sure that no bookings were missed during their change-over period. Sadly we were wrong!
Why this place was so special
It does not matter the name of this fantastic camping place because many years later it is massively different to what it was then, that’s progress for you!
What does matter is the very basis of many camping requirements for many people in Australia.
Quite a considerable number of people free camping (or camping in general) prefer to do so in a quieter location, where there are few or no other people! I fit into this category!
The uniqueness of this camping location was, even at Easter when most other sites were busy or overflowing to say the least was that, even though it was full, it was one of the most serene places to camp that I have ever been fortunate enough to camp.
Being a large group of regular campers here, twice a year mind you, we were usually able to secure the best spot, especially as we booked out all the cabins and free camping sites around the camp kitchen.
The camp kitchen had all the facilities:
- BIG open fire place
- Kitchen and sink
- Tables and bench seats
- and a roof!
We would have a roaring fire going all the time, as we took down a trailer of wood and extract hot coals for our camp ovens, magic times, feasts all the time – no-one complained at all.
There were also other fantastic attractions:
- bush walking, easy and difficult
- fishing, both river and surf
- beach was across the road
Whilst it was not strictly “bush camping” it was the best compromise between stuffy newer style caravan parks and bush camping.
Camping in Australia has many varieties
Most of our camping and touring trips end up in the bush or in some small town’s free camping location, so our decision to accept an invitation to go “Glamping” at a BIG 4 resort is something very different.
Not having any experience with camping in one of these newer style caravan parks I am looking forward to the experience, but not being able to have a camp fire could be a bit of a let down.
The park we are going to caters for a wide range of guests, including kids, grey nomads, families but they do not allow pets, which excludes a large range of campers. I do get it, they are in a popular location, in the bounds of the city and close to a beach which I believe is also not dog friendly.
Clearly, our experience with this holiday is going to be new and different, that is exciting, can’t wait from that perspective. Especially, going to a restaurant for dinner!
Some of the good points about camping in a caravan park designed for people to relax in with a heap of facilities, such as:
- Full Kitchen, including microwave, fridge
- Fully operating laundry
- Showers and toilets
- plenty of kids activities
- a cafe
- TV’s and games lounge
- the list just goes on …
This is a glamping experience for sure, but there is always a beach to go to, with direct access from the park. A great place to get some sand and water, the beach is a bit protected however, it is a “surf beach” with lifesavers nearby.
Why did our favourite Easter Holiday lose it’s shine?
The caravan park had been sold, just prior to our last Easter in that fabulous little spot.
It was sold to a larger caravan park owner with a wish to completely change the face of camping in this lovely little spot, and for that reason we were never able to go back. Our memories could not be tarnished by the changes they made.
I did not go back to this caravan park until in my late 50’s and I saw that it was still owned by a larger organisation, and as we were shown around we noted that all of the cabins in which we stayed and the fantastic camp kitchen, were all removed.
All the roads were now sealed, grass was growing and kept manicured. Glad I waited for so many years to go back, at least I have my memories still! Sometimes progress can be sad!
This year the where and when to camp issue has been sorted, as a result I get a taste of that style of camping this year. Easter is a special time, especially for camping.