Do you a backpacker want to break free from the quotidian humdrum? Or a nature lover who likes to camp solo? Or a couple looking to spend an adventurous weekend? There’s something for everyone at camping. If you are looking for your next camping destination, what’s better than an Aussie adventure?
According to a report released by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, caravan and camping industry annually contributes more than $20.4 billion to the country’s economy. More and more local and international campers are heading out to make the most of Australia’s unique landscape. If you are one among them looking for making your Australian camping trip an amazing one, we have compiled the most effective tips for you.
8 Camping Tips for Australia
If you are planning to camp in Australia, you might be wondering where to start. The following tips will prepare you better for your Australian camping trip.
1. Read Up on the Places
For starters, Australia is huge and diverse! There are so many amazing camping spots in Australia that it will be hard to pick a favourite. Be that as it may, if you judge from the landscape and the weather, don’t be surprised if the East Coast and the Red Centre seem like two different countries. Each of the Australian states offers unique camping experiences. While activewear and a pair of flip-flops may feel comfortable when you watch the sunrise at Uluru, it is just futile in the cold desert night. It is essential to read up on the weather, wildlife in the area, types of campsites available because everything from your luggage to the season you want to camp will vary according to the place you choose.
2. When to Camp?
This is one of the important tips for camping in Australia because bad weather can ruin your camping experience. Australian seasons are quite different from what you experience in the northern hemisphere. Central Australia has a semi-arid climate and has four seasons: summer extends from December to February; autumn is from March to May; spring spans from September to November; winter lasts from June to August. The tropical regions or the Top End have only two definite seasons: the wet season is from November to April; the dry season is from May to October.
Apart from the weather, if you choose to camp in the coastal areas of Australia during the summer holidays (from Christmas to late January) or the Easter holidays, brace yourself for the high traffic. You may not get any spot to camp or may be left with an unpowered site because all the other sites are overbooked. The high season will also affect your budget because accommodations can be very expensive.
3. How to Camp in Australia?
Camping in Australia comes in different styles! If you want to rough it up a little by camping in a tent, go for bush camping. In this free or low-cost camping option, facilities vary from one campsite to another. You can also hire a station wagon or a campervan that comes with its own kitchenette for a more comfortable camping experience. On the other hand, glamping is a world away from bush camping. Compared to sleeping on the dirt, you will have a real bed and a toilet. It is important to spend time to understand how you want to camp because it helps you in choosing your campsite.
4. What to Consider Before Choosing a Campsite?
Some campsites may be suitable for large groups, caravans or camper vans; some may be suitable for solo camping. It is important to inquire about the rules to be followed and the amenities available on the campsite.
Free campsites are low-key; campers usually arrange for their own campervan, water, and toilet needs. On the other hand, some commercial campgrounds provide facilities that include access to swimming pools, restaurants, and bars. National Park Campsites are simple campgrounds. They are managed by the state government, which means permits, camping costs, and entry fees vary across Australia. While choosing a campsite, keep in mind the following things.
- Is the campsite accessible by a four-wheel drive (4WD)?
- Does it have toilets?
- Is it a powered or unpowered campsite?
- Will there be potable water?
This is crucial because our next camping tip is about what to pack according to the amenities available at your campsite and camping style.
5. Make a Camping Checklist
Depending on the amenities available at your campsite, pack hygiene essentials, camping chairs and tables, cookware, camp stove, clothing, light foods, and freshwater. If your site has potable water, bring your own reusable water bottle so as to do your bit in preserving the environment.
Since most of Australia’s campsites are remotely located, make sure you pack an elaborate first aid kit, with bandages and antiseptic cream that will come in handy in case of injuries. If you are in the outback or a bush campsite, a torch/headlight, DEET insect repellent, sleeping gear (including tents, sleeping bags, pillows), cooler box (or an Esky, as Aussies call it), and power bank (definitely for an unpowered site) are essential. When you camp by the coast, make sure you take along a dry bag, water shoes, and your favourite swimwear.
6. Choose a Good Camping Tent
Our next camping tip is for those who understand the soul of camping. It’s not true camping unless you set up your camping swag and sleep under the stars. Camping in a tent can be much more comfortable than you think. It all depends on the gear you take with you. While choosing your camping tent, consider the number of people who will be using it, the weather, the setup time, and the number of doors and windows for ventilation. It is always best to choose a waterproof and sturdy tent that comes with a floor to keep moisture out even when the ground is wet. There are so many quality camping tents on the market that are made of a durable material like ripstop canvas.
Also, make sure you are familiar with setting up your tent before leaving for the trip so that you don’t fumble and lose the precious hours at your campsite; just set it up in your backyard. To make the most out of your tent camping experience, consider accessories like mesh floors, stretchers, and sleeping bags.
7. Setting Up a Campsite
Arrive early at your campsite so that you have enough time to study the layout and set up your tent when there is enough daylight. While setting up the campsite, make sure you think through everything. Choose a flat ground because there are chances of water pooling on an inclined spot. For afternoon shade and tying hammocks, trees are essential, but avoid setting up your tent under large gum trees; they are notorious for shedding limbs on the tents. If you camp with children, you have to be extra careful to not set up your tent near creeks or drop-offs.
Any campsite is incomplete without a campfire. If you want to do so, look for a site that can fit your camping gear and a campfire so that the smoke does not billow out. It is best to use a designated spot for a campfire, if there’s one. Before hitting the sack, ensure you make it safe for everyone by dousing it with water.
8. Watch Out for Wildlife
From Koalas to Kangaroos, Australia is home to a rich fauna, and you might have some opportunities to see them in their natural habitat. If you encounter wildlife, make sure to keep your distance and not to feed them. However, the peskiest are insects and flies.
While setting up the campsite, make sure there are no anthills near your site. Use insect repellents and wear clothes that fully cover your body to prevent bites. Ensure your tent and the fly screen are zipped up so that insects do not enter. Since the smell of food and food waste might attract rats and possums, keep your campsite clean and avoid keeping food garbage accessible. Also, by keeping your food and water in airtight containers and putting it on the rack or hanging it from the roof, you eliminate food odours that will invite nocturnal visitors.
From the Alps to the Great Barrier Reef, the natural beauty of Australia does not fail to surprise anyone who steps foot on it. As campers who love to be amidst nature, it is also important to be mindful of and be respectful to the surroundings. Following a ‘leave no trace’ policy will help preserve the beauty you witnessed today for tomorrow. Hopefully, these camping tips and camping setup ideas will help you plan better for your adventure in the land down under.