Top Tips for being a Happy Camper in the National Parks

Planning your adventures around Aus camping.

1. Looking for adventure and the great outdoors, use the National Parks to plan your trip. The sites range from being free to $65 / site. Some are prices per person others per site. We find the majority are $10/site (2016/17) The amenities also range from just a pit toilet to having all the facilities you would find on a standard campsite. No pets are allowed in any National Park.

2. You can have a campfire at many of the National Park sites, but different fire regulations apply in different states at different times of year and within different localities and Parks. Always check the fire rating and local regulations and never take any wood from the National Parks. A good place to get your wood are the service stations or there are sometimes people selling it by the side of the road.

3. When camping in these National Parks every state has their own website and different booking systems apply at different sites. Some you can just turn up at and pay at the registration either on the campsite or at the entrance to the National Park – make sure you check, it’s a long drive back if you get caught out, as we found out in Francois Perron NP. Some have camp hosts and they collect your fees and increasingly now the sites are moving to online booking. Again check as it’s not much fun to arrive at a site with no internet access to find this out. The National Park centers can provide you info and also book sites for you. Finally the popular campsites operate ballot systems during the busy periods, which you apply well in advance for a site. If you if do turn up without entering you might be luckily to squeeze in for a night, but if it’s somewhere you want to go during busy periods (Christmas, School holidays, Easter and some public holidays) don’t risk it. You may also need a Parks Pass in addition to your camp fees at some sites. Depending on how long you are spending in a state, it’s often cheaper to buy a multi-day or annual pass.

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•• Photo taken from an Alison Lester book- “Are we there yet?”••

4. All states have slightly different school holidays and public holidays, all provided each year online.

5. Good advice I was given, was if you can, book your Easter holiday at Christmas and your Christmas holiday at Easter. Not very spontaneous when your traveling, but if you want to be in the popular area’s great advice. You will always find something, but free camping isn’t what it use to be and we have seen lots of stressed out tourists arriving late at night with nowhere to go. The tourist information center’s are a great resource too and have the nights availability in the local areas for all the campsites (But not the National Parks)

6. In popular areas ring ahead or book ahead for weekends if you know you are going to be there.

7. Wiki camps is an amazing app and a must have tool. It provides all the locations of every campsite in Aus. Well we are yet to find one it’s missed. http://wikicamps.com.au

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