Last month we did our first ever camping holiday.
(We purchased our camper trailer just before Christmas last year)
And it was a HUGE success! We all absolutely loved it and had the best time.
Our camping destination was Hastings Point in NSW, we stayed at the North Star Holiday Resort and we cannot wait to go back. It is wonderful!
I made a vlog of our time away and you can check it out HERE.
I’ve had a number of questions about our camping adventure…
- Do you recommend camping to a family who hasn’t camped before?
This was our first time camping. Trent has camped before, but I grew up staying in units, cabins, hotels etc… We never camped, so this was a totally new experience for me. And it was fantastic! The kids loved it and I found it really relaxing. I do recommend it, but you have to be open to different things and be willing to adapt. A tent is a lot different to a hotel room.
- Do you like the camper trailer? Was it hard to set up and do you recommend having one?
Yes, I love it. Ours is great for us and the perfect size for now.
Camper trailers can get a bit of a bad reputation for being hard to set up etc. It does take some time, for us it took about 2-2.5 hours from arriving to having the entire camp set up (including beds, kitchen area, play area etc) Trent was able to set the first section up on his own in around 1/2 an hour, the kids and I went for a walk around the park. Then we all went and had some lunch at the cafe, then we returned and he and I set up the annexe section, that took maybe 40-50 minutes. Then I just set up the inside area and made it “homey”. Trent is really mechanically minded and just gets how to set things up, if I was setting it up on my own – well, I wouldn’t! HA. People are wired differently and Trent just gets how to build and fix things, I can’t do it. But for him setting it all up is a piece of cake. So if you are mechanically minded and setting things up makes sense to you, you will be fine.
- Thoughts on the park you stayed at?
North Star Holiday Resort was amazing, we absolutely loved it. It had everything we needed. There is a waterpark, pool, a licensed cafe, adults area including a day spa, playground, kids club and games room + much more. We highly recommend the park. Trent wanted our first camping trip to be at a park where we weren’t exactly “roughing it” and he chose well. The park came highly recommended to us by countless people and it was a great place to have our first camp. (They also have cabins and units) We had a private bathroom as well which was nice.
- What item did you take that you didn’t use and what item did you wish you did take?
What we didn’t really use, gosh I am blanking… I know I took a stack of books and didn’t read one! We were just too busy getting out and doing things. And the one item we forgot was our fan. Next time we will be bringing that, most nights were lovely and a cool breeze blew through the tent, but the last night humidity was at like 98% and no breeze at all, and my gosh it was dreadful!! We hardly got any sleep that night and then we woke up to LuLu not feeling well. So we packed up in the cool early hours of the morning and headed home. (We did plan to leave later in the day and spend another day at the pool, but she was too unwell) That night was the only negative about the entire trip!
- Did the kids like it or were they bored?
The kids had the best time! LuLu loved the waterpark, pool and slides. She loved going to the beach, exploring the rock pools and building sandcastles. She also really enjoyed being able to ride her scooter up and down our little street & make little friends. Tommy loved chasing the scrub turkeys, watching the big lizards and playing at the beach and water park. Camping I think is amazing for kids.
- Sleep? How did you manage to get the kids to sleep in the tent and also during the day?
For us this worked pretty easily… We stretched bedtime out a little to more like 6pm (instead 5pm’ish) and LuLu just laid down in her camp stretcher and went to sleep. By late afternoon she was pretty exhausted from being super active all day! Tommy, I fed him and if he didn’t nod off on the boob, we would just cuddle him and lay him down in the porta cot once he was asleep. Exactly how we do it at home. Tommy is the only one who naps during the day, and it is usually in the morning so it isn’t too hot yet. A few times he also napped in the car when we were driving.
- What is your top tip for holidaying with young kids?
Just go with the flow, don’t have big plans or expectations. Take each moment and day as it comes. And keep it simple, kids don’t need to be driving to big tourist attractions every single day. Being in the car is no fun, but being at the pool or the beach is. We had 1 day where we went out but the rest of the time was spent just kicking back and relaxing. (Also another tip is buy those water/beach shoes… They aren’t trendy at all, but they are a lifesaver, especially for the beach we went to. There were lots of rocks and rock pools and to save little feet being cut up and any slips & falls LuLu wore her beach shoes each time we went to the beach. It also protects her feet against hot sand and if there are any nasty things hidden in the sand/water. For Tommy, we carried him near the rocks and he was more toddling beside us, but LuLu is much more independent and loves to explore, so they were a must for her!)
So friends, I hope that answered some questions for you. If you have anymore please comment below or connect with me on social media! I hope you enjoyed this post and the video of our trip away! We can’t wait for the next one!
(If you can recommend any great holiday parks/places to camp with kids along the Queensland or Northern NSW coast please let me know!! Thank you!)