Camping with koalas
11 August 14
Some places just feel so good! What all our campground-finder tools and detailed maps can’t tell us is the energy of a place and how we’ll be received. Each parking spot, campsite, caravan park or home has a different impact on us — some are repellant while others encourage us to linger longer.
So when we drove into The Channon Village Campground on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t really know what to expect. Handily located adjacent to Coronation Park where the craft markets are held every second Sunday of the month, I saw little more than parking spaces adjacent to the tree-lined 30-metre-wide driveway that leads to a private residence. But it’s so much more than that!
The campground is an easy walk to into the village, and I often saw Hugh or Nan cycling past. They brought us vegies from their garden and stopped to share stories with us. I later heard from a friend that Nan was a significant force at the Bentley blockade, and she and Hugh have written books on local rainforest trees.
The appearance of the koalas was exciting enough to notify everyone — Hugh, Nan, all my girls and the other Brisbane-based unschooling family camping nearby! We crowded around, taking pictures, until — after kindly posing for a decent length of the time — the mama koala climbed into the obscurity of the very top branches.
Later, Calista was buoyed by her visit with the horse and asked politely if she could ride her. I passed on Calista’s request to Nan and later was called out of the bus by the girls excitedly calling that Delaney was riding the horse! Solly is an old, placid horse and was an excellent introduction to horse-riding for my girls. (I’m still wondering if I’m going to get away without having at least one horse fanatic among my daughters…)
The Channon Village Campground has a lot to offer travellers, and appropriate off-road parking for big rigs is only a fraction of its attraction. When we drive back to camp at The Channon again, it’s hard to say what will be the greater draw — the peaceful campground, the handy location to the markets or the effervescent company of our hosts!