Camping in winter around Longreach

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 15:57
ThreadID: 58601 Views:3256 Replies:12 FollowUps:9
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We are heading off in a few weeks for a big trip around Longreach and surrounds.
Just wondering if we and the little ones will be freezing our behinds off at night. I know it will be cold - we have some thermals and good sleeping bags.

Does anyone have any tips about keeping warm- other than staying in a motel!

Also- as we have little kids- and have read a thread about kids in parks- do they really annoy the grey nomads that much???
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Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:10

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:10
In regard to kids, if they are feral they will probably annoy everybody, I wouldn't think grey nomads would be any less tolerant than anybody else, in fact a friend of mine owns a caravan park & said that he sometimes wishes that people would leave their kids at home & bring their dogs, because at least people train their dogs!
AnswerID: 309022

Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 18:08

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 18:08
Howdy there shaker, Maybe your friend should find another business interest!! We are of grey nomad age & enjoy the laughter & antics & at times the company of children when staying in caravan parks.
My observation is that if it were not for families with children patronising caravan parks, then they would probabley have to charge us poor old buggers a bit more so as they could meet their running costs & make a profit. Just my opinion. Cheers.
FollowupID: 575085

Follow Up By: Member - Jason - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 19:17

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 19:17
Kids are great so long as they are seen & not heard (at the other end of the park - lol_
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:12

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:12
Thermals are good as it forms part of layering which is the key to dressing warm. You will have to remove them in the middle of the day as days can be quite warm.

The answer is quality sleeping bags (1/3 of time in bed and need to be warm) and the most important is insulation under the bag.

Closed cell foam mats are the go. These a cheap rolls you can get from any camping store.

I have slept on a closed cell foam with a quality bag on snow no tent but there was no wind.

Inland QLD can be very cold with nights below freezing. When it is cold in QLD it is dry with clear skies hence no snow.

There is a record somewhere of snow falling in Emerald once.

Enjoy your trip

AnswerID: 309024

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:17

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:17
We use closed cell foam mats under the swag mattresses, makes a huge difference!
FollowupID: 575059

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:16

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:16
Small children that are behaved give us Grey Nomads no problems and we like to see kids enjoying themselves.
If you Caravan park camp then get a powered site then you can use a small blow type fan heater to warm the tent/ camper van etc. If you camp out on the Thompson River then a good campfire is most pleasurable. (The Bush TV) However camping out around Longreach in wet weather is not the go as the black soil soon turns to mud. There is some good fishing to be had in the river and the Stockmans Hall of Fame will fill a day on it's own and the kids will love it. The Quanta's exhibit at the Airport is another great place to visit. Call in at their terrorist hut and get the tourist info.
Hope you have a great time.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 309025

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:26

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:26
Yes, it can be cold, well for Qlders it can be cold, maybe single figures and into the negatives if a front comes through. Warms up quickly in the morning though.
We plan on plenty of layers, just as you have done.
As it cools down, keep putting more layers on, stops them cooling down as they settle down after dark.
If really cold they used to sleep in their lighter layers, like t shirts and undies, with a track suit over the top, clean socks on, then into the sleeping bag. That way if a leg or arm got out, they didn't get too cold. Also in the morning, they could just throw a jacket on and they were not putting cold clothes on first thing. They were normally out of the track suits by 9am and into their normal day clothes by then.
We usually aimed to have showers/wash by 5 to 5:30pm (before it got too cold) and clean undies and track suits from the previous night on by then.
Wife used to reckon they only needed to be clean once a day, and that was before they ate at night.
A walk at night, spotlighting, or we used to take a glow stick and throw it back and forwards, kept the activity up to keep them warm at night until they went to bed. If they had been busy and not sitting in the car all day, just the camp fire is enough. Good activity for one spouse while the other got the camp sorted. Kids normally helped with washing up. Each one had their own cheap torch. Helps to wear them out so they sleep better to. :o)

Most of the oldies used to look on in amusement. Most of them were grandparents. Couple could be crotchity, but not many. Found that some parents left the kids to their own devices, then the noise would start and the oldies would complain with them running around.
AnswerID: 309030

Reply By: Franles - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:48

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:48
Hi 4ofus

Wife and I go bushcamping (both 76 yrs) around Genfiel;ds. We keep warm by placing a cast iron kettle full of water half on lowest setting of gas on stove. Keep a window at one end of the van slightly open and vent in roof slightly open. This gives us a bit of fresh air circulating and keeps the air in van from drying out from gas flame. We keep an eye on things during our almost every night loo visit. (loo is in the van)

Cheers Franles
AnswerID: 309034

Follow Up By: Franles - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:49

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:49
PS. We enjoy interacting with kids in van parks.
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:44

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:44
Some horrific deaths have been caused by this! Take care! The flame goes out... gas fills the van. A window open will only work if it's at floor level or at least lower than your height. The gas is heavier than air. Then of course there is also the fire danger. Please think again.

Told my wife [she's an ambo] now she's worried!

Meanwhile, I have been known to leave the toaster [one that sits on top of the gas flame] going first thing in the morning in cold settings...

Take care Franles please!
FollowupID: 575164

Reply By: Member - 7Keads (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:54

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:54
We have spent the last few months travelling around southern NSW with our 5 kids and have used mainly caravan parks. We have found most people, and in particular the grey nomads to be fairly tolerant of kids, after all most of them have grandchildren - mind you I like to think that our kids are rather well trained!!! I guess if you and the kids stick to the park rules (such as adult supervision at all times, keeping scooters & bikes away from amenities blocks, respecting other peoples possessions and privacy) you can't go to far wrong - although sometimes you come across people who seem to enjoy being cranky!!! and you can't do much about that.

As for keeping little ones warm, we found that dressing them in layers, and putting them in their clothes for the next day after their bath at night, and then a track suit and socks helped - then they could peel off the layers as the day warmed up, and they didn't need to change our of warm PJ's into cold cllothes. Good luck, hope you have a great trip, our kids have had a fantastic time.


AnswerID: 309038

Follow Up By: 4ofus - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 17:17

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 17:17
Thanks that was good advice.
Did you homeschool the kids on the way when you were travelling? We are thinking of doing a long trip in a few years and have thought abt the school aspect of it.
FollowupID: 575077

Follow Up By: Member - 7Keads (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 18:23

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 18:23
Yes, we schooled the 3 eldest thru Distance Education for first term this year, will be doing that again next term until end of year as we will be taking off again to northern oz in a few weeks- currently at home (we are farmers) trying to sow our winter crop and kids are back at their old school. I looked at our options when we decided to do this trip, and because of the lenght of time that we were planning to be away, distance ed seemed our only option. Having said that it has been hard slog keeping up with the schooling, and I will be scaling things back if I can next term to just the basic maths and english - I found that it was stressing me and the kids to try and keep up with the weekly work load, of what they would basically be learning in a classroom situation, as well as doing all the fun stuff such as sight seeing and travelling. We found that the kids learn so much whilst travelling especially in regard to Australian history, plus all the other family stuff such as having their own jobs to do in setting up camp, packing up,making decisions as to where to go and why, as well as all having to get along in a farily enclosed space etc. I hope this helps and alll goes well for your Longreach trip, and that you get to do a bigger trek in years to come
FollowupID: 575092

Reply By: 4ofus - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:57

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 16:57
Thanks oldplodder and dodger for those replies- some very useful tips. We have those interlocking foam sheets which we will put under the mattresses. I just hope it doesnt rain...

The last place we camped, as soon as we had set up camp, the couple next to us drive their car and boat in between our tents!! I guess I am overly sensitive to my children behaving well and not annoying others. However, when one wakes in the night with night terrors and cries there is not much we can do ...sorry anyone we come across in future...!

AnswerID: 309040

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 17:45

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 17:45
In regard to schooling.

A couple of times we took the kids out of school for a longer trip.
Longest I think was 5 weeks.

Wife is a primary school teacher, so she planned what we wanted to do.
First thing, you will not get a lot of formal school work done, so don't even try. It just stresses you and the kids out.
She went and talked to their teachers about the work they would be doing while we were away. Kept it simple to just maths and spelling to make sure they didn't get too far behind.
So we had plenty of games where they worked out the milages, counted dead roos, looked for fauna and plants, geology at road cuttings, we stopped and looked at crops growing, and they collected some to take home for a show and tell back at school. Their teachers reckoned for a couple of weeks it really didn't matter, as they would be learning so much more any way. Did try one trip to keep a diary of temps and weather, weather was being done at school at the time, but it only lasted a while.
Oh yeah, dad had his 'home work' to do to recording fuel used and fuel consumption etc :o)
We found one son loved collecting rocks, and we still have them.
AnswerID: 309049

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:48

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 23:48
Headed off around Oz for three months in 1994. Did a deal with the kids..... learn as we go from our experiences.

If when we get back to school they had dropped too far behind, then be prepared to repeat a school year if needed.

BTW.... I'm a primary teacher, and they were 10 and 11 years old.

You guessed it.... they were easily up with the others when they got back... promise I didn't do a bit of 'school work' with them...
FollowupID: 575165

Reply By: DIO - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 18:14

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 18:14
Not always the little kids that are the biggest problem. Take them, along with plenty of warm bedding etc and just enjoy yourselves.
AnswerID: 309055

Reply By: kricho - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 19:26

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 19:26
We stayed in this park in Longreach about 1yr ago.
They were realy cool about the kids and we had 6 of them.
AnswerID: 309070

Reply By: Brian - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 08:09

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 08:09
If you have time, Lark Quarry is worth a visit. Two hours north of Longreach to Winton, then about an hour out to the Quarry along the Jundah Rd. Fossilized dinosaur footprints from 95 million years ago. Quite exciting! As I understand it, most caravan parks have bush poets as entertainment..... we were hugely entertained by Milton Taylor last year at the Matilda Country CP at Winton.... well worth it!!!

You'll find if your kids have good manners, they won't be a problem.


Brian (Gold Coast)
AnswerID: 309165

Follow Up By: 4ofus - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 10:55

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 10:55
Thanks for that. We definately have Lark Quarry on the schedule and cant wait to go there.

FollowupID: 575216

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 11:42

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 11:42
I was up there a couple of weeks ago and did not find it cold. If my feet and head are warm I don't have any problems so I may wear socks and a woolie beanie sometimes at night.

Just across the rail tracks from the Matilda camp at Winton there is a special little 'musical' park for kids (big and little), its behind the open air truck museum. The kids will enjoy 'playing' the musical fence and beating on all the 'drums'.
AnswerID: 309195

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