Bribie Island - December 13-21, 2015

The end of the school year seemed to take a long, long time to come. It felt like a well earned holiday was due - luckily we had 8 nights booked at the Bribie Island Caravan Park (Woorim side). We felt quite lucky, as we had made the booking with only a couple of weeks before the school holidays kicking off - Christmas holidays at that. Anyhow, our dates booked were the 13/12/15 to 21/12/15. Prices were very reasonable - something around the $45 per night for the 4 of us.
It felt like quite a mad dash to get everything ready for our holiday. The Hayman Reece hitch was on the wrong setting (infact, it was on the wrong drop bar) due our last holiday, it was raining cats & dogs on the Saturday morning (day before departure) and the freezer door wouldn't seal (springs snapped the housing). However, we're pretty used to doing things the difficult way - so we agreed that we'd take our time, not leave too early and get to Bribie just after lunch the following day.
With a new day, came new enthusiasm, we were all pretty excited to be going away for a break. Firstly, to get the van out is a bit of a 'Castle moment' - we need to reverse the Challenger, hitch the boat to the Rodeo, drive it out, ratchet the van up past the front gutter, reverse the Challenger back and hitch the van, drive the van out and park on the side of the road, reverse the boat and Rodeo past the gates, and voila - the van is ready to go!
We had an uneventful trip down - everything went well. Yes. Good start. We checked in - we had pre-booked site 8, however upon arrival we had been placed on a different site - it wasn't as good. With a little convincing we were moved to another alternative site, site 3 (from memory) - a BIG site, easy to back into, opposite the toilets, away from thorough-fair traffic and right near the pool too. Winner. Within about 30 mins to an hour we were all set-up and enjoying lunch.
In the afternoon, we managed to find a local caravan repairer who had the parts we needed to fix our freezer. We required two small plastic lugs and two springs ($20 per piece), yep that's right, $80 for four tiny pieces that you'd scrounge at for $5 at Bunnings, but what choice did we have. Twenty minutes later we had a fully functioning freezer again.

The rest of the first day was spent on the calm side, walking along the footpath near the beach and checking out where the local supermarkets are etc. Apparently, quite important! Shell got quite excited that there is an Aldi!
Day two, Monday, Shell's mum came to visit for lunch and they tried the cafe near Woorim Beach - great chips, so I heard. After lunch, we aired down the tyres and cruised up the island via the beach. Windows are down and the feeling of freedom comes over you. We checked out the inland lakes/creeks that are of tannin colour and thought they'd be a good spot for a swim/day-spot when the winds are up. We continued up the beach, past the camp grounds (about 15km), and to the old World War 2 barracks. We hopped out and observed from the safety distance. You can only stop and imagine what life would've been like, both building these heavy buildings, and also whilst being involved in their operations.






The following day saw more great weather and the tides right for a body board at the beach, less than 200m from our caravan site. The waves were a fun size for the kids and with a gentle push they were surfing them all the way to the shoreline - even the 'great white polar bear' caught a couple.

After lunch we cruised up the beach again, stopping for a swim in the first inland lake/creek. Loz and Cal had no worries about the browny-reddy colour, and were stoked just to be getting a swim in. It's a very nice, relaxing place to sit back and enjoy. Super calm, well protected from the winds, no current, nice firm sand and great serenity.
After the beach, we always go for a dip in the pool - this trip was no different! The next few days were pretty much spent the same - go to the surf for a swim/body board, drive along the beach, swim in the lakes (SUP as well) or play in the waves. It was a really relaxing week - no hustle and bustle. I'd say the most pressure we felt was whilst working out our strategies in UNO.

Callum bought a set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle UNO cards from Aldi whilst getting some groceries, and quickly learned enough rules to play rather independently. Championships of first to 500 points saw the winner (Dad) getting a BIG Freddo Frog - to the kids' surprise I let them share it as their sportsmanship was fantastic.











Nearing the end of our 8 nights, we had family Christmas days on the Saturday and Sunday. Saturday saw us head back up the beach early for a SUP and play in the inland lakes, meeting up with Carl, Nikki and their daughter, Mackenzie. They had a quick paddle and kept making tracks further up the island. We spent a good couple of hours relaxing - even though there was probably 50-70 4wds and set-ups around the lake. We packed up and made it back to the caravan for Chris (Grandma), Belinda and William's visit. It was fantastic to see how much bigger William had grown and the cheeky smile he now had. He was crawling around the floor from one stimulus to the next. Loz and Cal kept him amused for ages, as did William to them! Presents were swapped and I made way for a quick fish.
I thought I'd try the calm waters, and ended up at White Patches. The local Woolworths sold bait - grabbed some pillies - hoping for a flathead. The tide looked good - out-going. Found a nice little spot and placed the rod holders (50mm PVC pipe) in and rigged up a flatty rod and whiting rod (plastic worms). Well, after about an hour or so, the only bites were on my legs from the sand-flies. They became a little overbearing, so it was time to head back.
Sunday saw my mum (Nanny), Amber and Zac arrive for family Christmas gathering. We made a little set-up at White Patches near a playground. I casted my rod again, hoping for that flatty. The SUP came off and in the shallows you could see stingrays, small fish and a turtle. Also, a heap of black swans feeding on sea grass. Everyone had a go on the SUP, but I think Zac probably wishes he hadn't - he fell off, and with that his expensive Bolle sunglasses found a new resting ground on the bottom of the ocean floor. A quick trade of presents back at the caravan and off for lunch at the cafe near Woorim ended an enjoyable, yet hot day. Oh, but just before we left White Patches, I had managed to smear sunscreen in my eye. Unbelievable. No matter how much you don't want to rub it, you do - non-stop. Making it worse. That lasted through lunch. By the afternoon, eye was perfect - funny that!
We began packing up the outside of the van, ready for a quick get-away in the morning. Packing up went smooth and we were on our way by 8am. The trip home went equally as easy. We stopped at the car wash to give the van a clean and rinse off the sand/salt from the Challenger. Back home, it was great to be back and we were unpacking by lunch. It was a terrific trip, and I know we'll definitely be back there again!