Back in the saddle: Camping again after an 11 month hiatus.

We lived in a camper trailer for most of last year while we travelled around Australia. It was awesome. But when we got back, setting fire to that camper trailer ‘accidentally’ and claiming the insurance had gone from a throw away line at gatherings to a serious thought process involving the gas hob and some ill-placed tissues.

Teewah camping
Our destination, Teewah Beach, just North of Noosa. Note the extensive use of sand on the beach: soon to be in our bed.

However, after eleven months of using a toilet (which only my husband and I had used) located mere steps from our bedroom (which was larger than our entire living space last year), walls which didn’t move in a stiff breeze and the gloriousness of locking my kids in the backyard safe in the knowledge they couldn’t wander off into the streets… well that camper trailer wasn’t looking like the filthy nomadic cage it once had.

 Thus last weekend we ripped off our misgivings of weather, revved up  4WDs and inevitable sand in our bed like a big plaster bandaid from our hairiest parts and got the camper ready for a weekend away. I was still recovering from the binge-fest masquerading as a Girls’ Trip to Melbourne, and then had to play Mrs Trophy Wife on Thursday night with a four course Thai meal for Fiela’s workmate + family. So my ability to over think and worry about this looming camp trip was stifled through sourcing exotic ingredients and sheer bloody exhaustion.

But come Friday I shopped for the food, packed the clothes and essential items (such as beer and chips and a screen loaded with Homeland episodes) whilst my beloved sorted out the camper trailer and his toys, God forbid we travel anywhere without a surfboard and at least three fishing rods, we picked up the kids from school and set off.

Luckily for us and the kids, getting to our campsite somewhere on Teewah Beach, is quick: our children were exploding with excitement! Even the threat of ‘you’ll get out and walk if you don’t settle down’ had little to no effect (Parenting 101- wild threats make parents feel better.). 30 minutes after leaving home my husband was negotiating the thick sandy track (cue white knuckles from me) and we were cruising up the beach looking for a spot.  There’s 15 kilometres of beach to choose from, and after many pointed “There’s one!!??” Fiela finally found a spot amongst the dunes and beach casuarinas he found to be acceptable and by this time, the rest of us just wanted to get out.

Ebook Blog post


So we backed in (without incident or swear words) and set up. I was expecting this to be about as painful as labour but truly, it was like getting back on a bike. A much lighter bike with about a quarter of the crap in it and children who were happy to explore the sand and trees without being complete pains in the arse. Last year we put this thing up and down 120 times, so to say we were well versed in who does what and when in its assembly from trailer to living space is an understatement. 45 minutes later, our camper was completely set up and we were on the dune having a beer, watching the 4WDs go by and the sky turn to its pinky mauves.

Teewah 2
Set up. Doesn’t look like a hoarder’s nest unlike last year. WTF??????? Still: What. Just. Happened?

Where was the swearing? The back breaking carrying of crap out of the camper? The endless “Mama, Mama, Papa, Papa’s”? The thinly veiled accusations of shirked duties? Of clothes with grease and dirt? The frantic preparation of something for the kids to eat?

Tantrum Clare
Repetitive scene from last year whilst in Clare, SA. Children tantrumming and crying all over the place during set up.

Nowhere. That’s where.

We sat on the beach, swam in beautiful clear water, ate fresh whiting, talked, played with the kids, made a fire and stared at it… and generally had an idyllic couple of days

Yes there was sand. Yes there was dirt. Tantrums. Wind. Early, bloody early, mornings: WTF kids??? And not one waiter or marbled bathroom to be seen. There was even the emptying of a chemical toilet (which is HILARIOUS for everyone except the person doing the emptying. Soz Fiela). But it was great.

We even packed down in 90 minutes (unheard of last year) and had the camper completely cleaned and away back at home in a few hours: the only signs of a camping trip were the nine loads of washing to be done and a darkening of skin spent in the sun all weekend.

We have officially broken the seal off our fusty camping mojo and are ready for more.

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