Camping with the Family at Budgewoi Holiday Park

Camping with the Family at Budgewoi Holiday Park

Poor planning meant that most holiday parks were fully booked long before we started planning 3 nights of camping bliss. Thankfully we found space at Budgewoi Holiday Park, where we’d stayed before, but was worth another visit.

Our previous trip to Budgewoi, earlier in the year, had been with my mom and we’d stayed in the deluxe bungalows. This time however we were “roughing it”. I say “roughing it” since our camping setup included a coffee machine, fridge, and a large canvas tent. So there was very little roughing it about – in fact, I’d definitely refer to it more as glamping.

The campsites at Budgewoi were fairly standard for Australian holiday parks – small and close together. That said, they were well maintained, and relatively close to the water. Ours also came with a beautiful tree which provided us with some great shade for the majority of the day. Each site came with a power point, as well as a tap, and were clearly demarcated. The only downside was that there was only a single camp kitchen, and fewer toilet blocks than most other holiday parks, meaning we had further to walk to do the dishes or go to the bathroom.

Camp took us around an hour and a half to setup, and we then headed off to explore. This meant scooter around the park, followed by some time at the jumping pillow and the pool. The water in Lake Munmorah was chocolatey brown and giving off a bit of an unpleasant odour, potentially due to the ribbon weed which had washed up along the banks, and was starting to decompose. All in all it was a very pleasant, relaxing afternoon.

The next morning got off to a busy start with some camp-organised kid’s activities – scratch art and wooden spoon painting. The girls absolutely loved it, and bounced between the various stations, smiles on their faces, getting covered in paint.

With the crafts out of the way we headed for one of our favourite beaches – Little Bay (Toowoon Bay). Little Bay is great for the kids with rocks to explore, plenty of sand to play on, clear calm water for swimming, and protection from most wind directions. The girls spent some time building castles, before heading into the chilly water to do a little swimming. When Katie started to shiver and turn purple we called it a day, and headed back to the car.

We grabbed some pizza on route back to camp, and then spent the afternoon relaxing, playing lego, and enjoying the kid’s facilities. The girls made friends with the kids from the surrounding sites, and spent hours scootering up and down the road with them. We meanwhile spent the evening enjoying a few cold beers and a BBQ with our neighbours, before calling it a night.

The next morning started with some fishing for me. I launched my kayak just before 7am, and paddled through the thick ribbon weed into the channel. I began the day by targeting some bream in Budgewoi Creek, before heading out of Lake Munmorah to Budgewoi Lake. The water in Budgewoi Lake was a lot cleaner, which bolstered my confidence. I fished the drop offs, focusing on areas with underwater structure. I had one small bump stripping a Clouser from shallow water into the channel, but didn’t connect with the fish. From the channel I moved into the shallows, hoping to locate some flathead. I targeted the edges of the weedy areas, but didn’t have so much as a bump. Eventually I called it, and started the paddle home. On route I was passed by a police boat, trailing the biggest wake I’ve seen in my life. Thankfully the Hobie handled it with ease.

Back at camp we headed out for a family walk, and explored Dunkey Island. This included finding a tree swing, which I simply couldn’t pass by. After testing it for strength, I swung out and flew into Budgewoi Creek. This proved to be bad idea as I ended up waist deep in VERY smelly mud, much to the amusement of some passing kayakers. Seeing this, the kids decided to skip the swing.

After a quick play in a local playground, we headed back to camp, where I enjoyed a quick shower to get the smell off, before heading to the pool. The pool was followed by an ice cream from the ice cream truck, and then some general relaxation for the remainder of the day. The highlight of the afternoon was spotting either a barking owl. or a tawny frogmouth, in the trees above the jumping pillow.

The next morning was spent packing up. It took us a very relaxed 2 hours to drop camp, which included a quick breakfast in the middle. We then parked the car outside of the camp, and spent a few hours in the pool before heading home.

While we had a great time, I’m not sure we’ll head back to Budgewoi again anytime soon. The campsite is great, the staff are friendly, and there are plenty of activities and facilities for the kids, but we’ve done it twice now. The fishing also isn’t great (at this end of the lake), and there are many areas in NSW we are yet to explore.