After three great nights catching up with family and staying inside a house we hit the road again headed for a campground west of the Glasshouse Mountains in the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast. I picked this camp site, Running Creek Parklands, for it’s vicinity to Australia Zoo and based on good reviews of wiki camps and we were definitely not disappointed. Lush green, grassy fields surrounded by bushland and a small creek greeted us as we pulled off a small road in Stanmore, QLD. The friendly owners of this expansive property have recently converted part of it into a campground for travellers like us. Facilities are basic, there are 3 porta-loos and not much else so being self sufficient is a must. But that really adds to the charm of this gem of a campsite.
Fire drums are provided and a lady in her ute does the rounds in the afternoon selling bags of firewood. So despite poor forward planning meaning no firelighters or matches (think the kids scrapbook and a gas stove), soon after setting up we sent the boys off foraging for kindling and had a fire crackling. JD was in Jazzy Devil heaven with a pile of sticks to rummage through. Of course no campfire is complete without toasted marshmallows (gluten free ones of course) or gooey bananas and dark chocolate, both of which we devoured over our two night stay.
The nights got bitterly cold as we huddled around our fire with mugs of steaming tea and coconut milk hot chocolate and the full moon and crystal clear skies lit up the night as if there were huge street lights above us. The freezing nights brought crisp, clear mornings then glorious days with clear blue skies and shinning sun.
Our full day here was spent at Australia Zoo, which we were all very excited about visiting. It certainly didn’t disappoint and this zoo is by far the most interactive I have been to. There are large enclosures where you can feed and pat the kangaroos, a kids petting zoo with goats, sheep and pigs and many staff wandering the grounds carrying koalas, lizards, owls and snakes or walking dingos or wombats (yes that is right we did see a wombat on a lead!) that can be patted by the kids. We also went to their famous show and saw the croc jump out of the water. I must say I was actually more impressed by the bird display first. Parrots, macaws, black cockies and lorikeets swooped and dived above our heads in a spectacular display of colour and squawking.
As expected the food at Australia Zoo is the same as at most attractions: fried and not food intolerance friendly. We always take a packed picnic lunch, not only because it is healthier and assured to agree with our food issues but is also much kinder on the back pocket. So on the menu this day out was an assortment of veggie sticks with hummus, cherry tomatoes and bliss balls packed into a ‘nude food’ lunch box with leftover chicken and lettuce on gf wraps for Matt and I and sandwiches, chicken and fruit in the munchkins lunchboxes.
I managed to snap a pic of the veggie stick lunchbox but the kids had already devoured their lunch before I got the chance so I will show you what theirs looks like another time! I find the bento style lunch boxes so handy for days out as I can easily pack an assortment of veg, meat, dip and fruit. Although Bubba was rather disgusted when I came home with the plastic ‘nude food’ box… “Mum, you can’t use that! We don’t have plastic, it’s got yucky chemicals in it!” Clearly I have taught this boy too well! He is right and normally I would use glass containers at home but the reality of life on the road is weight is a big consideration and sacrifices have to be made – I still won’t heat in plastic but a plastic lunchbox has become a necessity. We did allow the kids some hot chips as a treat after their lunch as we were told they were gluten free. We discovered too late that they had chicken salt, with god only knows what additives, on them so we are crossing our fingers there isn’t too big a fall out from that!
We have now left our little piece of bush camping heaven and headed on to the beautiful, sleepy town of Tin Can Bay. But that story will have to wait for another day. Until then, eat well & live happy.