As our children are active members of scouts, we are able to stay cheaply at a great camp spot just out of Perth in the hills, the Manjedal Activity Centre (MAC). Non-scouting families can also stay here too, at a very reasonable price.
Even though it was the school holidays, it seemed very quiet, nestled in the many acres of bushland. After our last holiday travelling around in our caravan, we were keen to have a break and stay somewhere without wheels. There are many different types of cabins and dorm accommodation available, including tent sites. We chose to stay in one of six cabins called ‘the castles’, and luckily none of the others was occupied so we had the whole area to ourselves.
This lovely and fairly new self-contained cabin, Castle 2, still had that new wood smell. It was simple, but well-stocked and very comfortable for our family of 5. There are bunk beds for six, a well-equipped kitchen, shower and composting toilet, that did not even smell! There is a large outdoor area with seating and a bbq, where all the frying is to be done. The cabins are set among some beautiful Aussie bush. It was Spring when we stayed, so there were some amazing wildflowers to see. Everywhere you look there were splashes of colour, albeit sometimes subtle. We spent a lot of time walking around just checking out the flowers, and enjoying being away from the suburbs. There was very limited phone signal, so we were thankfully forced to have technology-free time.
There are heaps of wildlife around too. We saw a family of kangaroos, a mother and joey, and even saw the distinctive cube-shaped wombat poo but unfortunately did not spot an elusive wombat. There were plenty of birds too, kookaburras, red-tailed cockatoos, 28s. Coming during a quieter time without hoards of scouts running around means the animals were not afraid to come out and so were easier to spot.
There are heaps of things to do at Manjedal. Just relaxing and enjoying the bush setting is one of the best things you can do. But you can also take a stroll along the many trails, which are particularly rewarding early morning if you can get up and about then. Around dusk, you will also see a lot more wildlife.
If you want something more active, there are lots of activities to partake in, without booking, like playing frisbee golf (frisbees can be borrowed from the office), the maze, challenge course and sensory trail. If you are here as part of a scout camp, you can also do some of the paid activities like the flying fox, underground tunnels, and rock climbing.
We were mostly successful in making our way around the blind trail, following a rope through the bush, around over and under logs while blindfolded. Nearby was a challenge course, with much more challenging obstacles but being able to see was handy. We felt like we were in SAS. The maze made out of cyclone fencing was not very challenging, but we were in the mood to have a go at everything.
We brought our own frisbees and were able to have a round of frisbee golf on the permanent course. There are also a few sports you can play, making use of the volleyball net, netball ring and soccer goals. There was a simple mounted board with holes for target practice. You can make your own games with so many options around.
This really was a great place for a few days, giving us the nature break we needed from school holiday boredom. We had a great time, and plan to come back again, maybe with friends and we can have a cabin each.