If you grew up in Perth, you’ll probably have fond memories of staying at Kalbarri at least once in your life. For everyone else, its time you cottoned on to this well-known secret. Kalbarri is blessed with stunning coastline and soaring river gorges, and just south are towering sand dunes waiting for you to climb them.
Staying at the Mount Field National Park, surrounded by ancient trees that reach 100 metres into the sky, will help put life back into perspective. There are several excellent walks through the forest, including one that leads to Russell Falls, and there’s a peaceful camping area near the entrance by the Tyenna River.
Like a small holiday town you visited as a child, Seal Rocks is the perfect family getaway. Just south of Forster on the Mid North Coast, the village has avoided overdevelopment, and is a chance to get back to the simple things in life. Just you, the sun, the surf, sand dunes and a heck of a lot of fish waiting to be caught.
The Flinders Ranges are up there with the best camping locations in Oz. Wilpena Pound Resort is a great place to pitch a tent for the night. For something different, head over to Iga Warta - an indigenous-owned sanctuary where you can camp beneath the stars and go on a bush tucker tour with the traditional owners.
Just a half hour drive south of the Gold Coast, Brunswick Heads is a sleepy fishing village that’s become really popular in the last couple of years. Quieter than the other tourist towns nearby, Brunswick has a great café culture, beautiful beach, and a picturesque tidal river where you can rent kayaks or just play in the shallows.
Jervis Bay is a staple destination for many Sydneysiders, but we think may of them are overlooking one of the best bits. Sure Huskisson and Vincentia are great, but so is the Booderee National Park. There are three unpowered camp areas within the park, and they all offer easy access to the blindingly white sands of Hyams Beach. If unpowered isn’t your style, you can’t go wrong at the nearby caravan parks.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, and the idea of trekking through bushland doesn’t cause you to break out in a cold sweat, you’ve got to visit Ryan’s Den. Found along the 91 kilometre Great Ocean Walk, which takes 8 days in total to complete, Ryan’s Den has a spectacular ‘loo with a view’. If that seems like too much commitment, there are plenty of amazing campgrounds right along the Great Ocean Road.
Just a short trip north of Brisbane, Bribie Island is the escape you’ve been looking for. The national park has several excellent camping areas accessible by 4WD, such as Gallagher Point and Poverty Creek, while the southern section of Bribie has some excellent caravan parks with all the mod cons needed to keep the family happy.
Another popular getaway for West Australians, Dunsborough is a pretty little town resting on the shores of Geographe Bay. The beach is the star attraction here, but if you find yourself longing for something a bit different, you can check out the nearby Yallingup Caves or drive south to the amazing Margaret River Wine Region.
We love the Grampians. It doesn't matter if we're sleeping in a grassy national park campground or in the comfort of a cabin in Halls Gap; something about it just makes us feel at ease. There are overnight treks and campsites aplenty, but a short day trip in and out is just as good. Be sure to check out views from the many lookouts.