Ignore the Weather Man, GO CAMPING

The weather man predicted a -5 degree temperature for Sunday morning, and a terrifying low of -0 during the day for Saturday. That didn’t scare Mark and I. Instead, we packed the car as we usually would, hopping in, and went on our merry way to Newnes State Forest nestled in the Blue Mountains. We went straight to the same camp spot as last time – you know, Home Among the Pines – and propped up our swag in a safe little nest of pine trees. A few metres across from us were bajillions of fallen dead trees, PERFECT for firewood. Whilst Mark revved up the chainsaw and got chopping amongst the gumtrees, I carefully made our bed for the evening. We got to the campsite early enough to start cooking and get the coals hot enough before the temperature dropped.

This time, instead of using the camping barbecue, we decided to cook over coals, using a metal grate, the camp oven and the heat of the fire.

For dinner we bought steaks, potatoes, onion, cheese and bacon. The ‘Mark Special’ would be potato, bacon, cheese and onions cooked in the camp oven until it was a stew, and steak over the coals.

Our dinner was ready by 7:30, and we sat by the fire until 10pm, when I called it quits, slid into the swag and watched as Mark made the fire stronger for the evening.

It wasn’t until 3:10am that I felt the temperature drop, I got out and started poking at the embers, before Mark very kindly got up and re-started the fire to last until sunrise.

When we woke up, the first thing we did was start the fire. Magically – just as the sun was rising over the pines, our fire flickered to life. There was no frost on the car, and the water bottles that we left out werent even covered in morning dew. THE WEATHER MAN LIED. The temperature was sitting at about 3 degrees. Warm enough for a light button up, scarf, beanie and warm socks by the fire. Pleasantly surprised with the weather – we began cooking breakfast.

For breakfast our menu was: Eggs, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, onion and turkish bread. All to be cooked over the fire, in the camp oven and on the frying pan.


Waiting for our breakfast to cook, we wandered over to a frozen puddle of muddy water and started rolling rocks across the ice… and pegging rocks with almighty force to break the thick cover of water. The night before, we were playing bowling on the ice, knocking rocks into each other over the puddle.

  After we packed up camp, we got back into the ute and headed to Lithgow. On the way we stopped off at a few places, overlooking the trees and shrubberys all around us.

We headed to Lake Lyell, a short drive from the city of Lithgow. For a $5 entry fee, we drove through the gates and found a quiet spot to park the car and sit and do nothing.

Sadie – the dog – came and joined us as we watched her family paddle away in a canoe. Our plan was to sit at Lake Lyell and enjoy a cheese platter – but our breakfast was still filling our tummies, so we didn’t have the appetite to eat yet. We decided to follow our noses and head back towards Sydney and stop somewhere on the way.

We took the turn off to go to Mount Wilson, hoping to find a sunny patch of grass and a nice view. Instead we found a rocky ledge covered by the shade of the trees, and decided Mount Wilson wasn’t the picnic spot we hoped for.

So we continued back through the mountains until Mark pulled over on the side of the road in Bilpin. We grabbed the deck chairs, the eski and the cheese board, and tucked into the cheese platter overlooking someones farm. It proved that if you’ve got good company, cabanossi and cheese – no matter where you stop, you’ll have a good time.


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