CAMPING REVIEW – ULLADULLA AND SURROUNDS 

One thing you probably already know about the Achtung Camper team, we prefer free/national park camping – and there’s no-where else in the world that it is easier to do this in than in Australia.   

Having said that, a great paid campground during a quiet camping period can beat a free camping spot anytime – a hot shower, easy dish washing, a playground (if you will use it!). 

We arrived in Ulladulla with a list of free camping possibilities which all looked a bit dicey upon closer inspection. 

We did a tour of the paid campgrounds and were pleasantly surprised with Ulladulla Headland Holiday Haven, we were camping during a busy period (late December) and they had plenty of non powered camp sites free in lovely grassy, shaded areas with ocean views.   

They also had a jumping pillow, bowling green, mini golf and amazing water playground for the kids.  The staff were super friendly and we were pleasantly surprised to

All in all we loved our stay in Ulladulla for a number of reasons: 

It was a great base to explore the beautiful towns above and below (Mollymook and Burrill Lake).  Each of these spots are not to be missed with breaktaking beaches and small town charm.   

There was the possibility of free camping at a lookout above the main carpark at Burrill Lake but we enjoyed the convenience of the Ulladulla campground for it’s close location to amenities and restaurants! 

Ulladulla itself had some nice beaches and the campground was walking distance of the town centre which although not the prettiest had some great little restaurants, we ate Japanese, Chinese and Yum Cha for dinner and all were great!  

For more information visit: 

https://ulladullaheadland.holidayhaven.com.au/ulladulla-headland 

 

The differences between the TDI400 and TDI450

Recently VW brought out yet another new model for our beloved T6 – the TDI450. 

What is the TDI450 and is it worth the $6000 more you pay for this as opposed to the TDI400?  It’s another step up in power and torque (150kw, 450nm) but is more fuel efficient and economical than the others as it utilises newer engine technology. 

It also uses the AdBlue additive which gives it Euro6 emission compliance.  The AdBlue additive must be added from time to time but is not expensive, just something that needs to be added every 6000-8000 kms or so. 

The other differences between the TDI400 and TDI450 are as follows: 

  • TDI450 comes with the auto-emergency braking feature. 
  • TDI450 has buttons for cruise control on the steering wheel (instead of on the indicator stalk). 
  • TDI450 has a “speed limiter” function. 
  • TDI450 can be ordered with auto or manual transmission (the TDI400 can only be ordered in auto).   

Healthy camping recipe – MEXICAN BREAKFAST SALAD 

Another great camping recipe that ticks all our boxes, it’s super tasty, super easy and super healthy.  It also includes ingredients that can be bought almost anywhere and are mostly shelf items.   

 The recipe is from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.  Although it’s called a breakfast salad but we’ve made it for lunch and dinner. 

When on the road we’ve replaced the fresh mango with tinned and its worked just as well. 

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • ¼ red onion, finely chopped 
  • 400 g can black beans 
  • Pinch chilli powder 
  • Pinch ground cumin 
  • Pinch sea salt 
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced 
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced  
  • Juice of ½ lime 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeños, drained 
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil 

 Method
Heat oil in frying pan. Add onion, beans, chilli, cumin and salt, and stir-fry over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, except eggs and jalapeños, and toss to combine. Divide between two serving bowls.  

Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat and fry eggs until set but with a soft yolk.  

Serve the bean salad straight away, topped with the fried egg and a few jalapeños. 

HOW TO ALWAYS SLEEP IN THE BEST CAMPING SPOT IN YOUR LOCATION

This does require a little bit of research pre-trip and you’ll need to invest a short amount of time checking out spots when you arrive at your destination but you’ll be rewarded in knowing you are definitely camping in the best spot there is and can unearth some hidden gems in the process! 

  • Look on google maps before you leave to zoom in on any ‘green’ areas, national parks, larger parkland areas, beach carparks, dead end streets near the beach/parkland, areas that would be nice to park and sleep overnight and might not be very populated with minimal passing traffic.   
  • Take notes on directions, screen shots etc of places found above that you want to check out when you get to your destination. 
  • Google paid campgrounds in the area and read the reviews/look at some pics of the camp sites. 
  • Check out any spots in the area on the Wiki Camps app. 
  • Arrive at your location and check out the free camping spots you found on google maps and work out if any of them are actually good in reality: 
  • Do they have any ‘no camping’ signs?  This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker.  See below points. 
    • Does it look like there’ll be police patrolling overnight?  Is there a local police station? 
    • Does it look like there’ll be hoons or young people coming there at night (are there empty bottles around/burnouts?) 
    • Will there be much/any passing traffic overnight? 
    • Do the locals seem friendly ie how do you think they’d react if you stayed overnight?   
    • Are there any big bins or a collection of bins that might be picked up very early in the morning and wake you up? 
    • Is it a surfing break carpark?  Again this isn’t a deal breaker but keep in mind you’ll have loads of cars arriving early in the morning with people checking the surf.  Again, this may not be a problem if the locals seem nice and you don’t sleep too lightly! 
    • Is there a public toilet block nearby?  Always handy! 
  • Drive to the paid camping spot/s that you found online that looked good and ask to see their best/most private sites and check them out before you check in.  Get a park map from the staff and ask them to highlight any sites that are available.  Go for a walk around the park to see for yourself where the nice sites are and how full the park is. 
  • Now you have all of your information you can make a decision on where to camp that night.  It could be a paid campground or a national park carpark.  At the end of the day you are safest if it’s a paid campground to just book one night to start as with any camp spot you are never going to know how good it really is until you’ve spent the night!   

What are your tips on finding a good spot to sleep paid or unpaid in a new town? 

HEALTHY EATING ON THE ROAD

Stuck with what food to pack for your road trip?  Check out our list below for some inspiration! 

Healthy food doesn’t have to be fresh! 

  • Wholemeal or legume pasta 
  • Black rice 
  • Tins of chopped organic tomatoes 
  • Tinned beans (including black beans and refried beans), chickpeas, corn 
  • Tinned tuna (great in a sandwich or wrap for lunch or in a pasta for dinner) 
  • Baked beans (great for breakfast or a snack) 
  • Frozen spinach (great with scrambled eggs, in a curry or in a pasta sauce) 
  • Organic corn chips  
  • Tomatoe salsa 
  • Tinned olives 
  • Packet parmesan cheese 
  • Curry powder/thai curry paste 
  • Light coconut milk 
  • Homemade or supermarket organic muesli 

Fresh foods that last that little bit longer: 

  • Carrots (great snack with peanut butter) 
  • Avocado (great on bread for breakfast/lunch or mashed with tinned corn, tinned black beans, salsa and corn chips for dinner) 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Fruit 
  • Nuts and dried fruit 
  • Peanut butter 
  • Yoghurt 
  • Sweet potatoes (can go in a curry for dinner) 
  • Onions and garlic 
  • Eggs 
  • Mushrooms (fried with eggs for breakfast or in a pasta for dinner) 
  • Cheese 

 

Our Personal Packing List

This is our personal camping packing list which I print out each time before we leave and then cross off each item as it’s packed (so as not to forget anything!). It may help you create your own packing checklist or add some bits to yours that are always forgotten!

MASTER CAMPING PACKING LIST:

Pack the night before:

Books for us
Us: Shoes and clothes, bathers
Layla, nappies, wipes, toys, ball, books, clothes
Tania backpack small
Ronny Layla hiking backpack
Guitar
Layla’s bike
Tupperware
Alcohol

Pack the morning:

Layla sleeping stuff
Beauty bag with 2 x moisturiser, sunscreen, toothbrushes and paste, small makeup bits, tweezers and nail scissors
Layla food from fridge
Water bottles x3

Get from the shops:

Alcohol
Coffee
Musli, Mayo, Tomatoes, Cheese, Bread, Eggs, Tins of baked beans, tuna, refried beans, corn, Chips, chocolate/sweets, corn chips, sour cream, avocado, peanut butter, butter, jam, milk, small vegie juices, tofu, garlic, yoghurt, bean noodles, nuts, honey, tea, banana rusks, Goji berries for Layla.

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