Celebrity Camper: Brooke Hanson

Article by · May 27, 2017 ·

Brooke Hanson is one of Australia’s best known campers as the co-host of the Nine Network’s long running Discover Downunder travel show.

She first shot to fame in 1994 Commonwealth Games and served for 13 years in Australia’s swim team at more than 25 major international events. Brooke’s career highlight was winning a gold medal at the Athens Olympics as part of the 4X100m relay team and silver in the 100m breaststroke.

1. Where did you go for caravanning/camping holidays when you were young?
Growing up the eldest of four kids, our family loved camping and spending holidays exploring our beautiful country.
I grew up in Manly NSW; we would pack up and travel to swimming and surf carnivals around NSW, QLD and VIC. Some of my favorites if we headed south of Sydney were Green Patch Jervis Bay or Mollymook. If we headed north, on the Central Coast we would stop at Norah Head and then drive to the North Coast and stay in Coffs Harbour, we would always stay on or near the ocean.


2. What was your favorite place to and why, is it still a favourite today?

My Favourite Camping Destinations are all in NSW.  In order, Crescent Head,  Coffs Harbour and Yamba.

Crescent Head is a favourite location any time of year.  I love this quaint coastal town just outside of Kempsey as it ticks all the boxes for everything my family wants on a holiday; sun, surf, sand and sleep.

Firstly, an easy set up of camp at the surf side caravan park with a choice of either lakeside or surfside sites. It has the best long board wave and the point break is famous worldwide.

There’s a huge opening from the ocean to Killick creek, which at high tide is great for floating on your back or swimming against the tide.

Crescent Head has a fantastic surf beach for body surfing and board riding, plenty of sand to build sandcastles and heaps of spots to stay protected from the wind on a blown out day. Fishing at dawn or dusk is a must and the flat heads are plentiful.

Also a fun and safe area for bike riding, a short one minute ride to check out the waves rolling off the point and a few minutes on the footpath to the shops.

Everything you need is within walking distance, meaning no car rides!

It has an on site kiosk, simple kids play area right next to where the pelicans visit, plenty of walks and bush walks. A favourite is out to the headland to get photos of the south and the north coast at sunrise.

The caravan park is setup right next to the golf course. So, if the surf is flat and the fish aren’t biting, a round of golf by the sea is a lot of fun. The pub and the bowls club are only minutes away but when you have a young family it’s early to bed early to rise. My family and I love it and can’t wait to go again!

3. Tell us about some other favourite memories exploring Australia

You make unforgettable memories every time you set up camp and each place has so much to offer. I love the beautiful beaches with amazing surf breaks. I enjoy sitting around a campfire and having a good yarn and camping under the stars in the outback.

I’m so fortunate to do what I love for a living and then do it all over gain when I’m camping with my family. When presenting on Discover Downunder I visit the best caravanning and camping destinations around Australia.

I get a fantastic insight to every place we film and I do a popular activity in the area as well as eat and drink the fresh local produce from each region.

I learn about the history of each place and get to see the picturesque coastlines, lush hinterland and rolling hills. Some of the scenic drives are absolutely breath taking, I enjoy visits to historic buildings, galleries, antique stores, museums, old book shops, boutique stores, great coffee shops, national parks, wild life, aboriginal culture, food and wineries the list of options is endless.


4. Any not so favourite camping memories or experiences?

I can honestly say no, whether it’s rain, hail or shine each day brings a new adventure and as a family we cherish every moment we have together.

We all love nothing more than hitting the road with no plans and having quality family time doing what we love; surfing, swimming, fishing, building sandcastles, bike riding, picnics and freedom to just BE.

Of course hiccups happen, but most of it is completely out of your control, the best thing to do is laugh it off, keep smiling and continue enjoying your holiday.

4. Do you have any camping tips? Tell us any must do’s and don’ts?

Plan ahead, be organized, I believe the prior preparation sets you up for a relaxed fun-filled adventure.

We have a camping list of things we need to pack and once everything is in the car we know we are set to go. On top of that list is my Dometic Waeco fridge/freezer, aeroguard, mozzie coils, sunscreen and my dutch camp oven for cooking damper, golden syrup dumplings.

5. Do you still like to get out and explore Australia?  If so, what’s on your wish list?

My love of camping has continued now with my family; husband Jared Clarke and our sons Cooper & Billy.

Living in our tent, the car packed with sports equipment, surf boards, bikes and fishing rods and getting away as much as we can is our short-term goal.

Our long term goal as a family is to do a heads tour of the East Coast including our favourite Crescent Head of course, once this is achieved and the kids are older we will definitely do the lap.


About Time To Roam

Australia's premier magazine focused on the people and culture of caravanning and camping.

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