With the Easter break only around the corner, it’s time to start thinking seriously about the best spots for a family escape. With four days to work with, most of us will be looking at destinations within range of a half-day’s drive from home.
In the Daydreams section of each issue of the mag, we rattle off a few of our favourite weekend hotspots. A problem that a couple of readers have written in to let us know about is that, seeing as most of these destinations are located within national parks, it’s often not possible to bring along furry, four-legged family members.
We know that some of our readers don’t feel right heading off on adventure unless the whole family can go together – so here’s a list of our favourite offroad, pet-friendly holiday locations – all within a few hours drive of the state capitals. If you’ve got any other favourites you feel should’ve made the short list, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sandy Creek Campground is located in Kilcoy, nestled within the green hills of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. This family-run campground and 4WD destination is located just an hour north of Brisbane, via the M1, and is easily accessible for all southeast Queensland residents. The park is home to a plethora of tranquil campsites dotted across the grassy plains, as well as a couple of great offroad drives and swimming and water activities are available in nearby Somerset Dam.
Bookings are essential and family passes are available for a cost of $65 that covers entry and camping fees for two adults and all children for two days and two nights. Get in touch today to plan your Easter adventure!
07 5498 1032
Loveday 4X4 Adventure Park is a privately-owned 4WDers sanctuary located just two hours drive east of Adelaide and two hours to the west of Mildura. The park has plenty of beautiful, relaxing riverside campsites available, perfect for a family getaway, but don’t worry as there’s certainly no shortage of 4WDing options available!
The park is set on 8000 acres of private property, and the offroad tracks traverse a mix of smooth clay flats, dry creek beds, sandy hills and sandy Mallee scrub. Daytrip access to the park is available at a cost of $40 per vehicle and camping along the park’s 14km of Murray River frontage is available at a cost of $60 per vehicle for the first night and just $10 per vehicle each night thereafter. Check out their website for further details and start planning your next getaway!
Manar Park is a 15,000 head working cattle station that doubles as southeast Queensland’s biggest offroad adventure park. The park is situated right on the border between the state’s South Burnett and North Burnett regions. The park is home to an amazing 230km of graded 4WD tracks that traverse the diverse landscape, as well as a further 200km of Enduro bike loops.
The park has tracks suitable for everyone from the novice to the nutcase and access is available for $45 per vehicle per day. Unpowered campsites are available at a cost of $10 per adult and $5 per child per night, or $30 per night for a family group. Powered sites, cabins and dongas are also available. Check online for further details and booking information.
(07) 4161 2188
State forests have long been the allies of pet-friendly campers, and Chichester is a ripper of a park located just a couple of hours north of Sydney in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region. The park is situated amongst the foothills of the famous Barrington Tops, and offers visitors free day use and camping facilities.
Telegherry, Frying Pan, Currawong and Coachwood camping areas are located in the lush southeastern side of the forest, best accessed from Dungog. White Rock, Old Camp and Pademelon Park are camping areas on the southwestern side of the forest, best accessed from Gresford.
As well as the fantastic offroad driving available within the park, there’s some great bushwalks as well as swimming available in the Ladies Well swimming hole. Head online for further details and get cracking planning your visit!
Johanna Beach Camping Area is a grassy, pet friendly campsite nestled amongst the dunes of the adjacent surf beach. There are 25 unpowered campsites available, each capable of accommodating up to six people. Access to the campground is available via the Great Ocean Road and Old Coach Road. There’s no drinking water available and the only facilities are non-flush toilets, but it’s the only pet-friendly campground in the area so it’s always popular and advance bookings and payment are required to secure your spot. Head online for further details and booking information.
13 19 63
WORDS BY PAT WILLIAMS