Set your sites on camp bliss

It's Saturday evening and as children busy themselves with bikes and balls, their parents gather in groups around barbecues and picnic settings beside tents and caravans.

Keep very still and over the sounds of campsite life, you can hear the sea washing gently onto the beach. Above, a perfect night sky is emerging and with the coming of darkness cooking smells intensify along with the sounds of communal conversation around the camping ground.

There are few more literal ways to get down to earth than to camp somewhere like here at Patonga on the NSW Central Coast and no easier way to do it than in a campervan.

KEA's 6.8-metre six-berth motorhome is based on a Ford Transit van and provides both transport and home for to up to six people in reasonable style and comfort.

On board there is seating that converts to three good-sized double beds, a kitchen with stove, microwave, and fridge, a shower and toilet and ample stowage for food and personal belongings. KEA provides linen and a starter pack of cleaning gear. There are pots and pans, utensils and a rice cooker. All that's missing as dinner is readied for six people is a salad bowl and a serving platter.

Setting up the campervan takes little effort: connect the power, roll out the awning and arrange the camp table and chairs. By then it will be time for a beer or a glass of wine or a stroll along the beach at dusk.

The campsite stirs early in the morning . There's a mist through the valley that gives the place a surreal, Brigadoon feel. Everyone is up with the birds. At Patonga, it's ducks that come quacking from the creek looking for bread from breakfast tables.

The dew is heavy but while others are trying to dry canvas out before they pack it away, there's time for a walk before we pull the plug on the camper and drive away.

A six-berth KEA Motorhome can be booked for $190 per day, with a minimum of seven days hire. Discounts available for longer hires. See, email or phone 1800 252 555