Its a fortnight since we returned from our outback adventure and its been a busy period of cleaning the rig, making some repairs, catching up on chores and fitting in treatment – but now its time for a long awaited break with family. The COVID border restrictions have thankfully been dropped so we took opportunity to dive deep into NSW to catch up with Suzzanne’s nephews, Jesse and Toby, and their support crew Steven and Karina. To complete the group we took Suzzanne’s mum Greta along too, for a three generational get together.
We had originally planned to camp at Diamond Head but that trip was cancelled when the borders closed in January, the best we could do on this attempt is The Ruins Campground, still a great beachside spot but a little more civilised. The Ruins is located in the Booti Booti National Park, on a long slender finger of land between the sea and a salt water lake, just south of Forster on the NSW north coast. The campground is tucked into a sheltered corner of a great surf beach and the adjacent headland has bush walking trails through temperate rainforest, all accessed right from the campground.
An early morning start on the 8 hour haul down the A1 saw us making good time, until the munchies set in as we approached Coffs Harbour. A stop was in order anyhow when we realised we forgot Greta’s pillow, I double parked the rig outside a shopping centre while a dash was made for toasties, coffee and bedding.
Next stop, fish & chips for lunch at Forster then onward to the campground to set up in anticipation of the Sydney gang to arrive. We ended up with a great pair of camp sites, opposite bushland and with few neighbours, yet close to amenities. There was even nice shade through most of the days, always a bonus when the weather is still warm.
With benefit of two adjacent sites we could position the rig to best advantage given that the X3 would be base camp for the group. Greta ended up in my swag on a stretcher underneath the Cruiser’s awning, a step up from the ground tent used on her last trip with us. Steven, Karina and Toby were in a family tent while Jesse was courageously alone in his own ground tent between us.
The next couple of days were spent wandering between camp and the beach, while Toby had some luck with a spot of fishing. The bravest of the group even headed into the waves with their boogy boards!
A continuing theme on our trips lately has been need to cut them short due to a change of weather – our neighbours started breaking camp and advised that a warning was out for heavy rain and wind approaching, so we decided to take their lead and pack up while everything was still dry.
Have you ever noticed that when you are camping everything seems to swell, there always seems to be more to pack than you bought, and it takes up more room! Suzzanne and I are pretty well rehearsed at packing the X3 now and soon had everything tucked and folded and clipped down. Karina coordinated their pack up and managed to wedge everything into and onto their Captiva with just enough space left for the human cargo.
The Ruins proved to be a good little campground with a great beach. The sites are grassy and fairly flat, while some areas were still boggy and taped off due to recent rain that hammered the north coast. The spot we chose worked out well with bushland across from us and the grounds were only half full, which created plenty of open space around our camp.
Facilities are okay and include timed hot showers – the toilet/shower block has signs noting that it will soon be closed for renovations, which are well over due even though everything worked okay. All up, it is a recommended location and better than many private van parks and campgrounds that we saw in the area.