Tag: camping

32 OF NORTH QUEENSLAND’S BEST CAMPING SPOTS

One of the many beauties of North Queensland is that you don’t have to travel far to find an amazing camping spot. We are truly spoiled for choice; choose to camp on the beach and wake up to a sunrise over the ocean, sleep under the rainforest canopy in the Daintree or opt for a farm stay experience to see a different side of life. There isn’t much in life that beats going to sleep and waking up beneath the night sky in paradise. Here are some of North Queensland’s best camping spots.

Cairns and Surrounds 

1. Daintree Rainforest Village Camp in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest.

2. Ellis Beach – North of Palm Cove, Ellis Beach offers a location relatively close to Cairns while not being too touristy.

3. Lake Tinaroo – A number of campsites are available around the lake. If you love watersports, you’ll love Lake Tinaroo. Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park is a great option if you don’t want to rough it too much. They also have stand up paddleboards, conoes, kayaks, peddle carts and fishing boat hire. 

4. Granite Gorge Nature Park – just 12 Kilometres from Mareeba, relax in self-contained cabins or comfortable bush camping sites and explore their trails amongst the huge boulder landscape and handfeed a wild colony of Mareeba rock wallabies

5. Eureka Creek, Dimbulah – Free camping area besides Eureka Creek.

6. Upper Davies Creek, Tablelands – Offering camping spots along Davies Creek in tall open forest, great for swimming.

7. Woodleigh Station, Ravenshoe – Sitting on the border of civilisation and the outback, camp on a working cattle farm at Woodleigh Station.

8. Undara Lava Tubes Explore a delicate ecosystem. The lava tubes were created when lava spilled through into the river many years ago, making for a spectacular sight to see now.

9. Russell Island, Frankland Islands – Bush camping is available on High and Russell Islands, both of which are part of the Frankland Islands group.

10. Babinda Boulders, Babinda – Free camping area located near the beautiful Babinda Boulders, ideal for swimming.

11. Malanda Falls – Malanda Falls Caravan Park is located right by the beautiful Malanda Falls and fringed by rainforest. 

12. King Reef Resort, Kurrimine Beach Camp in a stunning location just steps from the beautiful Kurrimine Beach.

Townsville and Surrounds

13. Wallaman Falls Camp nearby the spectacular Wallaman Falls, Australia’s highest permanent single-drop waterfall. Adjacent to Stoney Creek, which is great for swimming.

14. Crystal Creek A gorgeous camping spot in the middle of the rainforest, popular with swimming.

15. Lake Paluma Lake Paluma is a drinking water storage and offers unique opportunities in a diverse rainforest environment.

16. Balgal Beach, Rollingstone – This free beachside camping area is located next to an estuary, popular for fishing.

17. Magnetic Island – camping at Bungalow Bay Koala Village offers the perfect base to explore Magnetic Island. Spend your days snorkelling, lazing by the beach, spotting koalas or hiking.

18. Saunders Beach, Bluewater – A small beachfront camping area north of Townsville. There is a playground nearby.

19. Keelbottom Creek, Hervey Range – Camp beside a creek lined with paperbark trees, providing plenty of shade.

20. Alligator Creek – Alligator Creek has it all, from gorgeous views to swimming spots and camping, too.

21. Broadwater Creek – This camping area provides a large, open grassy setting surrounded by tall, open eucalypt forests.

Mackay and Whitsundays

22. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island Camp at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – the dreamy Whitehaven Beach, which has some of the whitest sand in the world.

23. Oh Deere Farm Stay Stay on a beautiful working cane farm and learn all about sugar cane farming.

24. Cape Palmerston – Cape Palmerston Holiday Park is adjacent to a secluded beach, providing a unique getaway isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spend your time away exploring the national park.

25. St Helen’s Beach Camp on a beachfront location at the beautiful St Helen’s Beach. picnic tables, barbecues and fireplaces are available for use, as well as toilet and shower facilities.

26. Lake Elphinstone A free campground great for boating, fishing and bird watching.

27. Keswick Island Camp on a gorgeous island surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna.

28. Smalley’s Beach, Cape Hillsborough A shady campsite just a stone’s throw from the beach. Keep your eyes peeled for wallabies and kangaroos.

29. Ball Bay Camping Ground, Cape Hillsborough Offering secluded camping on a small grassy campground, with the beach close by.

30. Broken River, Eungella Camp by the gorgeous riverside. You may even be able to spot a platypus!

31. Orkabie Downs, Sarina Spend the night at a family owned working cattle farm. Give the kids a taste of the farm life by helping collect the eggs and feed the chickens, pig and sheep.

32. BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort Only a few minutes’ drive from Airlie Beach, this location offers a swimming pool, obstacle course, jumping pillow, kids’ playground and regular family friendly activities.

Camping tips

Pack for all kinds of weather. Ahh, North Queensland – a place where it can be bucketing rain, and clear blue skies ten minutes later. Bring a variety of clothes, including rain gear, jumpers and singlets.

Before you leave home, check the park alerts. Closures are sometimes in place, and weather conditions (such as lots of rain or fire risk) can make camping potentially dangerous. Check the www.parks.des.qld.gov.au website for the latest information. You can also check www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au for traffic info and www.bom.gov.au for weather info.

Leave the iPad at home. Camping is a great opportunity to reconnect with each other, ground yourself and immerse yourself in all the region has to offer – go out there and have fun!

 

Check out this camping checklist to make sure you’ve got everything prepared. 

Here’s an additional list of fun camping games to keep everyone entertained! 

 

 

Camping in Your Backyard This Weekend? Here’s Some Fun Camping Games to Keep You Entertained

Camping can be lots of fun. Getting away from the daily hustle and bustle can be refreshing and there is lots of time to spend as a family. Here’s a list of activities and games you can play with your family to ensure it’s your best camping trip yet!

1. Pass the Water

Requires: Clean Bucket filled with water, Plastic Cups and an empty bucket.

On a hot day- this game provides some cool relief. Here’s how it works: Each player needs a cup. Everyone lines up in a row (facing the back of the person in front of you). The person at the start of the line fills up their cup from the full bucket and then needs to pass the water to the person behind them, by lifting the full cup over their head and trying to fill the cup of the person behind them. That person then does the same. Till you get to the back of the line, trying to keep as much water as possible. Whatever is left in the cup when it gets to the final person, gets dumped in the empty bucket- (placed at the end of the line) and the last person runs to the front of the line to start the process again. This game is fun to play in teams against each other- race to see who can empty their bucket first and have the most water at the end.

2. Water Cup tea towel race or obstacle course

Requires: Tea towel, plastic cups, water and obstacle course you create.

Race: In pairs, stretch the tea towel out flat on the ground and place a ¾ full cup of water in the middle. Take two corners of the tea towel each- try to lift the towel, without tipping over the cup/ spilling the water. Try to race against another team between one point to another- first team to make it with the most liquid in the cup wins.

Obstacle course: Create an obstacle course pairs of competitors will need to pass through for this challenge. It can be as easy or as hard as you like. Again, the team who make it the fastest- with the most liquid in their cup wins.

3. Camping Charades

Suitability: ages 5+

Requires: paper, pen and bowl or cup.

A great game to play after dinner or during down time. On slips of paper, write down things a player will need to act out, place these actions into a cup or bowl to be drawn out.  

Action examples: Dancing a ballet, shopping, bowling, building a campfire, filming a movie, finger painting, ironing, riding a motorbike, playing hopscotch, watering a garden, milking a cow, sewing, making a pizza/ cake, washing an elephant, playing soccer (any sport), scuba diving, paddling a canoe, mowing a lawn, building a sandcastle and setting up a tent.

4. Dance Off

Requires: music and music player.

You can play this two different ways;

  • A contest where everyone dances and everyone judges the best/ silliest.
  • A ‘statue’ style version where people need to freeze when the music stops.

5. Limbo

Requires: long stick or broom.

6. Obstacle Course

A fun way to burn energy. You can get as creative as you like; but here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Crawl over the picnic table
  • Do 10 star jumps
  • Hop on one foot
  • Jump over the cups
  • Run around the tent (watch out for the ropes)  etc.

7. Sleeping Bag Sack/ Three-Legged Race

Requires: sleeping bags.

Instead of potato sacks using sleeping bags can be a fun alternative. Just make sure their feet are at the bottom and the top is bunched up for them to hold onto (for safety)

Extension activity: three-legged-sleeping bag race. Two players place their legs inside the sleeping bag (like they would have for a three legged race) hang onto the sleeping bag and go for a run.

8. Camping Olympics

You can use a series of the games listed or come up with a list of your own.

Your games could include: relay races, swimming competitions/ synchronised swimming competitions (if you have a backyard pool), thong toss, longest stick found in the backyard etc.

9. Catch or Don’t Catch (similar to Simon Says)

Requires: a ball.

Everyone stand in a circle, except one person who stands in the middle and who will throw the ball to players around the circle instructing them to ‘Catch or Don’t Catch’ similar to ‘Simon Says’, if you do the opposite of what he/she says, you are eliminated from the game. Keep playing until there is only one person left in the outside circle. That person becomes the new ‘Middle’ Player.

10. Glow in the Dark Ring Toss

Requires: Glow in the dark sticks/ necklaces, water bottle.

Using a glow-in-the-dark rings and sticks set, ½ fill an empty (clear) water bottle -placing a glow-in- the-dark-stick inside the bottle so your target (the bottle) can be seen in the dark. After connecting the ends of the necklaces/ rings – try to throw them and land over the water bottle.  Score a point for every ring you manage to get around the bottle.

11. Spotlight

Requires: torches

Think of this game as ‘hide and seek’ in the dark. The job of the person searching is to count to 30, giving people enough time to hide in the backyard. That person (carrying a torch) then tries to find the people hiding, if you get caught in the ‘spotlight’ of the torch- you join the person looking for other players until everyone is found. Start the game again should you wish. The first person found becomes the new ‘seeker’.

Please ensure the safety of players during this game- if there are unsafe areas of the backyard that should be avoided, please point out the ‘out of bounds’ areas before the game begins. Also ensure all players have a torch to see where they are going when hiding. Players switch off their torches, once in their hiding place. For younger kids; parents/ an older sibling should pair with them.

12. Water Gun Races

Requires: Water Guns, plastic/ paper cups

Line up empty plastic drinking cups along the edge of a table. Fill up a water gun. On ‘Go, squirt the cups until they fall off the table. You can reset for any number of players to go one after the other. You can decide on a winner either by timing the game and the person who knocks the most off in that time, or you can see who knocks all of the cups off the fastest.

13. Schoolyard Games

Remember the games you used to play as a kid in the schoolyard, bring them back for your family to enjoy. eg. Red Light/ Green Light, What’s the Time Mr Wolf, Statues, Popstars, hopscotch.

14. Camping Alphabet Hunt

You could play traditional I Spy, where you spy an object starting with a letter and everyone tries to guess it, or you could try a game called ‘Camping Alphabet Hunt’. Working together as a family, wander around the backyard trying to find items  starting with the letters of the alphabet- the trick- you have to do it in order- starting with ‘A’ and identifying objects until you get to ‘Z.’eg. a for ant,  b for butterfly, c for campfire, etc.

15. Thumb Wrestling Tournament

After grabbing your opponent’s hand in a cupped position- thumbs facing each other.  Move thumbs up and down for a count of three together and begin. Each player then tries to pin down their opponent’s thumb for a count of five, only using just their own thumb. Hands must remain clasped during the activity or you can risk being disqualified. Appoint a referee, to impartially judge.  The winner plays the next challenger until the family thumb wrestling champion is decided.  

16. Shadow Hand Puppets

Requires: torches/ surface like a tent wall to project images

Try to make all sorts of animals/ objects on the side of your tent with just your hands and the light of a torch to project the image. You can google (‘Shadow hand puppets for kids’) for loads of ideas on what to try and have fun.

There you have it, you’ll never have a dull camping trip again!

For more camping resources check out our backyard camping checklist.

THE THING IS... BEING IN NATURE

THE THING IS… BEING IN NATURE

As a mother of boys, my life is filled with adventures in the great outdoors. Lots of camping, fishing, and getting dirty. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun and a complete contrast to my office which is mostly filled with women (who thankfully like to shower), but these experiences in the great outdoors certainly make me appreciate the simple things in life, like hot showers.

The thing is, nothing challenges a woman who takes pride in her personal hygiene than to have it taken away for a few days to ‘be in nature’.

One of the things I have observed is that when you put the male species into the wild, they turn into cave men. They let it all hang out; they lose their manners and all regard for personal hygiene, the way they speak changes, and the world becomes their toilet.

If a male needs to pee, it takes them one minute to find a spot and do their business. If a female needs to pee, it takes five minutes just to find a spot that is out of view, snake and spider free, and flat enough so you don’t have a rogue piece of grass tickle your bits and make you jump higher than Michael Jordan, thinking a spider has crawled on your lady parts.

They wear the same clothes for four days. Meanwhile, you change your clothes four times in one day because you’ve peed on them trying to pop a squat and gotten the flow, angle, or position wrong.

They think a swim is a good enough shower. You gather water from the creek in the camp shower, hook it over a tree to get the heat of the day to warm it up and attempt to wash yourself with a stream of water that flows and empties faster than your grandma’s bladder. You’ve looked forward to that hot shower all day, and it wasn’t very good – but it was better than nothing.

They sleep like someone has knocked them out. You sleep like you have an intruder in your home – you hear every wild animal and wonder if something is getting into your food.

They wake refreshed and excited. You wake like you’ve slept on concrete and you’re counting down the days until you’re back in your glorious bed.
The thing that is my absolute least favourite is when we have a trailer involved in our trip. Nothing puts more pressure on a relationship than the stress of having an extension to your vehicle that needs precision involved. This is the time when the short-fused man and woman come out.

From my experience with trailers, every instruction is often wrong. You’re standing in the wrong spot. You didn’t give the right signal. They can’t hear you, you’re not listening, you’re doing it wrong blah, blah, blah. Also, don’t fall for the “why don’t you give it a go” offer. It’s a trap, only a rare breed of super human can reverse a trailer and I am not one of them.

At the end of the day, the great outdoors is an experience you will remember for both the good and the not so good moments. And whilst you spend the next week unpacking and doing a billion loads of washing (even though they didn’t wear the clothes – they all smell) you’ll think about the great time everyone had, and know you’ll be doing it all again in no time.

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www.myvisionbook.com.au

7 TOP TIPS FOR CAMPING WITH KIDS

Camping and kids – two words that can go together harmoniously. Right? the joy of camping can lose some of it’s sizzle when things go wrong.

Poor weather, poor preparation and poor attitudes can really put a dampener on a weekend away. We have put together a few helpful hints to ensure nothing but happy memories are made when you embark on your camping adventure with the kids.

1. ANSWERING “ARE WE THERE YET?”

This phrase is inevitable. No matter how many games, books and electronic devices you provide to the little darlings, you will hear this. Accept it. It’s been going on for several generations and it is not going to stop anytime soon. Think pleasant thoughts.

Before the car trip has begun, it’s helpful to have set some expectations about the trip and length of time in the car. Show the kids a map, explain the length of time so the younger ones will understand (we are still two Disney movies away) and slice your road trip into different parts.

2. ENCOURAGE CAMPING CHORES

At the campsite (where you have done all of your research, of course and therefore know what facilities are on offer), try to get the children to “help set up the campsite”, by giving them easy tasks to do. Setting up an area for their toys and putting out the foldable camping chairs are easy tasks to keep little fingers busy. 

After set-up, keep them busy with collecting firewood (if allowed), getting fresh water, finding marshmallow roasting sticks and sweeping the outdoor area.

3. PACK SUITABLE RAINY ACTIVITIES

Rain happens. Books, colouring activities, board games and cards are a good stand-by items. LEGO and puzzles are not as good as all those tiny pieces can go missing. Keep electronic devices on stand-by, in the event of seriously poor weather only. If it’s nice outside, the electronic devices stay hidden.

4. GIVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN BACKPACK

Fill this with essential items such as a headlamp, water bottle, tissues, sunscreen, repellent and snacks. You may also like to include a whistle so if they get lost or wander too far, they can use it to advise of their location. Their involvement in packing this bag prior to the camping trip is a good way to get them interested in the trip and take a little bit of responsibility for their own belongings.

5. ALWAYS PACK EXTRA CLOTHING

Just in case. The trip where you don’t pack enough clothes is the one where it will rain, or your children will fall into the creek the moment they arrive at the campsite. Bring along clothes suited to the location you are visiting, plus plan for accidents, change of weather and dirt.

6. TEACH THEM CAMP COURTESY AND SAFETY

Some basic rules include:

• Don’t run through people’s campsites. Go around them.
• Be quiet early in the morning. Not everyone wakes with the birds.
• It is not polite to impose yourself upon other campers when they are eating. Take the hint and return to your family at mealtimes.

7. USE THIS CAMPING TRIP AS A GREAT ADVENTURE FOR ALL

Camping is all about creating memories that you and your children will cherish for years to come. There are lots of new sights to explore and new experiences to enjoy. Prepare meals together, take day hikes to see animals in natural habitats, collect unique plant clippings to bring back to the campsite, jump into the freezing cold creek water, roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories around the fire and spend time together as a family.

We often don’t realise how busy life can get. Research has shown that being outdoors promotes happiness, health and helps with cognitive development in children. And nothing beats escaping your strict schedules (even if it’s just once a year or for a sneaky weekend away) and spending time with your family outside of the home.