We kicked off the camping season by heading down to Athenree Holiday park over the Labour Weekend. We left on the Friday morning (kid’s wagged school) so we could beat the traffic, which was so worth it. We paid extra so we could get an early check in again, if you ever have that option especially when tenting, do it!!! The drive down was great, only about 2hrs which makes it perfect when travelling with kids. Once we got our site, you know what happens now, it’s set up time!
We put up the tent really quick and it was a family affair this time with both girls getting stuck in helping. As you can see with our set up the cupboards from Kathmandu are great for storage, this year I trialled putting our clothes in one of them and it was great, a bit squashed, we may look at getting another one. Yes, if you have noticed that is a fridge! Lot’s of my friends laugh at me for taking the fridge but it is so handy having everything there when you need it. After putting the tent up and having some lunch, it was time for us to take a dip in the hot pools. You are probably thinking we are crazy after being hot and sweaty from putting up a tent why would we want to swim in a hot pool?? Well the pool was perfect!
The temperature of the pools are perfect I could have stayed in there all day. The big pool is warm not hot. Part of the big pool is a little shallower pool for toddlers, which the girls used as an island to play mermaids. The adults only spa pool is much hotter about 39 degrees I believe. There are no chemicals in the water which makes it great for those with sensitive skin. Each night the pool is closed at 7:30pm where it is drained, then scrubbed down and fresh natural geothermal water is then pumped from the bore underground into the pool ready for the morning. The pool is open to guests of the campsite from 8:30am – 10:00am and then after that the public get to pay and use the pools. The day we were leaving everyone had a soak in the pools before packing up.
The campsite is extremely neat and the grounds are immaculate. The facilities were all really clean, there is a laundry room as well as a TV room. Whilst setting up our tent, I noticed there were a whole lot of campervans and caravans checking in, and we were looking around wondering where are the tents, are we the only ones? Did we miss the memo? Luckily on Saturday with the arrival of more caravans so to where the tenting families hooray we were not alone! The groups staying around us too were all so friendly, that’s the best part of camping. Here are some photos of around the campground.
There isn’t a playground on the actual campsite, but there is one just across the road, our kids ran off and played without us. We did check in on them from time to time, but they are at the age now where we don’t have to constantly be with them. It’s always handy having an older sibling too!
The difference I notice with camping this time of year compared to January is the temperature at night. In summer we can sit out at night and talk for ages, this time on the first night Adam and I were sitting outside under the stars just the two of us (sounds very romantic) all the while freezing our bums off! I said to Adam, “Why are we sitting outside freezing, when we can just go in the tent and talk!!” We made a quick dash inside. But I definitely felt the temp drop during the night, and off course the first night I had to wake up to go to the toilet 3 times because it was so cold! Another thing to keep in mind, is there are a lot of sandflies around, I didn’t put insect repellent on and paid the price!
You can hire these great carts from reception, it’s all pedal power and the kids loved going around the campsite racing them. Camping with friends or other families as a group is so nice as the kids all play together and the adults can just hang out. Here are some of the meals we had, who said camping food has to be boring!
We booked to stay 4 nights in a tent site, however the weather forecast was not looking that great for the day we were meant to pack up and leave, and packing up in the rain is no fun. Luckily we were able to book one of the basic cabins for the last night, the owners of the park were so accommodating of our requests and tried to help us as much as they could. Which means we had to pack up a day early, and boy was that stressful, funnily enough we were good putting up the tent, not so much taking it down! We blame the heat for any profanities exchanged.
We had the best holiday, there is so much to explore around the area (stay tuned for more blog posts coming up on that). In fact we enjoyed it so much we are going back next year!! If you would like more info on the holiday park click here.