HAPPY CAMPERS !          - 24/4/2012      <--Prev : Next-->

Although it was not the type of camping with which we are familiar it was a most enjoyable experience.

The charming country town of Dwellingup in Western Australia is located an hour and a half drive south of Perth. Set among pristine jarrah forest and water catchment areas, Dwellingup offers nature at its best.

Almost obliterated by the 1961 bushfires, Dwellingup has become a year round destination for many visitors and is set in a delightfully natural setting of the Lane Poole Reserve along the banks of the Murray River.

We camped at Charlie s Flat Campground not far from Dwellingup on the edge of the sweet little river where kayaking excursions abound.

It resembled Mana Pools in just one way only and that was that there was absolutely nothing provided except a neatly demarcated camp site and a long drop !!

But how nice it was to be the lightest sleeper in the happy Oz camping fraternity - because the lightest sleeper at Mana is generally put on "Hyaena Watch" !!

Critters large and small are unusual in The Hotham Valley - we were visited by a couple of wallabies and the only other signs of wild life were magpies and the dear little nocturnal Chudditch which is a small vole like creature. The Chuditch or Western Quoll is the largest carnivorous marsupial found in Western Australia, an average adult male weighs just 1300g ... not much to fear from him ?

However the little blighter was quite adept however at clawing its way through a trash bag though and running off with two of our bread rolls !!

It was indeed very different but most appealing as although there were no wild animals, one could swim in the river (no bilharzia) and best of all - no crocodiles !!

One similarity was the mozis and the fact that the days are glorious and the nights are freezing but the Aussies are a canny crew and the tents went up in a flash, all mod cons were provided and food cooked under the stars is always the best.

All i Pads, i pods and games were left at home forcibly by the parents for a couple of most festive days, and your truly took it upon herself to lead the way with Camp Party Games !!

Reluctant at first, out gaggle of nieces, nephews and teenagers delighted in the daft games like "clap Clap" that equally daft adults like to play !!

One of the nicest things about an Aussi camp site is that one is permitted to take ones dogs along. We had three little canines of assorted sizes, who delighted in racing around on their extra long dog leads and being allowed, as a special treat, to sleep on blow up mattresses with their owners !

Mums and Dads took to the tents knowing the vagaries of the weather, but the five children opted to one giant communal mattress under the stars, no one contracted pneumonia from the heavy dew fortunately and all went very well indeed.

I throughly enjoyed the absence of the two and four footed predators that normally frequent a Zimbabwe campsite. No need to secure the tent against thieving monkeys and baboons, it is totally safe to leave all of one s possessions and go off kayaking for the morning !!

HeeHoo was not required to do his famous "tent-snake-chasing manoeuvers" thankfully, a trick he has learnt in Mana, Gona Re Zhou and Hwange on many occasions. No need either to carefully strap and weigh down the cooler box lids in case the hyena run off with the left over boerevors and tomorrow night s steak!!

And best of all, after one gets home after the trip, no need to erect the tent in the garden and totally disinfect and deodorise it from baboon urine and faces. Its a known fact at Mana that the baboons seek safety in the trees above the happy campers.

Thats a very cute baboon habit until they all start their morning ablutions en mass all over the fly sheet and in the gauze windows of the tent. Our dogs used to go crazy at home after a trip to Mana when the tents were re-erected in the garden for sanitizing !

Thank you our Little Aussie Families and Scatterlings for such a wonderful time.....