Memoirs of a Camper Trailer – Snapshots of Australia

Recently we sold our camper trailer. We have finally upgraded beyond the tent pegs and canvas. Afterwards I was thinking about all the places we’d taken it to so, for nostalgia sake, I’ve written this post, complete with photos and Memorable Moments (MMs) – happy, not so happy, embarrassing and funny memories of places we’ve visited over the years in this great big country of ours, with our trusty camper trailer that served us so well. So, sit back and let me take you on a journey …

Phillip Island – October 2008

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Our first expedition in the new camper trailer was beachfront with unsurpassed views over the water.

Memorable Moments:  It was exciting to set up the camper for the first time, waking up to a beautiful sky over the ocean, and enjoying a beachfront breakfast. Beach walks were a highlight, rowdy neighbours that arrived in the middle of the following night were not!

Cohuna – November 2008

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Cohuna is on the banks of the Gunbower Creek about three hours from Melbourne, an oasis in the middle of a dry arid region.

MMs: I very ungracefully fell into the river whilst on the flying fox (fully clothed) much to the amusement of everyone.  Watching the kids going down the water slide in town was fun. Spotted a huge goanna on a tree trunk in the Gunbower State Forest.

Porepunkah – March 2009

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Porepunkah is the gateway to Bright, Mount Buffalo and beyond in North East Victoria. A gorgeous spot with plenty of good caravan parks to enjoy. It was one of our favourite spots when the kids were little.

MMs:  The kids spent most of their time floating down the beautiful Ovens River on their lilos.

Port Fairy – March 2009

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This charming fishing village is located at the end of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

MMs:  Squawling storms and ferocious winds at night tested out the camper trailer. But we survived in tact and the next day we were out flying kites and taking advantage of the wind. A cruise on the bay was also a highlight.

Warbuton –  Dec 2009

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Warbuton is located in the Yarra Valley and as it was close to home, this was just an overnighter.  My mum and sister stayed in a cabin close to our camper which was a good thing as the weather turned feral.

MMs: Rain drenched our campsite, toilet block was atrociously bad and we had to pay for showers. Good thing we were able to use the cabin. This caravan park was pretty dodgy but the riverside setting was magical.

French Island – January 2010 

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You can only get to French Island by barge. Exposed, windswept and wildly isolated, there’s no electricity, no stop signs very little traffic and seemingly no hassles!  We took the barge across Western Port Bay with friends and welcomed the New Year in on their property on French Island.

MMs: Swimming under the pier, personalised tour of the island from the back of the ute, kids climbing haystacks, riding motorbikes, relocating koalas. Eating lots of food and drinking good wine! Enjoying the fireworks and lights of Melbourne skyline from the property on New Years Eve.

Porepunkah – Jan 2010.

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Camping by the river at Porepunkah is always a highlight. We’ve returned numerous times over the years.

MMs:  Swimming, bike riding between Bright and Porepunkah, watching the hang gliders take off and soar over Bright.

Mungo National Park – Oct 2010

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Mungo National Park is a special place and remains one of my favourite camping spots.  A separate post is pending..

MMs: Visiting the Walls of China at sunset, camping under the stars, huge bonfire at night, guided Aboriginal  Ranger tour. The spiritual feeling of Mungo needs to be experienced firsthand.

Pink Lakes – Murray Sunset National Park

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Pink Lakes in the Murray Sunset National Park is another of my favourite places. A spectacular, remote oasis with fabulous four wheel driving and simple getting back to nature activities.A place to sooth the soul.

MMs: Exploring the pink lakes, bushwalking and relaxing. The kids collected rock salt from the dry lake floor and made damper. Swarm of bees in the drop toilet was not welcome … eeek, very memorable.

Corryong – January 2011

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Colac Colac Caravan Park in Corryong is like a garden oasis. Magnificent trees, a pristine river running through the lush park. Loved it here.

MMs:  Tash swept a huge Huntsman Spider out of the tent but it landed on my chest.  Yep, very memorable!  Doug could hear my scream from the other side of the park! More enjoyable was the swimming and touring around this spectacular area including standing underneath Bluff Falls and visiting the Hydro Electric Scheme.

Chiltern – March 2011

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A historic streetscape welcomes you to Chiltern – walking through town is like stepping back in time.

MMs:  Quiet and remote, we had the place to ourselves. Until we visited the showgrounds that night to experience the Pro-Rodeo which was in town. Lots of cowboys, noise and wild action!

Little Desert National Park – April 2011

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This remote and very unique National Park is home to the endangered Mallee Fowl. We stayed at the Little Desert Nature Lodge Sanctuary – lots of spacious bush camping and a superb place for getting back to nature.

MMs:  The communal fire pit every night was very social.  Searching for the mallee fowls was entertaining but fruitless. We almost got stranded whilst four wheel driving. George the resident emu roamed the campsites!

Pony Club Camp – Wandin – April 2011

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Natasha celebrated her 13th birthday at the Pony Club Camp. It was the first time we took Sparky with us camping with the Camper Trailer.

MMs: Waking up to find Sparky with his head in our camper was something else!  Watching Tash compete whilst lazing back in our camp chairs was relaxing.

Lakes Entrance – October 2011

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Lakes Entrance was one of my childhood favourite places, it was great to go back with my own kids.

MMs:  Mum visited for the day from nearby Sale. Walking across the footbridge to the ocean on the other side. Paddle carts out on the lake were lots of fun. We chatted to fishermen on the jetties and spotted some unusual wildlife on the beach!

Whitfield – King Valley – November 2011

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Whitfield and the King Valley Wine Region is a brilliant destination. Boutique Italian wineries, riverside camping, great four wheel driving, spectacular scenery. What’s not to love about this place?

MMs: We walked behind a waterfall. We tasted wine and we went four wheel driving through a river… not at the same time though!

Kilcunda – January 2012

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Daniel celebrated his birthday at Kilcunda.  The caravan park is located on a cliff top and the views are breath taking.

MMs:  Piped music in the amenities!  Spectacular sunset at night. Geochacing on the rail trail overlooking the ocean was lots of fun.

Walhalla – March 2012

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We stayed at the Rawson Caravan Park, close to Walhalla. Great place

MMs:  Dinner at the very rustic Tavern on site. Great food, music and atmosphere.  Friendly bikies next door to our site. Walhalla township is historic and there’s heaps to enjoy. Ride the Steam Train, walk to the historic cricket pitch on the top of the hill, take a tour through the gold mine, explore the historic buildings. Don’t miss the lolly shop! So much to do.

Yackandandah – June 2012

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I loved Yack, as the locals call it. A small, picturesque heritage- listed town in the mountains in a very special part of Victoria. The Caravan Park was brilliant.

MMs:  A massive camp fire at night proved eventful. A colony of Huntsmen Spiders crawled out of the wood that was being burned – hundreds of them – just like out of a horror movie!  Four wheel driving was fun. Doug fell into the creek near the caravan park and drowned his boots. I picked up a pair of boots at a local garage sale. He borrowed some from the park owners!

Gold Coast – January 2013

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An overnight stop before visiting Kerri and Dean and en route to Rainbow Beach.

MMs: Locals at the caravan park were a bit dodgy. Rowdy neighbours. Smell of toilets nearby was not good. But on our way back we visited Wet and Wild theme park and had a brilliant time.

Batemans Bay

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Batemans Bay is a beautiful spot on the east coast of Australia. Stayed here on the way back from Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island. A very relaxing spot.

MMs:  Oysters bought fresh were divine. Followed by a succulent lamb roast cooked in the Cobb! Mini-golf in town was fun.

Forster/Tuncurry

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Beautiful beaches around this area, but very busy as we were passing through in peak times.

MMs:  Visiting the Open air Cathedral, swimming in pristine beaches, local oysters (yum) Paid $95 for a powered site in peak period (ouch)

Urunga

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A huge storm pelted our camper just as we finished setting up. Then it passed and we all ended up swimming in the lagoon directly opposite our site.  Loved this place

MMs:  Swimming in the lagoon. Dinner in the pub across the road was memorable.

Wakiti Creek – June 2013

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Wakiti Resort was a great spot. The camping area had teepees, cabins, bush camping and loads of activities. Best of all, it was close to Echuca but had the feel of being in the middle of nowhere.

MMs:  Visited the Port of Echuca.  Hired a couple of canoes and enjoyed paddling down the river at sunset.  Bike riding was fun. We got bogged in the state forest – good thing we had friends travelling with us who pulled us out!

Sept 2013 – Silverton, NSW

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Silverton was an incredibly memorable place, in fact it deserves a post of its own.  A brilliant outback destination but damn, the flies were bad setting up.  Hence the fly tent had to go up as well.

MMs: the pesky flies!  The hurricane winds that sprung up at midnight and brought our annexe down. The donkey in town that stuck his head in our car window. The town is very atmospheric – little wonder it was the setting for Mad Max and other movies..Mundi Mundi at sunset was amazing.

Menindee, NSW

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Menindee was an oasis after our dusty stay at Silverton. Green lush grassy sites, right on the lake.

MMs:  Beautiful sunsets, drinks by the lake, exploring the area including the historic Woolshed, Burke and Wills Camping site etc

Mt Cole – November 2013

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Left the crowds behind on this Melbourne Cup weekend. Mt Cole State Park is a brilliant out of the way spot in the bush.

MMs: Great location, lots of four wheel driving, visited a winery, walked to waterfalls. Beautiful spot. Spectacular scenery

Lake Colac – Jan 2014

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Two days at this lakeside camp spot. We had a huge area to ourselves. Only realised after we’d set up we were in a “No Camping area” Whoops

MMs:  Tranquil, visited nearby Colac and the Camperdown area including the volcanic lakes, lookouts and botanic gardens. Enjoying drinks at night whilst enjoying spectacular sunsets.

Noojee – January 2014

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Our campsite at Noojee in West Gippsland was a beautiful secluded spot by a flowing creek.

MMs: Walking across the historic trestle bridge, visiting the magnificent Tooronga Waterfall and bush-walking. Rain pelted down one night and then cleared up.

Frys Flat in the High Country – April 2014

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Love the Victorian High Country

MMs:  Joined a tagalong four wheel drive tour and visited some out of the way high country huts. We packed a picnic lunch which we enjoyed at Craig’s Hut, surrounded by spectacular mountain views. Waking up to cows mooing outside our tent.

June 2014 – Barmah Mathoura

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Our mission was to find the famous Barmah brumbies in the forest.

MMs:  We did spot some in the Barmah Forest but they were distant and didn’t let us get too close. Camping right on the river was tranquil and very relaxing.

Bourkes Bend – October 2014

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We joined friends and a larger group for a couple of nights of fun camping right on the mighty Murray River. Perfect spot in summer for swimming, relaxing and doing very little!

MMs: Sitting around the campfire, swimming and relaxing during the day. Stopped for some delicious food at a Bakery on the way home!

Southend, SA – January 2015

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Southend is a little known seaside fishing village in South Australia. Southend Sands caravan park was small but we met some great people and enjoyed a spectacular beach just two minutes from our site. This place has some amazing scenery. Doug’s parents came along for this trip.

MMs: Spectacular location, beach driving including awesome four wheel driving in Canunda National Park, swimming at the Saloam salt water lake in nearby Beachport, walks across clifftops and amongst craggy peaks. Deserted beaches … this place is heaven on earth.

Frys Flat in the High Country (again) – March 2015

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This time we went back to the High Country with two horses along for the ride! It was definitely more challenging than normal camping but undeniably a memorable experience.

MMs:  Waking up to the sounds of the horses, walks through creeks and rivers and drives in the back tracks of the High Country, four wheel drives and beautiful scenery that the high country is renowned for. Aah the serenity.

So many memories … Goodbye Camper Trailer, Hello Jayco Outback Dove … the adventures will continue.


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