It feels like it has been forever since we had an opportunity to get away camping for the weekend so we were both chomping at the bit to get going on Friday afternoon. We were on the road by just after 5pm and arrived at Darlington Park about an hour later. How great to find such a lovely campground so close to home!
It seemed we were to continue our tradition of camping in bad weather as the wind was roaring through the campground and we struggled to find a protected spot to pitch the camper trailer. Hmmmm…. is it too much to ask for a fine, warm but not too hot day with no rain? Apparently. Anyway, we finally picked what looked like a nice spot down near the creek and got set up before attempting to cook dinner in the horrible wind. This weekend has made us appreciate the design of our trailer as we were able to escape into our lounge area inside to eat without being blown around. As night descended we decided to forgo the campfire and instead retreated inside to read a book.
I’d love to be able to say that we had a restful night sleep and woke to a lovely day but alas, we tossed and turned as the canvas flapped in the wind and woke to find that not only had the wind not died down at all, but that it had also started to rain. To top all of that off, we had decided to leave the full awning (which has walls if required) at home and utilise the simple travel awning instead, meaning that we had limited outside cover from the wind or the rain. Luckily we could escape inside again whenever the weather took a turn. As the day wore on, the rain eased, the wind died down a bit and blue sky started to peek between the clouds. We took the opportunity to take Shelby for a swim in the creek and a look around the campground.
The campground is split across both sides of a quiet rural road. The caretaker’s house, 2 toilet blocks and a large number of campsites are located on one side with a playground, public bbq’s and cricket field surrounded by more campsites located on the other. The longest stretch of creek is in the side with the cricket field, and it was here that was busiest. Next time we visit Darlington Park, we have decided to try and get a spot near the creek on the other side of the road (first left after crossing the bridge coming from Beaudesert) as they are a little more sheltered as well as being closer to a toilet block. However, given that it was school holidays, we were just happy that it wasn’t overly crowded.
Saturday afternoon was spent reading, taking strolls down to the creek, watching all of the kids jump off a tree into the creek (there’s a nice deep swimming hole) and getting our campfire started so that we had coals ready for dinner. Then as night slowly fell we settled down to enjoy a delicious meal of baked capsicums stuffed with biryani and stared into the fire. I commented to Andrew that I was so relaxed I was having trouble concentrating on reading my book, which is a pretty nice problem to have.
Sunday morning dawned with hardly any wind and bright blue skies and after a coffee and a lazy breakfast we slowly started to pack our camp away. We had a great weekend at Darlington Park and will certainly be back. Can’t wait for our next trip in 3 weeks time… It’s my turn to choose the location and I’m leaning towards Murphy’s Creek Escape near Toowoomba.
Darlington Park – At a glance
Date Visited: 15-17 January 2016
Number of nights spent at camp: 2
Cost per night: $10 per person per night
How to book: Bookings only necessary during school holidays or other peak times.
Weather while at camp: Strong winds and patchy rain
Facilities present: Flushing toilets, fire pits, kiosk, playground, cricket field, public bbqs, rubbish bins
Condition of Facilities: All facilities clean and well looked after. Fire pits were plentiful and appeared to be emptied regularly.
Dogs allowed: Yes, on a leash at all times
Camp surface (eg. Grass, dirt): Grass. Lots of flat areas for setting up camp.
Activities at/nearby camp: Creek runs through camp which is deep enough for swimming and fishing. Cricket field and playground on site. Duck creek road is nearby which is a popular 4wd track.