Is road tripping around Australia with a 1 and 2 year old as bad as it sounds????
The answer is yes!!
But it’s currently 4 degrees in Melbourne and trying to do anything with 2 toddlers is a nightmare so I know where I would rather be!!
If you have ever been in a car with a toddler (specially one of ours) you can understand why I would rather be tied to the roof than be in the front seat of the car on travel days.
If not picture this, wiggles playing on repeat, (I could just finish there as no body over the ages of 3 wants to listen to the wiggles at all let alone on repeat for 6 hours), breaking my back turning around every 5 seconds to either, break up a fight pick up a toy thats been thrown on the floor (for the 100th time), pass them food, pass them a drink, hold hands, calm one down from screaming for no reason then calm the other down just because they both can’t be happy at the same time and I’m sure you get the picture by now!
Theses are the days I honestly think “what have we done?”!!!! So we worked out we should just stay at places longer and travel shorter distances.
The days we don’t travel, well they are great! I mean we still have a million tantrums and toddler melt downs but one I don’t have to do it alone and two I’m camping so I can just have a drink and no body is judging me.
Despite all of that, this has been the best experience for us all. The boys are learning and developing so much, Theodore who was diagnosed with a speech delay now doesn’t shut up just 6 weeks later, Vinnie is walking and talking and has gone from a baby to a cheeky toddler and although they might not remember much of this trip, the benefits outweigh all of the bad!!
Where you camp is going to depend on a couple of things. The big one is your budget and the other is your camping style.
We started off staying in big caravan parks thinking that would be great for the kids with the play grounds and jumping pillows ect. Although they did enjoy it they are a bit young to take full advantage of all the activities the big parks have to offer. Having grown up bush camping we soon realised that this style of camping wasn’t for us and hubby was getting sick of me going to bed at 7.30pm because I was freezing. So we set off to find somewhere we could have a camp fire!
With a bit of research we discovered there are many types of places to stay, from free camps in the bush and on the beach, National parks that have a small fee, recreation centres, showgrounds, farmstays, roadside stop overs and the list goes on. They all have different fees and different types of facilities available and I am sure if you ask anyone on the road they will say the best way to find these places is Wiki Camps. Wiki Camps is an app you pay around $8 for but is well worth it, it became our bible. It has a list of all the facilities, if theres swimming, fishing, if its 4WD track to get in ect it also list the prices, reviews and has photos, along with a rating all which has been updated by fellow campers. We found some great places we would have never know about if we didn’t have Wiki Camps.
I have complied a list of the places we have stay along the east coast so far with prices and a little review.
Eastern Beach Holiday Park, Lakes Entrance – $35 for a powered site. A great quiet park with good amenities. If you have kids asked for a site in the circle, the playground and jumping pillow are in the middle and you can actually watch the kids from your site while you sit back and enjoy a wine! The sites are spacious and grassy and there is a walking track to the beach from the park too. This was our first stop and a great start to our trip.
NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Park – $37 for a powered site. This park was a lot bigger and a lot of the sites seemed to be on top of each other though because it was quiet it wasn’t too bad for us. Amenities were clean but very outdated. The kids had a blast in the water park and on the jumping pillow. The view and the walk down to the beach was fantastic! It was a nice place to stay and would be great for older kids as they have activities on everyday, unfortunately our kids are just a bit too young to get involved.
Termeil Point NSW – Free campsite. This was up there with one of our favourite spots. Firstly it was free and we all love a free camp! It has designated campsites each with its own fire pit and drop toilets which were pretty good considering. The best was the location, beach one side of you and lake the other. The only down side was the sites were all dirt which was only really an issue with a crawling baby. Highly recommend this site though you may need a 4WD to get there.
NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park, Umina – $33 for a powered site. Going up the coast meant having to stay near Sydney. So we decided to make the most of it and get the suspension done on the car. Unfortunately this was the least favourite of our caravan parks stays. The park was huge which meant everything was spread out and not in the best layout. The sites are also small and very on top of each other.
Hat Head National Park – $20 pn for our family of 4. This has been voted our favourite spot to stay. I will write a separate blog on our stay here as there is so much to tell you. To summarise flat grassy sites, fire pits, drop toilets, great beach and the most amazing sand dunes I have ever seen. Along with lots of beautiful sites to see in nearby towns. Oh and I forgot to mention Theodore’s favourite part (apart from the beaches) the kangaroos and other wildlife that would visit every morning.
Belongil Fields Caravan Park, Byron Bay – $120 for a budget cabin. We were very lucky to have been invited to a wedding that fit in with our travels. However the area had received a lot of rain and the place we wanted to stay was very muddy so we thought we would stay in a cabin, as it was still raining and would make it a lot easier to get ready for the wedding with the kids. Now my Mother always told me if I don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. So I will leave it there!
Coleyvile Lodge Farm stay, Coleyvile – $15 per night. This is were we discovered the joy of a farm stay. Michael the owner is amazing, he has a great set up with immaculate amenities, fire pits with firewood supplied and the kids got to feed the animals. They don’t have power but thats not an issue for us.
Point Glorious Farm Stay, Eewah Vale – $30 per night. This stay was unfortunately one of our least favourite stays and was overpriced for what we got. They do have amenities and a fire pit though we had to pay extra for firewood and the site wasn’t level at all. It does have lovely scenery.
Boyne Valley Discovery Centre, Boyne Valley – $10 per night. Now this was the best value for money. They have great amenities, a full camp kitchen, fire pits with fire wood, water and for a $5 flat fee you can have power and $5 you can have access to their laundry. Its also a beautiful flat grassy site with morning wildlife visits. Along with lots to see in the area too.m
Riverside RV Camping, Ilbilbie – $10 per night. This is another farm stay which we just did a quick one night stop over at. The owner is lovely and the sites are on a nice creek that we enjoyed a swim in. Doesn’t have any facilities but again that’s not an issue for us. Would love to go back and spend some more time there.
Burkedin Cane Farm, Airville – $10 per night or $12.50 with power. Now I know I said Hat Head was our favourite but this was pretty much on par and really it’s hard to compare because they are so different. This farm has the loveliest host Greg, who is a weath of knowledge and so genorious with his time and fresh produce. Greg offers tours of his farm and even takes guest to a sugar cane burning. He also has a fire pit with fire wood and BBQ plates. The local area is full of history and things to do and see. I have so many nice things to say about this and our other farm stays I will have to write a blog just on them otherwise this would go on for ever!
So that summarises where we’ve stayed so far on our 6 weeks on the road. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on where we will be next!! Xx