Great Places To Camp, Part One

When you’re running around at work and you’re planning your holiday, sometimes you just need a nudge in the right direction or some inspiration.  In the interest of giving everyone some ideas here’s collection of some great places to stay all over Australia! We’ve picked one per state so that everyone can find a place to go for a weekend or have an idea for their next big holiday. We’ll go through state by state but keep in mind this isn’t in any particular order (just a collection of awesome camping spots) and that things might change from season to season.

If you only want to see places closest to you, here’s the list up front:

Part Two


Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park – Western Australia

How far is it?

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is about two and a half hours by car from Perth but is quite large, so it depends on which end of the park you want to go to.  Once you’re within the park area everything is within an hours drive so you can make plenty of day trips out and about to soak in the sights.

Sugar loaf rock2.jpg
Image courtesy of Peter Nicholas, WA Parks and Wildlife

Accessibility

Most sites within the national park are accessible by car making this is an easy trip, if you want to go for a hard hike you can but you won’t have to when you’re trying to settle in.  With plenty of beaches and bush around you’ll be set to camp in whatever kind of terrain you’d prefer.  No pets are allowed within the national park here so you’ll have to have someone look after your cat or dog for you. As far as hygiene goes the majority of campgrounds won’t have a shower and some don’t have plumbing which means you’ll be using a long drop toilet.

Coastline at Conto_Parks and Wildlife.JPG
Image courtesy of WA Parks and Wildlife

What to do?

Like any great place right on the coast there’s plenty of water activities to partake in. You could go for a surf and tear up the waves, or you could go for a snorkel and see all the amazing wildlife, or you could just have a splash about with your kids while building sand castles.  There’s plenty of places to go fishing too, just make sure you follow the rules. 

Depending on where you set up your camp you might have a great base for your daily hikes through the park. With the mountains around you can book in some abseiling to get you to the bottom of the mountain after your march up it.  There’s also some caves for you to explore like Jewel Cave which is a tourist cave, easy to explore on a guided tour.

Hamelin Bay at sunset_P&W.jpg
Image Courtesy of WA Parks and Wildlife


Litchfield National Park – Northern Territory

How far is it?

The national park is easy to get to via Batchelor from Darwin and the drive shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half. If you’re feeling adventurous or want to get some four-wheel driving happening you can also go via Cox Peninsula Road, featuring a few unsealed sections, and the 4WD Reynolds Track from Daly River Road in the south.  For these routes you’ll need to check before you leave if they’re traversable as they can become unusable during the wet season.

Image courtesy of Tourism NT and Peter Eve
Image courtesy of Tourism NT and Peter Eve

Accessibility

The camping grounds in the Litchfield National Park have publicly available bathrooms and showers which will make it a much cleaner trip than just setting camp in the bush.  There are a couple of waterfalls and other natural features that can make getting around difficult but at least they’re beautiful. Most everywhere in the park is accessible by road so if there’s something you really want to check out, the hardest part will be getting everyone in the car.

asf
Image courtesy of Alex Healing (Creative Commons)

What to do?

The park is quite large, which means that there’s plenty to do and something for everyone, assuming you didn’t go camping by accident. With the waterfalls comes pools you can swim in, just keep an eye out for the crocodile warning signs. There’s also plenty of bushwalking and hiking trails for the adventurous ones, which can take you to some ruins of old towns or scenic lookouts to appreciate the whole park. If you’re unsure of what to do or the order you want to do your activities there are actually itineraries already prepared by the NT Tourism team that you can check out here.

Image courtesy of Tourism NT and Aude Mayans
Image courtesy of Tourism NT and Aude Mayans


Burra Creek Gorge Reserve (Worlds End) – South Australia

How far is it?

While not quite at the worlds end it might feel like it being isolated and two hours from Adelaide. It’s in a basin which means you’ll be lucky to have any phone reception but it’s not so far out that if something goes wrong you won’t be able to return home. The local council describes it quite well.

“Located 20kms out of Robertstown along the World’s End Highway, the area is an important biodiversity corridor, with its huge, ancient River Red Gums, diverse native understory and unique aquatic habitat. It is an important area for plants, birds and other wildlife including kangaroos.”

the gorge.jpg
Image courtesy of Goyder Regional Council and Rodney Phillips

Accessibility

Getting into Burra Creek isn’t the hard part, it’s accessible with a two wheel drive car even with the last part of the road being dirt. The hardest part will be adjusting without electricity or flowing water.  You’ll need to bring your own water and cooking equipment for this trip and there’s not large toilet facilities which means you’ll have to share.  There is plenty of space however so you’ll be able to pitch your tent however and wherever you wish to avoid neighbours.

“Grants from the Native Vegetation Council and SA Water have provided funds for significant environmental works including revegetation, pest, plant and animal control, and protection from erosion due to off road vehicles.”

the gorge 2.jpg
Image courtesy of Goyder Regional Council and Rodney Phillips

What to do?

Being in the basin it’s in you’ll have plenty of time to soak in the area on your hikes and to find the local wildlife, both during the day and night.  In the creek there are yabbies that you and the kids can have fun catching as well.  This location is much more of a disconnection holiday destination, good for leaving the tablet and laptop at home while you play some card or board games and tell stories around the campfire.

“Enjoy some time out at this popular picnicking and camping destination, and appreciate its significant environmental value.”

camping at the gorge
Image courtesy of Goyder Regional Council and Rodney Phillips


Lake Somerset – Queensland 

How far is it?

Lake Somerset is an easy drive from Brisbane, lasting only one and a half hours. It’s quite close to some nearby towns meaning if you need supplies you won’t be put out.  There are national parks in Queensland where you can camp but they’re also much further out of the way. You can still enjoy the fun of camping without needing to travel so far.

The_Spit,_Somerset_Dam-600x400
Photo by Shiftchange on Wikipedia Commons

Accessibility

With the number of different campgrounds around the lake you’re going to have a variable experience but almost a guaranteed nice view. Some of the campgrounds offer powered and unpowered sites for your tent.  Depending on the location they might have modern amenities for all guests.  With the large lake and open sky you’ll be able to relax in a calm location.

Somerset_Dam_2_Villeneuve_Queensland-600x400
Photo by Shiftchange on Wikipedia Commons

What to do?

Out on the lake you can go for a paddle in the canoe or get some boating done.  You’ll need a permit from the park and your licence but you’ll then be able to drag a donut and your mates around the lake. You can also go fishing along the edge.  If you’re not super into the water that’s ok because there’s also golf courses, with a mini golf course on site, and Australia Zoo is quite close too.  At night you’ll have a great view of the stars for stargazing.

SomersetCampingQLD-600x400
Image by Ezykron on Wikipedia Commons

You can catch up on part two here to find more great places to camp!

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