Late last year Amanda found an online deal for cheap flights and booked a holiday to NSW flying into Sydney and out of Byron Bay. The idea was to test run a camper style holiday in caravan parks to see if we really wanted to buy our own camper trailer. Questions such as, would the kids handle the road trips; could we handle the kids on road trips; what would we really think of staying in caravan parks; how difficult is it to tow and setup these campers and can we be bothered? After all Airbnbs are everywhere and so cheap! Hence the test run was booked.
As the date closed we were still constantly looking up camper trailers. Two weeks before we were due to leave Amanda finds one that we just had see in person. To cut a long story short we said screw the hired camper, we have to buy this one and we did! Yikes did we do the right thing? We would find out soon enough in a baptism of fire as we were now due to leave one week from the time I picked it up.
The travel plans obviously had to change. We could not refund the plane tickets, so Amanda would still fly, as this would be easier for the kids and now I was to drive to Sydney and pick them up from the airport. The night before I got a head start travelling to Benalla, staying at the in-laws’ house with our new Jayco Flamingo where I was to leave at 4am the next morning to get to Sydney airport in time.
The official Duth’s Adventure Apparatus
Without the kids to stir me I slept like a rock! That was until the house phone kept ringing eventually waking me up. I checked my phone for the time and, oh no, It was flat! Hence no alarm. In a time that would have impressed Usain Bolt I sprinted around the house getting all my stuff and jumped into the car and sped out of the driveway. It was 6am.
Finally I was able to speak to Amanda, who was thankfully not angry and just happy to know that I hadn’t crashed! After all I should have been on the road for two hours and ironically was supposed to have called her to make sure she hadn’t slept in. Amanda’s start to the day was not as simple as first planned either as she struggled to find the car park place we’d booked. Turns out it had moved and was not signed, making her super close to missing the flight. This trip was off to an ominous start.
There was some amusing things along the way though to alleviate the pressure. When getting to the Melbourne Airport, Fletch all wide eyed and excited says to Amanda “I love this holiday! Sydney is great!” They were also directed to board the back of the plane that meant he had to go on the tarmac and could see all the plane, which blew the kid’s minds. Once actually in Sydney they had to catch the train into the city (because their driver was now two hours late) and with the exception of Fletch falling into the gap and getting the fright of his life, they loved the whole travelling experience!
Immy & Fletch seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the botanical gardens
They made it safely to Sydney and spent time in the city and the harbour where I eventually met them after dropping off the camper. We meandered around the harbour and botanical gardens, but left soon after I arrived with the kids exited to spend the night in the camper.
Back at the Lane Cove River Tourist Park we were able to settle in as a family, setting up the Jayco for the first official night away. It wasn’t until we left that we discovered that this caravan park was the film location for the Home and Away TV show, remember Pippa had the caravan park?
Our first overnight stay in the Jayco
The kids took to caravan life pretty quickly, chasing the bush turkeys through the trees, all barefoot of course. That night the kids took forever to get to sleep, both absolutely hyperactive with excitement. Eventually Amanda and I were able to settle outside and enjoy a glass of wine. We realised pretty quickly that we had probably made the right decision, getting this camper could be the best purchase we have ever made for our family.
Stay tuned as I recount the coming days of our holiday and our quirky family tales.
Next in Part 2 is Nelson Bay.
The best place to follow Josh’s adventures with his family is on his Instagram site @josh.duthie. You can see this post and more Adventures of Duth by clicking the link below or following #adventuresofduth.