Camping with kids in Cape York - Stressed mum

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:32
ThreadID: 55723 Views:10965 Replies:13 FollowUps:10
This Thread has been Archived

Related Pages

I am hoping that someone can advise me about taking an 8 month old and 3 year old to Cape York. Camper Trailer trip with another vehicle. Any tips would be great! Stressed mum!
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: walks - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:49

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:49
portable dvd player approx $200 WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD

especially for those long trips ,and set up and pack up time.
AnswerID: 293691

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:51

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:51
Tip number 1: NIKE (ie: Just Do IT!)
Tip number 2: The kids will have a ball, let them run around (but keep an eye on them of course). The 1st trip we did up there in 2002, our youngest was about 18 months. The other boys were about 6 and 4. They had a great time; just being kids.
Tip number 3: Loyalty Beach camp ground will be a good friendly place for you to camp at. There is a calm beach where they can paddle. There is a croc that swam past every morning (and presumably in the arvo the other way), but he was about 100 meters out and we were advised that if the kids were LITERALLY right on the waters edge, there would be no worries. We were always there watching over the little dudes, and it was never a problem (the local kids swim as though they haven't a worry in the world......and you never hear of one being taken around that area).
Tip number 4: Make sure you don't try to travel for huge amounts of get sick of the travel in a short amount of time. Having said that, we managed to do the trip in 2002 (from Yass, NSW) in 4 weeks return. In 2004 we did it again in 4 weeks from here, Kadina SA.

Chill-out and have a great time.

AnswerID: 293692

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:00

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:00

This is the answer that you don't want to hear, but delay the trip for a couple of years.

The 3 year old will be demanding and mobile and the 8 month will have to be carried and cared for all the time.

I doubt that you will enjoy the trip.

This will not go down well but for the sake of a pleasant trip delay taking the kids for a while. Cape York will still be there.

AnswerID: 293697

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff R (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:25

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:25
That makes no sense. In a couple of year the 8 month old will be around 3 years old anyway so you'll have to wait a couple more years. Do it in 2013 or better wait in 2025 when the kids are grown up and Cape York 'might' still be there.

Great initial advice "Just do it" We are taking our 18 month old (she will be in July) up there this year with another family - same deal.
Short trips during her normal sleep time works well when we travel.

There is a good section here on Exploroz about taking young kids on trips - well worth a read.

Travel With Kids
FollowupID: 559398

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:32

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:32

A 8 month old baby is a lot different to a 18 month old toddler.

FollowupID: 559400

Follow Up By: Izey76 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 00:52

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 00:52
Hi Wayne I took a six week old around Aus for six months and found it great even though he wont remember it. I now have three kids 4, 2.5 &1.5 and it hasn't stopped us travelling to remote areas at all the further the better.
Binni I know what you mean but as long as you keep an eye on your three year old you should have no probs.
Like Roachie said just do it or you will keep putting it of until they are at the age were they will not want to go with you any more.



P.S. don't forget the DVD player and there Fav Movies
FollowupID: 559429

Follow Up By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 07:45

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 07:45
they will be fine....there isnt much difference between an 8 mth old and 12 month old as in the way of care...they can try to feed themselves and sit just take lots of bibs and a few of those plastic ones with the catching bit on them.......Kasey who was 3 still comes out with the funniest of memories, adn we went nearly 2 yrs ago....she remember the "big yellow truck next to our tent"....took me a while to remember that that was at Alice...big excavator thing!! and she remembers not liking going up Big Red!

Go, have fun, and make it one hell of an adventure!

FollowupID: 559437

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 17:45

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 17:45
I agree with Wayne although I would say wait until the youngest is four - plenty of easier/shorter journeys to do in the meantime.

I travelled the world with my children but it was a lot easier and much more fun for all once the younger was around four.

Interestingly when this question crops up (which is fairly often) we always get people saying they did some big trip and took a 6 month old etc and it was great but I can't remember anyone posting to say they did the same and it was a disaster... I can't believe these things go well for everyone?

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 559510

Follow Up By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:51

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:51
but Mike, people dont go unless they are certain that they can do it, including the child. People wouldnt go if they had a strung baby that screamed at the thought of being somewhere different - those parents dread going shopping let alone the thought of travelling.
Sure there are moments where you think...bugger this... but you know what.... bleep happens at home too. Our kids are more well behaved when travelling then they are at home. they are more occupied and have different things to do every day.

Sure its easier when they get older,no one denies that, they can do everything for themselves but that cannt stop you at all, your going to be looking after them the same way at why not in a camper trailer or a tent for a few are alot more easy going than what us adults give them credit for!
just imho.........
FollowupID: 559523

Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:20

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:20
we took our girls, 3 and 1 at the time for 6 weeks...bought toy box that is collapsible from toy shop..had one each with barbies, drawing, sticker games, noise games for Amy who had just turned 1....also had the laptop for a movie every now and then.....

what we did was drive 2 days with lots of stops and then stopped for a full day so they didnt go in the car...well worth doing this!!

good luck....and stay'll be fine!
AnswerID: 293708

Reply By: Footloose - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:25

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:25
Whatever way you decide, please don't stress it. Kids pick up on stress really easily, and make your stress worse! Relax a bit, don't sweat it. The kids will respond better...and so will your driver :))
AnswerID: 293710

Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:29

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:29
Enjoy but BEWARE

Image Could Not Be Found

gift by Daughter

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 293712

Reply By: A J - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:50

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 22:50
binni - on the first eight week trip we did with three other couples there was one child about two years old. Everything went well as there was eight adults to look after her.

The next trip of eight weeks there was two additions to the both 18 months old, one was our son. This trip was to Cape York and it happened some 19 years ago. We had a camper trailer for the trip.

Three years after that we travelled again with five children and another two 18 months old children. This trip was to the Mitchell Plateau. Our daughter was one of the 18 month old.

We had to change the speed at which we travelled from our single days - more stops for them. At times we would stop if we saw something which we thought would interest them and give them a break.

Never had any problems with travelling with the children at young ages. The wife keep duplicates of their favourite toys so that the dirty ones could be washed.

Would we do it again - of course we would - have done eight weeks trips each three years for many years. As they got older we would ask them where they wanted to go and it was always to the outback.


AnswerID: 293716

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 23:00

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 23:00
Binni there is little to be stressed about. It's a great trip & the 3 year old will love it. We find the older they get the harder it is to travel. At that age there are relatively few problems.
Important to ensure they are drinking regulary as kids do tend to run around & can dehydrate. Crocs are not a problem for 95% of the trip particually along the OTL where you can often swim but along the coast in particular obviously you'll need to be aware. Take 3 or 4 small toys & the usual drawing items to give junior something to do while driving. Organizers fitted to the back of the seat are great for storing drinks and all their stuff. Kids CD's may drive you mad but will keep them interested. A travel cot with a mozzie net over makes a bed & a play pen when in camp. There are plenty of places to walk to (including the tip) so a backpack to carry junior is far handier than a pram.
Have fun.
Cheers Craig...........
(with 9 year old daughter who's crossed the Simpson 3 times)
AnswerID: 293718

Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 23:47

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 23:47
Hi Binni

A while ago i was speaking to a lady who used to work where i work now. She said as soon as her second child was born, they set off in a caravan and spent 2 years going around Australia. The baby knew no different. They drove for only about 3 hours per day where possible and had no problems with the children.

It wouldn't have worked for me - even going on a trip shopping with the children could be an ordeal. The children will get far more out of travelling if they are around 8 y/o plus. My son & d.i.l took their 3 y/o to NZ last year - amongst spectacular scenery and snow he was bored and wanting to go home. The only time he was happy was when he was playing on a slide or swing - which he could have done at home. He was just too young to take anything in.

You and only you will know how your children will react to travelling. Make the choice on that alone. If they will be OK, take the opportunity but if it is going to be one big ordeal, you will be wasting your time and money - save it for a few year time when you can all enjoy the holiday.


Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 293726

Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:08

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:08
Just Do it!

We had our young fella camping at 6 weeks, IMO I believe it was the best thing, as we let the kid fit into our life style )not the other way around). Philip, now 5 1/2, just goes with the flow. I even took him to Innaminka when it was 49 in the shade, and there was no drama from him.

Just a hint, take a child backpack for them both then you can still do those walks you want to do, but might be to far for them, those backpacks are great, we used one with Philip, then 1 1/2 years old and we walked through the Kimberley with him on my back, it was to easy.

Let the kids play outside, in the "clean dirt" and let them build up immunities, too.

AnswerID: 293748

Follow Up By: binni - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:44

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:44
Thanks everyone for great opinions and feedback!!! We do have 2 dvd players, backpac, and purchasing collapseable toy box is great idea. Thank god Sam my baby is breastfed... that's something! Wow we will be on the road, from vic for 7 weeks, I guess with plenty of stops I just have to take a chill pill or two and pack Wine!!!

Hopefully Happy mum, happy camper.....nearly convinced but still a long way off. (maybe i could fly to Cairns with kids meet hubby on way back from cape, then camp down coast....ummm don't think that would go down well!!)

FollowupID: 559454

Follow Up By: Richo (SA) - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 19:06

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 19:06

We are heading up to Darwin from Adelaide, then across the gulf to Cairns, the Cape and back down the East Coast (4 weeks).
My son (15) and I are driving direct to Darwin (2 days) and my wife and 2 daughters (15 and 1 1/2) are flying up to meet us in Darwin, saving the 30hr trip. Then we'll cruise along until we get to Brisbane where they will fly home and my son and I will drive and get back 2 days later.
That will save the bulk of long haul stuff for the girls and we only plan shorter day runs and days off between so we can enjoy the great outdoors and not the inside of the Cruiser!
FollowupID: 559533

Reply By: ferris - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:58

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:58
take lots and lots and did I say lots of insect replellent, otherwise the kids will ber miserable. I think everybody else has covered the main points.
AnswerID: 293753

Follow Up By: binni - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:50

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:50
lots of insect, oh my god!! thought also really light cotton long sleeve tops, cool but covered, and mozzie net for porta cot, pram and backpack.
FollowupID: 559467

Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 15:46

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 15:46
Get Bushmans. It's the only one worth using. Available from most camping stores.
Chill out and have a great trip. ;-)
FollowupID: 559497

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:10

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 10:10

Having travelled with kids from the day our first (now 19yrs) came home I am in the go for it group.

My now 16year old son was 5 months on Fraser Island and we had no problems. That was our first trip.

When we travelled to Cape York the youngest was 5. We covered huge miles each day. On day one from Sydney we camped in Bourke and did quite a few days as big as that. We had no DVD players, my kids have never wanted them. When we borrowed a friends truck which was fitted with 2 screens they put a movie on but it only lasted about 15 min, then they were back looking out the windows.

The kids need something to do while the vehicle is moving, we played games, eye spy, various alphabet games and we had CD's of songs that the kids new and would sing along to. The other thing we did which worked really well on the Cape York trip was count creek crossings. We defined a creek as water flowing across the road when the tyres had to get wet. No matter what was happening as we approached one I would call out "What number are we up to?" It was a distraction that everyone welcomed and bought us another half hour of the game we were playing or the track we were on.

Also do some research on the places you are going and talk about it with them, the three year old will be interested and it will make it more interesting for you too.

Finally my wife kept a detailed diary. It included details of fuel where we camped and what we did. Most importantly included what the kids did and how they reacted to things. It makes fascinating reading now.

Have a great trip.

AnswerID: 293756

Reply By: Louie the fly - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 15:02

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 15:02
We've always taken our kids wherever we go. After all, you can't leave them home, can you? So you put off doing what you want because you now have small kiddos - I don't think so.

Our kids are now 16 & 13. They go everywhere with us and they always look forward to our family adventures. One thing better than holidaying with your mates is holidaying with your kids (and having them enjoy it). They are never too young.

We drove from Adelaide - Darwin & back, 4 weeks when our daughter was just 18 months old. Great holiday.
AnswerID: 293797

Sponsored Links