My family and my best friend C's family have been camping together every year since before I can remember - at least 16 years! (I use the term 'camping' quite loosely as our parents are 'super campers' and our friends are amazed every year when they visit at the elaborate setup and the mod cons.)
We started our tradition at Clarks Beach in Byron Bay and I remember us 8 kids running a muck in town and all around Byron with our only restriction being that we had to do everything together and we had to be back at our campsite by 5pm. Seriously, with such minimal rules you can only begin to imagination our adventures! We were even witnesses to Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates beach blessing of Tigerlily - we investigated cause we thought crazy hippies were sacrificing a baby (we were young with wild imaginations). You can imagine our mothers' surprise when looking through a Woman's Day some months later she comes across a picture of the blessing with a group of us in the background.
Moving forward, our parents decided to relocate our annual camping trip to Lennox Heads and Lake Ainsworth feeling that Byron Bay was becoming a little too commercial and not necessarily the best environment for us kids to roam around.
It was a good decision and we have loved heading to Lennox every year to spend time relaxing with each other - it is one of my favourite holidays and I always feel like I get a real break.
Things have changed a little since our first trip and C and my parents are both the proud owners of custom built luxury caravans with air con and flat screen tvs. My siblings still camp though (elaborately of course ) and C and I usually arrange to hire cabins.
This year S wasn't able to get any time off and I had to work the 30th so I popped down on my own on Boxing Day for a night staying in my parents' caravan - not the best decision given the torrential downpour but much fun was still had lunching at the pub with everyone (BEST FOOD EVER) and sipping bubbly.
I returned again on New Year's Day hoping for better weather and was rewarded by hot hot sun on the 2nd Jan - perfect for beach swimming with my parents, brekky at the local bakery and a visit to the Brunswick Pub to watch Fossil Rock and dance the afternoon away while sipping Sav Blanc.
The 3rd was also a super hot day spent by the cola lake (actually a Tea Tree infused lake that makes the water look like cola) with C and baby S which is why I am sitting here today back at work with a red nose!