Camping experiences…

Sussex Inlet, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

Moving on from Canberra home is now getting very close and like the horse turning for the stable we are starting to speed up and this week have had a variety of camping experiences.

First was a delightful hidden gem off the main road that a passing traveller told us to visit. He said the Bowls club does fantastic meals. What more incentive do we need….It seems it is not so hidden as it is only a short drive from Sydney and a favourite with fishing folk. We managed to squeeze into the second van park we called in and it was a beauty, clean, large showers, pool, and only 5 minute walk to the above mentioned Bowls club. Yes the meals were fantastic, in fact they were such large servings that we only ordered one veg and tofu stir fry and shared it. It was delicious…

Next along the way we found a Forest Park, Killalea was overlooking Shoalhaven. This will be peaceful we thought, but needed the GPS to find our way through the myriad of new sub divisions opening up. What I hadn’t taken into consideration was it is now Saturday. Yes you guessed it, the other half of Sydney had found their way here too. That is a slight exaggeration, but luckily,there was a couple of small sites left. This is  a different camp to any other we have been in as it was filled with family groups, and they had tents the size of small houses. If not a family it was groups of surfing  types as this is a top surf area on this coast. We were the only grey nomad in camp. As evening came the fires were lit in the fire places provided and the blokes stood around with beers in hand watching the steaks cook and the smell of wood smoke and burning steaks wafted around in the evening air. All the “ankle biters” were bonding together running around getting their fill of the great Australian outdoors.We enjoyed our “happy hour” watching all the activity. We had been for an hours walk through the rainforest area to the river mouth and then on to the beach. It included  a steep climb so we were ready for our relaxing time and we slept very well once all the kids had been rounded up and put to bed…

Then came a stay in the Nan Tien Buddhist temple. An imposing place, it is the largest in Australia and is beautiful. The architecture is pure asian and walking around the gardens and the lotus pond was a very relaxing experience. We really treated our selves here as they have hotel style accommodation and the dining room serves delicious vegetarian buffet meals. It was the calm before the storm as now we faced the daunting task of driving into Sydney. Just the thought of it had me tensing up and I could feel the stress levels raising. Jack did a good job of navigating and at 3pm we pulled off into a suburb called Sutherland. Not a good time as the train had just pulled in and hundreds of school kids came pouring out and of course hundreds of parents in cars where there to pick them up. What confusion for us, we didn’t know where to go, so just kept going ahead till we spotted a parking place. Phew!!! Not tourist friendly in this city, no tourist info places, the nearest we were told was the top of the Bulli Pass… So we went to the library. She sent us to a camp ground just out side town, only problem it was for permanent people only. They said the only one in the area was 30km back south at Heathcote. It was now 5pm, rush hour. I rang and yes they had one spot left. After a couple of wrong turns and getting into the side streets we eventually found it. Oh dear it was on a narrow strip of land with the main Princes Highway on one side and the main train line to Sydney on the other. Thank goodness we had that night in the temple.

With ear plugs in we actually had a reasonable nights sleep and on reflection decided it was in a good position as the train station was just at the end of the camp ground and a row of small shops across the road had some good little restaurants and take aways.The facilities were clean and the permanent people were friendly. So we decided to stay for 3 days and visit the relatives.

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Categories: australian travel, camping australia, Camping grounds, National Parks | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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