Whilst these points refer largely to camping in NSW, they can be applied to other regions.
Easter camping in New South Wales
Camping has to be one of the best activities. It feels natural, doesn’t cost much, and is so much fun. Easter happens to be a great time to go camping. The weather has cooled down and we can all enjoy a long weekend in the great outdoors.
Easter camping in New South Wales is a great time to camp – and a very popular camping long weekend. Book your site early since all your favourite camping spots with river and beach front access will be booked by mid February.
Summer Camping in New South Wales
Mention ‘summer’ and immediately you imagine camping! Fun times on the beach, watching the sunset, fishing for dinner and whipping up the perfect camp meal. Summer camping is also a very cost effective accommodation option during a season when cabins and other holiday accommodation can be very expensive. The months of December, January and February are the hottest months. It does however mean that the beer around the camp site and the BBQ tastes even better!
Here are some pointers to assist with planning your summer camping trip, especially in New South Wales:
- Minimum stay periods: Almost all beach-side and camping parks in NSW will have a minimum stay period. Summer is peak holiday season and everybody is looking to enjoy the sun and weather. Some require a minimum of 5 days, some require 7 days. Book by September to avoid disappointment, and obviously the better the location (eg beach front, good amenities and distance from Sydney) will be more popular. If you only want to be camping for a short period of time, look for camp sites that are in lesser known towns.
- Go beyond the two hour drive time if you want to avoid the crowds whilst camping. Look for a campsite that has spaced out camping spots, larger camping spots or is a slightly further drive from Sydney. Parks with children’s facilities like play grounds and jumping pillows tend to be more crowded. If travelling north, go past Forster for less crowded resorts. If travelling south, you will need to drive past Shoalhaven for the quieter spots.
- Be a tarp pro: Rent a good quality tarp to avoid the harsh sun. A tarp will keep you cooler, and if it rains you will stay dry.
- Some campsites have communal fridges, and if you plan to use them to store beer, conceal your packages! Most camp sites like you to store your fridge items in a plastic bag with your name and date you are leaving labelled on the bag. Not all campsites have communal fridges – especially the smaller sites. If there’s no communal fridge, the good old esky becomes an important item. Many campsites sell ice on site, at usually the same price as the local service station or convenience store. There’s no way around it – take plenty of ice!
- Sleeping arrangements: Nothing determines how comfortable you are, than your sleeping arrangements. Quality gear will lead to better rest. Things to consider are whether you are camping alone or with others and the climate of where and when you will are camping.
- Summer camping can be deceptive with summer nights often still recording cold temperatures. When you are arranging your camp location make some phone calls to see what the overnight temperatures are likely to be. This could prevent you from being cold at night. You will need to take a sleeping bag or blankets according to what the lowest overnight temperatures can be.
Winter camping in New South Wales
You can obviously expect the weather to be cold, so make sure your sleeping bag can handle cold temperatures. Don’t buy a ‘cheapie’ sleeping bag, or the one you used for school camp – they are usually not warm enough. Winter sleeping bags are usually thick and come with a bigger price tag.
The two best pieces of camping gear you will see at the top of any camper’s packing list are air mattresses or stretchers. If you are camping alone and have a big enough tent, take a stretcher. There’s no pumping required – you simply unpack the stretcher and your bed’s ready. If you want to snuggle up to your partner, or have a small tent, make sure you have an air mattress.
Taking an air mattress means you have to take a pump. Foot pumps are much easier to use than the hand ones. You can also use electric pumps, but foot pumps are more convenient (and don’t rely on a source of power…).
Floor mats, or hiking mats are okay if you are travelling light, but are not nearly as comfortable as air mattresses or stretchers.