We’re camping in the bush again, but this time we’re surrounded by hundreds of other campsites. The Bay of Fires attracts locals and tourists to its sandy shores where coastal reserves have been set aside solely for the purpose of camping.

Binalong Bay, Bay of Fires, Tasmania, December 2012
The Bay of Fires gets its name from the orange algae that grows on the rocks.

Binalong Bay, Bay of Fires, Tasmania, December 2012
The chilly wind blowing off the water keeps us from indulging in a swim, though we dip our toes in the water to check the temperature as we hop from rock to rock.

After playing on the rocks at Binalong Bay, we drove down the dirt roads to the designated camping area. The track winds through the bush, and keyholes are carved out in the scrub — providing room for a tent, a bus or a larger rig.

With the Australian summer coinciding with the Christmas/New Year period, it’s traditional for many families to go camping over this period. All across the nation, waterways and beaches are instantly populated with tent cities, and this location is no exception.

We can hear other campers from our site, and the girls have made friends with the children “next door”, but no one else is within sight. We’re hidden from each other by natural hedges of bush.

Camping at Bay of Fires, Tasmania, December 2012
It looks and feels like we're camping remotely, but visitors and passers-by greet us throughout the day.

Camping at Bay of Fires, Tasmania, December 2012
I love the great granite boulders in this area. They add interest to the landscape and become the sets for all sorts of imaginary games.

Camping at Bay of Fires, Tasmania, December 2012
The girls play in and around them — sometimes by themselves and sometimes with other children. This is a great place for free-ranging play.

Camping at Bay of Fires, Tasmania, December 2012
The girls' favourite games involve digging in the dirt and sand. A caravan across the way holds campers who were also with us at Scottsdale. I walk their dog Rascal, and they offer us magazines and soy drink.

Crocheted triangles for bunting, December 2012
A location like this is the perfect spot for a spate of crocheting. I'm making rainbow bunting to add to our camp decorations.

Wallaby at Bay of Fires, Tasmania, December 2012
The wildlife generally stays away during the holiday period, but early this morning a wallaby came to greet me before the girls woke up.

I love this type of camping. Each new environment stretches the girls’ minds, and being in nature is a good way to opt out of the merchandising holiday season. It’ll be nice to visit again when the bush isn’t quite so busy with campers, but I’m so thankful that on this trip there was still room for us among the trees.