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Camping Options

Q. Where can I stay? >>

Australia offers many options

Travelling in a campervan gives you several options to choose from where to spend each night. Broadly the choices are: caravan parks and campgrounds, National Parks and even free stays!

Staying overnight in a caravan park is the most common option when travelling in Australia with a motorhome. Australia has an extensive network of caravan parks in all major tourist centres and in most towns. Caravan parks with "powered sites" have provision for you to plug the motor home into the mains power. Some appliances, such as microwaves, air-conditioning units and TV's, require 240V to operate. At most times of the year there is no need to book ahead, however it may be wise to book ahead for travel in peak periods (Easter, Christmas, etc).

Most national parks have areas set aside for camping. There are often shower and toilets, barbeques and picnic areas and of course national parks provide a scenic and peaceful place to stay at overnight. However these areas generally have no facility for you to plug the motorhome into electricity. Note that most national parks require a pass or permit for overnight camping.

"Free Camping" is the another option. Local council laws discourage overnight camping on the side of the road in the vicinity of towns. Check with the town's tourist information centre or council if you are unsure about where you can spend the night. Outside the towns and in country areas it is generally allowed in designated rest areas and truck stops. Only fully self-contained motorhomes (with shower/toilet facilities) should be used for free camping.


Staying in Caravan Parks and Holiday Parks

Staying in a caravan park is the luxury way to experience your campervan holiday, but as you know, luxury costs money! The rates of most caravan parks are usually very reasonable, yet this will depend on location, time of the year and the type of accommodation option you choose.

Caravan Parks provide facilities that will make your campervan experience more comfortable. Many of the parks offer easy access to electricity and water, which allows you to replenish your onboard supplies and recharge your motorhome battery. They provide facilities such as toilets, showers, laundries and camp kitchens, which will make your stay just that little bit easier.

Many parks also feature swimming pools, tennis courts, recreation rooms and even spas. This will add a further element of luxury and comfort to your stay and will allow you to sit back, relax and unwind.

It is advisable to book ahead, especially at the places you really want to stay at. However, some caravan parks will let you stay without a reservation, but always be aware of peak times in the year, which often bring with them changing rates and availabilities.

Staying in a caravan park is essentially the best way to go about your campervan holiday. They are ideally positioned so that you can enjoy the surrounding scenery and attractions, therefore offering the best places to stay!

To find a caravan park to suit you, check out the following:

 


Staying in National Parks

Australia has one of the largest and greatest national park systems in the world, covering over 24 million hectares, with such diversity as lush rain forest to waterless desert. The outstanding natural and cultural values of our national parks have led to many being proclaimed World Heritage Area's attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

National Park Campsites are a great place to relax, enjoy and explore the great outdoors. They allow you to get back in touch with nature and escape the crowds at an extremely affordable rate!

Licences and Permits - Licences and permits are required to undertake certain activities in the National Reserve areas. These activities include hunting, fishing and commercial activities and in some cases camping, so insure that you plan ahead to see if you require one.

 Camping - Depending on which state you are in, most National Parks require that you pay an entry fee in order to drive through and explore them. If you are planning on camping in the park there is usually an additional nightly fee per person, although some parks offer free camping. It is advisable that you check beforehand with the individual park you are planning to visit what the charges are going to be. Booking in advance is a good idea especially at more popular times of the year.

For more information please see the Australian governments Parks and Reserves website: http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/index.html


Free Stays ("Freedom Camping")

Motorhomes have dual battery systems, one for starting the campervan, one for the internal appliances such as lights, fridge and water pump. These batteries will last approximately 12 hours when fully charged depending on usage. The batteries are recharged when driving or when connected to mains power. Some vehicles have solar panels too. All these features make it possible to stay overnight without power or water facilities.

Finding a free place to stay overnight in your motorhome is sure to be a bonus to your campervan holiday and the great news is that there are hundreds of these places spread out across the Australian countryside

Free stays come in handy, especially when the holiday funds are getting a little low. However, keep in mind that in most states, you cannot simply pull over to the side of the road in your motorhome and camp for the night. There are rules governing where you can park your campervan, and it is a good idea to look into these before you head out.

Also, be considerate of the environment and be sure not to litter or leave the area damaged. “Freedom campers" have coped a lot of flak in recent times for leaving behind unsightly messes including human waste. Please leave our environment in the same condition you found it! Doing this will ensure that free stays across Australia remain available for many years to come!

Check this website for listings of camping sites that are either free or very low cost including National Parks: ozcamps.net

Q. Is it necessary to pre-book camping sites? >>