What an absolutely fabulous weekend we have just had spending time with family at Camp Barrabadeen.
This was one of the things our niece Jess wanted to tick off her to do list this year and when I saw this one and knew we would be up there this year I thought we could do it with them. We quickly talked to Jess and her family about it and she went ahead with the bookings for this year’s Anzac long weekend. Our boys flew up for the occassion and it was really lovely to have them there with us all.
Camp Barrabadeen is on Lake Tinaroo and is a Scout camp which has recently been opened to the public. As Jess, Matt and three of their four children are part of the scout group it was an appropriate place to camp.
Lake Tinaroo was created when Tinaroo Dam was built and opened in 1958. At capacity it is equivalent to 75% of Sydney Harbour. It is primarily used for the Mareeba/Dimbula irrigation scheme. It also has water release for the Barron River hydro-electric station downstream at Kuranda. Of course, it is also used for recreational purposes of the water kind and camping.
We set off Friday afternoon, as it is only 40 minutes from Malanda, along with Murray’s brother, John and his son, Michael. The weather was very gloomy and wet here but once we hit Tinaroo it was clearing and sunny.
The afternoon was warm and full of excitement as we all arrived at each site to set up. You couldn’t help but stop to admire the view every now and then, it was spectacular. Once setting up was over it was a well earnt happy hour all round with 13 adults and six kids. Murray, Leanne, Andrew and Simon from Albion Park, John, Sarah, Chris, Olivia and Jayden from Townsville, Michael from Ingham, Jess, Matt, Jack, Toby, Lexi and Kipp from Mareeba, Myra and Stewart from Ravenshoe and Barry from Cairns. Quiet it wasn’t but relaxing it was.
The young ones immediately took off exploring and discovering. The water was just nice enough for a dip as the afternoon quickly moved to evening. Meals were prepared, eaten and enjoyed and then came fire time with stories, Stewart on the guitar and singing. The children couldn’t wait to toast their marshmallows. Such a terrific evening and way to ease into the weekend.
Saturday morning came quickly, the children and most adults were up bright and early eager to take on the day ahead. It was lovely to do yoga overlooking the beautiful body of water in front of me with the sun slowly rising behind us. Wow, I was in awe of this view and ready for a perfect day ahead with beautiful weather.
One big thing we were to discover today was the amazing wildlife around this park. From huge goannas who think they own the place and just wander through camps, to friendly ducks and cheeky kookaburras who steal your food.
Michael had bought his boat and inflatable biscuits with him so once breakfast was over and the boat fuelled up it was time for some fun out on the water. Once that started there wasn’t much more to do than take photos of all the fun and laughter. A big morning for the kids including Andrew and Simon who helped Michael in the boat and jumped on the biscuits for their spin too.
Myra bought Rus and Gladys, Murray’s parents, out for some lunch and to see all their family enjoying the great outdoors. They loved watching all their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren having such a wonderful time together, laughing at all the talking going on and the stories they were hearing so far.
The afternoon saw more water activities take place, more memories made and little ones beginning to tire. Murray built a great fire ready for our Rogan Josh curry to be cooked for dinner. It slow cooked all afternoon and was absolutely wonderful by tea time.
Sarah, our niece is a photographer (Facebook page Sarah Kendall Photography) and offered to do a family shoot with us, so as the afternoon shadows grew long we took off with her and her camera for some fun and our own memories to treasure. We look forward to seeing the end results. Then it was back for happy hour, dinner and a very impressive fire by Simon.
Sunday was a lot like Saturday plenty of water activities, lots of laughter, a few walks, plenty of talking, tired children by the end of it and the adults also beginning to wear a bit. Today saw Jessica have success baking scones and a birthday cake for Kipp’s second birthday, on Anzac Day, in her camp oven. She did very well and everyone reaped, or ate, the benefits from her success. Today was the big kids turn to get out on the water and master the biscuits. Murray also went kayaking but I didn’t get photos. Everyone in bed early this night, sad to be packing up the next day.
Monday, Anzac Day, we had a little rain through the night but it had eased off for packing up to begin. It was with heavy hearts and not a lot of enthusiasm that we all tackled this task. One last turn in the boat before Michael packed up. Then, time to celebrate the man of the day’s birthday, the big two year old Kipp. He was happily walking through all the camps that morning telling everyone, “Kipp bir day”, he is way too cute.
Party over, time to return to reality and civilisation for us all. One last photo of the group of happy campers then home to rainy Malanda. Farewell Barrabadeen you have spoilt us.
Tuesday, sadly our boys have to return home for work and TAFE. We took them to an early dinner in Cairns at the ‘Rattle and Hum’ then to the airport. It was hard to say goodbye because this time we won’t be seeing them until we get home in five months time. I will miss them terribly.
Tomorrow we move on to Oak Park to meet John there for a few days and nights. We may not have reception during this period so if you don’t hear from us it is okay.