* Warning this post includes puns, eggscellent puns…..
Growing up, my family spent a lot of time camping up and down the coast of the Eyre Peninsula with the local 4WD Club. To my family’s credit, I would say my love for the outdoors has stemmed from those camping trips and the places we would camp every Christmas (Fisherman’s Bay or Farm Beach).
I haven’t camped in the Riverland as an adult nearly as much as I camped on the Eyre Peninsula as a teenager but my first Easter spent on the banks of the Murray left me feeling eggstatic! It brought back memories of childhood days spent in the dirt or sand with the smell of camp fire in my hair.
Camping is a great Australian Family Tradition, especially over Easter. The seasons begin to change and the weather invites round-the-camp fire activities and not cooking like an egg in your swag. Here are 21 reasons why I think camping on the River at Easter is Eggscellent and why you should be planning your camping Eggsperience in the Riverland this Easter!
1. Easter Egg Hunt in the real outdoors :: I found a great tip from Go Camping Australia, they suggest putting Easter Eggs in plastic moulds (available at Woolworths) to keep choccy eggs from being eaten by kangaroos or other critters.
2. Easter Egg Nests made from real nest materials :: Let the kids scavenge around for natural materials like bark, leaves and flowers to fashion a nest for the Easter Bilby to leave his Easter treats.
3. Real signs of the Easter Bunny :: As a parent, you might be able to skip nibbling on a carrot this year to hint at Easer Bunny’s presence. Left out overnight, real bunnies might come and nibble on what ever treat is left out and leave many *non* edible Easter eggs lying around!
4. Hot Cross Buns in the camp oven :: A few years ago I made home made hot cross buns, and they were pretty easy! I haven’t tried making them in the camp oven but I am sure you could use your favourite recipe and pop them in a greased and lined camp oven. Just keep a close eye on the so they don’t burn!
5. Watch the sun go down or come up :: Sunset and sunrise in the Riverland are always a special event. I love the crisp night air that follows after sunset, indicating it’s time for beanies and hoodies.
6. You can go Glamping :: Hire a houseboat, it’s a great alternative, eggspecially if you don’t have all the camping equipment. You can still experience the magic of a camp fire and usual camping activities, just a bit more luxurious. Perfectly eggcceptable style of “camping”! Read more about the awesomeness of houseboat holidays in one of my very first posts here!
7. Living simply for four days :: I love the simplicity of camping. Pack up everything you need and head out into the wild (which isn’t usually too far in the Riverland). If you forgot to bring something, improvise.
8. Toasted marshmallows :: Burnt to a crisp or lightly toasted, fancy toasting rods or long sticks found around camp. There is no wrong or right way to enjoy this tradition.
9. Hearty camp roasts :: Synonymous with camping is the almighty camp roast! Juicy roasted meat and crispy vegetables set to cook on the fire will tempt you throughout the afternoon. May as well make some fresh beer damper to help mop up the tasty gravy!
10. River songs :: Listening to the sounds of the River helps you realise that people aren’t the only beings that rely on the River. Hear the butcher bird’s haunting tune ring out in the morning light or a whistling kites call out over sunset.
11. Endless fishing :: Camping on the banks of the Murray will make it easy to go fishing from a boat or from the bank. You might even be lucky enough to drop a net in and see if you can catch some yabbies!
12. Family bonding time :: Sleeping, eating, preparing meals, setting up camp are activities where you can all work together. Evenings are perfect for story telling around the camp fire and sharing your memories with your children will help them make their own memories.
13. Wildlife galore :: Camping in the Riverland will always deliver a diverse range of wildlife. Kangaroos sleeping under trees, pappa emus taking baby emus out for a walk and friendly prehistoric goannas will come to check out what you have left out overnight! You might even find some frogs on your tent as well!
14. A tent with a view :: Where ever you pitch your campsite, there will be a million dollar view. I love waking up and poking my head out of my swag to see how morning looks. You will most likely have a loo with a view as well!
15. Disconnect with the world :: Connect with nature, the people you are camping with and maybe even yourself. Leave the world behind, it can wait.
16. Kids using imaginations :: Just as they would playing at home, kid’s imaginations are set to roam, using natural props to make cubbies that are kingdoms or mixing up potions out of gum nuts, dirt and water. The outdoors is their playground.
17. Spaghetti toasties for breakfast :: Cast iron jaffle makers (the round ones are the best) are a cult camping item. They make the best toasties- just be careful not to burn your tongue, they will be HOT!
18. Easter weather is on point! :: Of course the weather gets a mention, it’s one of the most talked about topics! The Riverland has amazing weather all year round and Easter is no exception. Mild temperatures, sunny days and cool nights (possible chance of rain, but rain can be beautiful too!)
19. Friendly community :: People in the country are pretty friendly and when you get into the country, you begin to relax. I love saying ‘hi’ or waving to River users as I go past, we all have different camping habits but we are all trying to achieve the same thing- make lasting memories with loved ones. Lets keep it friendly and not treat each other like strange strangers.
20. Star gazing and shooting stars :: realising that there is magic all around. Recently as a group we have gazed up at the stars and those that know the constellations have shared what they know with others. A clear Riverland night really brings out the entire universe.
21. Incidental and fun eggercise :: The Riverland is perfect for canoeing and there are many camp sites that are canoe friendly (Canoe Adventures and Canoe the Riverland know the best spots). Walking, climbing trees, hide and seek, chasing skinks or hunting for frogs are some fun ones that I am sure the kids, and big kids at heart will enjoy also.
Do you have any other reasons to go camping, or questions about camping in the Riverland? Share them in the comments below!