It’s time to make memories

Written by Steven Barnard

My love of the outdoors goes side-by-side with my loved ones. I believe Valentine’s Day doesn’t
have to be spent indoors. I like to show my love by making moments matter.

Here’s one of my past stories of adventure on February 14.

With 10 days up our sleeves to spend some much needed time together, we set off on a road trip
with our furthest location being Airlie Beach.

If you intend on heading to Airlie, ensure your vehicle, trailer or boat have been serviced before
your outdoor adventure.

At 7am, we had set off for our first nights destination to 5 Rocks (Byfield national park)
which is north of Yeppoon.

Mate! 10 minutes on the road and my wife asks me, “Do you have your wallet?”.

Me: “Arrr … no”.

So my next tip is to make a written checklist and tick off every thing as you are packing, so nothing
important (like your wallet) is left behind.

We did however get back on track after a frustrating start. It should of taken us six hours
until camp, if we didnt stop, but that would be crazy, as kids need many stop offs.

We pulled over at a few locations on the way, one being Miriam Vale. They have an epic adventure
playground for the kiddies, just one street back off the Bruce highway.

As parents you take these times to unwind and connect with your wife while the kids burn off
some energy. After our stops we where back on the road pretty quick.

Our two kids find the road seriously boring so make sure you have car games at the ready.

I Spy is a classic game for the kids and if they can’t spell yet, then change it to colours instead.
Well, we had been running behind our schedule, but as an easy going family we don’t mind a
change in plan, its just a new adventure.

Don’t sweat the small things. Fun and time management don’t mix!

After refuelling the ute and our bellies at Rocky (Rockhampton) we hit the road once again with
only 10km to go, woohoo! Little did we know that the last few kilometres should be driven before
dark, as the track to 5 Rocks is a soft and sandy one.

With 1km to go, we were in a bit of a soft stretch, the boat trailer dug in under the sand and was
not going to make it to our camp zone.

We had to turn back to find another bush camp in the byfield national park. We didn’t mind though
as the sound of a fresh water creek nearby was very tranquil.

So, ensure you have a 4wd vehicle to travel to 5 rocks and a trailer to suit. Waking up to an amazing view with crystal clear water flowing was bliss. Perfect to set up a romantic picnic and try for a fish.
We had nine more days remaining and we where determined to stay a few night’s at Byfield conservation park – a beach side zone which is within walking distance of where you can view 5

We drove into the the reception just out of the national park. There was a shop, fuel station and
a cafe. After explaining our nights attempts at the track to 5 Rocks, little did we know we where
talking to the cafe owner, who is quite familiar with our destination.

He offered for us to leave our boat behind for a few days and head up to 5 Rocks. This brightened
our spirits.

Don’t be shy to ask the locals questions.

We made it to our site by 11am to set up camp. 5 Rocks had heaps to offer, from hikes to fishing
and time at the beach exploring.

Wow! What an amazing spot at the 5 Rocks viewing platform, a small distance along a grassy
track down past trickling creeks, we came onto a very private stretch of beach, which we stayed at
for a couple of hours watching the kids dig and collect as children do.

We enjoyed our day by the sea, and the time we all spent together outdoors. There was a lack of phone signal and power so I recommend packing an instant gas hot water system if you are inclined to.

After our beach adventure with only a few days left, we agreed to head to our furtherest stretch
of our trip. We passed many free camps on our way up, but we decided keep heading toward
Airlie Beach.

We finally made it! Airlie Beach had the most perfect family spots. It wasn’t long until we
where on the blue, blue Whitsundays water and very excited to explore the islands.

To our surprise the winds were up to 30 knots, which shortened our boating distance. No

We have a GPS on our boat, so we picked our day trip, an island named Mid Molle island, just past
Daydream Island. We spend the entirety of the day perched under a pandanus palm, fishing and
exploring together.

What a Valentine adventure!

Our time is so very precious so we need to put time aside for our loved ones. Memories are made through adventure and what better way to do that then in the great outdoors.

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed reading and maybe this Valentine’s day you can have your
own outdoor adventure.