Searching for Australian campsites or caravan parks that we won’t regret in the morning adds that little frisson of uncertainty that makes road-tripping round Australia so exciting.
Although sometimes it’s a little TOO exciting when darkness is falling and we’ve got NO clue as to where we’ll spend the night. That’s why we take time each trip on a reconnaissance mission for the next one! And that includes scoping out future campsites.
But sometimes, after a long day on the road, it’d be nice to find somewhere COOL to stay with the facilities we want and directions on how to get there.
And now I can with the FAAAAABULOUS new Explore Australia Camping Around Australia app (available for iPhone & iPad)!
I’d already picked out these 6 HOT campsites to stay at one day – but who knows how long before we re-visit them? And whether they’ll still be operating when we DO get there? Using the app will not only tell me that, but it’ll also suggest alternative Australian campsites to try if I find we’ve missed the boat!
And you can too!
1. Caroline Pool, via Halls Creek, Western Australia
The unbelievably scenic Caroline Pool (pictured above) just south of Halls Creek would’ve made an ideal campsite IF:
a) our camper trailer had high clearance (it doesn’t);
b) we were ready to ‘ROCK’ along the rugged dirt track out towards Old Halls Creek (we weren’t);
c) we hadn’t already travelled 367 km since leaving Wyndham that morning (we had); and
d) we didn’t care about its lack of facilities (we did)!
Besides, any extra driving would’ve eaten into my photo time at China Wall, a 6 metre high quartz vein that bisects the landscape just like a miniature of its namesake!
But there’s always a next time, right? Although judging by the number of rigs already set up when we dropped in for a look, maybe the word’s already out!
MORE about Halls Creek
2. Yarrie Lake, via Narrabri, New South Wales
Whether or not the circular Yarrie Lake was formed by a meteor way back in the dim, distant past is kind of irrelevant if you’re looking for a peaceful and picturesque campsite with powered sites, hot showers, toilets and laundry facilities.
Oh, and a great birdwatching, water-sports, walking, relaxing and photography spot!
So next time we’ll check it more thoroughly for hidden flaws!!
MORE about Narrabri
3. Point Sturt, via Goolwa, South Australia
On the last leg of its long journey through three states from headwaters high in the Snowy Mountains, the mighty Murray River enters the Great Southern Ocean at Goolwa. But not before passing through Lake Alexandrina which, along with Lake Albert is the centrepiece of South Australia’s Lower Lakes region.
Near a water-bird wetland (aka ‘swamp’) and overlooking the dunes of the amazing Coorong National Park across the lake, Point Sturt is superbly situated to appreciate the 360 km²(138000+ acres) body of water.
And who needs facilities in a cool camping spot like this?!?!
4. Barcoo River camping area, via Isisford, Queensland
A long time ago, one of the most feared creatures on the planet started its quest for world domination right here in Isisford! Fossils of Isisfordia duncanii – also known as the mother of all crocodiles – were found nearby and are now on display at the Outer Barcoo Interpretive Centre.
But ancestral crocodiles aren’t the only attraction in this small outback township south of Longreach.
One of the most bizarre and intriguing town signposts I’ve ever seen greets travellers from the east before crossing the Barcoo to the campground on the other side complete with toilets. Showers are available in the town park – if you can get past the beautifully restored pub!
But Isisford is memorable for other reasons. Because a few years ago, on our one and only day trip there, it was the very first spot EVER where I was given a Senior’s Discount. INCORRECTLY, of course – I’m not THAT old!! But you knew that, right?!?!?!
MORE about Isisford
5. Borough Huts, via Halls Gap, Victoria
We just can’t seem to get past the Halls Gap Caravan Park on our regular visits to the Grampians – jewel in the Victorian National Parks crown!
Perhaps it’s the proximity to the Halls Gap bakery – the perfect destination for an early morning constitutional!
But every time we drive past the excellent Borough Huts campground on Fyans Creek around 10 km south of Halls Gap on the Dunkeld road, we vow to stay there.
There’s a lot to be said for staying in the middle of the Grampians National Park right next to your very own scenic public toilet and within cooee of many of the excellent hikes and drives that make a visit to the park so memorable.
If only we could tear ourselves away from that TOO-FINE bakery …
MORE about the Grampians National Park
6. Devils Marbles, via Tennant Creek, Northern Territory
As well as the location of one of my favourite Scenic Public Toilets; a killer sunrise AND sunset photo spot; AND a site significant to the local Aboriginal people, Karlu Karlu – colloquially known as the Devils Marbles – also boasts what must surely be one of Australia’s most picturesque campgrounds.
However, ever since we discovered Wycliffe Well – Australia’s UFO capital – on our first road-trip foray north of Alice Springs in 2008, the Devils Marbles campground has always been left for another day.
BUT … it’d be handy to be right on site at sunrise and sunset to capture the magical light that paints the Marbles with classic Central Australian Outback colours.
And test out that Scenic loo …
MORE about the Devils Marbles
If you’d like to have around 3000 MORE Australian campsites at your disposal, check out the Explore Australia Camping Around Australia app (iPhone and iPad compatible) – and I’ll see you on the road somewhere!
And for photos of some of the GREAT Australian Campsites I and others have discovered all around OZ, visit my Pinterest Board – Cool Australian Campsites!
AND … check out my post about Australia’s 10 BEST Camping HOT Spots!