Two fridges, a TV and roast dinners - you call this camping?

GONE are the days when spending time in the great outdoors was considered roughing it.

For the families camping at Ballina's Flat Rock Tent Park this summer, the camp sites were looking far from rough, with many campers enjoying all the comforts of home under a tented roof.

With modern conveniences, such as solar generators, televisions, fridges and smartphone chargers rife, it seems hard to find reasons to stay in a hotel.

Matt Audoss and his family of five from Ipswich were part of the growing trend of people glamorously camping - also known as glamping - in Ballina this year.

The Audoss clan had already been at the Flat Rock Tent Park for the last two weeks and thanks to their set-up which included two fridges - one gas-powered and one powered by a 12-volt battery - they will be staying until the end of December.

"Having the fridges means we don't have to buy ice and we even glazed and roasted our Christmas ham in our Weber barbecue," Mr Audoss said.

They weren't the only ones camping in style these summer holidays.

Also at the Flat Rock Tent Park were Simon and Michelle Henry, who were camping in a bus with their children Mia and Harry.

The family had stopped in the Northern Rivers area for a few weeks after travelling the country for the past year.

Thanks to the wonders of modern glamping technology, for the last 12 months the Henrys have managed to run a business, home school their children and live a comfortable life on the road - all with the aid of a DVD player and radio.

"We've been able to run our brick-manufacturing business from the bus while we've travelled the countryside," Mr Henry said.

The family also have a stove top, kitchenette and three beds set up in separate rooms in the bus.

However, even with the new inventions to make camping life easier, Mrs Henry said the modern conveniences would never take the place of the happiness packing up and spending time with the family brings.

"We did a lot of camping before we had the bus and it didn't matter about the technology we had," she said.

"It's about being able to spend time together as a family."



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