Awkward to awesome

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Your Trip Right

Your Trip Right presents

The Great Central Rd Guide


What we hate most about cities and population is the busyness, rush and unnecessary stress that they create. We find, in highly populated places that our days and time are quickly eaten up with things that we don't necessarily want to be doing... we just don't get value out of our time.

I would say that we are not the usual bunch of travellers... We have ourselves, the two dogs, a toddler and a 5wk old baby with a camper on the back, so we are not the quickest travellers. A normal day of travel would see us leaving around 11am after a big play session with Layla, stopping for a late lunch and another play and then another big stop at dinner. After dinner we get Layla into her pjs, we saddle up for a nice quiet night stint, and pull up when we are sick of the day.

Travelling from Melbourne to Adelaide we planned to pull up camp for the night in a free camp spot near Ballarat in a state forest but whilst eating dinner we remembered that there was a father and son pair on the run from the police who could possibly be in the area. 

We decided pulling up camp in a lovely quiet secluded state forest was not the best idea!
We tried calling a few caravan parks in Ballarat at dinner time but the only park that was still open did not accept dogs... Damn! We were going to have to see if we could get into one that accepted dogs and pay in the morning. 

Still no luck. The parks we knew that accepted dogs all required a tag or key to enter. Hmmm??! We needed to find somewhere safe to sleep for the night but were very short on options.

We found refuge in a car park situated on the shores of Lake Wendouree. I admit it wasn't our proudest  moment but the four of us jumped into the tvan and pulled down the hatch. We felt safe and were able to get some much needed sleep.

Morning came and so did lunch. We spent the first half of the day making the best of what had been an awkward situation the night before. 

Big beautiful trees created masses of shade and flowers carpeted the ground. Layla got to extensively explore the two playgrounds within the park. One playground in particular was uniquely impressive and one of the best I have ever seen. The playground was well suited to all ages from toddlers up.

Across the car park was the lake and a variety of waterbirds littered its shores. There was even a pair of swans with a group of delightfully fluffy cygnets. Being very much used to human contact we were all but able to touch the irresistible bundles. 

About 2pm we finally hit the road for the first time for the day and we couldn't have cared less.
From feeling very awkward and uncomfortable the night before, we ended up really appreciating the circumstances. We had no checkout time to meet nor a particular place to be by any other determined time. We were free and flexible to enjoy the day at our own pace.

These days when your travelling, I feel you don't see too much genuine hospitality, especially for those in need. It is very refreshing to see places (such as Juggiong, NSW) offer camping in otherwise unused areas and existent facilities to visitors in return for a donation. I am not talking about anything extravagant, just a paddock and an existing toilet block.

I understand things don't come for free but give a little and you will get a lot.

Jessica Toll