Eager to try out my new OZtrail camping gear, the family and I hit the road for a weekend away in Rathdowney, which is part of Queensland’s gobsmackingly beautiful Scenic Rim. Being high summertime, the campground looked a bit parched as we rolled along a dusty road into the Bigriggen Park campground.
Thankfully though, Bigriggen is spacious and doesn’t offer small, fenced in camp sites like so many caravan parks we’ve been to. Here it’s really just first in best dressed and luckily for us we found the perfect spot in a little dip under a big tree, complete with a fireplace. Amazingly, fires are allowed here in designated pits in the summer.
I was pretty wrapped I finally had some good camping gear, as OZtrail had contacted me to try out some of their products. This certainly has been a blessing, as it’s propelled me back into the camping scene and I can now say after a few trips that I really didn’t know what I was missing!
We set up our eight person dome tent – the OZtrail Sportiva – under our shady tree. It’s the biggest tent I’ve ever owned and I love its near vertical walls, which enable a six foot one inch person like myself to shuffle about without stooping at all. This tent is easy to put up, taking about 30 minutes the first time round.
The Sportiva comes in inconspicuous forest green and has two large rooms – one to sleep in and one to hang out in (provided your party is smaller than four people). For my little gang of three (myself included), this proved super spacious and one of the rooms even has dark lined walls for sound sleeping. This light blocking feature, known as ‘NiteRoom’ technology, really does work, as we slept in well past dawn and lost track of time.
Other aspects of the Sportiva I like are its numerous points of ventilation. There are three doors at the main entrance, one at the rear and two windows at each side, so you can set it up in a variety of ways. This is perfect for tropical Queensland camping.
After making our setup comfortable, we set off for an afternoon swim at the park’s Logan River. The riverbanks are fringed by drooping trees, a beach on one side and a small set of rapids that diverge down another arm of the river on the other. We took some cool respite from the thirsty afternoon sun, which seemed to have sucked the vitality out of the countryside.
Upon returning to our campsite we got a fire going and plonked ourselves into our OZtrail armchairs, while I cracked a cold beer from our esky. I’d even scored a couple of stainless steel mugs from OZtrail, which kept my beer cold and made sitting around the fire that bit more relaxing.
I played a few tunes on the ukulele while Olin and Nikki roasted marshmallows over the fire. Later that night I laid by the fire for hours, staring into the galaxy of ethereal darkness, amazed that I’d forgotten how utterly incredible (yet simple) this experience is.
Before turning in I hung our OZtrail Powergrid Tent Light 8000 from the ceiling of our ‘lounge room’. This is simply an awesome accessory that made our experience much better. Charged via USB, this tent light lasts for ages, is shock and waterproof, light and has different ambient settings. The Sportiva also provides several ceiling points to hang the Powergrid, which I’ve since used for reading when the family is asleep.
Now I’ve got some cool new outdoor gear I’m planning a few adventures, and I’ve been wondering – why haven’t I been camping these past few years?!
Disclaimer: The products I’ve reviewed here were provided by OZtrail for review purposes. However all opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.