If you know me in The Real World, chances are you've heard me tout the wonders of Youcamp.
The easiest way to explain Youcamp is that it is to camping what Airbnb is to hotels. It's affordable, allows you to see places you might otherwise not, and live a little bit like a local for a day, or even a week.
Farmers and landowners list their properties on the site, welcoming visitors to stay in a myriad of different facilities, even sometimes offering guided tours or their own produce or equipment hire.
It's probably also worth noting here that I am yet to ever be sponsored, so any raving that occurs here is truly just my uncontained enthusiasm and general word-vomit. But Youcamp, if you do want to sponsor me, just give me a holler ;)
I've taken an excerpt from the website here, which better explains their mission than I ever could:
"Youcamp was born around a campfire on the edge of a forest on private land on the south coast of NSW in 2013.
The website founders, James Woodford and Prue Bartlett, have always loved the outdoors and nature. One evening around the fire they realised that properties, like theirs, were great locations for camping and other outdoor adventures. While many Australians had become disenchanted with camping in commercial van parks and national parks, they had the realisation that private land opened a whole new frontier for outdoor adventures and a return to a more authentic kind of holiday – one where people could choose the kind of break they wanted and what they wanted to do.
When Youcamp.com went live early in 2013 the very first property that was opened to campers was theirs – Cudbugga Forest. Since then James and Prue have seen, first hand, the effect that being on a property like Cudbugga Forest can have on everyone from stressed adults to urban based children. They realised that even just a few days in a place without jobs, wifi and stress, had the power to re-fuel people and their relationships." Read more here.
Stumbling across it in early 2017, I pegged it firmly to my to-do list and when a few months later on a Saturday we felt sorely in need of a brief break, we quickly booked a single night in a campsite that looked promising. Boy did we underestimate it.
When we arrived that afternoon, we realised we had struck a bit of Youcamp gold. The camground we had booked, named Gumridge, was a little cleared section of land on the top of the ridge not too far from Peter (the hosts) humble home (note: not the house pictured).
The views from Gumridge are something else. Mt Maroon looms in the foreground, with Mt Barney, Mt Ernest and Mt Lindesay falling behind. Never before or since have I seen anything quite like it in Aus.
We spent the evening cooking on a cast plate over a small campfire, taking endless photos as the light turned golden before fading away to reveal the glittering milky way.
And in the morning, we rolled up our swag, packed the chairs and hit home by 10am. Still a full day ahead, with batteries fully recharged after a night under the stars.
Sometimes, all you need is a little break. And a bit of help from Youcamp.
Brisbane-based lover of travel, off-roading, camping and photography.