The Best Camp Site Ever

by Dave on October 3, 2009

And Back to Sydney

"What you looking at?" - Mob of Kangeroos at Depot Beach

The problem with a trip like this is we expect (often unrealistically) that things will get better and better. So it is with camp sites.

The first night of the trip involved a stay at a classic Australian holiday camp. For a point of reference , mix two parts Coronation Street with one part Fawlty Towers. Fold in an episode of Skippy the Bush Kangeroo (in selected locations). Add a dash of Trailer Park Boys to taste (or lack thereof).

In all seriousness, Australian holiday camps are a marvel of cleanliness, good citizenship and organization. A neatly maintained mix of cabins, “amenities” blocks (including hot showers, games rooms, and laundrettes) and camps sites, the average holiday camp is an oasis of civility and trimmed lawn. Campers are careful to follow the often voluminous sets of rules and guidelines and maintain a high standard of order and decorum. What little “trailer trash” there may be is under strict scrutiny that Mr. Leahy would, no doubt, admire.

The literature that promotes these places is often comical. Annalise spotted one pamphlet that promised the swankiest of “deluxe accommodation” in its higher quality cabins, listing in detail all the amenities and extras included. And then, to drive home the point, the pamphlet than described a “fisherman’s cabin” with “two rooms, basic amenities, no bedding, two pillows, with room for six guests”. I suppose the guests will decide how to share the pillows.

Nature, however, they are not nor do they always suit the tastes of the hardy Canadian camper. No park wardens, no open fire pits, no roasted marshmallows and no midnight visits from the friendly garbage bear. So high is the foreigners’ disdain (we have it on authority of a park warden at Wilson’s Promontory) that Canadian campers scoff at the suggestion that food be stored carefully in car trunks to prevent animal visitations in the night. “Like a wombat’s gonna come into my tent and, what, cuddle me to death?”

Fortunately, we discovered to wards the end of the Wombat’s itinerary, that the Parks Service maintain more “primitive” campgrounds (their language – honestly!). They still have all the good stuff (hot showers and laundrettes), but are more rustic and are located in some phenomenal spots. Better yet, they’ve been largely empty of people (at least this week) and full of animals and birds. Often located in places where large motor homes or caravans are reluctant to travel, these gems have offered a wealth of great experiences.

The real highlight? See the pictures for the wildlife at Depot Beach where they have a resident mob of kangeroos (yes – that’s the correct term for a group of kangeroos). Just like elk on Banff Avenue! Now,  if they could just stage the occasional kangeroo attack, it would be just like home.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shirley R October 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm

David, you are just too funny!!! Seriously, I love your descriptions of your travels and am vicariously enjoying your trip. And the photos of the kangaroos are great. They may not be bears but I understand they can give some very serious kicks!

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