Sundown National Park, down near Stanthorpe QLD, was the destination of our first proper camping trip in years. It was important as we had Ruari (pronounced Rory) and Bertha for the first time and ideas and plans to do this for 14 months.
Fortunately for all of us, Rurari and Bertha were a joy to camp with, and all of us loved the whole camping experience - even though it was freezing! Rurari is our 4WD and Bertha is a fantastic camper trailer - Track Shak for those interested in details.
For five days we didn't camp with anyone else, and only saw two other groups of people the whole time we were there. Sundown is lesser known than its neighbour, Girraween National Park. But it was BEAUTIFUL and we loved it. My favourite moment at Sundown was of course watching the sun go down over Red Gorge on our last night.
At our first campsite, Broadwater, the kids entertained themselves by throwing rocks in the Severn. They would've been happy to do this all day if we'd let it happen!
We then, stupidly, decided to check out the other side of the national park. Stupid in that we had to pack down our tent, and then pack it up again so we lost half a day doing that! The road to Red Gorge took us 40 minutes (7km) from the entrance of the national park. The vegetation was different, the hills were just COVERED in the wattle in full flower. And Red Gorge itself was gobsmackingly spectacular! I loved it!
Here the kids would've been happy smashing charcoal between rocks all day and then covering their bodies with it. Glad to see that they'll cope without ABC3 for a few days at least!
We learned a lot about how NOT to camp. But that's what all these smaller trips are about - learning and improving our camping know-how and getting more efficient with pack up and pack down!
Waking up one morning we discovered we had a flat tyre. This is when Simon realised that small thing in with the jack was actually quite important. It's what allows us to access our spare. But he'd left it on the floor of the car port! Remember, we hadn't seen another soul in the national park at all. Not less than 5 minutes later we heard cars. The first car through the clearing was another Landcruiser. Phew. But a different model and didn't have the same part.
Oh well, we could use the spare on the camper trailer. That's when we discovered those tyres had 6 nuts, not 5 nuts like the 4WD. Heart sink moment. Fortunately for us the blokes were still hanging around and one was a mobile mechanic who was fully kitted out. He had a compressor, a tyre patch kit and was our saviour!
To me, felt like strangely dressed angels came to our campsite, helped us, and left again. If only this was the only problem we faced. But we also had to call in to Stanthorpe Hospital on our way home because of Simon's chest pain. Got a photo of it too! Again, we were lucky. Pain stopped and on we went. Warwick Hospital - 45 minutes. Ipswich - another hour on. Hospitals all along the way!!
Here are our photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31135534@N00/
We will be heading back to Sundown soon. And I'd love to move to Tenterfield! I LOVED it. Great coffee beside a crackling fire, friendly people, just a town with a certain something.