Five Of Australia’s Best Cold-Weather Camping Spots
Picture this: quiet secluded beaches, a warm campfire, hot chocolate and marshmallows, walks in the crisp air, and a bed nestled beneath the trees. These are some of the major perks of camping in the cooler months.
Other than that, you’re also less likely to have to battle it out with summer’s creepy crawlies or families on school holidays.
With a few extra layers and a bit more planning, a cooler camping getaway can be great. Gloves, tick. Beanie, tick. Extra doona, tick. Firewood, tick. Here’s some top spots that make embracing Autumn that much easier.
Depot Beach, Murramarang National Park, NSW
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Easy, breezy, calm and relaxed, the NSW South Coast as beautiful and rugged as it is filled with wildlife. Depot Beach campground is over the road from the beach, which, by the way, is one of the best spots for stargazing on a clear night.
The drive takes around four hours from Sydney and the campground boasts fire rings (BYO firewood) and hot showers, making it perfect for the nippy weather. It has been known to drop to below five degrees here with June receiving the most rain during the cooler months, so bring a raincoat and a gazebo for cover.
Paradise Beach, Lakes Entrance, Vic
Lakes Entrance has a bit of a reputation for being popular among grey nomads. But just on the other side of the lakes, about three-and-a-half hours from Melbourne, Paradise Beach Campground makes for an amazing winter getaway. It’s free and comes complete with campfire pits for cooler evenings.
Ninety Mile Beach is just over the sandbank and features stretches of beach with no headlands or rocky cliffs, meaning it’s a great spot to take in the area’s natural beauty. There’s not much nearby except a fish and chip shop and a café, making it feel secluded and relaxing. And the Gippsland Lakes, teeming with wildlife and water-sport activities, are just a stone’s throw away.
Temperatures have been known to drop to -7 here in July, so if you do brave the cold, make sure you’re properly equipped.
Prevelly Caravan Park, Margaret River, WA
Margaret River has everything you need for a great holiday, including wineries, breweries, dairy factories, chocolate factories, beautiful beaches, cute cafés, and delicious restaurants. And, at about three-and-a-half hours from Perth, Prevelly Caravan Park is a perfect base for wining and dining in the area.
Prevelly Caravan Park is a comfy campsite with both powered and non-powered campsites for pitching a tent, as well as the more luxe option of cabins if you get too cold. That said, the winter temperatures here don’t often drop below five or six degrees.
It’s just around the corner from Surfers Point, which is the perfect spot to watch the sun set over perfectly formed breakers.
Sure, Margaret River is amazing in the summer, but the colder months mean access to wine tours and water sports with less competition.
Wilpena Pound, SA
If you want winter in the Outback, this is it. Wilpena Pound Campground gives you access to the Flinders Ranges, a 540 million-year-old landscape well worth a spot on your bucket list. And, even though it’s verging on desert, the temperature can drop to as low as four degrees in July and August.
There are some camping sites, both powered and unpowered, or some permanent tents that you can check into if you’d prefer someone else did all the work. If you really want to indulge, Wilpena Pound offers some glamping packages in collaboration with Ikara Safari Camp, which have heating.
Wilpena Pound is a little over five hours’ drive from Adelaide.
Ingar Campground, Blue Mountains, NSW
Heading to the mountains during colder months is brave, I’ll give you that. But with some gloves and warm socks, Ingar Campground in the Blue Mountains is a magical spot to visit, even when it’s cold.
The average temperature even during June, July and August is between zero and five degrees. There are wood barbecues (BYO wood) for cooking and making hot tea after a long day spent trekking in the mountains (which is more enjoyable when it’s sweat-free, anyway).
There is a swimming hole for the really, really daring, but if you want water with none of the wetness, consider canoeing or kayaking instead.
Located just over two hours from Sydney, it pays to get in early, whenever you visit. The campsite is free, but doesn’t take bookings.
(Lead image: Sandis Helvigs)