Camping in the Stirling Range – Part One

This past week we went camping. It was a bit of a last minute decision really, only gave ourselves a few weeks to get ready but it was SO worth it.  We (I) needed to get away from the city, from the busyness of life, from people even (sorry!), and be in nature. I’ve always found the natural world to be a place where God meets me, a place of clarity of thought, a place of peace. I knew I didn’t want to go to a holiday park; even though our last experience at one was good, they’re not really a “natural” place or a peaceful place, particularly during school holidays. We wanted to go the Stirling Range because we wanted to do some hiking. At some point leading up to my 30th last year I said to Tim that I wanted to complete something physically challenging in my 30th year. I wanted to set a benchmark for my 30s of adventure and physical fitness. I wanted to focus and achieve a physical goal, although because it was a bit of a last minute decision to go at this time I didn’t really get much training in, unfortunately.

We booked in at the Stirling Range Retreat, not really knowing what to expect, and made numerous lists of what we would need to bring. We have to pack light because of our small car and there’s always something that ends up on the roof. Here’s how tightly packed in we were.

Tim and Eden

Tim and Eden

Katie and I

Katie and I

We drove for about 2.5 hours and reached Kojonup which is a lovely little town. We packed a picnic lunch and ate at the park where the girls played and ran around for a while.

Swinging like monkeys

Swinging like monkeys

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

Then it was off for another 2 hour drive to the Stirling Range Retreat. The girls travelled well in the car. We had some podcasts/stories that we listened to, they slept some and that was pretty much it. We didn’t bring any DVD/video devices and didn’t need one at all. To you Canadians reading you may be thinking that a 4.5 hour car trip is nothing, to which I would agree, but we rarely drive longer than 30-40 minutes in the car at any one time, so we weren’t sure how the girls would make out. They did well and hopefully we’ll make the trip up to the Ningaloo Reef sometime in the next few years (we may have to upgrade to a 4-wheel-drive for that trip! :))

We arrived at our campsite and first thing we noticed was no grass. We shouldn’t have been surprised really, but it was a bit tricky getting the tent pegs into the hard, dry ground. Growing grass would be such a waste of water in this dry area, so it makes sense. I’m glad we had some good mattresses to sleep on 🙂

DSCN3409

First things first – Sun cream!

Girlies watching Tim through the tent

Girlies watching Tim through the tent

Eden wanted to take a picture of me!

Eden wanted to take a picture of me!

The camp ground was spacious and perfectly located close to the Stirling range. It had a great little park and really nice swimming pools. It wasn’t that busy – despite being school holidays – and had a great communal kitchen area, and clean bathrooms/showers – as long as you don’t mind a few bugs…

Dry and dusty with the mountains in the background

Dry and dusty with the mountains in the background

Testing out the tyre swings

Testing out the tyre swings

Eden wanted to take a picture of Tim with our tent in the background.

Eden wanted to take a picture of Tim with our tent in the background.

The lovely pools!

The lovely pools!

That first evening after our swim and supper we watched the sun set behind the mountains and knew that we had made the perfect choice for our holiday.

The sun beginning it's descent

The sun beginning it’s descent

Roasting marshmallows

Roasting marshmallows

Pretty sky

Pretty sky

Beauty

Beauty

Sometime in the next few days we’ll write a post specifically about hiking Bluff Knoll, which was the centrepiece of our trip. Until then, hope you’ve enjoyed this look into our holiday.

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3 thoughts on “Camping in the Stirling Range – Part One

  1. I had, out of compulsion, to go directly to google maps and find out where Bluff Knoll was. I REALLY hope the 2 girls remember the wonder and excitement of remote places. It kind of reminded me of the Grampians just north of the Great Ocean Road.
    You realize, of course, how jealous you make all of your peers. I think everyone, bar none, feels the tug to have their eyes opened by travel. I think one of the biggest sadnesses of life is growing old realizing the limitations health places on age.

    But, I celebrate with your family and the novelty you have around you. Don’t waste the experience. Continue sharing with others the absolute marvel of God’s green (some places) earth.

    Cheers from rigid, stolid Ontario
    Clive and Jane & all.

  2. This sounds like such a lovely refreshing family time….so happy for all of you that you were able to camp in such a beautiful environment. Those sunset shots are spectacular! Eden is quite the photographer too…..she even leaves a signature fingerprint in each one 🙂 xoxo

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