5 Australian road trips you’ve never heard of 

A complete guide to camping on Moreton Island

Indulge in the majesty of Mother Nature

Unspoilt coastline overlooks the kind of turquoise blue that instantly invites serenity on Moreton Island, a still relatively relaxed national park paradise just a hop, skip and ferry from Brisbane.

From families to backpackers, there’s something to tickle everyone’s fancy on this island escape. By day there’s a plethora of activities to indulge in. The adventurous traveller will enjoy four wheel driving on nature’s highway, climbing sandstone formations at Cape Cliff, kayaking, snorkelling, hiking (Mt Tempest is the highest point on the island where verdant views await) and tobogganing down sand dunes.

Those looking for a little restoration will enjoy observing the rich variety of wildlife (birds, dolphins, whales, turtles and more), relaxing at Honeymoon Bay, soaking in the natural Champagne Pools, taking a refreshing dip in the Blue Lagoon and soaking up spectacular views (including some serious sunsets). The most visited attraction on the island is the Tangalooma Wrecks – the rusting bones of old ship hulls that take you back in time, delighting your inner explorer. By night, the sky inspires with a majestic starscape that leaves you feeling a little smaller, in the best possible way.

Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world, so there’s no shortage of space to pitch your tent on the beach, and camping will only set you back around $6 per person per night.

There’ll be plenty of time to kick back when you arrive, but be sure to plan ahead for the very best experience.

Before you leave:

-Plan your ferry trip on the MiCat from the Port of Brisbane (the trip is around 90 minutes)

-Book your campsite and organise a camping permit via the Queensland National Parks A camping tag with your booking number needs to be displayed at your campsite at all times.

-A 4WD is essential for travelling around the island. If you don’t have one, you can hire one from Brisbane, or there’s a licensed Transfer Service on the island.

Where to camp on Moreton Island

With a little pre-planning, you can easily settle into the perfect campsite to suit your needs. Before you decide, consider the following:

-First-time island campers will be most comfortable at Ben-Ewa.

-The western side of the island is best for camping with kids for the calm waters (campgrounds are The Wrecks, Ben-Ewa and Comboyuro Point).

-The south-west side provides tranquillity, but is more challenging to access.

-You can choose from dedicated campgrounds with all the necessary facilities, and more rustic, beach camping options (beach campers need to bring their own essentials including drinking water, rubbish bags etc.).

-Most campgrounds allow fires in existing sites, but you’ll need to bring your own firewood.

-There are five beach camping zones on the island (outlined below) – you cannot camp on beaches outside these zones.

-Long weekends and school holidays are popular. If you’re looking for some serenity during these times opt for beach camping over campground.

-Bring your own drinking water or plan to treat it if your campground has water available.

-Mobile phone coverage is pretty poor everywhere you go, but there are some campgrounds with wi-fi access.

-Seasonal closures mean that not all camp spaces will be available year round.

-It’s recommended that long-term campers staying in beach/bush sites bring a portable toilet.

The National Park Campgrounds with facilities

THE WRECKS CAMPGROUND

Set next to a sheltered bay and surrounded by native trees and shrubs, The Wrecks is a walk-in camping area (vehicles can park on the beach nearby) with 21 sites available. It’s near the main barge point so is suitable for those without vehicles, and it’s not accessible for campers or trailers. Facilities include water, hybrid toilets, cold showers, rubbish bins and a wi-fi hotspot. Nearby attractions include the hike up Mt Tempest, checking out The Wrecks and snorkelling.

BEN-EWA CAMPGROUND

A favourite with families and school groups, Ben-Ewa offers sheltered bay waters next to shady, protected sites. Located just north of The Wrecks on the western beach side of the island, the 12 camping plots are suitable for caravans and camper trailers, and facilities include water, toilets, cold showers and a wi-fi hotspot. Campers can swim in the sheltered Moreton Bay waters, or enjoy a spot of fishing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.

COMBOYURO POINT CAMPGROUND

Within walking distance of the Bulwer township on the west coast, Comboyuro is also close to 4WD tracks that lead to some of the island’s main attractions. The 49 camping plots of various sizes offer plenty of shade and calm waters for the whole family to enjoy, and the sunsets across the bay are majestic. You can park your car (also suitable for campervans) right next to your plot, and facilities include water, septic toilets, rubbish bins and cold showers.

NORTH POINT CAMPGROUND

North Point offers a large grassy area close to the beach and is within walking distance to Honeymoon Bay and the Champagne Pools. There are 21 sites available (many shaded, and four suitable for camper trailers) and it’s a perfect place to take the kids as the nearby swimming water is shallow and calm (plus there’s a little less sand on site to take over your tent). Facilities include water, hybrid toilets, cold showers and pedestrian access to the surf beach, and there are no open fires permitted (another possible appeal for parents).

BLUE LAGOON CAMPGROUND

On the eastern side of the island between Middle Road and Cape Moreton, this beautiful beach-style campground offers easy access to an ocean surf beach and is a walk away from the Blue Lagoon and some lovely walking trails. There’s parking available next to the campsite and while trailers and caravans are permitted, they aren’t recommended due to the soft sand and narrow road. There are 25 sites with access to water, septic toilets and cold showers.

The Beach/bush camping zones with no facilities

All beach/bush campgrounds are facility-free, so you’ll need to come prepared with all the necessities (including a portable toilet for longer stays). Fires are permitted in existing sites, and generator use is allowed between 8am and 7pm. You can really choose your own adventure – with spaces varying in size and seclusion, and many sites offering beautiful views and shade. Perfect for campers who are up for a slightly more rugged adventure.

Moreton Island hammock

NORTH-WEST CAMPING ZONE

This camping zone offers 76 beach campsites between Ben-Ewa and Comboyuro campgrounds, all with access to calm bay waters and some just a walk away from the Bulwer township.

NORTH-EAST CAMPING ZONE

Eighty-nine sites are dotted from Middle Road to Spitfire Creek on the Eastern beach, with many boasting views to the exposed surf beaches. Keep in mind the narrow, soft-sanded Middle Road if bringing a trailer.

SOUTH-WEST CAMPING ZONE

This zone covers all western beach campsites and offers 24 (mostly tent) spaces by calm bay waters that can be reached by 4WD, foot, or by boat or kayak. Some sites you can park next to, but others are impacted by the tides (with some spaces only accessible during low-tide).

SOUTH-EAST CAMPING ZONE

With 35 sites available, this zone offers exposed surf beaches between Middle Road to Rous Battery. You’ll need to be mindful here of access via Middle Road if towing a trailer, and high tide times where the beach is obstructed.

YELLOW PATCH CAMPSITES

Yellow Patch covers campsites between North Point and Heath Island, and offers 14 sites with access to surf beaches that are less exposed than the others. North Point campground is just a short drive away, so campers can take advantage of the facilities there.

Words by Jessica Humphries for Australian Traveller. 

From Chaos to Calm: How to Create a Daily Routine in Your Busy Life

Creating and sticking to a daily routine doesn’t come easily to everyone. Add kids into the mix and it’s a recipe for a life of rushing around, chasing your tail and ending up overwhelmed and exhausted.

Creating a daily routine might sound like a boring task, but once you’re in the flow it will be your saving grace.

Many studies have indicated that time management and daily routine is beneficial for mental health and essential for children. When challenges arise you’ll have this routine to fall back on and help you move through times of turmoil with greater ease.

Make a date with yourself

Schedule time into your daily routine just for you. It might be twenty minutes in the morning before the rest of the family wakes up, or you might need to work it around your kids’ schedules. But make sure to find this regular time every day to do something that fills your cup. It might be reading, exercising or simply having a cup of tea. Creating and sticking to this daily routine for yourself will allow you to take a small step towards finding a flow in other areas of your life – including your family life. Time management isn’t just about chores.

Plan ahead to reach your goals

Create a routine planner. Choose one day a week where you sit down for ten minutes and write a daily routine for the week ahead (Sunday works well). It doesn’t need to be by the minute, but plan what needs to be done each day.  When you’re writing in your routine planner, think not only about what you’d like to achieve this week, but what you’d like your life to look like overall.

Say you’d like to exercise more. What small steps can you take now to move towards integrating that into your daily routine? Perhaps you start with one group exercise class per week after the school drop-off, or five minutes of push-ups, crunches and lunges when you put the baby down for a nap. Schedule it into a weekly exercise plan. Then, give yourself a time limit for when you’d like to have achieved your goal and remember to reward yourself when you get there.

Delegate delegate delegate

Let’s be honest – most of the time, doing something yourself seems so much easier than going through the dreary process of teaching someone else how to do it. But this will definitely save you time and energy in the long run.

Sometimes it comes down to simply letting go of control. It’s hard to see someone else doing something imperfectly that you know you could do just right. But check in with yourself and ask if you’re letting your need to control get in the way of your overall happiness. Create a routine planner for you and your partner, set up a chore board for the kids and when someone offers their help don’t be afraid to take it.

Although your two-year-old may not be the best dishwasher right now, in a few years’ time you’ll be thanking yourself for teaching them young. Just don’t forget to take out the sharp knives!

Words by Jessica Humphries for Jenny Craig. 

self-care

Self-Care if you Dare: Top Tips for Mums

As a mother, self-care is probably right down there at the very bottom of your to-do list. But as Mother’s Day approaches, there’s no better time to think of how we can celebrate mums every single day. A big part of that is learning how to prioritise self-love and self-care. This will set you on the path to becoming not only a happier, more relaxed human being, but also a more present and nurturing mum.

‘Love yourself’ is becoming such a cliché in an era obsessed with self-love. But what does it really mean? Self-love is not smothering yourself in creams and lotions or taking endless trips to day spas. It’s taking the time to tune in to what you really want and need and honouring that as best you can, whilst often simultaneously looking after everyone around you. Here are some suggestions to guide you along the way.

The time is now

Don’t wait for your family to splurge on that pamper session for Mother’s Day. How can you nourish and nurture yourself right now? Even if you have just a few minutes to yourself, how can you squeeze in a little self-love? Call up an old friend, enjoy a few deep belly breaths, nourish your body with a fresh juice or take a stroll around the block whilst listening to your favourite music or podcast. Use your kids’ schedule to manage your own self-care time. When baby goes down for a nap or after the school drop-off, instead of frantically tidying the house, take just five minutes for yourself before you dive in.

Fill your cup first

While this might not always be literally possible (especially when screaming kids are involved), you can certainly start to consider ways to fill your own metaphorical cup. When you become a mother you often don’t have the time for self-love and doing what lights you up. You might sometimes feel like you’re losing a part of your self. By taking the time to fill your own cup you will be more present and available to your children when you’re spending time with them. Often if you’re okay – your kids are okay. Remember what you love and who you are, and make it a priority – even if just for a short time.

Together activities

Despite the name, Mother’s Day is not really a day for you (along with all the other days of the year). On this day and all others, as well as thinking of how you might nurture yourself, think of how you can nurture and nourish the whole family. What do you love to do that your kids also love? Instead of trying to always balance ‘time for them’ and ‘time for me’, dedicate most of your time to doing things that you all enjoy together.

Words by Jessica Humphries for Jenny Craig. 

Immunity Boosters for Winter: Foods that Heal

Your immunity in winter is certainly challenged. Shorter days and less sunshine means less vitamin D and more work for the body to fight off disease. We huddle together indoors and are more likely to pass on infection to one another. It’s not the greatest combination, but the good news is that there are many ways to modify your diet in winter to ensure you can enjoy all the magic of this beautiful season.

Stock up on inflammation fighting foods

Research indicates that inflammation increases over winter. One of the best ways of combating inflammation is through diet. Integrate plenty of tomatoes, olive oil (hello tomato soup!), dark green leafy vegetables, raw, unsalted nuts, fatty fish and fruits into your diet. Check out our roasted tomato salad (served with the Jenny Craig Beef Pastie) for some inspiration.

Let it go

There are also, of course, foods that aggravate inflammation. See if you can say see ya to sugary drinks and fried foods to give you the best chance of a healthy winter.

Bring on the (healthy!) bacteria

A recent study has found that fermented foods may have a role within the immune system by activating immune cells when good bacteria is detected. Foods with good bacteria, or probiotics, include yogurt, sauerkraut,  miso and tempeh. Try adding a little sauerkraut to one meal a day!

Vitamin C for immunity

Finally, we must remember our trusty old faithful Vitamin C – whose role in keeping you healthy throughout winter is undoubtable. Vitamin C deficiency is rare in healthy individuals, so you should be able to receive enough through your diet. You’ll get the greatest boost through citrus fruits, berries, kiwifruit, tomatoes, broccoli and capsicums. Integrate these foods simply by starting your day with a squeeze of lemon juice in your water or tea (hold the milk!), making big batches of tomato soup to snack on throughout the week and aiming to integrate broccoli into most evening meals.

Words by Jessica Humphries for Jenny Craig.