Heading away camping for our birthdays has quickly become a bit of a tradition, and this weekend it was time to celebrate Laurence’s birthday, at Swansea Lakeside Caravan Park. A quick weekend getaway that’s only 40 minutes from home, oh yeah how awesome is that !There really isn’t anything too much better than when we get to get away in the van for the weekend.
We’d never been to the park before, and boy is it big! The park is located on Lake Macquarie and you can walk to the lake from your campsite. It’s also a reasonable walk, or a quick ride/drive to the town centre if you needs supplies etc. The park has some of the best facilities that we’ve come across. Lots of little covered BBQ areas, an indoor camp kitchen with undercover seating, a putt putt golf course, tennis course, large pool, kids playground and even three RV dump points LOL.
We made a quick Friday afternoon getaway from work and with only a 40 minute drive we setup with a cold one in had before we knew it.
We had a lovely dinner and cake to celebrate the birthday boy getting older, and even got a little bit of a lightning show to finish the night off.
We started the morning off with a swim before a hearty cooked breaky.
By this time it was quite warm and time to head for the lake for a swim. You can tell i was quite relaxed and chilled out as i was filming but pretty much forgot to take any photos!
The afternoon included a game of putt putt golf with the kids and a sunset fly with the drone , where i found ‘sports’ mode! Lets just say this Maverick needs a few more lessons LOL
After our droning we talk a drive and wander around the point before heading back for a feed of chicken wings.
I think its safe to say that we will be back … here’s a quick video of our weekend …..
Part of the appeal of going to National Parks is for the most part the beauty and scenery you’re likely to experience. For us we also like the peace and tranquility, also read remoteness. This makes National Parks great for taking a break from the “Technology” that we are so reliant upon. The downside of this remoteness can sometimes means that you have no mobile coverage, which means no access to the web. Of course when you don’t have access to the web/data, finding that information we are now so used to being able to find in an instance with the simple tap of our fingers is no longer an option.
That’s where the ‘new’ NSW National Parks mobile app comes in. I say ‘new’ because it has been around for sometime, but it seems not many people are aware of it. I have noticed more recently NSW Parks have been running a few more posts/ads about it, which is fabulous, because it’s such a shame so many don’t know about it and aren’t using it. There have been some really great updates to it that make it really user friendly and definitely one of our go-to apps and one that we recommend to friends and family.
It’s really these referrals to friends and family that got me tapping away to write this piece. After tapping away many different versions in text messages, messenger and email i finally decided to write it all down in one spot that i can refer people too, and also update into the future where i need too – and obviously save myself some time when people ask what apps do we use!
The App Store
I only have the Android version, so hopefully the Apple Store version doesn’t look too different. This is what you are looking for in the app stores. It’s also free to download which is brilliant.
The app has information on over 225 national parks and hundreds of things to see, do and places to stay, so it really is the ultimate NSW parks guide for your phone.
Offline (Download) Feature
The app has a lot of features but the one feature we love is the ability to download information before we head off, or whilst we are on the road (where we have service).
Download a park/s before you head off on your adventure and all the information you need for navigation is stored on your phone allowing you to view information and maps without internet access. You can also use the map to locate parks, trails, things to do and places to stay.
In this instance we’ve searched for Warrumbungle National Park, and you can see the “Download this Park” link – tap the link and you’ll get a confirmation screen letting you know how big the file is (this one is 7MB) and a “Download” button. Tap again and the info will download in the background and then be available for whenever you need it on the “Download” tab at the bottom of the app.
Marking your Favourites
Our second favourite feature is the “Favourite” feature. As we come across different parks, either from friends, blogs, instagram etc, I’ll mark them as a favourite so when we are looking at planning a trip we can see if there are favourites in the location/s we are heading. You can even mark activities etc as a favourite if you don’t want to mark the entire park.
You can see the love heart in the picture above in the top right hand corner, give it a tap and it will then appear down the bottom in the Favourites tab.
Explore activities and attractions in a park
Plan ahead using information about distances, accessibility and facilities.
Locate campgrounds, caravan sites, cabins, homesteads and cottages in national parks.
Book national park accommodation (internet access required).
Use your location to find the national parks closest to you
Find parks all over NSW using the map or the search tool
As you can see from these snap shots the app contains an immense amount of information, and multiple ways to search and locate information as well mark it for a later time, or download for offline use.
So if you like getting out into our National Parks i highly recommend downloading this app.
After a great weekend away in the city over the long weekend, we were keen for another getaway, and Camp on Allyn is the perfect location for us. Its about an hour away from home (depending on traffic) so that makes it possible to getaway after work on Friday night without arriving at our destination at midnight!
We opted for the quick awning as we were only staying two nights and (hopefully) no rain forecast.
So it wasn’t too long before we were standing around this talking trash.
It was a bit of a chilly night and morning so we all had a lovely Saturday morning sleep in before an awesome cook up for breakfast.
Paper Plan Competition
In order to keep the kids occupied we had a paper plane throwing competition, after a somewhat challenging build segment – these things were high tech paper planes let me tell you !
Exploring the River
The kids had been out exploring the river and took us all on a river trip – the river height was heaps higher than our last visit, i was quite surprised how high it actually was.
Watching the kids (and Laurence) try to get those air filled lounges filled was pretty amusing.
I put the drone up again, the view of the camp is pretty cool, next visit i’m going to follow the river.
After a very lazy afternoon, the girls decided to take a walk to the top gate and back before settling down for the night with a yummy roast dinner and fire. The farm is stunning and the walk was just what we needed. The farm is just beautiful