Come on the long weekend adventure where we leave the caravan at home!
For the Easter long weekend we decided to visit Yerranderrie, NSW. It has always been on our list to visit as we are avid history buffs.
My family originated from Burragorang Valley so I had spent a bit of time as a child camping in Yerranderrie but not as an adult.
We have always been advised not to take our caravan into the Yerranderrie. Now that we have driven it I am so glad we decided to take the tent. The roads were just way to tight with very hairy corners. I just dont think our 17ft van would make it around and I can’t fathom what would happen if we met someone coming the other way. Just driving the 4wd on the road in was tight enough.
We have friends who own private property in Yerranderrie so we arrived at their place and had the tent set up by lunch time.
Our tent is a Freedom camping tent and is actually the exact same one I grew up camping in while travelling Australia with my parents. So it’s an old (older than I’d care to mention) and trusted tent that never fails us, except for the heavy storms where the front zippers will leak. Thankfully we have a large tarp on the front that allows us plenty of shelter for meals preps, playing with toys or happy hours.
So the last time we used this tent Matilda, 4 years, was actually 8 weeks old. So we were a little niave about what ‘real’ camping with 2 toddlers would have install for us. Boy … did we get a slap in the face.
We settled into bed quite late after catching up with everyone around the fire. Obviously last time we had used our individual sleeping bags was many years ago and being so confined was just horrendous. It was too cold to sleep with them open but way to confined to comfortably sleep with it done up so we suddenly weren’t sleepy but just frustrated.
As we were laying in our constriction bags, trying to see the humour, Matilda began coughing a really bad croup sounding bark. Like any parents we check on her, zipped up her sleeping bag and just as we settle in…the vomitting started. With most first nights away on holidays Tilly gets so excited and anxious, its like a tradition she has of being sick on the first night. By now its 2am and we are regretting staying up late as we now have to begin the clean up! Pillow, sleeping bag and her matress are saturated in milk vomit, I quickly toss it all outside thinking to myself, I’ll deal with it tomorrow.
Now we are a mattress, pillow and sleeping bag down and no spares, we do a shuffle and Harriet jumps into bed between Phill and I. I wrap Harriet in my sleepong bag trying to keep her warm and I add more clothes layers, find a thin blanket we use on the back seat of our 4wd and wrap myself in a ball. We settle into a few hours of broken sleep while checking on the girls every hour, praying for no chucks.
Our girls were up at 6am bright eyed and full of energy as all children are at that time. We popped a movie on the ipad for them and had another hour snooze while Frozen kept their attention.
We drove straight intothe small historic village of Yerranderrie where we pulled up in time for lunch. We were very quickly greeted by an urban looking national parks cowboy telling us it was $6 per person to look around the historical ghost town. As we paid our fees we were given a map and a basic guide of directions to walk in. We had a wander around the ‘main street’ looking at the buildings still standing and reading corresponding information on each structure. This gave a great insight into the buildings historical significance.
While looking around town we had a chance to check out the camping ground in town. This was a lovely place to set up camp for a weekend. It is currently $12 pp/night which includes a wonderful camp kitchen, firewood for the camp ground individual fire rings and an amenities block i can only describe as almost as beautiful as my bathroom at home. We both decided we will definately be returning to this camp site one day.
On our way back to camp we also had a quick look at the free camp which is located just out of town at the old original police station and court house. I unfortunately didnt get any photos of it but we would highly recommend the free camp here as well. It was lovely and grassy, clean drop toilets and above all FREE! This is also an easy walk to the old original cemetry which is very special to be given the chance to walk around. Just reading some of the headstones makes you think of how hard life would have been. Many of the graves were those of children and young men who met their end in tragic mine accidents.
We got back to our camp late in the afternoon ready to cook up a lovely BBQ dinner and some relaxing by the fire. We decided we would settle into bed early tonight to try and catch up on sleep especially as the easter bunny is suppose to arrive. With everyone in their own clean and dry beds we go to sleep quickly. As usual with our children we are woken by Harriet now coughing badly. She proceeded to cough, cry and whimper all night until i gave in and let her snuggle into Daddy and I squizzed into her bed.
The girls were up at 5am (thanks daylight savings) and very excited the easter bunny had remembered to come. So our day started early and this mumma had enough. I sat down outside, too tired to worry about how much chocolate the girls were consumming, and for the first time in my life i told Phill, “i want to go home”. Now as you can tell travel and adventures with my family are the most treasured experiences in my life and to want to leave early i think Phill was very shocked. We were just so tired from no sleep from the last two nights and such early starts.
We were packed up and hitting the road home by lunchtime. We wanted to go home a different route this time so we turned off the main road (Colong Stock route) as much as we could to use some less used fire trails. Having a gps is very handy so we never felt lost or unsure of where we were. We found a few good challenging tracks which required low range and engaging down hill assist in the Prado. Doing tracks like these make us realise how much we need a lift for the Prado soon.
On our way home we also drove through Wombeyan Caves and Wollondilly station camping grounds. As usual i always come home wanting to see more of the surrounding areas and I would love to visit these areas in the future but we will avoid the crowds on the long weekends.