After a very recent slow and detailed trip down the East Coast we took the time to drive in to check out spots we’ve usually bypassed due to a tight schedule.
And as you’d susepect, we found our new favourite camping spot (overtaking our ‘old’ favourite camping spots ‘Green Patch at Jervis Bay (Tania) and Wilsons Prom (Ronny).
The town of Yamba and neighbouring tiny town Angourie ticked every box on our checklist. Amazing beaches, great surf, a good pub, a few good cafes, best of all – a number of free isolated camp spots with direct beach access where we had the whole area to ourselves and were not bothered at all during the day or night.
We stayed for 6 nights and alternated between the many beach carparks in Angourie:
Angourie Back Beach carpark was the winner with a cold outdoor shower, toilet, running water and about one car driving in for a look at the surf every day. The other beach carparks that were also great to camp at but had a few more cars during the day: Angourie Blue Pool and Spooky Beach Carpark.
Overall we found Yamba and Angourie to be the best kept secret we’ve discovered in a long time. Primarily a fishing town the locals were all friendly, there weren’t many tourists and very few backpackers (making the free camping above possible). From a surfer’s perspective the breaks are quite well known and Ronny found the surfers refreshingly friendly and well mannered in the water (having just been in Byron Bay however this probably isn’t a surprise). From a non surfers perspective I found the beaches breathtakingly beautiful with amazing blue water and some shade available at most of the beaches from overhanging trees.
Best of all, there were still great dining options available if you felt like it. The Yamba pub had one of the most beautiful views we’ve ever experienced and Barbarela in Agourie offered a 5 start dining experience in the bush. Having a few days of rain we appreciated the convenience of being bush camping but having the facilities of a small town within 10 minutes drive away.
Our suggestions, go there, be friendly, free camp, take your rubbish home and don’t tell anyone else about this amazing spot!
Did we mention we’re working on a ‘non campervan building but still campervan related’ long term project? That’s right, some of us at Achtung Camper are pooling together our knowledge and love of healthy cooking, nutrition and campervan living to eventually publish a healthy eating campervan cookbook. The requirements? Meals have to be super nutritious, super simple and super tasty. Not to mention only include ingredients that are super easy to source wherever you are in Australia!
One of potential meals is this virtually ‘no cooking’ curry. The ingredients are all healthy but are all pantry items so you can shop for this a month before you cook it.
We look forward to your comments and tips once you’ve tried it out!
Lentil and Cashew Curry with Yoghurt
1 diced large onion
2 minced cloves garlic
20 ml olive oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tin lentils
1 tin organic chopped tomatoes
1 tin light organic coconut milk
200 g roughly chopped raw cashews
Organic natural yoghurt
Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add the curry powder and continue to slowly cook for a further minute.
Add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and cashews. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt.
Serves 2-4 depending on how hungry you are!
Recipe inspired by Puy Lentil curry recipe published on the Victoria Government’s Betterhealth website.
Following on from our blog on T6 colours we look at aftermarket external colour options for your van.
IF YOUR VAN IS A COLOUR ALREADY
You can choose to have your pop top roof colour matched to the body of the van for $1750. This isn’t a necessity however as we’ll fit a white strip to the bottom of your van if you keep the white roof. The strip works with the other white campervan accessories on the outside of your van (water and electric inlets) to tie in the white roof so nothing look out of place.
IF YOU’VE GOT A WHITE VAN
You have the option of getting a half van wrap to the bottom half of your van for $1450. The vinyl wrap is available in any colour of your choosing and also works to protect the paintwork.
Have we told you about the best thing we’ve discovered since our new Helinox Chair (another blog for this product!)? If you are of female gender and love camping/campervanning and the great outdoors you are lucky enough to be eligible to join just about the best exclusive/inclusive community group in Australia. Rolling Solo is online, offline & real time community that provides support, friendships, information and connections for independent female roadtrippers interested in camping, outdoor adventure & travel in Australia.
“Events, Social Catchup’s, Tagalong Trips & get together’s for members are the core of their existence. We are a “sisterhood of the travelling vans!”
BUT you say, I love travelling on my own! YES! But wouldn’t it be great to be part of a community of women just like you, located all around Australia that you can meet up, have a coffee, go roadtripping & camping with, or chat with online with anytime?
Roller catchups are happening every month in every state. Making new friends has never been so easy. When you all have the love of the outdoors, travel, roadtrips and camping in common new connections are effortless.
“Waiting for you are thousands of new friends are already out there in every town in Australia, you just haven’t met them yet!
Joining the Roller “tribe” gives you access all areas of our website. Exclusive invitation to our events, forums, groups, chat rooms, member store and discounts pages, classifieds, Roller Wiki and “secret” facebook group.
You will receive a personalised membership card with your official Rolling Solo member number, official roller bumper sticker with your number and a member lanyard display holder for events. Get unlimited access to the website, events, chat, classifieds, pitstops, discount camping and outdoor gear, partner discounts, access to all groups and activities . Membership works out to be $3.33 per month.
You’d be hard pressed to buy a decent coffee for that price! But the value you will get by becoming member, making new lifelong friends, joining the fun and adventures together will be priceless.”
More information can be found at www.rollingsolo.com.au
Not to worry – our main business is campervan conversion which is the same thing but better! You order your new VW T6 through us (with the features YOU want!) or supply your own van and then choose all of your conversion features and colour scheme to suit your travelling style.
Firstly and most importantly, wow what a strange place… I’m going to say it again, what a VERY STRANGE place Walhalla is.
We’d read about the pub, always a good solid reason to make a small town a destination for a weekend away – a good local pub. And to be fair, the pub exceeded our very high destination. A very very small (like someone’s living room!) and homely furnished place with different currencies all over the bar, this is a true local Australian pub with some of the best pub food we’ve ever had. Had it been in any Australian major city and it would have been FULL. The size and quality of each meal, the homely welcoming atmosphere, the beers on tap and the friendly staff (who also doubled as unpaying customers WHILE working) were worth the drive alone.
Now to the rest of the town:
Imagine an old movie set from a wild western, with beautiful natural bush surroundings and amazing old buildings, all restored. Now imagine you arrive, and it’s like a CLOSED movie set. Not a business or building open and not a sole in town. It’s a Wednesday and we can’t even buy a milk, toilet paper or work out how to pay for the campground, let alone get a coffee or the paper in the morning. Strange? You bettcha! So apparently if you arrive on a weekend the town is ‘open’ so to speak, but the locals don’t ‘bother’ week days, so a tip of advice – DO NOT visit Walhalla on a week day! What we didn’t understand? Why NOT open in the week? In the 2 days we were there we encountered slow driving car after slow driving car, they’d stop in the main street and look around dumbfounded as we did. Then they’d do a few more loops and drive out. All eager tourists who left to spend their dollars somewhere else when presented with a ghost town.
The camping grounds (there are three options):
Chinese Gardens – The only paid campground in the town and quite lovely however the owner (when we finally did get a hold of her) was a right royal %#!+C putting us directly next to the only other camper in the entire campground for the one night and forgetting to give us the pin code for the toilet/shower then being uncontactable. This place is lovely because it was empty when we stayed here but we can see it being horrible if there were more than a few campers staying here at the one time (it was one large clearing with no shade or privacy between spots).
Free Camping in town (legal) – This is more of a reststop on the side of the road with some taps and a public toilet. Not really nice and not really ideal, but it is free.
Free Camping just out of town (not legal) – there’s a large bridge over the river that you’ll cross before you enter the town. We were told by the waitress/bartender at the pub that it’s where the locals sometimes go to camp. We drove down there but didn’t stay as there was lots of broken glass. Was nice to swim in the river though.
Walhhalla – a nice town but even if the 5 shops had been open I really can’t see anything to do here. 2hours and 20 minutes from Melbourne and worth it if you want to spend a weekend in a pub.
Attention camper! Stop your packing and read this post! Train yourself on how to pack like a minimalist.
The key is to learn the difference between want and need. Make a want and a need pile and sort through your items. If f you are unsure, it is a nonessential so do not be packed
Start getting used to simplicity and become low maintenance, pack multi functional clothes that you can mix and match and simplify your grooming rituals
Plan your meals ahead so you utilize everything that you pack and don’t get too complicated. Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver recommends using no more then 5 ingredients per meal.
Buy products that are multi functional like this multipurpose wash from Kathmandu… It’s a body wash, shampoo, dishwashing detergent and a laundry powder all in one! https://www.kathmandu.com.au/travel-multi-purpose-wash.html
Check out our recent post on forgotten camping items when you do your final checklist.
Embrace the uncomplicated life minimalist and the sooner you step out into nature and experience true freedom……………..
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The Yarra Valley has always been a favourite for this Achtung Camping pair pre-baby. Now with child, things have changed slightly. Undoubtedly one of the best attractions of the Yarra Valley are the wineries – from which we were only able to visit one this time with toddler in toe and spend the rest of our time in Healesville camping. But we chose well, TarraWarra Estate had the most beautiful grounds and architectural buildings we have ever seen. It doesn’t matter if you are a beer drinker, the grounds here and amazing restaurant plus modern art gallery have more than something for everyone.
Healesville itself has become a bit of a foodies hotspot and we were impressed when walking into the Healesville Hotel or Giant Steps however the high price tags that accompanied the not so impressive meals left us with a bit of a bad taste in our mouth at the end. All in all we think $7.50 as the going rate for a pot of beer in all places we visited to be a bit stiff. Yes the amazing beer garden and décor at the Healesville Hotel made up for the stiff drink prices but we still couldn’t stomach a second night eating here after paying $35 for average mains the night before.
The campground – Big 4 Badgers Creek is about 5 minutes drive out of Healesville and unfortunately the 45 minute walk with no footpath along a busy dark road was too much for us to brave on foot. As per the majority of Big 4 Campgrounds, the facilities were abundant and so was the price tag – we paid $55 a night in an off peak period, for a non powered site. I do not want to know what a powered site costs over Christmas. If you are going to make use of the tennis courts, games room, small pool, brand new showers and toilet block, kitchen with massive flat screen TV and playground then maybe it’s worth it. We cook in our around our van and didn’t make sure of anything other than the toilets and playground so it wasn’t worth money for us. Please note also that there was an outdoor WEDDING hosted IN the campground the Saturday night we stayed, complete with MC and 50 odd drunk guests. When I complained about the noise the next day and the ridiculousness of hosting a wedding next to people with kids sleeping in tents the staff member said the owners were trialing it as it was something they wanted to do ongoing in future. This was enough for us to say, never again Big 4 Badgers Creek!
Location – As most know, the Yarra Vally is amazingly close to Melbourne and even from Geelong the 2 hour drive was worth it. We’ll be back, but next time we’ll be checking out some bush camping!