If you’re willing to brave the elements, camping in Western Australia during winter can be a very rewarding experience. For starters, the campgrounds are quieter, the air is crisp and being curled up around a fire with a mug of hot chocolate can be magical.
However, winter camping is not without its challenges and you need to ensure you are prepared when camping during the cooler months. Ensuring you have the right equipment can make the difference between an enjoyable holiday and freezing in the middle of the night. Thermal clothing, sleeping bags with appropriate temperature protection and the right mattress all play a vital role in ensuring you are kept warm and comfortable. Likewise, a good alternative to a tent during winter can be hiring a campervan. You’ll be safe in the knowledge that no matter how cold it gets overnight, you will have a warm place to sleep. If you are considering going camping this winter, here are our top picks for campsites in Western Australia.
Red Bluff Camping Area
Located near Carnarvon, approximately 900 kilometres north of Perth, Red Bluff offers campers a panoramic view of one of the best sunsets in Australia. It is a fantastic location for land-based game fishing and if you’re feeling adventurous head out to The Bluff, where you can surf waves ranging from one to eight feet.(Image by OldManTravels)
Winter is also the perfect time to catch a glimpse of whales heading north towards warmer waters. The whales come within metres of the coast line, and if you’re lucky enough, you might see a mother and calf playing in the waves. The area is also home to dolphins, turtles, kangaroos and much more. Bookings are not required and the track leading to Red Bluff is unsealed so it is recommended that your camper is of the 4WD variety, such as the Britz Challenger. An unpowered site will cost $11 per night per person.
Three hours drive south of Perth will take you into one of Australia’s most famous food and wine destinations – the Margaret River. Not only can you take a wine tour through lush green vineyards, or visit the local cheese or chocolate factories, but there is a wide variety of scenery and wildlife to explore. The region can get cold during the winter months so ensure you have warm clothing (or a sneaky glass of red) to keep you comfortable.
There are plenty of spots along the river, such as Wharncliff Mill, where you can set up shop for the night in your campervan. They have a huge undercover area, so even if it is raining there is room for the kids to run around. An unpowered site will cost $28 (price is for two, $12 per additional person) Take advantage of their current special, stay more than three nights during winter to receive a 20 per cent discount.
Parry Beach is located in Southern Western Australia in the William Bay National Park. Here, you’ll find Greens Pool, a crystal clear naturally sheltered ocean pool that hasincredible snorkelling. Even in winter the pool is kept out of the wind and although the water can be cool, it is an amazing experience.(Image by TheSyKy)
The surfing at Parry Beach is excellent with fast waves, good swell direction and consistent wave size year round. Camping here costs $10 for two people ($2 extra per person per night). You don’t need a 4WD to get here, making it an ideal spot to pull up a campervan.
Experience a once-in-a-life-time interaction with the dolphins at Monkey Mia. Since the 1960’s the wild bottle-nosed dolphins have been swimming into the shallows and interacting with tourists. Get there early as the dolphins are only fed three times a day and are usually found between 9am to 12pm.Although Monkey Mia is known for its dolphin experience, there is also plenty of other activities for the whole family. Wildlife cruises run regularly and you may see dugongs, turtles, manta rays, sharks and dolphins. Ride a camel, go fishing or go for a guided walk with a native and learn about the Aboriginal culture and history in the area. Camp in the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort for only $16 per night for an unpowered site.
Many parks offer discounts on overnight stays in winter, so be sure to shop around and enquire about special rates. It can be extremely affordable to travel during winter, and as long as you are fully prepared for the climate, can be just as enjoyable as the summer months. If you are interested in a campervan holiday, a company such as Britz offer a wide variety of versatile campers that make it easy and affordable to get away for a quick weekend camping trip.
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