After our recent Australia Day trip to Johanna Beach we invited some friends to join us for another weekend.  We suggested Johanna beach as it was a normal weekend and we were sure there would be no crowds.  We were to meet there on Friday.

At about 4pm I recieved a phone call.  Our friends had arrived at the camp site only to find that there was a fishing comp on and the place was packed again!

We were only leaving Melbourne at that stage and with a 2.5hr drive we would have been guaranteed to miss out on a spot.  What to do???  A quick search on wikicamps and our friends suggested a caravan park they had passed on the way to Johanna Beach just out of Colac called Otways Tourist Park.

Otways Tourist Park

What a little gem.  This is the sort of place if you blink you will miss it.  Only about 20 kms south of Colac in a little town called Gellibrand.  This camp is a labour of love of the owners and they built it up from scratch over about 15yrs.  Lots of green grass and shade. They allow dogs and you can hire fire pits ($5) and a wheelbarrow load of wood ($20).

Since starting this post we actually went back and spent another weekend.  It really is that good and will most likely become one of our go to spots being less than 2hrs from home.

We took the opportunity to ride the Beach Forrest to Gellibrand Rail Trail (twice) on the second visit.  We went in the downhill direction and it was an amazing ride through rainforest and farming land with an array of history boards and relics from the past.  The ride is approx. 18kms mostly downhill so little pedalling was needed.  My type of bike riding.  It’s not really one for the kids unless they are experienced riders.

There is a great little cafe across the road that does good coffee and the food looks good too and the Otway Estate Brewery is only 10 kms away on the road back to Colac.  So if you are in the area don’t hesitate to stop here.  It would make a nice base camp to visit the nearby beaches on day trips.


Easter 2013 – Warrnambool.

The two weeks before Easter we spent trying to decide if we’d go away for the four day break.  It wasn’t until Good Friday that we decided to pack up our van and head to Warrnambool.

Matilda playing on the beach

Our tardiness in making a decision meant we ended up getting a site in the overflow area of Surfside Caravan Park, called Shipwreck.  Surfside was packed to the gills and we had a very quiet area with virtually nobody around.

Playing in the dunes

Being only about fifty meters from the beach was a bonus and right beside us was a large area for the girls to play and ride bikes and enough room to fly our kites right beside the van.


It was a very relaxed weekend and on Saturday morning Grace and I got up very early to take a walk along the beach.  We happened across quite a number of racehorses being trained up and down the beach and amongst the waves.  It was pitch black and we could just make out thier shadows as they raced up and down at the low tide mark.

It was such a great Dad and daughter time and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Grace about so many different things as we took our hour plus walk.  The sun soon rose and on the return leg we stumbled across a number of chalk writings along the beach foot path.

Chalk Writing

We did a bit of sight seeing over the weekend and visited some of the main attractions around Warrnambool and along the Great Ocean Road.

Sadly we were a bit early at Logans beach for a whale sighting.

Pano at Logans Beach.

The Twelve Apostles.

12 Apostles


Mum and Girls

London Bridge.  I remember as a kid being driven out to the edge by my dad.  You cant get close anymore.

London Bridge

Over all we had a great family weekend.

The three "kids"

But the story Grace wrote after the weekend really made me realise just how important it is to take the time to spend with your kids.

My letter

The morning we spent walking along the beach. just the two of us having a chat was her favourite part.  Not the playgrounds, or the Easter eggs, but the time I took to spend with her.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

Expander Pegs Review.

“I’m excited” was the catch cry of Big Kev and I’m going to echo his cry with this product.

I like to change and improve things often but I always do a great deal of research into the things I purchase. I like to simplify my life where possible and make things comfortable.

Last year I stumbled across this product. The simplicity of the design and the HUGE improvement to the original had me wondering why hadn’t this been thought of before.

[Expander Pegs.](

They have two legs that you put your rope between and squeeze together. Then you drive them into the ground like a (sub)standard peg.

The great part is they can’t spin out. They grab the ground and don’t pull out. They just do the job a peg is supposed to do.

I have replaced every peg we own with these and the best part is they are not expensive.

If you want to never worry about a peg coming out again and you want to hold that awning down in big winds then do yourself a favour. Get your hands on these. You’ll never regret it.

They come in three different sizes, 25mm, 30mm, 35mm.

Check out the expander pegs website for places you can buy them.

Get yourself well grounded and relax on your next trip not needing to hammer pegs in all weekend.

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