One of the advantages of travelling on your own doorstep is having all the conveniences of home at your fingertips. Picnics are much easier when you have access to table wear, your picnic rug, access to your own kitchen and/or know where to go to get all the best picnic food locally. Picnics are also a hell of a lot easier when you have your own car to carry your load of picnic gear to your chosen destination!
It’s no secret that our family loves to go camping. This time though, we headed further afield, six and a half hours north to Arrawarra, just north of Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast. Although we love bush camping, with two small children the lure of on-site amenities, pool with a waterside and a giant jumping pillow was still attractive so after a little research we found the perfect location for our five day camping adventure.
We brought new meaning to ‘campfire’ on our first family camping trip in Harrington in NSW’s Manning Valley in October 2013. A few days before we were to set off we were alerted that the Big4 Holiday Park we were booked to stay in was evacuated due to an out-of-control bushfire in Crowdy Bay National Park!
After much deliberation and calls to the Rural Fire Service and Big4 staff, we decided to press on with the camping trip… but when we arrived we were greeted by the whir of helicopters water-bombing fires still raging in the National Park and as the sun set we could almost read by the glow from the fire! Continue reading ‘Campfire’ in Harrington→
The end of May was my Mum’s 60th birthday. She, like most mums, is always going out of her way to support her friends and extended family so this year was our opportunity to do something special for her.
For the last few years mum has celebrated her birthday by spending a weekend away at the Blues on Broadbeach music festival on the Gold Coast. Mum’s original request was that the whole family join her and her friends for the weekend but, mum being mum, she didn’t want my brother and I to go to the expense of travelling to the Gold Coast with our respective families. So… My brother and I decided to surprise her and left partners with the kids back at home in Sydney.
The stages are dotted around the outdoor malls in Broadbeach and music runs from 10am, throughout the day and into the night so there is always something to see. I was, however, one of the few festival goers with no grey hair (I guess I was there to celebrate a 60th birthday!) but it was fantastic to see so ‘mature’ people able to enjoy the festival without a heap of young people overwhelming them in the crowd.
The weather was amazing so we chose to mix roaming the festival stages with walks along the beautiful Broadbeach, browsing the beachside markets and fish & chips on the balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
On our final night we dined at Mecca Bah. This was the second time I’ve dined here and it did not disappoint. I love Moroccan food & the banquet was delicious!
Although it was only a long weekend, it felt like much longer. It was such a great time with family and with cheap flights to the Gold Coast, shared accommodation, free music festival, markets and the beach it was still a very economical weekend away and a great way to celebrate my Mum’s 60th birthday
Complete with 5 days tix to Bluesfest we headed out to day 1 with the kids. Traffic congestion due to the Pacific Highway upgrade aside, we arrived at the festival site super excited to introduce the kids to some Blues.
The girls loved the festival atmosphere and were keen to explore the many stalls and stages. It wasn’t too long before they found other kids to dance with and enjoy the music.
Lennox Head holds a special place in my memory bank. For many years our family holidayed at Lennox Head Caravan Park- we had a permanent caravan there & I spent many summers among the pandanas trees and flitting between the beach and then washing off the salt in the Tea Tree lake.
In later years we lived in Lennox Head and I remember unsupervised weekend parties at our unit in the township & late night walks along the beach, fires in the wood bbqs at the Lake & sing-a-longs.
Since having kids of my own it has been really special to start building new family memories of Lennox Head. Walks along the beach for a swim at the boat channel, ice-creams at In the Pink, sand castles in front of the surf club but always washing off in the gorgeous Lake Ainsworth. It might have something to do with the grandparents being on hand, or maybe the general vibe of NSWs far north coast, but I always feel immediately relaxed when I arrive for a holiday.