Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Nose for it

May 17th, 2011


Half way down Australia. Two and a half continents so far. Feeling reflective. What made for a good stop? Nothing normally ever booked. Relying instead on instinct to find somewhere before the light goes. Putting a tent up in the dark fine. But finding a pitch definitely not.

Dwelling on my favourite spots. What had made them for me? Probably not what you’d expect. Cost not a defining feature. No correlation. My top four pitches ranging from free to well over twenty dollars – about sixteen pounds – for a night. Nor are these places distinguished by their facilities – washrooms, showers and the like. For this is Australia. Land of Regulation. Rare to see anything that isn’t more than acceptable.

No. It’s the intangibles. The little things. Warm welcome. That the owner or manager actually cares. Takes pride in the place. Loan of a dry towel. Always promising to return it, joking I’ve the slowest getaway vehicle in the world. Adding I’ve already got plenty of bathrobes in the panniers. Then there’s a sense of security. Trusting fellow campers won’t pilfer. And a slab of dry concrete, an empty camp kitchen and a bit of piece and quiet never goes amiss.

[Favourite four sites shown above – clockwise from top left – Sarina Palms Caravan Village (just south of Mackay) Lawrence wetlands free site ($2 for shower) between Mackay and Rockhampton about 10 km off the Bruce Highway – Cambroon Caravan and Camping Park (11 km south of Kenilworth in the Mary Valley, south of Gympie) Tourist Park & Camp (5 km outside Childers, just off the Goodwood Road)]


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