Blanket Bay is one of those magical places to me. To us. It has long been. Mr Vick and I stumbled upon it in our courting days (way) back in 2005. We were driving a blue camper van circa 1978, borrowed from Mr Vick’s brother who’d just driven around Australia in it. It drove with the full sense of vintage. The gears were a bit clunky and it’s top speed was about 80 kms per hour at a push so we had to be content with spending a fair bit of time with one another and not gettin’ anywhere too fast. We had a couple of days up our sleeve so we headed off like gypsies with no plan in place other than to see where the road took us. In hindsight we suspect we would have ended up at Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road to buy supplies and set up a little love camp. Instead we took a turn off the concrete road out of curiosity and found ourselves driving down a zig zaggy gravel road which had pot holes nearly the size of the camper van, which did not have very youthful suspension. Mr Vick loved the adventure of not knowing where it was going to take us. I must have been head over heels, ‘cos I was happy enough to contently follow and live the adventure.
What we found would forever leave an imprint and be etched into our web of memories which have been labelled as “special times”. Blanket Bay was like a little discovery of treasure. It’s the bush, the quintessential Aussie bush filled with Gum trees, gazillions of entertaining koalas and singing birds, which meets the most picturesque, peaceful bay you could imagine. It’s a place of true stillness and evokes quiet contemplation and somehow always grounds me. It holds my feet down and reminds me about all those things that really matter.
I mean, it’s virtually the Dalai Lama with it’s little yin & yang sign on the sand.
We spent our 2 days there exploring, sun baking, canoodling, and eating hard boiled eggs. Organic hard boiled eggs picked up from my brothers farm on our travels. Apart from some suspiciously stale 2 minute noodles left from the vans previous trip, that would be all we would eat and we were so in love with each other and Blanket Bay it didn’t even matter.
We have been back once as a couple again and it was just as magic. Even more magic with more to eat than just hard boiled eggs.
This time, Easter 2013, we visited with our family (boring) station wagon circa 2002 with a little being in it and another one brewing. I marvel at the sense of life progression right there. In 8 little years….
We were so happy to find ourselves there again, particularly because we are now a family and we are going to share this place with our children as they grow up. Blanket Bay will forever be magical to us as we build a canvas of memories there with our children.
It’s such a family place. Surrounding us, at the peak time, were many families wanting to share Blanket Bay with their little budding adventurers. Little Vick has never been happier playing with the community of children which met by the communal campfire throughout the day. On the beach he played curiously amongst the captivating rock pools, clawed his hands through the white sand, collected shells and crabs as treasures. A contentedness fell over him. Blanket Bay had cast it’s spell on him too.
The Easter and Christmas period is of course the most popular time to visit Blanket Bay so there is a ballot system for securing one of the 20 campsites which is located in the Great Otway National Park 20km west of Apollo Bay near the Cape Otway Lighthouse. Keep an eye out here if you’re keen to go in the lottery or want to find out more about the campsite. The neighbouring Parker-Hill & Bimbi camping spots are also good back up options if you want to be hangin’ in the Cape.
I’m happy to report that the drop loo’s have improved since 2005. I could be heard boasting back at our campsite with much excitement, or mere relief, that a number of new drop toilets had been built and that they didn’t even smell. Yep, that’s the extent of the luxury in terms of the facilities at Blanket Bay. If you want a shower, you swim in the ocean, if you want to be warm, you light a fire.
Of course it wasn’t all romance. There were the curious European wasps who have arrived by the droves since 2005, the on again off again rain, the wound on Little Vicks head from tripping on a rock and the afternoon of gastro which Little Vick somehow caught but all in all Blanket Bay will always be our special little spot. Nothing can tarnish that.
Do you have a special family holiday spot too?
To see more photos from our camping weekend click here.