Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Road Trip Begins: Jervis Bay

Our trusty Toyota Tarago, Ferdinand, managed to carry the five of us and our supplies for the next two weeks as we headed out on our first Australian road trip.

Because there are so many new sights, we'll be traveling short distances. And as any parent knows, short distance road trips keep down the likelihood of enduring the trifecta of torture: Children, Close Quarters, and Complete Mayhem.

5 minutes out of town, I looked back and saw this...
Ahhhhh, family perfection.

5 minutes later, Kenyon was wailing (I attempted to capture a picture to give an accurate chronicle of our experience but it only made Kenyon angrier). One hour in the car with 3 children should not be so difficult. Sam, in his infinite wisdom, had insisted on us getting a minivan so we could split the kids between rows. We eliminated the Close Quarters factor, and the rest of the hour went more smoothly.

We're staying in the nothing much to write home about unpowered camping area of Huskisson Beach Tourist Park. We’re looking for ‘real’ camping; you know, without the playground and other amenities, but I couldn’t find any in the Jervis Bay area.  But—just down a path from the campsite was this…
Not bad.

In parts, the sand was almost like quicksand, and the kids had fun pretending to be swallowed up. 

It was easy to pass the day and evening here.  Some guys caught a fish, called a flathead.

Jackson and I are really looking forward to catching a fish, but no luck yet.  I really love just standing waist deep in the water and casting.

The really amazing thing about this campsite was the hooting and hollering of kookaburras that are just overhead.  I captured them on a brief video; they sound just like monkeys.

In the morning, we headed 15 minutes down the road to Hyams Beach, which has the whitest sand in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.  The sand was powdery soft, and next to the gorgeous water, it was absolutely beautiful.

Alex was particularly excited about visiting this beach

Sam bodysurfing

The boys tried to dig a hole to Colorado to say hello to their friends.  We talk about their friends a lot; they are all very missed!

Back in the States, I had bought a LivingSocial deal for a dolphin watching cruise ($15 each instead of $35 each).  Jackson said he ‘was giddy with excitement’ and practically skipped aboard.

It took a while before we actually saw any dolphins, but while we waited the kids acted like dolphins, and we enjoyed the boat ride.  

And then there they were, grey bottlenose dolphins, riding right alongside the boat with us and occasionally coming out of the water.

So graceful and effortless!

Alex calls them ‘angels of the water’.

Between the boat ride and the ice cream cones, it was a memorable day.

This morning, we packed up—a major effort in itself.  There’s no way we’re staying anywhere one night; it's a bit of a production.  And you’d think my kids would be tent-setting pros since they go to a school where this is an integral part of the curriculum, but Jackson and Alex did not work together well breaking down their tent.  Between that and Kenyon snapping back the elastic tent pole which made a huge welt on Sam’s hand, I thought it might be the early end of our road trip.  We'll have a lot of practice over these next couple of weeks, so here's hoping it gets more smoothly as time goes on...


  1. Annie & family

    Next time you're in the Jervis Bay area, consider visiting Cave(s) Beach (it's on the southern side facing the ocean - see http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/booderee/visitor-activities/camping-cavebeach.html). It's more "real camping" than Huskisson / Vincentia, which BTW is near where Gary's parents (my grandparents) lived for many years.

    Ulladulla / Mollymook (about 1 hour from Nowra) is nice too. You can't go wrong with NSW South Coast beaches. Seven Mile beach between Geroa and Shoalhaven Heads is OK too.

    Be sure to stop at the Kiama Blowhole and lighthouse. Hopefully the blowhole still gets going when the ocean swell is pumping (I don't remember how many times we stopped there as kids on the way to/from my grandparents).

    There's so much to do in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands regions you'll be kept busy every weekend of your stay.

  2. Jason, thanks for the tips! We really wanted to stay at Cave Beach but there was no availability in Booderee at all. It was a short enough trip that we will definitely be back. Kiama Blowhole is also on our list; the area is so lovely, we can't wait to do as much exploring as possible!

  3. Wow, that's one fun-packed road trip! Your beach photos are gorgeous. A road trip is a good activity to strengthen your bond as a family. These photos embody priceless memories that the kids will cherish as they become adults. =)