Apr 9, 2015

Camping With Kids: South West Rocks

South West Rocks SUP

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic Easter.  I spent the weekend at Nationals (update coming soon), but for now I just wanted to catch you up on our camping trip a few weekends ago.  About three weeks ago we set out on our first camping adventure with our kiddos and some extended family.  We have travelled a fair bit with our munchkins but have never actually camped with them so we were all excited to give it a try.

Unfortunately the weather forecast didn't look brilliant (rain, rain and more rain), but we stayed optimistic and decided to go anyway.  I figured, at the very least, it was going to be a challenge and I was up for it - if we could camp with the kids in the rain then every other trip after that would hopefully be easier.

The forecast was right and we did spend most of the first two days sheltering under a big communal tarp.  We somehow managed to keep 8 children under 6 years old happy and entertained - thank goodness for a few breaks in the rain here and there that we could get them out on their bikes and expend some energy.  We battled a hungry big daddy kangaroo that kept trying to break into our campsite on the first night and wasn't keen to take no for an answer, we survived strong winds and torrential downpours and we were still smiling (for the most part).

In amongst all of that, I have to say we did have an amazing time.  The sun did out come out for the last two days for us, just in time.   It was so wonderful to spend some quality time with family that live far away.  South West Rocks is an amazing spot for the kids.  We stayed at the Trial Bay Gaol campground in the Arakoon National Park.  It is ideal for families -  quiet campground & calm water.  The kids absolutely loved the beach there.  We have been there once before, you might remember I tried a SUP for the first time and ended up being involved in the dramatic rescue of a runaway beach ball ;)

If you are after a few tips for camping in the wet weather, here is a few things I found worked well:

1.  Pack lots of clothing

I usually like to pack light when we travel, but this time around I packed plenty of changes of clothing and we definitely needed them.  Puddles and mud are always huge magnets for kids.

2.  Small soaking tub

I took a small plastic tub with a lid and some nappy soaker so I could still soak any clothing that got desperately muddy or soiled.  I was very happy to have it there and saved me some hard stain-removal work when we got home.

3.  Plastic bags

You will need plenty of plastic bags for wet clothing and also to keep things dry.

4.  Car heater

If worse comes to worse and you have no clean/dry clothing left, go for a drive and turn your car heater on, strategically placing items near the vents.  This isn't the most economical option but is a great option if you're desperate.

5.  Extra kids tent

We didn't have this option but I was talking to another mum from school recently that always takes a small extra tent when she camps with the kids.  It becomes a kids retreat and kids can play in there which saves the other tents for grown ups and sleeping.

South West Rocks

South West Rocks

camping with kids

South West Rocks is also home to the historic Trial Bay Gaol which my Mr 5 was all over as he absolutely LOVES anything to do with the Police, or robbers, or jails etc.  It was a great educational experience for all the kids and adults alike..

Trial Bay Gaol

Trial Bay Gaol

Trial Bay Gaol

Trial Bay Gaol

South West Rocks Campground

Trial Bay Gaol Campground