Woodgate Long Weekend May 2009

After picking up our new Austrack camper trailer straight after Tin Can Bay, we were eager to test it out. I laid some marine carpet in the trailer to help protect the flooring and also prevent items sliding around too much. Again, it was surprising how easily we filled the trailer with our gear and also the rear of the Challenger.

For this trip we had my sister, Amber, join us from Redcliffe. She'd just turned 15 and was excited to spend a couple of nights camping with us and her neice, Loz.

We left early for Woodgate on the Saturday so that we could check in at 11am. It was a pretty leisurely 1 and a half hours. The camper trailer towed really well - didn't even notice it on the back. We checked in, got our map with our site and slowly trekked around till we found it. We had booked a powered site with a slab (traditional caravan site). Our first problem solving situation was how to place the camper trailer on the site. We unhitched the trailer and I tried maneuvering it around - it's quite bloody heavy when the wheels jam a bit! Needed a bit of a hand.  We managed to get the tailgate to line up with the slab and got the drawbar right on the edge of our site border (buggers me how we got it back out of here!).

Set-up was reasonably smooth. The weather was good, so it went up quite easily. Lots of poles to fit and it was still sweaty work that required a bit of assistance at times, but it was mostly drama free. We started off with a very open set up, but soon added one end wall for the annexe to provide a bit of protection from the weather and also a little privacy. We kept the main annexe wall off, to make it more of an entertaining/outdoor area. We were pretty proud of our camping area!

Woodgate Caravan Park is right opposite the beach, has a convenient store (with fuel) on-site, a cafe, cabins, shady powered sites, as well as grassed unpowered sites. It is missing a pool, however the beach is very calm and welcoming for a dip.

That afternoon we strolled along the foreshore, taking in the surroundings. It's mostly a calm beach with gentle waves. Most of the houses along the foreshore don't have side boundaries and we saw quite a few grey kangaroos in backyards, munching their grass. A few happy snaps were taken.

Back at the campsite, Loz was happy banging pots with a wooden spoon, or exploring the site area, including my fishing rods. Amber was busy typing away on her phone. Shell was reading her book, and I got some tackle ready to try and catch some whiting from the shore. All the while, the birds were singing, the trees were rustling in the breeze and happy campers were going about their business.

On a lowish tide we headed over to the beach. While I was attempting to catch some whiting, Shell, Amber and Loz were making sandcastles. Loz was loving it - so were the grown ups. I didn't get as much as a nibble - trying the soft plastic worms. I ended up giving in to helping with the sandcastles too.

At night, the UNO championships took place. Amber was very keen to shut me up and prove that I wasn't #1, but alas my cunning strategies prevailed, taking the championship by a single point - you little beauty!

Everything we packed was useful, from the radio, the fluro to the fridge and the foldable clothes hangers. This was a step up from the tent in terms of comfortable camping.

On the morning of packing up, it rained. Not a whole lot. But enough to make the canvas wet, the dirt around the campsite wet and sticky, and enough to allow drips to keep dripping from the trees above. It made for a longer pull-down of camp, and a lot of wiping as we went. Being our first trip with the camper, and always wanting to look after my belongings, I took extra time to try and wipe off as much of the wet dirt as possible before folding the camper up.

We were finished and hitched up just before check-out time. Again, the camper trailer towed like a dream back home. Back home, the fun of unloading took place, before dropping Amber back off to the train station for her return to Redcliffe.

Now, to look forward to Airlie Beach and a real test for the Austrack in towing and providing comfort for a longer period.