Tin Can Bay weekend (Queensland, Australia)

It’s school holidays and my sister’s kids love camping. So when Paul suggested we go camping at Tin Can Bay for a night, it seemed only natural to take my two oldest nephews along for the ride.

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Tin Can Bay is about 230km (140 miles) north of our home. If we were on a road trip, that would take a whole day to drive. But this was a destination-based camping trip so we just drove up there, stopping for lunch along the way. It was early afternoon when we arrived to set up camp at the Kingfisher Caravan Park. It’s a quiet, grassy and located right across the road from the beach.

The kids ride their bikes as we set up camp. A squall passes over just as we have the inner tent up so everything gets a bit wet but nothing that can’t be dried with a towel. The kids run back briefly before going back to play when the rain stops. It’s fun to see them whooping along on their bikes in the endless waterfront park across the road.

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We have every intention to take the kids kayaking but the water is too shallow and there are squalls coming in. It doesn’t stop the kids though. They spend more than an hour chasing each other in the shallow water, tackling, wrestling and kicking water at each other. We get soaked by another squall and it doesn’t matter because it’s fun watching the kids.

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We spend the evening walking around the small township buying some groceries, eating fish & chips for dinner, and checking out the boat ramp. It doesn’t take long for the kids to have their shoes off and walking in the water at the boat ramp to look for fish. They spot a massive crab, which causes all sorts of excitement. That’s what’s so lovely about camping with kids … they see everything.

The kids are tuckered out and we don’t hear a peep out of them until morning. Even the heavy rain squalls don’t bother them. Mind you, they are sleeping in the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, which is totally waterproof.

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The sun is gorgeous when it comes up at camp. I find that it doesn’t matter whether you are wild camping or in a caravan park. Camping is camping and sunrises are sunrises.

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We take the kids for a walk down to jetty again (well, they ride their bikes) . It’s only 1.2km (3/4 mile). Every morning at 7am a pod of dolphins come to visit. They’ve been coming since 1954. You can stand in the water near the dolphins but cannot reach out to touch them. It’s amazing to be so close to these beautiful creatures. At 8am you can purchase a fish to feed the dolphins so we buy one for each of the kids. “That was amazing” they said.

There’s some more bike riding by the kids while Paul and I pack camp. Then a long drive home followed by a trip to the cinema to watch Kung Fu Panda 3 and a few games at the amusement arcade to pass the time. Camping with kids is definitely a fun and worthwhile activity.

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