It was the last weekend of spring break; everyone had time off work for Labor Day, and the weather was up to 35 degrees all weekend. These were the perfect ingredients for a 4-day long getaway. My family and I decided to hit the road and do a 3-hour drive north of Sydney to Sandbar Caravan Park.
When my sister said “we’re going camping”, the thought that came to my mind was the camping that I’m used to – canned goods, no shower for 4 days, getting water from a water source and filter it and freezing nights. Boy, was I in for a surprise! They definitely know how to “camp” here. They definitely took camping to a different level. The type of camping I’m used to is comparable to a 1 star hotel accommodation where this was 5 star. There was a power source, a shower/toilet area; there was a tap to get water from, and also parking. You basically just have to pay for the area where you’ll set your camp.
We were a group of 18 people –9 adults, 5 teenagers and 4 kids. It’s amazing how such a big group can all cooperate into doing something unanimously. The children can play ball beside the campsite while the adults can unwind and enjoy a bottle of wine while the teenagers enjoy a game of jenga. This is a perfect place to bond with the family as it offers so many activities for all ages.
Here are some of the activities you can do for a fun filled weekend with the entire family.
First thing we did was to set up our accommodation for the next three nights. Planning where to set up the “rooms” a.k.a our tents, the “kitchen” and the socials area was challenging but we managed to figure it all out. We set up 4 huge tents and 2 gazebos. It was a full on campsite! My sister even brought the coffee machine! All we needed was a lounge area and it would be like being inside a real house. You can see how well I prepared my room for the entire stay. – It was very comfortable.
Walking along Smith’s Lake
After setting up our camp, we walked about 300 meters from the site to the lake. It was very shallow in the afternoon that you can walk right in the middle of it and still have your ankles dry. The kids enjoyed collecting tiny shells and big snails. Some even wanted to keep it as a pet.
Sandbar and Cellito Beach
The very next day, we walked along the lake towards the beach. It was only a 10-minute walk to the sandbar. It was very beautiful! The sandbar is quite huge that it separates the beach and the lake. We stayed at the lakeside so the kids can enjoy the water without the danger of the huge waves. It was simply amazing! You can bring your 4-wheel drive and enjoy a BBQ right beside the blue water (just make sure to put the wheels down to avoid being stuck in the sand). The kids enjoyed playing with the sand making sand castles and Olaf. They were jumping in and out of the water with the boogie boards. I, on the other hand, was avoiding the water as it was just utterly freezing. I ended up in the water anyway because the boys carried me and dropped me in.
After we had our fill of the sun and a few shades darker, we all went back to the campsite and prepared lunch. I was in charge for lunch this time so I thought of making hamburgers for everyone. It’s the first time I’ve ever made burger patties from scratch and it turned out really delicious! I patted myself on the back for a successful meal and I’m glad everyone enjoyed my burgers. I swear, this 4 day weekend was all about eating and drinking! We had full on meals every breakfast lunch and dinner and even have snacks in between. Everyone prepared a delightful meal!
Charades and Smores
You’re not allowed to do a bonfire by the campsite. There are just designated areas where you can do it. So one night, we prepared those marshmallows, the chocolate and the biscuits for a night of smores. The kids just loved eating them. (Okay, okay…maybe I had a few smores for myself as well!). Charades is a must-play game when you’re in a big group. The whole family just enjoyed taking turns acting and guessing the movies. It was quite a laugh for everyone especially when it was my sister’s turn. She thinks of the silliest things.
Smith’s Lake Kayaking
Another activity you can do with everyone is Kayaking. We drove 5 minutes from the camp and rented kayaks for everyone. We kayaked for an hour and a half. It was very funny though because it the middle of the lake, it becomes really shallow so we ended up just dragging the kayaks. We probably spent more time dragging our kayak that actually riding them. But it was still quite fun.
Just about 20 minutes drive from Sandbar is a beach called Seal’s Rock. You can also drive to the beach and stay there the entire afternoon. We did a little detour here before heading back to the city and enjoyed a cup of cappuccino while taking in the view. It was very picturesque. Next time we camp, we’ll definitely do it here! I don’t know how true but the boy claimed they saw a whale at the far end of the ocean so make sure to bring binoculars just in case.
October 2-5, 2015