Ah, the joys of camping!

Or should I say, the misadventures of camping? It’s like nature’s way of reminding us that we’re not as outdoorsy as we think we are.

So, there I was, 14 years old and embarking on what was supposed to be a picturesque camping trip to Great Keppel Island. (it wasn’t called Wop-pa back then.) Christmas time, backpacks packed, and a family of 4 kids squeezed into a Tarago like sardines. Just a short hop from Cairns to Yeppoon to catch the Ferry across to the Island. Usually, the Christmas trip was a bit longer, something like Cairns to Melbourne. So we could nearly do this one to Yeppoon (900k) without a toilet break. 😂But little did I know, this was going to be less of a holiday and more of a survival test.

First task: deliver ice to the campsite. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Three hours later, after I had taken in the scenery, and done a little daydreaming, I noticed that the ice had nearly all melted and still no campground. I was contemplating life’s big questions, like whether to keep the empty bags or find a bin. Talk about a meltdown – both literally and metaphorically.

About 3 hours had passed. What was staring at me was a lighthouse, not a campground. I now know that this is about 5ks from the landing point.

Great Keppel Island (Wop-pa)

Great Keppel (Wop-pa) Island

Half hour by ferry from Yeppoon

Headland on Great Keppel

It was a Cliff

Toyota Tarago

Ah! the memories

New Plan

How hard could it be to find my way around an island? Just follow the beach around the island – I was feeling confident. Until I noticed the lack of other human footprints, and then I hit a cliff. A literal cliff that went 100 metres into the ocean. Turns out, beaches don’t always cooperate with your plans for an easy stroll.

Revised Plan

As the sun is setting, trudge through the wilderness until I find civilization. Avoid all man-eating animals, it’s Australia, how many could there be?? What felt like 10 hours later, (7.30pm) I stumbled onto the camp, greeted by worried faces and a sky that said, “Where have you been?”


I stumbled into the camp at about 7:30 pm. Everyone had been out looking for me as it was nearly dark. At Christmas time in QLD, there is no daylight saving so the sun was setting at 7:30. Needless to say I was glad to be back.

Do I Like Camping?

Seems that the wildlife followed me out of that wilderness and into the campground. Ants, they were everywhere, like uninvited guests at a picnic. And those kookaburras? They were the winged equivalent of party crashers, cheekier than seagulls, always swooping in for a bite of your snack.
So, do I like camping? Let’s just say, I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for indoor plumbing. Backyard camping is as wild as it gets for me these days, especially with two energetic kids and acres of land to explore.
We’ve erected that tent more times than I can count, transforming our backyard into a mini wilderness. And let me tell you, we’ve turned our camping escapades into a showcase of the finest outdoor gear. From Silky Saws slicing through branches like butter to Barebones lights illuminating our makeshift campsite, and let’s not forget the epicurean delight of Baledo cutlery and fancy crockery – our backyard adventures are anything but ordinary. It’s like we’ve created our very own outdoor showroom, one camping trip at a time!

What are Your Thoughts on Camping?

Honestly, I was lost in the wilderness of uncertainty for a while there. But eventually, this tale of camping chaos managed to navigate its way from one end of the island to the other. And guess what? It got me pondering the idea of giving camping another shot.

Of course, this time around, I’ll make sure to be better prepared than my first misadventure. I mean, who knew that a simple camping trip could turn into a survival challenge worthy of a reality TV show?

But hey, only time will tell if we’ll pitch that tent again in someone else’s wilderness. In the meantime, if you’ve got any epic camping tales of your own, I’d love to hear them! Shot us an email, give me a call, or post it on our social media.

Thanks for being there through the camping calamities and the backyard adventures. You’re the real MVPs! – Nita


Nita from atcProducts


from atcProducts