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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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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.


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.



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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A weekend camping at Camp on Allyn, Gresford.

A few weeks back we caught up with some mates who had found their sanity for a short moment and crossed the border back into NSW and headed south for a few days respite and catch ups. We caught up with them at the pub, and walked to in a “are ya coming camping” conversation. Quick check of the diary and we were in. Where are we going probably should have been asked before the diary check but i trusted a few of the drinkers enough to not be overly concerned.

So a few weeks on from that conversation at the pub, we were hooked up and ready to roll out on a Friday afternoon for a few nights camping. A combination of seasoned campers and well lets say not so seasoned! But ya gotta start somewhere.

We were headed about an hour inland to the little rural village of Gresford in the Hunter Valley, to a reasonably new little campground – Campground on Allyn, so named for the Allyn River which runs along its boundary.

The Campground

The owners Robyn and Tom, have recently opened up part of their working cattle farm as a campground with 8 powered sites and about 25 unpowered sites (all very generous in size and well spaced from each other). They are wonderful people intent on ensuring everyone enjoys their time. There are a couple of showers and toilets with a few more toilets under construction.

A wet weather retreat is a welcome retreat from rain and sun and a great space for socialising – if you want too. The river is a short walk from the sites and there is a good little hole to cool off in, even with the water on the lower side. Thy provide fire pits, and have also installed a dump point and provide recycling facilities on arrival. There’s not much you’ll want for at this place (except maybe aircon in 40+ degrees 🙂  ) Bookings are required and inspections can be arranged.

Picture of toilet and shower block at a campground
Toilet and Shower block

Even though we were only there for two nights, it was expected to quite hot on Saturday, so we took the time to put the full awning up and whilst the wind wasn’t too bad when we arrived, we decided (for whatever reason) to rope and pole the entire awning. Saturday morning will prove this is to be very prudent!

Our little camp included the Van, two tents and our Leeroy, with a motorhome joining us on Saturday night. The sites are super spacious and had a couple of the powered sites to keeping everyone going.

With all the tents and vans set up we wandered down to the river to cool off our feet for a little while.

So peaceful

As we headed back to camp from the river, sunset was starting to put on a show.

  • Picture of a sunset over a campground

Just before Christmas i decided to buy myself a little drone so that we could capture some of the wonderful places we visit in a different way. I purchased the DJI Spark and I’ve got to say I’ve more trouble then joy with it, and this weekend was no different. After much stuffing about and sunset almost disappearing completely i finally manged to get it up in the air – yay!

Aerial view of a campground with caravans
Aerial View of the camp at sunset

Clear skies were all i needed to set up the camera and try for another star trail.

Camp on Allyn Star Trail – 1hr 20 mins of star trail beauty

The wind arrived

Saturday we woke early, way too early for a Saturday and a Saturday camping to boot! We woke to crazy, blustering, hot winds. It wasn’t too long before one of the tents sustained wind damaged (which Mr Caravan successfully fixed) and by mid afternoon we sacrificed the second tent to the ground to ensure it survived the afternoon.

We also rolled in the van awning to ensure the wind didn’t damage it which meant moving happy hour under Leeroy, not quite as spacious but shady all the same.

Sacrificial laying down of the tents

Early evening the much awaited southerly change had arrived with gusto, and the temperature dropped quite significantly as did the winds. With the southerly also came the smoke haze from the large bush fire burning at Tomago and another gorgeous sunset.

We had a great night sitting around shooting the breeze, cooking a bbq storm and enjoying the cooler temperatures and looking forward to a good night sleep.

Unfortunately we awoke to more wind on Sunday morning and only slightly later than Saturday. Although it was much cooler than Saturday, after a hearty fry up breakfast we all opted to pack up and head for home, hoping the wind was not a bad closer to the coast – it wasn’t!

Thanks for an awesome weekend crew!

Weekend Crew