Healthy Camping Recipe – Lentil and Cashew Curry with Yoghurt

Did we mention we’re working on a ‘non campervan building but still campervan related’ long term project?  That’s right, some of us at Achtung Camper are pooling together our knowledge and love of healthy cooking, nutrition and campervan living to eventually publish a healthy eating campervan cookbook.  The requirements?  Meals have to be super nutritious, super simple and super tasty.  Not to mention only include ingredients that are super easy to source wherever you are in Australia!

One of potential meals is this virtually ‘no cooking’ curry.  The ingredients are all healthy but are all pantry items so you can shop for this a month before you cook it.

We look forward to your comments and tips once you’ve tried it out!

Lentil and Cashew Curry with Yoghurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 diced large onion
  • 2 minced cloves garlic
  • 20 ml olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tin lentils
  • 1 tin organic chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin light organic coconut milk
  • 200 g roughly chopped raw cashews
  • Organic natural yoghurt
  1. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add the curry powder and continue to slowly cook for a further minute.
  2. Add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and cashews. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt.

Serves 2-4 depending on how hungry you are!

Recipe inspired by Puy Lentil curry recipe published on the Victoria Government’s Betterhealth website.

 

ADD SOME COLOUR TO YOUR LIFE WITH AN AFTERMARKET EXTERNAL COLOUR OPTIONS!

Following on from our blog on T6 colours we look at aftermarket external colour options for your van.

IF YOUR VAN IS A COLOUR ALREADY

You can choose to have your pop top roof colour matched to the body of the van for $1750.  This isn’t a necessity however as we’ll fit a white strip to the bottom of your van if you keep the white roof.  The strip works with the other white campervan accessories on the outside of your van (water and electric inlets) to tie in the white roof so nothing look out of place.

IF YOU’VE GOT A WHITE VAN

You have the option of getting a half van wrap to the bottom half of your van for $1450.  The vinyl wrap is available in any colour of your choosing and also works to protect the paintwork.

Rolling Solo

Have we told you about the best thing we’ve discovered since our new Helinox Chair (another blog for this product!)?  If you are of female gender and love camping/campervanning and the great outdoors you are lucky enough to be eligible to join just about the best exclusive/inclusive community group in Australia.  Rolling Solo is online, offline & real time community that provides support, friendships, information and connections for independent female roadtrippers interested in camping, outdoor adventure & travel in Australia.

“Events, Social Catchup’s, Tagalong Trips & get together’s for members are the core of their existence.  We are a “sisterhood of the travelling vans!”

BUT you say, I love travelling on my own!  YES! But wouldn’t it be great to be part of a community of women just like you, located all around Australia that you can meet up, have a coffee, go roadtripping & camping with, or chat with online with anytime?

Roller catchups are happening every month in every state.  Making new friends has never been so easy.  When you all have the love of the outdoors, travel, roadtrips and camping in common new connections are effortless.

“Waiting for you are thousands of new friends are already out there in every town in Australia, you just haven’t met them yet!

Joining the Roller “tribe” gives you access all areas of our website. Exclusive invitation to our events, forums, groups, chat rooms, member store and discounts pages, classifieds, Roller Wiki and “secret” facebook group.

You will receive a personalised membership card with your official Rolling Solo member number, official roller bumper sticker with your number and a member lanyard display holder for events. Get unlimited access to the website, events, chat, classifieds, pitstops, discount camping and outdoor gear, partner discounts, access to all groups and activities . Membership works out to be $3.33 per month.

You’d be hard pressed to buy a decent coffee for that price!  But the value you will get by becoming member, making new lifelong friends, joining the fun and adventures together will be priceless.”

More information can be found at www.rollingsolo.com.au

Camping Spot Review – Walhalla, Victoria.

Firstly and most importantly, wow what a strange place… I’m going to say it again, what a VERY STRANGE place Walhalla is.

We’d read about the pub, always a good solid reason to make a small town a destination for a weekend away – a good local pub.  And to be fair, the pub exceeded our very high destination.  A very very small (like someone’s living room!) and homely furnished place with different currencies all over the bar, this is a true local Australian pub with some of the best pub food we’ve ever had.  Had it been in any Australian major city and it would have been FULL.  The size and quality of each meal, the homely welcoming atmosphere, the beers on tap and the friendly staff (who also doubled as unpaying customers WHILE working) were worth the drive alone.

Now to the rest of the town:

Imagine an old movie set from a wild western, with beautiful natural bush surroundings and amazing old buildings, all restored.  Now imagine you arrive, and it’s like a CLOSED movie set.  Not a business or building open and not a sole in town.  It’s a Wednesday and we can’t even buy a milk, toilet paper or work out how to pay for the campground, let alone get a coffee or the paper in the morning.  Strange?  You bettcha!  So apparently if you arrive on a weekend the town is ‘open’ so to speak, but the locals don’t ‘bother’ week days, so a tip of advice – DO NOT visit Walhalla on a week day!  What we didn’t understand?  Why NOT open in the week?  In the 2 days we were there we encountered slow driving car after slow driving car, they’d stop in the main street and look around dumbfounded as we did.  Then they’d do a few more loops and drive out.  All eager tourists who left to spend their dollars somewhere else when presented with a ghost town.

The camping grounds (there are three options):

Chinese Gardens – The only paid campground in the town and quite lovely however the owner (when we finally did get a hold of her) was a right royal %#!+C putting us directly next to the only other camper in the entire campground for the one night and forgetting to give us the pin code for the toilet/shower then being uncontactable.  This place is lovely because it was empty when we stayed here but we can see it being horrible if there were more than a few campers staying here at the one time (it was one large clearing with no shade or privacy between spots).

Free Camping in town (legal) – This is more of a reststop on the side of the road with some taps and a public toilet.  Not really nice and not really ideal, but it is free.

Free Camping just out of town (not legal) – there’s a large bridge over the river that you’ll cross before you enter the town.  We were told by the waitress/bartender at the pub that it’s where the locals sometimes go to camp.  We drove down there but didn’t stay as there was lots of broken glass.  Was nice to swim in the river though.

Walhhalla – a nice town but even if the 5 shops had been open I really can’t see anything to do here.  2hours and 20 minutes from Melbourne and worth it if you want to spend a weekend in a pub.

 

 

Top Camping Spot Review – Badgers Creek, Healesville, Victoria (Healesville camping!)

The Yarra Valley has always been a favourite for this Achtung Camping pair pre-baby.  Now with child, things have changed slightly.  Undoubtedly one of the best attractions of the Yarra Valley are the wineries – from which we were only able to visit one this time with toddler in toe and spend the rest of our time in Healesville camping.  But we chose well, TarraWarra Estate had the most beautiful grounds and architectural buildings we have ever seen.  It doesn’t matter if you are a beer drinker, the grounds here and amazing restaurant plus modern art gallery have more than something for everyone.

Healesville itself has become a bit of a foodies hotspot and we were impressed when walking into the Healesville Hotel or Giant Steps however the high price tags that accompanied the not so impressive meals left us with a bit of a bad taste in our mouth at the end.  All in all we think $7.50 as the going rate for a pot of beer in all places we visited to be a bit stiff.  Yes the amazing beer garden and décor at the Healesville Hotel made up for the stiff drink prices but we still couldn’t stomach a second night eating here after paying $35 for average mains the night before.

The campground – Big 4 Badgers Creek is about 5 minutes drive out of Healesville and unfortunately the 45 minute walk with no footpath along a busy dark road was too much for us to brave on foot.  As per the majority of Big 4 Campgrounds, the facilities were abundant and so was the price tag – we paid $55 a night in an off peak period, for a non powered site.  I do not want to know what a powered site costs over Christmas.  If you are going to make use of the tennis courts, games room, small pool, brand new showers and toilet block, kitchen with massive flat screen TV and playground then maybe it’s worth it.  We cook in our around our van and didn’t make sure of anything other than the toilets and playground so it wasn’t worth money for us.  Please note also that there was an outdoor WEDDING hosted IN the campground the Saturday night we stayed, complete with MC and 50 odd drunk guests.  When I complained about the noise the next day and the ridiculousness of hosting a wedding next to people with kids sleeping in tents the staff member said the owners were trialing it as it was something they wanted to do ongoing in future.  This was enough for us to say, never again Big 4 Badgers Creek!

Location – As most know, the Yarra Vally is amazingly close to Melbourne and even from Geelong the 2 hour drive was worth it.  We’ll be back, but next time we’ll be checking out some bush camping!

Badger's Creek campground

Badger’s Creek campground

Badger's Creek campground

Badger’s Creek campground

Badger's Creek campground

Badger’s Creek campground

Badger's Creek campground

Badger’s Creek campground

TarraWarra Estate

TarraWarra Estate

TarraWarra Estate

TarraWarra Estate

TarraWarra Estate

TarraWarra Estate

Top Camping Spot Review – Cumberland River

This is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking spots to camp in Victoria, with shear cliffs framing a river upon which you can camp on it’s bank.  The perfect beach is only a minute walk away (although you need to cross the busy Great Ocean Road so take care with children!).

There are a number of walks starting from the campground, ranging from 30 minutes return to full day walks.  We loved the walk to Jebb’s pool which was close by and a great place for a cool, shady swim.

The campground – although the setting is world class, the campground leaves a little to be desired – showers are 20cents for 5 minutes, which we woudn’t mind, however without knowing this before arriving you have to be lucky to have enough 20 cent pieces with you for showers each night.  Worse still the reception was also ‘out’ of 20 cent pieces for the 3 days we camped here.   A problem as the closest place to change money is Lorne.

There is VERY limited power and running water at this campground, which didn’t bother us however it might if you are not ready for a self sufficient stay.  All in all, our biggest issue with the campground was the lack of shade/trees and that the camp spots were mostly just dirt and not grass covered – making it hard to keep things clean.

Location – Cumberland River is about 10 minutes drive past Lorne, and 2 hours and 10minutes from Melbourne.  The distance and amenities make it great for a long weekend.

The VW T6 Interior Comfort Package

WHAT YOU GET WITH THE VW INTERIOR COMFORT PACKAGE:

  • Light and Vision system: auto dimming inside rear view mirror, automatic headlight activation with separate daytime running lights, “Leaving Home” and manual “Coming Home” function.
  • Rain sensing wipers.
  • Height adjustment for front passenger’s seat.
  • Lumbar support (manually adjustable) for front passenger’s seat.
  • Armrests for driver and front passenger seats.
  • Grab handles on A pillar for driver and front passenger (standard for single cab and dual cab.
  • Vanity mirrors for left and right sun visors.
  • 12-volt socket on upper dashboard.

The VW Interior Comfort Package feature that will greatly improve your comfort on a long road trip?

Armrests!

Cost: $1700

Important Information: The VW Interior comfort package can only be factory fitted so if you want these features you’ll need to purchase a van with a comfort package or order your new VW T6 with comfort package, as they can’t be added aftermarket.

 

The always forgotten camping items

Here is a list of the items we always find ourselves without when we get away for a weekend, we may have run out and forgotten to re-pack or forgotten them to begin with but these bits and pieces are undoubtedly always needed on any campervan trip:

  • Bin bags.
  • Plastic zip lock sandwich bags.
  • Dishwashing liquid or better still, one of those Dishomatic sponges where you can fill up the liquid in the handle, saves taking a separate bottle of liquid.
  • Paper towelling or toilet paper.
  • Tea towel.
  • Tea bags.
  • Mozzie repellent or candle.
  • Tupperware containers.
  • Butter/margarine.
  • Tea spoons (not part of our camping cutlery set).
  • ANOTHER towel or sarong (for the beach, for your shower, for laying on the grass, we take 2 per person).
  • Enough warm clothes (a beanie, scarf or gloves is always handy to keep in your van for those surprisingly chilly nights).
  • Surface spray to clean your camping table.

 If you have anything to add to this list at all please email us or comment on this blog!