With the weather heating up, many families are beginning to plan their great Summer holiday, and increasingly this includes a week spent in a tent. There's something magical about a night spent under the stars, huddled around a campfire. The kids forming a gang of new best friends and parents spending a few peaceful days away from technology.
Here's our ultimate guide to taking the family on the great family camping adventure these Christmas holidays!
Whether you are travelling with kids or without, make sure you know exactly what facilities the site has when you're packing up the car. For example, if there's no BBQ, make sure you're bringing something too cook on!
Make a list of items you need and check it twice. So often it's the little things like sunscreen and insect repellent that gets forgotten and can ruin the whole experience.
Pre-prepare simple food for the first night. The likelihood is that you will spend the day travelling, getting to know the area and getting set up. You don't want to be rushing to get food ready or keeping the children waiting for food. 'Hangry' kids definitely don't make for fun car trips.
Think about how the children are going to be entertained all day. You won't be spending time watching TV and kids are great at finding entertainment. Activities like arts and crafts; painting, collecting items around them to stick together, making lanterns etc. are always popular. Especially as being outdoors mess doesn't matter! The more entertained the kids are, the more relaxed time you will have.
If they are big enough, involve them in set up. It makes them feel really included and important to the holiday if they can help with pegs or putting up their chair.
Taking your little ones camping for the first time? Give them plenty of time inside the tent during the day to get used to it. You don't want the first time they go in the tent to be to go to bed. They will either be too excited by the new surrounds or too scared to get straight to sleep.
Include some of your routines from home. If you read a story before bed, make sure you do the same thing while camping. It's a great novelty sitting inside the tent with a flashlight reading a bed time story.
Relax! It's a holiday and it's outside. Things may go wrong, the kids may not have a bath every day and they may consume more marshmallows than you would allow in a month at home, but you will make memories that the family will treasure forever.
Where to go:
In New South Wales our recommendations for camping with families include Upper Colo, Glenworth Valley, Coolendel, Myall Lakes or if you don't want to venture too far from The Basin near Sydney's Palm Beach is always a beautiful spot.
If you're looking to camp in Victoria, you can't go wrong with Nagambie Lakes Caravan Park – it has it all the facilities you'd need plus a stunning lake. Maidens Inn Caravan Park in Moama is another gem located on the mighty Murray River so perfect for boating activities and close by the Echuca paddle steamer!
In our countries west Moore River Guilderton, just 90 kilometres north of Perth and Busselton, around 2 hours south of Perth are both family friendly camping havens. And in Queensland you can't go past famous Fraser Island for a return to nature and a relaxing camping escape.