We meandered through the lush and leafy entrance to Glenworth Valley around 1pm. There was an abundance of wildlife, horses galloping every which way and a crispness in the air more satisfying than the crunch of a fresh Dorito. We kind of felt like we were both of Lindsay Lohan’s characters arriving to Camp Walden in Parent Trap - enthusiastic and positive that mischief would ensue. None the less, we were deep in the depths of nature and it was grand.

Views and feels aside, the Salty Shagger was starving and I was no match for a yelly tummy. We pulled up at the camping arena to find our tent fully erect (LOL) and locked up tight – no work and lots of play. Fun! All we had to unpack was our overnight bags and an esky. Having stayed with Simple Pleasures a few times before, we knew the type of ludicrous utensils on hand, so we went prepared. Once the usual oohing and ahhing and bed jumping was done, it was time to feast. (Oh, and we also befriended a Kookaburra.)

One of the things we love most about the set up with Simple Pleasures is that, while other people are around, you still have your privacy. The tents themselves are always really well spread, so it’s not like you can hear Arthur and Martha talking about their next Kmart purchase (even though you’d low key love to know). But in the same breath, you could totally get a gang together and do a group escape – this is definitely something we’ll do next time.

Well, the world lost its marbles for a minute there, but things are looking grand as the opportunity to wiggle out of the house arises! Scomo and the gang have given us the all clear to do some wandering with those wild hearts that have been caged indoors for (what seems like) ever and we’re ALL FOR IT! *Punches and kicks air like lunatics*

We trust you rascals are ready to sniff out some adventure – so we won’t fluff about, asking how Nanna is and just assume she’s doing better than ever! In the meantime, get this up your empty, little schnoz.

Earlier this year, we visited Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures via Simple Pleasures Camping Co, one of our favourite ways to vacay! The experience was in-tents to say the least. We did some seriously saucy stuff in those parts and if we know you like we think we do, you’ll love it too!

Flick your lids down and picture yourself deep in a forest, gulping in fresh, clean, scrumptious air. You’ve got your best friend Barb on your arm and you two are ready to do some stuff that wasn’t possible, practicable, “allowed” while stuck inside. Because here’s the thing, your hallway is likely too smooth for a quad bike, your bath too small for a Kayak and your front garden (probably) not accommodating for a horsy tail. It’s cool, there’s a place for you! And Glenworth is it. Now open those peepers, you can’t read with your eyes closed, you handsome dope!

Glenworth Valley is a private property, JUST A CASUAL 3,000 ACRES, sitting smug smack bang between Sydney and Newcastle. That’s a flashy 1 hour cruise for us Newy folk and worth the wait, trust us. The place is BIG, huge, gigantic and caters to the scarediest of cats and the dariest of devils. Actually, that’s a lie. If you’re a wimp, don’t go to Glenworth – it’s too much fun and um, not for you. This family owned and operated business is full of charming characters with a fierce love of animals, adrenaline and ye ol’ customer service. They’ve been going strong for roughly 40 big ones, so we feel as though it’s safe to say they know what’s what when it comes to sock knocking.

Simple Pleasures Camping Co on the other hand, creates a space that, at its steely core, is all about max comfort and minimum fuss. The aesthetically delectable 5 metre bell tents are generously spacious and yet full to the brim of everything you need to call the place home for a few days. Think indulgence! Think luxury! Think that bag Hermione carries around with all the neat stuff in it. Marcus and the gang have done every single one of their guests a solid by providing all the junk you’d usually have to cart from home. Let’s start with the dreamy queen mattress with fresh cotton sheets, duck feather pillows, quilt and quilt cover, continue on to side tables, Persian rugs, floor cushions, battery lamps, solar powered fairy lights and don't forget the outdoor setting with tables and chairs perched next to your very own FIREPIT. Among other things, you’ll also find: A 2 burner gas cooker with a gas bottle, a 60L coolbox, fire starting kit, rubbish bin, washing up tub, brush and detergent and a funky as hell wooden chest that homes cookware with character. Specifically speaking, this includes a pot, pan, tongs, spatula, wooden spoon, billy, sharp knives, chopping boards, tea towels, plates, bowls, cups and cutlery. If these folks were a hamburger from your local, we’d call them THE WORKS.

Onto the fun stuff! 

The first adventure on our list was Quad Biking – no surprise there, surely. We were fitted out with safety gear, did a quick practice lap and then we were on our merry little monster racing way. There are literally only two words for this experience, and they are SKRT! SKRT!

Our guide, Sarah, was a hilarious, youngish babe with lots of guts. She took us up the steepest of inclines, down the rockiest of hills and through the splashiest of creeks. We saw the path less travelled, for those who wanted a smoother ride, but we didn’t dare touch it. Instead, we explored the National Park on 4 wheels and it was a hoot. Now, look, some of you may be saying, cool – but how zippy can you actually get? Heaps. We pulled up at a gigantic Quad Bike track, which was our prime opportunity to fling around corners and be uncivilised yahoos. (Your mum’s got a message for you. She says be safe and also will you be home for dinner, biscuits?) 

Okay – let us just say, these dapper horsies are loved by many hearts and are treated like kings! The night before we had spotted what looked like hundreds of them galloping to one of the water streams – at first we were kind of like, wow all the horses got out! What a hoot. But no foals committed here! Turns out they’re encouraged to roam around the fully concealed property of an evening. Eating, drinking, going on blind dates! You know, horsin’ around.

Anyway, I had never been atop such a beast before, so I was literally SHAKING in my little brown boots. I think it would be horrifyingly accurate to say in those first few moments I sweat out enough to fill a bloody swimming pool! There was roughly 30 people in our group, from kids to adults and all the stages in between. I was easily the most terrified! The team of horse trainers were ridiculously accommodating and understanding, not to mention reassuring. They plopped me on one handsome stallion and Rhys on another. Teddy and George – they were best friends, joined at the hip, the biggest characters of the bunch, so we were told. We’d be right!

*Fifteen minutes later* So you know what’s funny? When you’re kind of easing into it, at the back of the group, then your really cute and sweet and experienced trainer asks if you would like to trot. To which your ear to ear ginned fiancé nods YES but you firmly stick with “nah, I’m okay for now – thanks!”. AND THEN your/my glorious Teddy starts galloping a zillion miles a minute, up hills, through trees, splashing in streams, overtaking two people and their rides at a time (who were also moving really fast). HA! What a thrill!

With (not scared) Rhys and George on our tail, Teddy finally came to a stop at the front of the line. Despite me wiggling around and screaming like a lunatic, this was the only time he’d slowed down. Over two hours, this happened not once, not twice, BUT THRICE. I got used to it, because he was a seriously loveable creature. He read me like a book so the whole thing was tons of fun. We had a blast and I really couldn’t get enough. Teddy and I even decided to stay in touch! But it wasn’t until I jumped off that I was told Teddy used to be a Racehorse and didn’t like to be positioned anywhere other than the front. Classic him, right?

Thrills aside, we can safely and honestly say this horse-riding experience was priceless. There is no better, more relaxing/exciting (depending on who you ask) way to navigate and inhale this scenic space. We were so lucky to see and pass through so many beautiful, mesmerising areas, but by far our favourite was witnessing our guide, Holly, go swimming with her horse. It was incredible! The love and affection she had with him was unreal. They shared a bond that was completely beyond anything that could be imagined. Rhys tried to do the same but Georgie boy had other plans!

We were pretty hot and bothered by the time we reached the end of our love affair with young Ted and George, so we figured we’d try our arms at Kayaking and see if we could get anywhere without capsizing. A pair of two, giggly idiots who like to stir the pot, driving a boat unsupervised, what could go wrong? Surprisingly enough, nothing. We survived! Can you believe this serenity though?

If you’re wondering what other cool things you can get up to at Glenworth, (of course you are) there’s activities like Mountain Biking, Abseiling, Axe Throwing and Laser Skirmish. You can even get hitched there!

Looky here - this place is pretty off the grid, so it’s not hard to stay present. Honestly, try time travelling and let us know how you go. (Definitely want to know if this is a thing.) There’s no service and mere flecks of very unpredictable wifi, which means no mindless scrolling in your spare time. None, zero, zilch! It’s just you and the lucky love bug/s you brought along, resetting and reabsorbing all the good stuff. What’s the best part of this? Simple Pleasures Camping and Glenworth Valley are once again OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Finally, these cool cats are taking bookings as of the 1st of June. For anyone playing at home, that’s tomorrow. Get in there and get adventurous. Go on, you spiffy things. Don’t let us have all the fun! 

WANNA SURPRISE YOUR SPUNK WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS? 

Find out more about the legends we've done fun stuff with here -

Simple Pleasures Camping |https://simplepleasurescamping.co/

Tell them we sent you! 

Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures | https://glenworth.com.au/

Usually we would have headed back to our pointy new home for a fire and some brews, but the rain set in soon after we jumped off our Quads! In a mad rush, we cooked up a storm, duck dived to safety and played games all night while rain danced and splashed around on the roof. It was unreal – no distractions, just bonding, being silly and doing lots of funky stuff under the influence. Distractions are pinching your bum from every angle these days, so if nothing else, we can’t recommend those 6-12 hours of switch off time with your lover pal, enough!

We woke up without an alarm (glorious) and waited for the sun to peep out and gobble us up whole. The rain had done it’s deed and had it’s fun, so the grass was looking sparkly and the air was ripe for pancakes, so pancakes we had! I don’t know what it is that’s SO much more satisfying about cooking in the wild than it is in the comfort of your own home – but like, it’s great. Cuddled up around the pan with the heat brushing up on us, momentarily fighting off the fresh, chilly air – it just felt GOOD. You know? Special and nice and all that kind of stuff.

Our morning ritual of a warm bev, chai for me and a hot cup of anxiety for Rhys, was gulped down while we explored the world beyond our tent, but it wasn’t long before a troop of horses grabbed our attention. This is it, we thought. The next adventure.