Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ah Folks, I Need a Little Help...

In two weeks we're going on our very first road trip as a family, driving up to Queensland from Melbourne as part of our annual Great Migration.

And camping.*
And I'm excited, of course I'm excited. I love seeing new places and catching up with friends. And spending 1,980 kilometres in a confined space with my nearest and dearest. This is the stuff of childhood memories. This is how magic is born. (I hope.)
But this is a big trip.
This is 21.5 hours of driving (and then back again!) With a two year old and a four your old.
We're driving up to Queensland via friends in Lightning Ridge and family in Milmerran.
But there's a big gap between Melbourne and Lightning Ridge and somewhere in that gap is our perfect camping site. And also hopefully some cool things for the kids to see on our frequent run-the-kids-around stops.
Does anyone have any ideas? Know of any perfect camping places? Things we HAVE to see?
Tips for toddlers in long car trips. (Drugs aren't an option!)
On the way home in January we're sticking to the coast. But before I open my lonely planet - does anyone have things we have to see or do? Know of any good camping sites along the coast between Caboolture and Gippsland?

The board is open, gentle folks, any and all help or advice would be much appreciated!

*The last time I camped I got the blisters to end all blisters walking around Wilson's Prom and a kind policeman ended up giving me a lift back to the car from where the track joined the road. (The sight of me tramping in socks with a massive backpack might have given him the hint I'd appreciate it. Or mybe it was the face scrunched in agony...)
The time before was my folk's lone attempt at a family camping trip. It was so windy we didn't even get the tent up... and drove back to our beach house.
My parents went camping in the highlands of Scotland for their honeymoon... and were flooded out. Abortive camping trips do not lack precedence in my family.
We are starting off well for Anderson family tradition. The Sprocket has already broken the tent pegs on our brand new, never-been-used-in four-years-tent. We're using my baby brothers, veteran of many confests...


  1. Hire a campervan, if you can! we did sydney to the great ocean road in easter and it was the BEST time. perfect family travelling, especially as you really can just pull over on the freeway for toilet and snack stops. but they are a little exie. would love to do it again, but will be squirrelling for a while! No idea on camping sites for you though, lovely. I was 17 the last time i went family camping. not going to happen again. :)sarah

    1. A campervan would be brilliant, but the budget won't go there this year but it's definitely on the to-do list for another year! I'm so looking forward to coming back down along the coast. So hoping we see dolphins and whales and... well, lots and lots of sea and beaches! Yay!
      I'm not entirely sure if we'll be doing family camping again either... We'll see!

  2. I don't camp. If I were you I'd plot a route that has a lovely little hotel on the way. ;-) OR...just drive for as long as you can stay awake, until you get there. I've made it as far as about 14 hours (with several stops that brought the total time to about 16 hours) before...

    1. I don't camp either. Ron had a cunning plan to drive right through with NO stops, so I threw the camping idea out as a sop. If we can take it slow and stop and look at stuff, I'll (ugh!) camp. We'll see how it goes. At least he has a vested interest in making it as enjoyable as possible!

  3. We had a lovely camping trip in Devon one summer after we were married. The only misadventure was me losing the tent (we got it back the same day) and a horse that decided to run around the tent for a while at night. Apart from that it was perfect. Also camped on Botany field trips at uni, no misadventures.

  4. For the kids in the car - a laptop with dvd's as a treat. I spy games. Treat bags. books on cd (hairy Mclary, thomas) Magnets with a baking tray, stored in zip lock bags. Books. those crayola colouring systems (no-ink ones) Emergency bag - first aid, wipes, towel, wet facewashers, toothpaste, tooth brush... just in case someone isn't feeling well - first thing I pack.....

    Plus a good sense of humour, good music for yourselves.

    I love camping, all the best with it. think positive!