Not your grandpa’s campsite
Australians have gone soft, said Matt Holden. Summer camping season at the beach used to mean roughing it: “Roll up your swag, hook a billy to your belt, and go.” If you wanted coffee on your trek, you made do with instant, probably brewed in a battered tin mug. But nowadays some campfires are better equipped than my home kitchen. I’ve seen people bring “gas cookers, solar panels, and even paella pans.” Vacationing recently on one of Victoria state’s most beautiful camping beaches, I couldn’t figure out why the shore was almost deserted one glorious morning. “Then I discovered that the campers were queuing for lattes” at the mobile espresso van that visits the state park every day. Once they had their caffeine fixes, did these people frolic in the sand, go surfing, fly kites? Nope. They “walked to the end of the beach, scrambled over the rocks at the point, and climbed a particular tree,” where, if you got high enough, you could get two bars of reception on your phone. “There was a queue to climb the tree.” A politician once said if you’re not in Sydney, you’re camping out. Now it’s reversed: Even when we’re camping, we’re in Sydney.