Thursday, September 4, 2014

Aussies Love Camping

One thing that we have seen everywhere we go is that Aussies love to camp.  Whether it is in a tent pitched on the beaches we pass while sailing, or in beachfront RV parks in just about every town.  There are huge migrations of 'Caravans' (RV's) heading up the Queensland Motorways this time of year similar to the US West Coasters heading up to Alaska for the summer.  

Green Areas are Parks

The Australian National Park System make the US National Parks look miniscule.  They have parks everywhere.  Town parks, roadside parks, beachfront parks, big, small, complete islands, even a reef and surrounding islands, (The Great Barrier Reef National Park).  Camping seems to be promoted everywhere by businesses and the government and is hugely cultural.

Up until now, we have never met cruisers that carry tents on their boats.  Now we have.  They have cook stoves, shovels, dutch ovens, griddles, fire pokers, and of course the tents.  A beach to an Aussie is just another place to set up camp.  If you can't get there in a 4 wheel drive, take the boat.  We've seen heaps (there's that Aussie word again) of small aluminum boats, they call'em 'Tinnies', pulled up on the beaches with tents pitched on the dunes.

So we pull in to the anchorage at Thomas Island and just because there is a sign on the beach that says 'No Fires", no worries!  We're not just talking about a campfire that you sit around and tell stories.  We're talking about building a campfire in the afternoon, doing Happy Hour, cooking dinner on it, and drinking and talking for hours.

We had so much fun and haven't smelled of smoke that much since doing a weekend of Boy Scout camping.  Dinner and conversation around an open fire has such a great feel to it.  There was still firewood left so we stayed another night just to do it all again. 

I think the Aussies really have it figured out.

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