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HappyHeart

Camping and Caravanning in Australia

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My daughter and I really want to go camping in Australia. Problem is I’m not naturally outdoorsy.

last time I went camping was in Scotland and we had to leave at about 3 am cos it was so cold. (We went in March, bad planning)

can you get what you need for camping without massive expenses? I wouldn’t know where to begin.

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1 hour ago, Coxy7 said:

can you get what you need for camping without massive expenses? I wouldn’t know where to begin.

It depends how prepared you are for roughing it.  If you want to ease in gently, start by staying at camping sites which have proper toilets, showers with hot water and barbecues to cook on, somewhere close to civilsation so you can get to a cafe for breakfast.  That will cut down dramatically on the amount of paraphernalia you need to buy.   

Your first decision is what you're going to camp in - a tent or a camper or a caravan?  If you're on a tight budget, the obvious choice is a tent.  I would go for a 3-person or 4-person tent.  A 2-person tent is literally big enough for two people to lie down in and not much else.  However, if you're not an outdoorsy person, a note of caution,  I'm not outdoorsy either, and  I hate camping in tents because I hate bugs.  Most modern tents do have zip-up doors but it's surprising how many creepy-crawlies manage to get in - especially in Australia!  

When we first arrived in Australia, we camped in our car.   We had a station wagon (estate car) - remember those?  The back of a SUV or hatchback isn't as long as an estate, but people do camp in them.  I prefer being up off the ground!  

https://windowvisors.com.au/napier-sportz-cove-small-to-mid-size-vehicles/

https://outdoorsmagic.com/article/turning-hatchback-car-mini-camper/

https://www.kathmandu.com.au/summit-journal/expert-advice/camping-checklist

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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I liked the first link to the car accessory thing. That looked good, off the ground away from the bugs, maybe?

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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

It depends how prepared you are for roughing it.  If you want to ease in gently, start by staying at camping sites which have proper toilets, showers with hot water and barbecues to cook on, somewhere close to civilsation so you can get to a cafe for breakfast.  That will cut down dramatically on the amount of paraphernalia you need to buy.   

Your first decision is what you're going to camp in - a tent or a camper or a caravan?  If you're on a tight budget, the obvious choice is a tent.  I would go for a 3-person or 4-person tent.  A 2-person tent is literally big enough for two people to lie down in and not much else.  However, if you're not an outdoorsy person, a note of caution,  I'm not outdoorsy either, and  I hate camping in tents because I hate bugs.  Most modern tents do have zip-up doors but it's surprising how many creepy-crawlies manage to get in - especially in Australia!  

When we first arrived in Australia, we camped in our car.   We had a station wagon (estate car) - remember those?  The back of a SUV or hatchback isn't as long as an estate, but people do camp in them.  I prefer being up off the ground!  

https://windowvisors.com.au/napier-sportz-cove-small-to-mid-size-vehicles/

https://outdoorsmagic.com/article/turning-hatchback-car-mini-camper/

https://www.kathmandu.com.au/summit-journal/expert-advice/camping-checklist

I have a station wagon. Still big sellers but not in the Falcon/Commodore size so prevalent a few years back.  Such a practical figure for carting hay and horse feed for instance.

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7 hours ago, Coxy7 said:

I liked the first link to the car accessory thing. That looked good, off the ground away from the bugs, maybe?

That's why I preferred being in the car.   We didn't have an accessory, and we found that sleeping with all the doors and windows closed was too stuffy (and besides, my husband's legs were too long), so we had to leave the tailgate open.  That meant we still got mosquitoes flying in which wasn't ideal.  I think that attachment would make a big difference.

Frankly, though, I can't see the attraction of camping apart from the money it saves.   Many caravan parks have cabins you can rent, and then there's the YHA (youth hostels) which used to have some nice bush hostels.  People think camping will be nicer in Australia than the UK because it's warmer, but they forget that tents don't have air conditioning either, and they can get b****y hot.  The tent can get full of dust and grit, too!   Plus at least in England, the bugs aren't venomous and there's only one kind of snake.

I think you can tell I'm not an outdoorsy person...


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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On 08/12/2020 at 04:56, davlap said:

So we invested heavily ($25) on a tent.

Just got back from Habitat Noosa (edge of the everglades).Glorious sunrise with the roos, 15km hike in 30 degree plus heat , then 'swim' in lake - about a foot deep!

Usual weather deterioration when we decide to go. 50mm rain, thunder and lightning, tent was mostly dry

Bit calmer next day

noosa1.jpg

noosa.jpg

noosa2.jpg

noosa3.jpg

That photo across the lake with the sunset is sensational. Life goals!

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Camping, Bobj style, snakes, crocs and dingoes. Been this kind of camping in the NT desert fossicking for gemsones and KImberley Region, barramundi fishing for pretty close to 40 years...

94B24759-0A7E-4783-A1E7-E1521213CAFE.thumb.jpeg.ea887220b2e024bd63afa9c0648bd4b1.jpeg

Cheers, Bobj.

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On 17/04/2021 at 04:35, Coxy7 said:

My daughter and I really want to go camping in Australia. Problem is I’m not naturally outdoorsy.

last time I went camping was in Scotland and we had to leave at about 3 am cos it was so cold. (We went in March, bad planning)

can you get what you need for camping without massive expenses? I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Very different ideas about camping. 

I know people who own a caravan and go to the same site every time, packed in like sardines, connect up to power and water, all mod cons. Tbh I'd rather stay in a cabin if that was the go. 

Then I have a friend who has embraced free camping in her 40s, they pack up the Ute and sleep under the stars in the back or in swags. 

We do off grid camping as a necessity in our basic caravan. Solar power and we have to take /collect our water. You are at the mercy of the weather unless you want to be confined to the van and it's no fun (for me) when it rains and when it's too hot or cold. The amount of crap you take is crazy. Chairs, tables, lanterns, floor mats, shower, portaloo etc. I find the pack up irritating. You can do it as simply as you like though.

You just have to decide on a comfort level and what suits you best. The simplicity and ability to enjoy nature and the night skies are what make the experience. Cooking outdoors is always fun but washing up without hot running water is a pain. Just my opinions based on my limited camping experience. (Caravanning- no way could I sleep on the floor with my back) 

 

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2 hours ago, HappyHeart said:

Very different ideas about camping. 

I know people who own a caravan and go to the same site every time, packed in like sardines, connect up to power and water, all mod cons. Tbh I'd rather stay in a cabin if that was the go. 

Then I have a friend who has embraced free camping in her 40s, they pack up the Ute and sleep under the stars in the back or in swags. 

We do off grid camping as a necessity in our basic caravan. Solar power and we have to take /collect our water. You are at the mercy of the weather unless you want to be confined to the van and it's no fun (for me) when it rains and when it's too hot or cold. The amount of crap you take is crazy. Chairs, tables, lanterns, floor mats, shower, portaloo etc. I find the pack up irritating. You can do it as simply as you like though.

You just have to decide on a comfort level and what suits you best. The simplicity and ability to enjoy nature and the night skies are what make the experience. Cooking outdoors is always fun but washing up without hot running water is a pain. Just my opinions based on my limited camping experience. (Caravanning- no way could I sleep on the floor with my back) 

 

Nice to see you back again Happy Heart. Keep posting those camping experiences of yours, onto PIO. 

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