Do you know what we just remembered? How pretty darn great the earth is. Just think about all those amazing sunset snaps you post on Instagram with #nofilter? That’s the earth. And all those “Zante 2011” style holiday albums you forgot are still on Facebook? They’re pictures of you having fun on the earth. That walk you go on with your family every Boxing Day? That’s a walk along the surface of the earth. And remember that time you made an involuntary aawwwwwww noise when that puppy bounded up to you in the park like a fluffy brown bouncy ball? That was earth... again.
Like we said, the earth is pretty great… and no piece of it is luckier than Australia.
Vegemite. Bangers. Barbies. 10,000+ beaches. Weather so good you’re always in your bathers and boardies. Shops so relaxed they’re are open from “9am til the arvo”. Winters that are hotter than UK summers. Cute little ankle biters that love adventure. Dunnies, doonas, devos, daks and dingoes. Basically, Donald Horne got it so right when he nicknamed Australia “the lucky country” in his not-so-oddly-titled book, “The Lucky Country,” way back in 1964.
There’s just so much wonder to raise a cold one too, and none more so than the camping. It’s one of the few places in the world you can pitch a tent (pretty much) the whole year round, which is cool because it’s also one of those countries that are best seen from the padded-ground of a polyester porch held up by guy lines. It’s been blessed with the greatest parts of the great outdoors, which is why we’ve been busier than bees rounding-up the best camping spots Down Under.
Basically, we’re about to give you the rock, all you need to do is roll.
What a place. A place that really does have it all, if by all you’re hoping for a camping spot that’s nestled nicely between a reef and a 130-million-year-old rainforest. We know right, “wow!”. Like mega-wow. It’s also super-cool because the campsite here cares less about luxuries (#ecoloos) and more about the mind-fizzing wildlife you’re gonna be in and amongst of. We’re talking about waking up to a butterfly dance and drifting off to the sound of the ocean tickling the shore. Just forget about phoning home because there ain’t no phone signal. It’s all about being in the moment, man.
It feels weird talking up Broken Head because it’s that well-known for its beauty. So we’re gonna try and do it as quickly as we can and then move onto those places that are a little less on the radar. Here goes: secluded beaches, wide-stretches of white sand, winding walking trails, semi-secret caves, tons of amazing camping spots, yada yada yada. There. Crushed it.
If you think we only added this place because of its name, you’re pretty much right. Luckily, Bushy Parker Park is also one of the most high-fivable camping spots in all of Queensland. Not only is it free (can we get a woohoo), it’s also got a beaut creek to paddle in and a place called Balgal beach, which has the most perfect waves for catching on your belly and swim-surfing in on. Mmmm hmmmm.
It’s like camping, but not.
Don’t get us wrong, we love hopping from one basic campsite to another as much as the next smile-wearing, rucksack-strapped wanderluster. Of course, we do. But wouldn’t it be cool if you could get the awesome outback experience without having to rough it so hard your skin is caked in an inch of orange dust and your boots are so frayed they look like sock-slippers? Well, you can because the Mary River floodplains have a super-luxury camping ground. Mind-boggling outback experience? Check. Super-comfy bed in your own decked out safari tent? Double-check.
If we had to describe The Horseshoe Bay Caravan park at Coffs Harbour in just one (highly-hyphenated) word, it would be: crazy-cool-coastal-camping-spot-surrounded-by-badass-beaches-forget-me-not-forests-and-duh-the-ocean. It’s probably what made this place one of Australia’s most double-thumbs-up camping grounds. Yeah, it’s quite the hike from good-old Sydney, but nothing makes a camping trip more epic than popping a homemade mixtape into the CD player and kicking it off with a five-hour road trip. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
OMG! This place knows how to celebrate a bit of POE! Okay, so just made up that acronym, but if you want to hazard a guess, now’s your chance. Nope. It’s not Peculiar Old Eskimo. Nor is it Pretty Oafish Elephant. It stands for Proper Outdoor Experience, which is exactly what this place is all about. It may as well be a wild camping site given it’s empty on the facilities front. But that’s its magic; its allure; it’s je ne sais quoi. It’s real camping, for real campers that love carrying loads of camping gear across rough terrains in order to set up their home in the outdoors by a fishing spot before moving on 24-hours later (namely because that’s the maximum stay allowed). It might not be a dawdle to get to, but it is totally worth it for the mind-fizzing views.
It doesn’t get more Australian than stopping off at a bottle-o on your way to a place called Booderee to wave away the flies as you cook some brekkie on a barbie. Nor does it get better ‘cos camping at this beauty of a park is the best way to explore some of the most jaw-dropping beaches you’ll ever see. Just remember to pop on your sunglasses before you pop your head out of the tent because the sand here is oh so white and oh so bright.
Fact No.1: The Milla Milla falls are about as sexy as nature gets.
Fact No.2: Camping here means you’re camping in a tropical rainforest.
Fact No.3: It also means camping on (or somewhere near the bottom of) Mt. Bartle Frere.
Fact No.4: If you shout “Millaa, Millaa”, you kind of sound like a Yorkshire farmer who has no control over his dog called Milly.
Dear Earth, good on ya for creating this place. All that hard yakka really paid off because Margaret River is a totally wowzer place with a smorgasbord of epic campsites to toss a dart at. They’ve got some super-beaut beaches, the sort of surf spots that are worshipped by super-good surfers, wineries to kick back in and really, really good coffee shops (which is saying a lot because us Aussies love our coffee).
The Blue Mountains aren’t just a camping highlight, they’re an Australian highlight, and the first time you peeking your head out of your polyester abode to see the sunrise poking through the slate-coloured haze that gives these hillocks their name will be remembered as a highlight of your life. The world doesn’t just give out Heritage Sites all willy-nilly - it has to be somewhere that’s super-naturally beautiful, which this place totes is.
We mentioned ye olde road trips somewhere above, and there’s no road worth tripping along more than the Great Ocean Road, tooting your horn at each of the Twelve-ish Apostles as your skidaddle past them. Anyway, sat just off this awesome bit of tarmac is the Grampians National Park and it. is. epic. Especially if you’re feeling a little brave and a little adventurous because there are a bunch of overnight hikes that take you to some pretty spectacular camping spots nestled on some pretty spectacular mountain peaks. Spoiler alert: the mountain views will make your belly do at least a dozen barrel rolls between each blink.
The Kalbarri National Park is pretty… pretty darn wow. There are rivers splashing about in gorges, hikes that will yank your eyes open in the best way possible, so many views of those famous red and white striped rock formations that you’re phone will become clogged with snaps of them and, if you’re into the earth’s flora and fauna and all that stuff, wildflowers that add a magical pop of colour as far as the eye can see, which, as it turns out, is miles. If you just happen to be on the western coast with some time to burn, burn it here (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Thanks for reading. For more travelspiration and far-flung adventure ideas, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and, you know, don’t forget to grab yourself the most awesome towel ever made… and some shorts… and a hair wrap... and probably a poncho too. After all, everyone looks good in stripes.