Updated: Feb 5
We started our December holiday adventure feeling in need of nature and peace. It was everything and more than we could have hoped for!
We dropped our 2 canines off on route at the kennels, keeping then safe and as happy as possible.
The drive felt long, it was longer than the 6 hours Google estimated compared to our family meeting us there traveling less than 3. Our car was full and we took it slow and safe.
So much planning goes into these trips, I avoid surprises by researching everything, Google, YouTube, Tripadvisor are staples. We follow fellow travelers on YouTube and they give great tips and content which not only inspire us but give real life practical tips. Unfortunately it is usually not family applicable which prompted our starting the InsideOut Adventures blog and YouTube channel (InsideOut Adventures SA). We now have an Instagram handle (insideout_adventures) sharing more pictures and content.
We choose, at this stage of our life, to alternate between a coastal December holiday and an inland/bush holiday each year. We do this for our kids primarily. A hot December bush holiday every year is too much for them so young, and this affords us and them a chance to spend quality time with our families that join us and do not want too go so far or as hard. It is also a much easier option planning wise as we have far more options and resources on the coast. There is a catch. Bookings to the best of these wonderful places (our opinion) for the December holidays is a stressful process. We have to look up on the SANParks website for when the walk in bookings open after the school holidays and ensure we arrive before 8AM, earlier in some places to get in the queue. No jokes, it is seriously competitive. Like Kruger, some of the best accommodation options are long gone before they even go online the next day! Storms River rest camp and Wilderness rest camp are 2 of the hardest spots to get in after 8AM, they day before online bookings. They have about 200 camp spots together that are gone in minutes. Similar applies to the better, less expensive cabins and chalets. Truely wild!
We booked a tented site with a sea view. All the bigger caravan sites were gone in seconds. We focused on the view and were very comfortable on the well groomed grass patches, stunningly maintained. Power was a bit far, so remember your extensions.
The bathrooms, kitchens and laundry and well maintained and honestly, it is one of the best maintained parks in SA. Natures Valley is a huge tourism hub and this is the GEM. I don't think it is possible to get accommodation this good considering our view at the price charged. My folks had a comfortable forest cabin just behind us and extended family camped alongside us. A piece of Heaven.
What is there to do at Storms? Sooo much. Other than driving around the tourist welcoming region and visiting the many stops along the way, Storms River rest camp is full of activities. The Honorary ranges do educational talks which our kids loved by the rock pools, they have water aerobics in the camp pool daily when in season too! The hikes and walks are famous in this region, and suit all fitness levels. The scenery is breathtaking. From walks to kayaking you will find something.
Our days were spent in the rock pools, going for daily walks/hikes, taking pictures of birds and wildlife, playing games, eating, drinking and being merry. Our holidays can be great on our own, but when you are with people you love, they become bliss.