My 14 and 10 year old kids and I recently had a fabulous road trip locally near Perth, Western Australia, taking advantage of wonderful properties offered through Hipcamp.
We ventured for eight days total, including three days north to Woodbridge and then south to Dunsborough, and on to Preston Valley. Despite being a WA native, I was surprised how vastly the landscape and experience can change within such close proximity to Perth.
The Hipcamp properties were well-facilitated and appealing and presented an interesting mix of fun, adventure, relaxation and treasured family time. And, we had plenty to explore in the various regions! Hipcamp is a fantastic service offering properties for tent and caravan camping, glamping and self-contained accommodation, which can be booked online.
I didn’t want to travel too far from home these last school holidays, so utitlising Hipcamp properties was ideal. We packed up our uggs, hoodies, firelighters and marshmallows, and headed north, only 50 minutes from our home in Perth’s northern suburbs, to the peaceful locale of Woodridge.
A magnificent Joey Expanda caravan was all set up for us on arrival thanks to Camplify. It was very spacious with double beds which expanded at both ends of the van. It included a fully functioning kitchen, shower, toilet and heating! The Joey Expanda is very spacious and ideal for a family, including big kids such as my teenage and tween-aged children.
There were bunk beds which converted to a second sitting area with a table and the main dining seating also converted into a large bed, which was great to snuggle up and watch movies.
We stayed at the peaceful Serenity, Stars & Fresh Air property in Woodridge which really did live up to its name. Surrounded by local bush, we felt like we shared the property only with the birds. The kids enjoyed the pool table and table tennis at the main residence, which was open to campers and backpackers, and there was a sparkling pool, which would have been inviting in warmer months. The gardens were lovely.
The property was very relaxing and well-appointed with a hot shower, clean toilet and a few hammocks scattered among the gum trees. There was also a boxing bag hanging from a tree which was good for the kids to let off some energy.
We went for some long walks and I went for a couple of peaceful runs, and we took the hire canoes down to the river which was good fun.
Luke, the property manager, set up a roaring campsite fire for us on the first night and the kids loved roasting marshmallows.
The service offered by Camplify was fantastic, as it meant no towing of a caravan and it was all set up for me upon arrival! Kev from KPI Caravan Hire had set the van up on behalf of Camplify and he was at the property on arrival to answer any questions I had about the caravan and show me its functions and answer any questions I had about the caravan.
Kev’s caravan even included a portable BBQ and camping chairs, plus some TimTams and a coffee machine with coffee pods and milk which I thought was a nice touch. It was all very easy and appealing, even for an inexperienced camper and busy single mum!
Serenity, Stars & Fresh Air was easily accessible from the Brand Highway and a short drive to Guilderton and Seabird.
During our days, we enjoyed a relaxing seafood lunch at the Seabird Tavern and explored the Moore River at Guilderton.
On our last night at the property, the super friendly and helpful owner of Serenity property, Liz, surprised us with some delicious cocktails to enjoy by a bonfire.
Day Four, we packed up and headed south to Dunsborough where we enjoyed a different, but equally refreshing, experience.
We stayed at Quenda’s Rest, Quindalup. My kids loved this Man Cave! It was stylishly decorated with plenty to keep teenagers stimulated including a pool table, table tennis table, darts, record player and a Smart TV.
The property sleeps six and was very comfortable and well-facilitated, with a queen-sized bed and sofa on the mezzanine and sofas on the ground floor, one which converts to a comfortable bed. The coffee machine made delicious coffee!
Quenda’s Rest has everything you need, including a spacious, full kitchen, bathroom, linen and laundry, with washing machine and dryer. There was a BBQ too.
The property is set on the river and provides canoes for visitors.
We spent three days at the delightful Quenda’s Rest, which is just three km from Dunsborough, exploring the local tourist attractions, dining out at elegant breweries and walking by the sea.
We explored the Dunsborough-Margaret River region with a self-guided Coast to Coast walk, delicious lunch at a local brewery and mandatory visit to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory for some chocolate sampling.
We packed up and called into one of our favourite ice creams spots, Simmo’s Ice Creamery, before heading 20km east of Donnybrook for our next fun-filled adventure – the Kamarang Eco Cabin for a nature-enriched experience in the Preston River Valley.
Also offered by Hipcamp, Kamarang is a delightful, serene and peaceful 100-acre property, which is set down a windy little dirt road in the forest. Only 2.5 hours from Perth, Kambarang is also the home to Cycletrek, a well-developed 10km cycle track for the mountain-biking aficionados. The kids and I were able to borrow bikes provided by the owners and try out the challenging tracks!
Kambarang Eco Cabin is cosy, comfortable and ideal for recharging the batteries. It is off-the-grid, fully serviced and has delicious rain water and a wood pot belly. The beds are super comfortable, with a queen size bed upstairs in the loft which looks out to the treetops and two single beds downstairs.
The Donnybrook-Balingup region is so picturesque, with its rolling hills, streams and abundance of forest.
We visited Gnomesville, which is 30 minutes from Donnybrook. It houses thousands of gnomes contributed to by people like us, just passing through. I found this a surprisingly fun thing to explore with the kids; it was interesting to see how creative people have been in helping to create this village of gnomes in the Ferguson Valley.
With the help of Hipcamp and Camplify, this was a stimulating, fun and relaxing holiday, not to mention affordable and very easy to navigate. I felt like we reconnected as a family and came back home recharged and reinvigorated.