Our Big Family Has a Big Night at a BIG4

How many weeks are we going for? One night. Why do you ask?
How many weeks are we going for? One night. Why do you ask?

“Once we’re set up, the first thing I’m going to do is take the kids to the pool,” I told Tracey.

We were on our way to the BIG4 Forest Glen Holiday Resort for a night camping with the kids. We haven’t been camping in years, but the BIG4 people had asked if we’d like to stay at one of their parks and see for ourselves how great they are, and then to give away a couple of nights at one of their parks on the blog. We said we’d love to!

Once we knew which park we were staying at we’d checked out their website to see what they offered – a big pool with a big slide, outdoor movies, indoor movies, bird feeding, play equipment, mini golf, tennis and a huge trampoline pillow.

But the thing I was most excited about was we were camping at a powered site. Suddenly camping was destined to be much less barbaric than I remembered it. I set about loading up our trailer with the essentials. You wouldn’t know it to look at the picture above, but we were only staying one night. That isn’t a camper trailer – that’s all ‘stuff’.

“Mum! Look at how many pillows they have!” was a comment I heard some other campers make as they walked past where we were attempting to erect our tent. I wanted to chase after them and explain there were seven of us, but Tracey felt the argument lost its integrity because there were ten pillows, including a boomerang, L-shaped one and a two meter long one Tracey and I usually use to sit up in bed and read our iPad.

Oh, yes, I have an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach to camping because I always find the thing you don’t take is the thing you’ll need.

By way of example, it wasn’t long before I realized I had in fact left something behind.

“Oh, bugger,” I mumbled as I fumbled through the trailer.

“What?” Tracey asked.

“Um….I seem to have forgot the hammer.”

“Is that important?” she asked.

“Not if you can think of another way to bang pegs into the ground.”

Tracey nodded to where my pod coffee machine was sitting and gave me one of those looks. “You remembered the coffee machine but you forgot the thing to put the tent up with? Oh, well don- what is that?” 

I’d just removed a big blue bag from the trailer and had gone back for the blower.

“It’s the jumping castle.”

I must say, Tracey looked a lot less impressed than I thought she’d be.

“Jumping castle!? I spent a day packing the very minimum I needed to cloth the kids and you brought the jumping castle!? Plus, no hammer.”

“I’m pretty sure,” I told her, “someone here will be able to lend me a hammer. But I doubt very much anyone will have a coffee machine or jumping castle I can borrow.”

I was pretty damn pleased at myself for having made this very valid point, and to prove it I set off to find a hammer.

So the first thing we got to check out at the BIG4 Forest Glen Holiday Resort wasn’t the nice pool but rather how keen the BIG4 people were to help a husband avoid an argument with his wife by lending him a tool. The lovely receptionist quickly arranged for the groundsman to drop one off to us and I set about being all handy hammering the ground a lot and occasionally hitting a peg.

Once our campsite was unpacked Tracey decided it was cause for a celebratory drink.

“I guess I’ll let you make me one of your fancy coffees now,” she said.

“We can even put the jumping castle up to entertain the kids before we head over to the pool,” I suggested, giving her a smug kind sort of a ‘See! I told you!’ look.

However, seconds later I was back to my more traditional ‘Oh, bugger’ face.

“Can’t,” I mumbled to my wife.

“Can’t what?”

“Make coffee.”

“Why not?” she wanted to know. Then she laughed. “You forgot the coffee, didn’t you?”

“Nope. I forgot the power leads.”

So the second thing we ended up checking out was how keen the BIG4 people were to help an idiot husband avoid an argument with his long-suffering wife by lending him a power cord or two which, as you can see from the photo below, they were very accommodating about.

The whole BIG4 experience was funtastic. The park was amazingly clean and super kid friendly. Master8 said it was the best holiday we’ve ever, ever been on – and we were only there one night!

I feel obliged to mention at this point I also forgot the coffee cups, but we decided to use the kids plastic drink cups instead of driving to a shopping centre.

After all, we were camping and it’s nice to rough it now and then 🙂

Big4 1
Camp Devereaux.

Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page

 ”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

This prize has been drawn – congratulations to our winner, Sam L.  🙂 Thanks for entering

About the prize:

  • Two free nights in a self contained cabin at any BIG4 Holiday Park around Australia;
  • Cabin accommodation for two adults and up to two children, including all linen;
  • Subject to availability;
  • Not available during Christmas, School Holidays, Long Weekends or Peak Seasons;
  • Prize valid until 31 December 2014
  • Prize is not transferable or to be exchanged as cash;
  • Not to be used with any other discounts or special offers; and
  • Advanced booking is required for this prize redemption

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • As someone who had camped at Big 4 Forest Glen several times I can honestly say that I have no doubt that you your family would have enjoyed themselves thoroughly

  • The were begging us to stay as we drove away. Master8 said it was the best holiday he’s ever, ever had 🙂 Promised we’d go back soon 🙂

  • Having a laugh and shaking my head, I’m thinking ‘and this is why, the only thing I let my husband pack is his own clothes’.

  • Well Bruce, you packed like a champion. Adam will be spewing when I tell him that you bought a blow up jumping castle camping… And a sarcastic thanks for ensuring he goes and buys that stupid pool and blow up play ‘thing’ he is convinced would be great at the beach… and now I cant use the whole ‘Nobody does that kind of crazy’ when camping… thanks Bruce. Thanks! 😉

    • You go ahead and ask Adam what else he wants for Xmas and I’ll try work it into another blog post lol 😀

  • We are a family of 7, and I (the wife ) hate to tent camp. Work is doubled for me for packing, cooking and cleaning. In fact, I will pack the whole car top to bottom, and sit there for the next 1 ~2 hours while Andy remembers “everything I forgot”. He loves camping, and suggested we buy an RV to make life easier. I said no, and his buddy (who was selli.g it ) quickly reminded me what traveling with Andy is like, and how I could leave all of that in the RV and never have to repack. Packing time is now greatly reduced for me…. However, it still takes Andy an extra hour to pack… even in the RV. 🙂

  • We’re going to buy a caravan eventually for exactly the same reason – we’ll be able to keep a lot of things in it ready to go on holidays. Like coffee cups!! 🙂 But I did enjoy setting up the tent will the family

  • My family and I have travelled quite extensively throughout Australia and have quite often stayed at Big4 Holiday Parks and had a fantastic time. Highly recommended for families on a tight budget. Big4 equals Big Fun 🙂

  • In your defense, you couldn’t possibly have thought to pack the hammer because you’re not allowed to touch it, remember! So really, Tracey is the one to blame for that particular slip up… but for the love of god, don’t tell her I said so!!!

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