Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
This was a long and challenging year for all 4 of us, with our 5 year old son completing kindergarten, our 7 year old daughter completing year 2 and graduating from her Early Childhood School. For some crazy reason our children had every week: swimming lessons, up to 4 martial arts classes, soccer and Indonesian lessons in addition to full time school. Understandably they were exhausted and so were we. My husband started a new job and spent a couple of months as sole carer while I was travelling for work. I established and remotely manage a lab in the Middle East and I now work my own Australian working day and theirs so that I’m approaching snapping point.
So, we sought a campsite for solitude and relaxation. Three colleagues recommended Ben Boyd National Park so we took a week off work and booked a site at Bittangabee Bay campsite.
We’ve had bad experiences at campsites previously with generators, music players, louts with loud voices etc but not at Bittangabee Bay! Our campsite was quiet, with many other campers who were respectful of others. Perhaps this was helped by the lack of electricity, phone signal, showers and drinking water and the long and bumpy dirt access track. Wildlife abounded in the campsite including wonga pigeons, goannas, swamp wallabies, kangaroos, a lyrebird (about 800m from the campsite) many other types of birds and we even saw a wombat one night!
Our children instantly settled into the new environment and within minutes of our arrival they were climbing in trees while we setup the tent. They also loved playing with rocks and building a rock village complete with gods. Our spot was the last available and also the worst because it was a thoroughfare to several other sites and the pit toilets, next to a carpark for 5 cars, and a drainage channel during rain. We knew that rain was forecast most days of our stay so we placed our tent on a gentle slope out of the walk way and drainage zone.
It’s a very short walk from the campsite to the beach and knowing that rain was coming we headed straight to the beach on our first morning.
Our children delighted in playing on the sand and splashing in the water while we read our books.
We drove to City Rock and while our son slept in the car, my daughter and I walked 500m down through a malaleuca forest, that had been burnt in a bushfire, to City Rock. She delighted in time with me without her brother, admiring the flowers and clambering over rocks. It was really beautiful on the rock platform.
My daughter asked me to take photos of the bush regeneration on the way to the rock platform.
Afterwards we played hopscotch in the dirt while waiting for my son and husband to wake from their naps.
From there we drove to Pulpit Rock and the four of us enjoyed climbing on the rock platform, admiring the quartz cemented en echelon fractures and climbing through a natural tunnel.
We enjoyed walking down to Green Cape, looking at the lighthouse and imagining the lives of the lighthouse keepers.
What a great start to a wonderfully relaxing and nourishing week of camping!