After buying our tent at the Caravan and Camping Show (a Coleman Northstar), we decided to test it out over a long weekend in Kiama, which is a couple of hours south of Sydney. It actually took us a little longer to drive down than we were hoping, which resulted in us having to put up our brand new tent for the first time just before sunset! They say it’s “easy up”, however the main part of the tent might be, but you’ll then spend about 30 minutes pegging out the separate cover which goes over the top! But we were feeling quite proud of our set up, as we used the camp ground’s bbq’s for our dinner and then tucked ourselves into our new beds.
Then it got windy. I should mention that our campsite, Big 4 Easts Beach, is right on the beach. So there was little respite from the wind. I managed to sleep fitfully with the aid of ear plugs to drown out the sound of the wind. But I must have fallen into quite a deep sleep when Susan woke me up at about 5am, saying that part of the tent had collapsed! There wasn’t much we could do, except for peg out a couple of guy ropes to support the structure, and take another look once the sun had risen.
Thankfully no damage had been done. We worked out what we’d done wrong in our haste to put up the tent before it got dark, and then put in double the pegs to make sure it definitely didn’t go anywhere over the next 24 hours! The tent was so much more sturdy after that, and we were feeling a lot happier about its stability.
We had a great time exploring the coastline around Kiama on Saturday, including the blowhole, lighthouse and Cathedral Rocks, and then to Easts Beach for a sunset photo shoot. On Sunday we packed up camp (just making the 10am checkout time!) and then headed to Bombo beach. We really loved this beach and had a great time with our cameras there.
I had seen some pictures of the Sea Cliff Bridge and was keen to take a look on our way home. It was a bit of a detour off the main motorway back to Sydney, but promised to be worth the detour. And it really was! We drove over it and then managed to find parking so we could go for a walk. The coastline here is so dramatic and the bridge winding its way around it and over the sea makes it even more so.
All in all it was a successful weekend camping, with quite a few lessons learnt!
Our second trip was just last weekend and wasn’t so far from home! We were keen to shoot sunset and sunrise in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and had previously seen a Big 4 at Narabeen (called Lakeside), which is about a 40 minute drive from home. Being close it allowed us to be fairly spontaneous with when we went, so we chose a weekend that was looking fine weather-wise and make the decision a few days before. We arrived early afternoon and did a thorough job of putting up the tent, as we were still learning how to!
We wandered down to Turrimetta beach for sunset with our cameras and had a lovely couple of hours there. The sky was clear and the sunset colours were subtle but pretty. The beach was actually quite busy, including a group of three people playing bagpipes! They were actually quite good and seemed to be rehearsing. It made for quite a surreal experience, though!
Saturday night was oh so cold and we were up early so we could shoot sunrise. The Big 4 at Lakeside has some great facilities, including instant hot water, so we could quickly prepare ourselves some coffee to take with us! We headed around to the rockpool at Narabeen Head, where the rising sun was already lighting up the sky. There was a beautiful orange glow on the horizon, which unfortunately didn’t last for long. The rockpools make for a really interesting subject and we spent a couple of hours there, dodging other photographers and a few crazy swimmers!
After packing up camp we stopped at a nearby cafe and treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast. We were home by lunchtime!
During this second trip we started work on a packing list for our camping trips. It’s so easy to forget little things! It has also helped us to work out what we still need to buy. I’m going to put this list into a format I can share, which I’ll do in a future post.