Caravan Park Review – Merry Beach Caravan Resort
I won’t lie. A few months back when we were invited by a family member to go camping at a caravan park for the Australia Day weekend, i wasn’t so sure. Yes, some of my fondest memories growing up were of riding bikes till sundown, going fishing with my father and having lots of other kids around during our camping holidays. The difference with my young family is that our getaway machine has low range, lift and is totally self sufficient – so when there is time to get away i prefer to get as remote as is possible. Now it’s handy to mention that Shane (who had the camping bug bite when he tagged along with me to the Big Red Bash) is doing his best to introduce his wife (who happens to be my sister!) to the art of touring. As a result he has spent a lot of time putting together a fantastic setup that served the extended family extremely well over the 4 days down there. Happy wife happy life right?
So after much thought, we relented and dragged a gaggle of little ones for the coastal drive down to Merry Beach Caravan Resort. Only 3 and a half hours south of Sydney, just past Ulladulla, Merry Beach is a wonderful spot that really has something for everyone. From swimming in pristine south coast waters, a spot of rock fishing, trail walking or just lazing around. As soon as i knew we were committed, i got to researching local trails to get some wheel time under the belt. I was happy to find that there were a number of basic unsealed roads very close-by to explore, with the option of driving an hour further south and exploring Deua National Park and it’s 4wd tracks.
Only about 3 and a half hours south of Sydney just past Ulladulla, Merry Beach is a wonderful spot that really has something for everyone…
On arrival, we did have a couple of issues with site allocation. But the team at front desk were very accommodating and allowed us to set up in what would be classed as a 1.5 size site so that the two car-loads could camp together. The kids ran off chasing the local kangaroos and exploring the brand new on-site playground while Shane and i got to setting up. Given we had a couple of extra little ones on this trip, i chose to take along a standalone tent rather than relying on the Darche Hi-View Rooftop Tent and it’s extension room, which has served my family of 4 quite well in the past. I had always been intrigued by Darche’s Airvolution range of tents and swags, so we took an AT-6 Airvolution tent along. I was really looking forward to setting it up, but in my haste, i pumped up the cross beams first which made getting the tent up a bit more challenging. When i eventually read the instructions at the end, i realise i had to peg the base in first. I can vouch for the instructions, because when i did peg down the base it forced the 3 cross beams to stand upright – one for next time.
Being at the back of the camp meant we had 2 rows of sites as a windbreak, making daytime naps for the littlest of campers a bit hot given the weather. Luckily ventilation was aplenty around (and in the roof) of the AT-6. It really did make the best use of even the slightest sea breeze. One thing i will note, is not to be complacent with the pegging down – there are many tie-down points and until the last day leaving off about 8 of them was fine. The wind picked up on Saturday night and we started to see a little instability which was quickly rectified by pegging the remaining tie downs in place. All in all, two adults and 4 kids under 4 slept very comfortable in this setup. Pack down took 15 minutes – the longest part was getting the pegs out!
If you’ve ever thought about these tents, please look into it, they really are amazing.
Unfortunately the number of little ones along on this trip meant we didn’t get any wheeling time after-all, but to be honest the facilities made up for it. The kids absolutely loved the playground and we all spent hours swimming in Merry Beach’s crystal clear water, which was a short 50 meter stroll from our campsite. Those who don’t fancy the sand can make use of an amazing resort style pool.
One standout for us was the daily supply deliveries; with firewood and pits available for hire and purchase from a local firewood provider; Fresh milk and bread every morning; a visit from the local bakery for their delicious treats and finally the adults favourite, the local seafood providor bringing around a bevy of local tiger prawns, oysters and other seafood delights.
Topping it all off, all of the facilities were cleaned at least twice a day. On the last day a number of the showers failed, but others were available within the complex so it wasn’t a massive issue.
Fresh milk and bread every morning, a visit from the local bakery for some delicious treats and finally the adult favourite, the local seafood providor bringing around a bevy of local tiger prawns, oysters and other seafood delights
So whilst i am taking the challenge of helping Shane to get his missus more remote; i have to say for the number of kids we had along with us, Merry Beach Caravan Resort was a fantastic option and one you should consider if you’re ever around that way.