For those that don’t know me, my name is Brendan Whitecross. Amongst being a player for the Hawthorn Football Club, I’m a huge outdoor enthusiast: boating, camping, fishing, 4×4 – anything outdoors and I’m there! 2015 is an exciting year for me, with a return to the football field after consecutive knee reconstructions, and off the field I’m extremely excited to be teaming up with Jayco to blog my family adventures in our new Outback Work ‘N Play Toy Hauler!
Blog 2: Happy Australia Day!
With pre-season training in full swing, and public holidays usually just a normal day for our football club, I was excited to hear that we had the Australia Day long weekend off this year.
As it’s not often that we have days off at the same time as our friends, we didn’t hesitate to pack up the Jayco Outback Work ‘N Play, and head straight to Jamieson to meet up with the camping gang.
Being a long weekend, state forests can be extremely busy with families, so we decided this trip was the perfect opportunity to leave the bikes at home, and create a fun kids campsite instead! With the huge Work ‘N Play garage space, we packed a range of things to keep Cody and his friends entertained, including a basketball ring, Little Tikes 4×4, ride on tractor, Hawks footy, sporting gear – the list went on, making this a real “Toy Hauler”.
Arriving in Jamieson, popular bush camping spots such as Granny’s Flat were full, but the group discovered an equally great site at Doctors Creek, on the river towards Kevington. Arriving with the Work ‘N Play, everyone was really interested to see and hear all about the van’s unique features, and the kids were excited to unpack all the goodies in the back for them to play with.
Setting up felt even quicker this trip, as I dropped down the legs, pushed out the double bed, rolled out the awning, opened the rear door and setup our lounge and outdoor areas area. In fact I was able to do this by myself so quickly, that Kelly and Cody had barely finished going around camp saying hi to the gang.
For those that haven’t been, Jamieson is a small town 2.5 hours out of Melbourne Victoria, located at the junction of the Goulburn and Jamieson Rivers. With a gold rush history, the surrounding forest is an adventure playground for 4 Wheel Driving, motor bike / horse riding, bush walking, bird watching, fishing and water sports at nearby Lake Eildon. Of course in winter the snow falls, and it becomes perfect terrain for cross country skiing and snow play during the day – with warm meals available at the Jamieson Brewery and Pub at night.
After settling in on Friday, we jumped into our 4×4’s on Saturday to explore the tracks between Jamieson and Wood’s Point. One of the iconic drives in this area is the trip up to Mt Terrible [south west of Kevington]. There are many options and fire trails to challenge your 4×4 skills here, and after a good look at the impressive views, we continued to explore tracks through to Wood’s Point – and the characteristic Commercial Hotel.
Back at camp we were able to enjoy the picturesque river over the weekend, with trout jumping above the waterline early in the mornings, and everyone spending afternoons swimming in the river. The girls cooked up a storm, with an impressive Australia Day lamb roast and apple crumble on the Webber Q’s… of which ours tucks neatly into the Work ‘N Play’s boot space.
With the warm weather, we tested the outdoor shower this trip too, which has become one of our favorite accessories! Anyone with kids knows the mess that comes with them, but the outdoor shower made for the easiest and fun bath time. With a bucket to sit in, and the shower head holder at the perfect height for kids, Cody had a ball in his warm, fun shower and bubble bath, before winding down in the van at night with his favorite teddy and video.
Our Jayco Outback Work ‘N Play certainly made for an extremely easy trip. Cleaning and packing up was so easy that we didn’t come home with that “camping hangover”, where you feel like you need another day off to rest after the huge effort to get home. For me this is a massive bonus, as it means I can use my extended footy breaks to enjoy the outdoors, but resume training days later feeling refreshed and fit.
With another scheduled 3 day break in February, I look forward to sharing our next trip with you.