As soon as kinder and work was done we packed up our gear and headed off to meet our Queensland friends for a camping Christmas and we had a great time!
Our destination was at Hat Head, on the mid north coast of NSW. It took us two days of driving to get there but it was worth it. Hat Head is surrounded by lush green flood plains that grow delicious sweet corn, gentle dairy cows with huge bellies and giant Morton Bat Fig trees. Closer to the coast it becomes a national park that it almost rainforest, with lots of creeks running into the sea, and huge expanses of beach as well as the odd rocky cove where the only way to get to the tiny sheltered beaches is to walk in and out.
The caravan park / camping ground we stayed at is right where a large creek runs into the sea at the far end of a huge beach. This is the foot bridge across the creek, looking out towards the sea. The tiny bit of bright blue you can see among the trees at the end of the bridge… that is us!
We spent most of the time swimming, boogie boarding, snorkelling, paddling, walking, taking little trips around the area and trying to keep all the small children safely contained and fed. I can’t say that taking three small children camping was the easiest of holiday plans. When the children out number the adults things like swimming at the beach or cooking on a gas stove or simply not loosing the wandering child can be difficult, not to mention trying to juggle children to allow each of us time to do the cool adult kind of things like snorkelling and surfing, but it is well worth the effort. Just spending time with friends, away from the usual stresses of home was lovely.
The weather was variable… we had rain, a HUGE thunder storm in the middle of the night, wind and lots of lovely sunshine. It never got very cold nor overwhelmingly hot and we survived in our new super huge tent with only a couple of minor problems.
Christmas was a lovely relaxed affair.
The girls had decided that Santa would send down his angels to deliver their presents because Zoe doesn’t like Santa. So Christmas Eve, after a wander around the camp grounds checking out all the Christmas lights (can’t believe how many people go all out and decorate their caravans and tents!) we helped the girls write a note to Santa, the angels and Rudolf. They decided to leave Santa a can of drink, Rudolf some broccoli and the angels some lollies. Us adults had good fun writing a letter in reply and consuming the offerings. Poor Wrinkle Carl (the girls mispronounced ‘uncle’ when they were little so now he is stuck with being called ‘wrinkle’ lucky he is a very good natured fellow) got the short straw of eating the broccoli, but then he is vegetarian so it seemed fitting. Aunty Tracey got to eat the lollies and begin a new Christmas tradition of the Big Fat Christmas Angel which I have a feeling will continue for years to come!
The girls woke up at the crack of dawn… literally…. but that is what they’d been doing every day so we were somewhat used to it. It took them a while to notice the presents left at the foots of their beds but they were suitably impressed with the small amount of loot that they got, as was Muski. We exchanged presents with our friend’s little boy and had a pancake breakfast.
Christmas lunch was salad, prawns and calamari – quite a feat of cooking genius on behalf of Tracey and myself considering the lack of supplies and suitable cooking heat. After eating, and an afternoon nap for the small boys we went to the beach… because that is exactly what you should do on Christmas day.
It really is a gorgeous spot with lots of things to see and do. We are already planning to go back there as well as planning some other trips with our Queensland friends. Dreaming of camper tailors and all kinds of fun camping goodies too…. you need to dream when you get back to dreary wet weather and piles of washing… it’s what keeps me sane.