Until now our camping adventurous in Australia have been on campsites with facilities. Time to roughen it up and get ready for the real stuff: bush camping!
I have been looking forward to this since we moved here. Oliver however did not share my enthusiasm, he was a bit skeptical.
We decided very last minute where to travel to. I had woken up early and had been surfing the web looking for a place where we could go to and came to the Grampians. There was no fire danger in the area and we had already camped there. Last time we stayed in Halls Gap, where we went glamping, so now it was time for the camping.
So when Oliver woke up I immediately bombed him with my findings. That we could stay at a campsite in the middle of the Grampians and that there even was a toilet. His first thoughts were practical ones: “No drinking water, so no shower, no electricity, so no light. We need to take more water and more light.” “Yes, I think we can fix that”, was my reply.
On the parksboad website we could see that no one else had booked a site yet, which was not a reassuring thought for Oliver. “Bush camping, no facilities, no one else there. And you want to go there? With the kids?” “Yes! And they have a drop toilet, a fire pit and a pick nick table…” After a big sigh from his side an unconvinced “ok” came out. So I booked and off we went.
By the time we were packed and half way on the way I came to realize. Oh yeah, we are in Australia. There are some animals that we are not accustomed to. Distances are big here. And there are bush fires every now and then. The closest small town that we passed was at least an hours drive. Nothing closer on the other side either. It did all got a bit more adventurous than we planned, we ended up calling 000 (USA 911, EU 112).
We kept ourselves busy with the kangaroos, emus and especially the kookaburra’s. And also went hiking, collecting firewood, roasting marshmallows and visiting an Aboriginal cultural site.
At the end we were all happy campers. Even Oliver was convinced.
Why do I like this basic camping so much?
Realizing that you do not need all the material stuff that we have around us all the time. There is nothing there, no entertainment, no facilities. I guess my children gave me the answer. They had a blast! Started looking at the smaller things, suddenly being a lot more creative with the few things that we did have, the animals. Kai’s interaction with a Kookabura. We did not hear a single complaint.
Then afterwards when we got back into civilization, they have never been so appreciative of the fresh bread that we bought. The running water that came out of the tap at the gas station, soap to wash your hands with right next to it, feeling clean(ish).
I am sure that arriving on the next campsite, being chased by flies probably had nothing to do with the lack of showering, would it? And with all the facilities and activities there in no time the children were bored again. Not knowing what to do.
What would make bush camping even better for me? Owning a dutch oven with a tripod, so we can cook on the campfire. Making our own bread, stew, scones…..