The holidays are a great time to reconnect with yourself as well as nature. Given the urban environment most of us live in, its no wonder we are over stressed, and tried. Taking advantage of a string of public holidays, I took my own advice and headed South for a camping trip after Christmas.
Our destination this trip was Jervis bay Booderee national park. If your thinking of taking my advice make sure you book early. Camping spots are numbered and booked out months in advance and its no wonder, this place is amazing.
A growing trend to treat city induced stress and anxiety is called green therapy. Spending 20minute a day in a natural environment has found to reduce the symptoms. The distance you live away from green space also effects state of mind. The closer you live to green space the less stressed you are. That’s a good enough reason to get outside regularly for a green walk!
I have to admit with the lead up to the end of the year my stress levels hit its peak and this trip couldn’t have come at a better time. Jervis Bay is a 3 hour drive from Sydney, containing picturesque beaches and native animals.
Our camping site was an easy 5 minute walk to the beach with talcum powder white sand and crystal-clear water. It’s family friendly, has hot running showers and toilets. It’s a non-powered site meaning you can really disconnect and escape from city life.
The beach isn’t exactly surfer’s paradise, but the waves are kid friendly and most of all relaxing. You can even kick-start your New Years fitness resolutions by taking a long walk along the beach, going for a swim or for the fitness nut, sand dune running.
If you enjoy arts and craft or collecting memento’s, taking in consideration the environment you can spot little sea shells to collect along the shore line.
For those of you who like furry creatures the national park is also home to wallabies, possums and native birds like Kookaburras and Rosellas. Beware do not feed the animals, they do get vicious. I had my own run in with a pack of Rosellas and fava beans.
The Fav-va bean incident
After dropping a few dried fav-va beans on the ground eating my mid afternoon snack, I had a group of Rosellas happily eating at my feet. After realising they weren’t going to get any more food off me they tried to swoop at my head and jump on to the fav-va bean pack in my hands, leaving me screaming.
I was graciously saved by my boy friend who shooed them away with my book and tree branch. No animals where harmed, and the fav-va beans were safe. To this day, I swear they where trying to peck out my eye balls for food! haha
We also had a run in with a possum in the middle of the night. He decided to launch from the tree to the top of our tent, waking both of us up. Later leaving by sliding down the tent door to scamper back into the wilderness.
We camped for 2 nights but some large families have been here for a whole week living of BBQ’s. One gripe I have with camping though, is the junk food people tend to consume because it’s easy to prepare and keeps the kids happy. Soft drink, chips, chocolate and streams of alcohol tend to the grace the menu of many campers eski’s.
I agree with limited cooking facilities and power it can be quite difficult to come up with simple meals to feed the family or your self. With just a little bit of forethought you can certainly eat healthily with minimal prep time or use of cooking facilities.
Our menu consisted of:
- Muesli with cold long life milk
- Cold pasta salad containing capsicum, snow peas, corn and tinned tuna
- Falafel wrap with salad
- Cold vegetarian nachos made with salad, organic corn chips, tinned corn baked beans and avocado
- Fresh and tinned Fruit
- Dried fava beans
- Whole meal crackers
- Arrowroot dried sweet biscuits
All healthy easy stuff to put together that will keep you feeling energised and healthy whilst enjoying the great outdoors! More so we didn’t have to fill the car with cooking utensils and bits and pieces. We didn’t have to spend the time slaving away under the heat of the BBQ taking away from our recreation time.
The hungry possum
Even the animals agreed with our food choice. Day 2 I woke up thinking my boyfriend had hungrily got up in the middle of the night to devour 3 bananas and left the skins and bits of fruit at the front of the tent door. To his defence he never left the tent, we must have had a visiting possum rummage through our food bag in the middle of the night. Crazy animals!
Don’t litter, be green
There’s another thing that really burns me about camping where there are a lot of other people. You notice the clear disregard people have for the environment. Even though the campsite was kept generally clean, there where niggling things that I can’t ignore. For example a plastic cup left on the beach, little bits of paper wrappings left on the ground, a plastic bag floating around and the occasional cigarette butt. All these little things add up. Imagine if we all littered? In a few years time this place will go from perfection to dumping ground. It doesn’t take much to collect all your own stuff and carefully through it in the bin. That way we can enjoy this place for generations to come.
If you’re thinking about getting away for the weekend, why don’t you visit? I guarantee you will be blown away by the beauty of this place. I am sure I will be returning here soon to soak up the summer rays. Hopefully you did something to disconnect and distress these holidays?