Tag Archives: ground tent

Stuart’s Birthday Holiday, Part 5a

The big day had finally arrived. It just wasn’t dawn yet. In fact, it was still pitch dark.

Stuart wanted to see dawn in walking along the beach. And so instead of a lie in, instead of a nice comfortable bed, instead of breakfast in bed etc, his birthday alarm call was before it was even light. By the time we had done our teeth and (very quickly) got clothes on, it was starting to get light and by the time we made it to the beach and down to the water, it was almost light. But the sun wasn’t shining on us yet, it was stuck behind a cloud bank on the horizon, so he did actually get to see it “rise”.

And although it took a very long time, we made it to the far end of the beach.

Birthday boy. He went via a hairbrush when we got back to camp!

I found these two photos on his phone, so included them.

It took even longer to get back to camp.

One the where there, I came across this lovely patterning in the sand.

This image also came off Stuart’s phone but shows the size of our next surprise.

A Superb Lyrebird with its amazingly long tail was walking around the campground add though humans didn’t exist. It wasn’t very bothered about us at all.

Sadly it was still too dark under the canopy to get any really decent photos of it.

And then there was breakfast, watched carefully by that male kangaroo.

Stuart had decided that he wanted sausage and eggs for breakfast, so we had sausage and eggs with bread. We couldn’t quite (easily) manage the toast part. And this is the you’re doing what face!

Now for that roo.

With that, we started to pack up and get ready to move on. We wanted to go to the lighthouse at the very tip (bottom tip) of this bit of land and, well the weather was currently good…

But this campground had one more surprise in store for us before we left. With a final toilet trip, whilst waiting for Stuart, I was reading a noticeboard when I heard and spotted the longer grass and ferns between sites moving. Intrigued, but very wary, I moved closer until I could see what it was. Whatever it was, it was large and quite slow moving. It was between our site and the next one. Finally it showed itself in a small gap. It was a large lizard of some kind which set about climbing up a tree when Stuart arrived. But it disappeared before we could get a camera. We pointed it out to the man on the neighbouring site who was walking back across our site with his camera in hand. There was another one on the otherwise of Serenity on the tree. Getting my camera or of Serenity, we went to have a look.

Stuart went first, looking at the tree high up and down, desperate to spot it. Before he finally stood on it, I pointed out out to him. Apparently the guy had said it was on the tree, so Stuart having just seen one climbing up a tree well above head height, was looking way too high up to actually spot it. Well that’s his story anyway.

This one was huge. It’s a monitor lizard apparently and it was busy sunbathing.

A nice beach with a pleasant sunrise, a good walk and breakfast, along with some different wildlife had changed our impression of this campground overnight literally; it’s just best used out of season and reminded us of the need to check which campgrounds you actually need to book.

Birthday or not, it was also time to leave the campground.

Stuart’s Birthday Holiday, Part 4b

Some of the rolling scenery along the fast sealed straight road taking us back into NSW.

The next town on was to be our lunch stop. Every one of these towns had the equivalent of a village green, usually toilets, covered picnic benches, uncovered picnic benches and gas fired BBQs (free of course) and the next place was no exception.

The mobile library joined us for lunch

We opted for the covered picnic benches because of an ant issue at the uncovered ones. After a slow lunch and a discussion on where next and where exactly we were aiming for, we set off again. A quick refuel later (Serenity was hungry again) and we were soon to turn off the nice straight tarmaced road onto a very windy narrow unsealed road.

We immediately noticed an environmental difference. We had tree ferns back.

I managed to record a video from my camera showing how windy the road was. At times it was not quite so reassuring to see what it was held up with. At least we knew how well gum trees don’t rot!

This was actually the good part of the road. The road is called Big Jack Mountain Road. It had an interesting start and is fine in the middle, but then it was to get considerably worse, at the exit of the valley. We didn’t actually get a photo of the bad section, both of us were concentrating on the road that much. That short section of road was down on the map as a rough track. Until now we had not driven a rough track. This was an exceptionally good reason as to why not to do one again.

After the track we hit the Prince’s Highway and headed south. Stuart wanted to visit Eden and the closest campsites are to the south. We soon got turn off and were presented with a desolate scene. The forest between the highway and the national park we were heading to was being harvested and the place was a disaster.

What hadn’t been felled was badly plastered with fine grey dust but we had had to pay for this site and had had only 1 of 2 pitches to choose from. The place was full apparently. It really wasn’t looking good and I felt ever so sorry for Stuart. Tomorrow was his birthday. I just hoped like hell that it was worth it. I kept reminding myself that the two campgrounds were in a national park so at some point the logging would stop and the dust settle literally.

On top of everything else, we couldn’t use the rooftop tent tonight either. So an old friend made a reappearance. It’s been a while since my back had been good enough to camp at all.

Stuart has had a new downmat since we last camped. He had chosen a longer wider version which dwarfed mine!

However our base was still the vehicle. We had reattached (OK, Stuart had reattached) the sun shade to the roofrack so we had shade or shelter from rain and my back really wasn’t up to sitting on the ground for any great length of time so table and chairs naturally went under the sunshade (it had started to spit a touch).

We hadn’t put used the sunshade before now so it wasn’t until we pitched it that we realised just how good a design it actually is. There are built in poles that connect down the sides to give a rigid side and after a little investigation we realised that a set of poles we had previously not found a use for with the rooftop tent and vestibule area are actually part of the sunshade designed to go diagonally holding the shade down using Velcro sewn into the roof (presumably for high winds of heavy rain because it was perfectly stable as it was).

I should mention the 6 foot high kangaroo we met on arriving at the site. Almost the moment I had the car door open, he was trying to get into the car. We guess he is used to thieving food from unsuspecting people or removing it from the hands of children (or being hand fed). He was to plague us constantly, never more than 10m from the back of Serenity the whole time we were there.

After tea we retired to the beach for a walk and found another set of toilets in the camp-site as well, which given the number of family units there and the huge number of young children using just one set of toilets, was quite useful.

Looking out at the scene
This is Saltwater Creek and the swimming area for children.

Sometimes you just have to pay attention to the close details when a certain person is claiming another section of land by scent marking it!

We obviously didn’t get very far along the beach but other than one other person, we had the place to ourselves.

Back at the tent I had cards to find, cards to write (oops) and then we settled in for a game of cribbage and an early night.

I made a silent prayer for better weather tomorrow. Before breakfast, Stuart wanted a walk along the beach to watch the sun rise. Fingers crossed.