Monday, 14 April 2014

Mudgee Madness Ends

Our short experimental camping trip, even though fraught with last minute changes, ended up a great success. Not only did we survive, I fear we may have even enjoyed ourselves. I can't believe what I just typed...

It was time to pack up and head home. The two seasoned German campers who we disturbed greatly with our noise must have wanted to be as far away from us as quickly as possible for they were up and gone remarkably quickly. Our tent that was so easy to put up, did not fold away as quickly and as neatly expected...

We stopped by Mudgee on the way home to explore the local sights and to visit a local vineyard recommended by our trivia buddy. When we explained how we came to be there (with no mention of names by the way), the owner surprisingly guessed who the referrer might have been and gave us a discount on the recommended sparking rose! He had worked with our trivia buddy and moved to realise his wine making dreams. He then kindly let the children play with the sheep.

And there endeth our first family camping trip!

Eating the leftover carbohydrates


The winning honey deserving of a journey back to our home for consumption

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Mudgee Madness Part 2

The highlight of the day was canoeing down the Cudgegong River on a guided tour. We learnt about the local wildlife, the local history, and how the river came to be how it is today with the Kandos weir for the local cement works. Apparently, platypus can sometimes be spotted along the banks but no such luck for us today.

The beautiful scenery a stone's throw away from our tent

Birdlife a plenty

Time for breakfast!

Look! Blue sky!

Hot cross buns

Toasted over the fire...mmm

Time to explore the river on canoe

Time to stop and go for a short walk

Back on and paddling back home

Kandos Weir

Our "clothes line"

Time for a bath!

Having too much fun

A break from nature, time for boardgames!

More rock exploration

Can you guess what's for dinner? Tomatoes...

+ Eggs..

+ Mushrooms...

+ Pineapples...

should be obvious now hopefully

+ cheese and lettuce = Hamburgers!

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Mudgee Madness

We were all geared for our first family camping in the Easter School break. Our tent site was pre-booked at the beautiful Depot Beach down south and the camping equipment purchased. The weather, however, had other ideas. For days before the trip, it poured and poured and poured. Not just in Sydney, but down the entire coastline of the state of New South Wales. The forecast was for more rain mixed in with strong winds and thunderstorms. In desperation, we scoured the weather forecast for ANYWHERE with no rain predicted that wasn't booked out. The only option was inland. And so it was, that we found ourselves changing directions on the morning of departure, forfeiting our prepaid camping fees (the horror!), powered tent site, showers, flushing toilets, and heading towards the township of Mudgee for the nearby Wollemi National Park. After picking up supplies from Rylstone and 20 minutes of travel on unsealed roads, we arrived at Dunn's Swamp, our camp ground and home for the next few days.

The beautiful Wollemi National Park

Cudgegong River

Driving inland. Look! No rain!

Yep, that's where we're going

The quaint small town of Rylstone where we picked up supplies

The last stretch of sealed road

And we're here!

We had to bring our own firewood and drinking water

Non flush toilets
We were pleasantly surprised at how tranquil the site was. It was close to the river with picnic tables, non-flush toilets and firepits dispersed throughout. Despite having the capacity for 80 sites, it felt spacious and private. I was personally relieved at how clean the non-flush toilets were and the fact that it lacked that awful toilet smell. We set up our tent, had lunch and explored the area in the afternoon. There were many short walks as well as numerous rock formations that would prove to provide hours of entertainment for the children. Malcolm put his firestarting skills to good use as we cooked up a BBQ meal and roasted marshmallows in the evening. Most of all, we enjoyed our day with no rain!

The huge tent site!

Sorting out the pegs

Give me a home among the gum trees

Meredith and Jonah tasked with making lunch while the rest set up the tent and unpacked

Our 10 man tent!

Making the beds

The "living room" with the children's "bedroom" in the far end

Testing out his campbed

Look! No rain!

Let's go exploring!

Time for a bush walk

Aboriginal cave art

A wombat hole perhaps?

So many little areas for the children to explore

Time to get dinner started

Our good old fashioned billy

Supplies from Rylstone

Happy children, happy au pair

Sticks collected in preparation for marshmallows

Enjoying the beautiful sunset through the trees