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Laurence’s Birthday at Swansea

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.

All set up, with the quick awning option.

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.

Breakfast time with the crew

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.

mmm chicken wings

I think its safe to say that we will be back … here’s a quick video of our weekend …..

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Yarrangobilly River Campground / Village

Beautiful, stunning, peaceful. All these come to mind when we think about Yarrangobilly River Campground or Yarrangobilly Village as it’s also known.

The campground is located along the Yarrangobilly River and alongside the Snowy Mountains Highway. It’s also only a few kilometres from Yarrangobilly Caves.

Campground Facilities

Camping is available on both sides of the road.

There is a long drop toilet, which was clean and tidy (and no smell).

There are a number of firepits and picnic tables along the western campground area.

You can access the river at a number of different spots along the river but beware the river can be very fresh!!!

Please Note: There is obviously no power or hot showers here so you do need to be reasonably self sufficient or happy to “rough” it whilst you’re there.

Pictures

  • Picture of campground along a river
  • Picture of campground next to Snowy Mountains Highway
  • Picture of the Snowy Mountains Highway
  • Aerial View of Hills
  • Aerial picture of campground along a river

Video

You can find the campground on Wikicamps here – Yarrangobilly Campground.

You can find out more about this National Park using Parks NSW smart app – here’s our review NSW National Park App

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Planning your next National Park adventure with the NSW Parks mobile phone app.

A personal review of the NSW National Parks mobile app – found in both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store.

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

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.

Screens

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.

Search by Park

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.

Other Features

  • 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.

If I’ve missed anything, please let me know.

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Camp on Allyn East Gresford, NSW

Aerial view of a campground with caravans

Camp on Allyn East Gresford, is one of our favourite ‘local’ campgrounds, located about 5kms out of the little country town of East Gresford – about an hour North West of Newcastle, NSW.

About the campground

The campground is run by owners Tom and Robyn as part of their working farm.

The entrance is set back slightly off the road with enough room to pull in safely from the road and let Tom and Robyn know you’ve arrived (as per camp rules).

It is extremely well maintained. and is fenced in, with access to the river.

Sites are very generous and well spaced out across to ensure everyone is able to enjoy their time, whether it’s with a group of friends or a quiet weekend on your own.

Tom and Robyn are super friendly often dropping by around ‘beer o’clock’ to check in and have a chat if you’re up for one.

Facilities

There are flushing toilets, hot showers, and a small communal covered area.

A limited number of fire pits are available, and firewood is available through their supplier or bring your own.

Gallery

Video

I’ve thrown the Drone up a couple of times on our visits. The views are just stunning.

You can find them on Wikicamps – Camp on Allyn and Facebook – Camp on Allyn

Read about our past adventures – here and here.

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Back camping on the Allyn River for a quick weekend getaway.

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

Here’s a quick video our weekend …

Until our next adventure, thanks for stopping by.