with surfer pros Macy & Sheldon
What started as a week-long getaway to one of the most beautiful islands off Queensland, Australia, turned into an adventure that almost lasted a month for Macy Callaghan and her partner Sheldon Simkus.
Their travels to Fraser Island were the professional surfing couple’s first camping trip away together, and it certainly won’t be the last.
The couple have turned from budding campers to keen explorers during the past year and are now locking in travel plans for the year ahead. Macy tells us about her upcoming travel for 2022 with “no end in destination” and shares her bucket list of Australian camping locations and her goal of learning how to catch dinner while on the road.
The adventure awaits
Words by Macy Callaghan.
Since the pandemic, Sheldon and I have really enjoyed utilising what’s on our Australian doorstep. We both love exploring new beaches, new campsites and destinations neither of us has been to before. We are getting organised and getting a list of locations and landmarks we’d like to go to and explore. We have a surfing event in the Foster region which is such a beautiful part of the East Coast of Australia. That’s looking like it will be our first destination of the trip. From there, we will check out the weather maps and surf conditions and try to line up somewhere for a few days of relaxing and free surfing. We have pencilled in a few freshwater steams up behind Coffs Harbour (in NSW), a few campsites in Crescent Head and other places close to the coastline of mid-NSW. Our goal is to go places and really take in the scenery, relax on the beach and in a camp chair, walk over to the following headline and enjoy the beautiful country we live in. Another goal of ours is to try and catch fresh fish as much as we can, wherever that may be. We’re not too sure how this is going to go!
Sometime in the future, we would love to go around Australia and check out the different coastlines and cultures. But at this stage, we will be heading south with no real end in destination. Although, I feel once we complete this trip, we will have worked out all the necessary items we will need and be more prepared for a road trip of that calibre.
Macy's favourite playground
When Sheldon and I first got together, we went on a pretty cool Queensland road trip where he took me 4-wheel driving to Fraser Island and Moreton Island in Queensland. We had initially planned for a week-long trip, but we ended up spending almost 3-weeks exploring and enjoying ourselves. That really lit a fire in our love for camping and the endless journeys and places that are out there to be explored.
I’d love to go back to Fraser Island. Having the biggest sand island in the world on our doorstep to visit is super special. The number of landmarks and locations to check out there is breathtaking. Having kilometres of beautiful beaches with many inland freshwater lakes is something I’d never experienced.
Since then, we’ve really got together all the right gear for any journey we desire, whether that’s going to an island or inland camping. That’s the beauty of having such comfortable and easy camping gear from Dometic Outdoor – how easy it can help you get outdoors and stay out exploring for longer with loved ones.
Last year we also ventured to North Stradbroke Island with some friends. We would drive along the beach and look for some fun waves to surf. We took jet skis, electric bikes, surfboards, and fishing rods and had a few epic days. Once we were tired of surfing, we would launch the jet ski and catch some fish.
We were having such an epic time just hanging out at the beach all day in beautiful weather, catching and cooking fresh fish upon a fire, and just enjoying each day with good company. To us, that’s what it’s all about - enjoying epic days out and having a blast exploring the outdoors with friends.
What does 'Mobile living made easy' mean for Macy?
Mobile Living Made Easy to me means getting outdoors with loved ones easily and effortlessly. Even for someone inexperienced and only going camping once in a blue moon or is a young female like myself and just getting into the whole camping program, the Dometic gear is designed to make everything super easy and mobile for anywhere, anytime. I used to watch Sheldon set up everything, but with Dometic’s range of gear, it can be as simple as pressing a button to open an awning or rooftop tent, inflate a tent, and pop open a camp chair.
3 top tips for beginner campers
- Choose the right camping for you
Discovering what type of camping is best for you is crucial for having a great first-time experience. Tents and cooking on fire may be enjoyed by many, but we suggest taking it easy when it comes to giving camping a go. Try using an RV, van or rooftop tent that is kitted out with at-home-like luxurious such as a good quality mattress and easily accessible kitchen accessories. The same goes for your location too – think about where you would feel more comfortable spending your time too… the beach, a park, a lake or in the bush.
- Make a checklist
The last thing you’d want to do is get to a location far from home and have forgotten an item, an ice box, fire starter or gas bottle. When you’re planning a trip, we recommend creating a checklist of all the essential items you’ll need. A few key things to remember are sunscreen, insect spray, spare batteries, phone chargers, and enough food to last the trip.
- Test out your gear before you go
If you’re a first-time camper, we can’t recommend enough how important it is to have tested your gear before you head away. Familiarise yourself with building or inflating your tent, setting up your surroundings, and test out sleeping arrangements and electrical items.