Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dads' Camping Trip to Wee Jasper

I was invited along to join a group of Dads on a long weekend camping trip to Wee Jasper. I didn't really know the other guys terribly well before we set off, but they were an easy going bunch and we soon built friendships.

Monday was a public holiday in Canberra it was pitched as a Dads and kids only trip to the country which afforded the Moms a bit of a breather and also bought us back some favours (we all discussed how far in 'debt' we were regardless of taking children away for the weekend!)

Wee Jasper is only a shortish drive away from Canberra. I'm amazed we've not been there before as it's quite possible to do as a day trip. The scenery around there is amazing - big plains and mountains and a really diverse geological landscape - with folded limestone hills and ranges of both volcanic and sedimentary rocks (that bit is just for you Graham).

The campsite was promoted as offering 'real bush camping' what that meant in reality was that there was no hot water or power to the site, but at $9 a night it was hard to complain.

We pitched our new tent (recently bought from an amazing store called BCF - "Boating, Camping, Fishing" - essentially blokes paradise) alongside the other Dads' equally new and shiny tents. I think we probably gave the game away that we were all amateurs!

The party was (I think) 6 Dads and probably 9-10 kids. It's hard to say exactly how many of us there were as it was all a bit 'fluid' with Dads coming and going, some staying 3 nights, others 2 and others just along for a single night (we stayed Saturday and Sunday nights).

Everyone got along fantastically well. The kids loved being in the wilds - there was a beautiful river which although too cold to swim in was great for perfecting stone skimming and the entire park was both picturesque and relaxed to be in.

We had a pleasant afternoon in Carey's Cave despite the rather strange guide who was more into terrifying the children rather than showing us around, perhaps that's what comes of being a tour guide in a cave for any length of time.

One of the Dads (Andrew) had some experience of caving and on our final day, Audrey Eli and I found ourselves deep underground with torches strapped to bike helmets on our heads. It was a real scramble/climb to get up and down but really good fun.

The days were long and sunny but at night the temperatures dropped down and we shivered a bit in our tents. Still the kids loved the camp fire, roasting marshmallows and the glow sticks which John brought along.

Here's some pics..

Our tent (and firewood) in the background

breakfast with Koby and Harry

by the (Goodradigbee) river with Sam and Harry

Carey's Cave

Maya and Audrey

Rainbow over the tent

Audrey (in the dark) with a glowstick

How it looks with the flash on

How it looks with the flash off!


John and Andrew

The cave we climbed down into

Heading home

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