Time to put those social media accounts on snooze (if only that was possible) and play together out under an open sky. Campfires, crafts, food, drink, music, karaoke and connection – you can squeeze a lot into 24 hours when you disconnect. We all know how good it feels, but sometimes it helps to have a lil nudge. In its third year, Death Valley Fun Camp is a festival for people who don’t like festivals. A camp for people that don’t like camping. It’s all the best things about school camp turned up to 11, without the curfews, cliques and counsellors.
Death Valley Fun Camp is run by John Patterson and Patience Hodgson of The Grates. The couple (along with their two kids, Soda and Fade) have carved out a niche in the Brisbane cafe and bar scene with their dual venues (Southside Tea Room and Death Valley), pumping out the freshest coffee, beers, food and workshops on the southern side of the brown snake.
With three meals of campfire cooking by Jacob Knauth of Lucky Egg, beer and cider (optional extra) from Young Henrys, The Bucha of Byron kombucha and HRVST ST juice all on tap, Death Valley Fun Camp will make sure you’re well fed and watered. There’s even a tuckshop, why not stash a couple of Hershey’s Kisses in your pocket for later?
Along with outdoorsy fun like zip-lining, kayaking, giant beach ball, slip ‘n’ slide and archery, you’ll also be able to tap into that flow state crafting tinsel hangings with sparkle master Rachel Burke (@imakestagram), and by assembling super-luxe pinatas with Melbourne craft-based designer Kitiya Palaskas (@kitiyapalaskas). Southside Tea Room and Death Valley will be sharing their secrets with workshops in cupcake piping and barbecue rubs and injections. Build an organic trashbot with Dan from Maker Workshop using found objects from around the campsite, or write and recite a letter to your childhood self with the help of comedian Michelle Janssen. Even Plaster Fun House is making the trip, bringing its trove of vintage moulds to paint.
After dinner you can belt out a duet with Disney karaoke, dance your guts out at the Late Nite Mess Hall Disco, or chuck on a blindfold and smash those pinatas you put so much work into earlier. Stay up late enough and Jake will treat you to a midnight snack! Bunk down in your shared cabin for ghost stories, gossip and (possibly) some sleep. Or pitch your own tent to sleep under the stars.
This year, Death Valley Fun Camp has partnered with The Weekend Edition to offer two lucky campers the ultimate weekend away with one-of-a-kind glamping experience The Pop-Up Hotel! One lucky person will have the chance to win two all-inclusive tickets to Death Valley Fun Camp (that includes food, booze and all activities), plus the ultimate place to rest their heads when they are all tuckered out – The Pop-Up Hotel. The winner will be living their best life in a lush cloud-like bed swathed in luxe linens, with some snazzy grooming products to help them look like they’re not hanging out in the bush, locally made snacks to curb any midnight munchies and cool entertainment to keep them up past their bedtime.
The third annual Death Valley Fun Camp takes place an hour outside of Brisbane at Lake Moogerah School Camp Grounds from midday on Saturday May 26 to midday on Sunday May 27. Both camping and cabin tickets are available for the first time this year.
Ticket includes a cabin bunk or tent plot, food, all activities and a welcome kit, packed with camp shirt, s’mores and more! Add on a drink pass, and Young Henrys will keep your take-home enamel mug full of its smashable beer and cider.
Profits from food and drink will be donated to Kids Helpline. Under 18s to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Kids of all ages welcome.