Great Ocean Road, Victoria
I had made several attempts to get to Kangaroobie to see Matt Bowker over the last twelve months as I ventured along the Great Ocean Road visiting camps, but we could never quite get our hook up right. I finally got my chance to look through this rather unique camp recently. The Bowker Family are stalwarts of the camps industry and a fantastic read about the history of the Bowker Family and the camp is well worth it.
Kangaroobie is perched up on a ridge line overlooking a savannah like plateau towards the ocean. Apart from its stunning position, from a distance, it could be any old ordinary structure; however this 190 bed camp is far from ordinary. Its main attraction is that it is also a working farm set on 2,500 acres with over 900 head of cattle. The beauty of groups coming is they get fully involved in the aspects of farming. Arriving during the calving season would mean certainly getting value for money! Although this may sound run-of-the-mill stuff for some of us, for children, no experience can beat this. We are all too well aware now, the research of the importance of being outside and connected with nature.
The current camp structure was built in 1978, and certainly has a coastal beach feel about it. The fire-place in the dining hall is a real centre piece of the camp. The accommodation bunk rooms are all positioned around a central courtyard and meeting area. A few self-facilitated activities such as volleyball and GaGa ball surrounded the main camp.
Kangaroobie has several activities that are certainly hidden from view. The low-ropes course is an absolute cracker. However the obstacle course is a wild ride. As an example you get showered in water, dipped in mud, slide down a water slide and crawl through water. Each one has an inviting name such as: Slide of Sorrow or Twisted Totems; this is a great facilitator run activity. Matt has been responsible for inventing and building this awesome fun activity. Best of all, groups are timed as they go through the course. They finish wet, muddy and begging to go again!
Of course, being this close to the Southern Ocean and right on the Great Ocean Road, there is a myriad of beach and water activities on hand to be involved in case the farm doesn’t offer enough!